Jodi Cicci, President & CEO of TOP Step Consulting is a high energy and accomplished speaker and facilitator for professional services organizations to become operationally efficient by establishing standard business practices and deploying automation tools. With over 25 years of experience in professional services and project management, Jodi recognized that business understanding and how the business operates is always first before applying technology.
TOP Step Consulting started as a result of a unique opportunity presenting itself in a unique way. While working at Software AG, Jodi lead the charge to select and implement a software solution to bring efficiencies to Professional Services and establish standards worldwide. The technology selected was a Professional Services Automation (PSA) system called OpenAir, which is now owned by NetSuite.
Deploying the solution throughout the worldwide offices resulted in having her learn the system quite well and becoming an informative reference for many other customers and prospects interested in OpenAir. As with any newer technology, consulting options are limited and Jodi realized many customers were looking for business consulting with not only the technology of OpenAir but also regarding change management and how to get the most out of the solution.
Jodi started TOP Step Consulting in 2007 focused on helping customers with the OpenAir solution gets the most out of their investment. In 2014, the company expanded their solution base to include FinancialForce PSA. By helping customers establish business processes that interact with PSA software solutions and enabling the right set of features in the product itself, many customers realized the potential of their software product and have become streamlined and more productive.
Lifecycle Services Evolved
TOP Step Consulting enables and empowers Professional Services organizations to be profitable, scalable, and efficient through change management, process enhancement, technology deployment, and skill set training with a Customer First approach.
TOP Step has developed a program called STEPS, a five-phased approach, namely Strategize, Tools and Process Implementation, Educating and Training, Performance Tracking and Reporting, and Systems Management to help organizations effectively utilize their PSA software solutions.
The Strategize step includes offerings such as Business Efficiency Assessment, which helps customers align their PSA software solution to their organizational processes, and PSA Tool Selection, which assists customers in identifying their operational needs and how to evaluate software solutions to determine the best-fit for their organization. Tools and Process implementation offerings include deploying the NetSuite OpenAir or FinancialForce PSA solution as well as establishing a Project Management Office. Education and Training focuses on project manager training and consulting skills training. Performance Tracking and Reporting works to help customers establish reporting metrics and measures to ensure they are gathering effective data for strategic business decisions. Finally, Systems Management provides options for customers to have a personal help desk to answer those business and process questions within the organization.
TOP Step Policies
“Our team members are our assets”, Jodi asserts. Jodi says that they invest heavily in both internal training courses by sharing experience and hosting brunch n learns and in external training by empowering employees to get certified in key technologies such as Dell Boomi and Salesforce.com. Their primary goal is to make TOP Step a great place to work and a continual learning experience as they work with customers to solve their business process issues. Every customer is unique and has unique challenges which only enhance the company’s ability to be creative in solutions and ensure customers are able to accommodate technologies to their organizational goals.
According to Jodi, one of their biggest challenges is hiring individuals with strong professional service experience and those that have their specific PSA software solution knowledge. Since they focus so much on the customer’s business process, they need resources that can talk the talk of business and what it takes to adopt the changes in an established organization.
Women are Leaders
Women are leaders in business by leveraging their own experience to the maximum and adopting to change as the business world evolves. Running a business, however, is not a one-woman show. It’s important to listen to employees and include their feedback in making strategic business decisions to build the business. Jodi cites, “My goal is to have a strong team that contributes to the direction of the company and feels empowered to share ideas.”
A Little Off-balance
Jodi says that her work-life balance is a little off-balance. Jodi has a strong base at home with her husband handling much of the day to day works and being extremely supportive of TOP Step Consulting. Their son grew up seeing her on the computer all the time. She focuses on time together on weekends and evenings to be about family and enjoying life. Technology is infused in the day to day life with Skype sessions, email, and texting which keeps everyone in touch and informed.
Jodi is satisfied with the success of TOP Step Consulting to date, as it is a gift in itself and leverages all of what she has learned over the years. By starting her career in computer programming and leveraging innate organization skills, the various jobs Jodi has had over the years have rounded her knowledge base to be the leader what she is today. From being a Project Manager of software solutions to being a Global Director of product and process in a professional services organization, each role has added experience and expertise that Jodi continues to leverage today in her day to day at TOP Step Consulting.