Frisco Projects | Case Study
Frisco Projects are a project management consultancy who aim to help companies, charities and community projects develop innovative ideas and pursue creative arts projects. With projects often consisting of thousands of hours Ken Hoskins (Project Director) recruited the help of Udrafter to help fill specific skills gaps in the project team.
In terms of comparison of cost compared to consultants is significantly lower and there is more time in working with a student or an intern to bring him up to speed to some of the things that might be necessary. So, there is a balance, but definitely a benefit. I will invest more time while we bring them into the line of thinking in terms of the business, but they’ve got skills that I haven’t got.
WHAT KIND OF PROBLEMS WERE YOU FACING BEFORE COMING TO UDRAFTER?
So taking the prototype designs that we’ve worked with, the Universal of Strathclyde and them taking up another level. Looking at defining some of the details so we can get realistic prices for components, that was really useful. We then take you on separately to develop the animations preparing those ready for working with investors, with just taking the whole project forward.
HAVE YOU USED INTERNS BEFORE AND WHY DID YOU THINK YOU NEEDED AN INTERN SPECIFICALLY?
It was a contact through Offshore Europe Business Breakfast, I put out proposal to second-year students. Then I saw the great benefits of working with students from a slightly different generation, but from a background of engineering and having different number of perspectives on how to take the project forward. Once we started the project then working with interns was attractive because I could see the individuals I was working with, in this case Daniel, demonstrating a flair for design and I saw that potential in what he had to offer.
So It was a worthwhile investment of time. I’ve always been happy to mentor throughout my working career. There was an element of mentoring in terms of ideas, what might work better, what we may need to park that maybe for some time later.
WHAT WAS YOUR RETURN ON INVESTMENT THROUGH AN INTERN FOR THIS PARTICULAR PIECE OF WORK?
Various aspects of maturing the business plan in terms of having some product details, what the product actually like allowing us to present a more detailed plan to investors. Before when pitching to investors I really need to describe the products but a picture says a thousand words. My experience of not knowing 3D design. I’m not a practitioner and therefore working with Daniel with his background, it was really useful.
WHAT PIQUED YOUR INTEREST ABOUT UDRAFTER AT THE START? WHY WERE YOU INTERESTED IN USING UDRAFTER?
Well, partly because it was looking at small chunks of work and mini projects. The project overall is many thousands of hours, or tens of thousands of hours but moving the project forward is worthwhile as a mini project, it ran about 100-250 hours to take what we had just a little bit further.
GREAT, AND WHAT IS IT THAT YOU LOOK FOR IN AN INTERN WHEN YOU’RE HIRING?
Well ability in terms of skills, but also the ability to listen to what are the challenges, what’s the problem, what are we trying to solve? So that’s important to me. So if somebodies fixed in their ways, and they won’t change direction, then that’s going to be difficult. In terms of innovation, you need to be more about “What about this? What about that?” OK. But you’ve got to come to a conclusion you can’t keep on “What ifs? What ifs? What ifs?” You’ve actually got to say, “OK, we made the decision. It’s perceivable that OK we may need to change a little bit, but let’s make some forward momentum.”
WHAT WERE THE BENEFITS OF HIRING A UDRAFTER INTERN?
Obviously, in terms of comparison of cost compared to consultants is significantly lower and there is more time in working with a student or an intern to bring him up to speed to some of the things that might be necessary. So, there is a balance, but definitely a benefit. I will invest more time while we bring them into the line of thinking in terms of the business, but they’ve got skills that I haven’t got.
WHY UDRAFTER OR OTHER METHODS OF RECRUITMENT?
We saw it [Udrafter] as an attractive and as flexible process. There was minimal risk so If it didn’t work out, we haven’t heaps of money as we might do with a consultancy. I was confident enough in terms of assessing the abilities of an individual. It was easy to capture the project scope and it is a simple process to identify a candidate that was able to do the work.
WHAT AREA DO YOU THINK YOU GOT THE MOST VALUE OUT OF GETTING AN INTERN THROUGH UDRAFTER?
It’s being able to quantify the scope and quantify the costs commitment. Having flexibility and then where we identify those benefits and expand the project a little bit more than the parameters were set. It was easy to do that.
HOW LIKELY WOULD YOU BE TO RECOMMEND US AND WHY SHOULD SOMEONE WHO COULD BE LISTENING TO THIS RIGHT NOW?
Well, we have recommended you to some other businesses. We have recommended you to students looking for an opportunity to work through yourselves. So we see the benefit in all walks of life. We need to have a more diverse community of all ages recognising the benefits of new ideas, but also recognise the benefits of people with experience and so we saw it as a beneficial mix.
You had a really good answer to what do you look for when you’re hiring an intern? Do you hire based on culture fit as well, or is that not as important to the skills?
I’d say skills is part and parcel. I wouldn’t want someone driving a bus if they couldn’t drive a bus but in terms of the cultural background, for me, I work overseas, different communities with different worldviews, and faiths. I was brought up in India, I come from Australia, although I don’t sound like it but for me that’s going to give me a bit of appreciation that we’re not just a small community.
We’re working in a landscape with people with different perspectives, different priorities. So I don’t have a problem with trying to pigeonhole people into things, into boxes. I hate categorising people in boxes. I look for people who’ve got different mindsets.