Button Down Professional, relaxed, efficient

At Taleo, we offer a range of professional consulting services in the fields of Program and Project Management, Business Analysis, Change Management, Project Control and Project Scheduling. We pride ourselves on our ability to match clients with consultants that meet the requirements for skill and experience, while also matching our clients’ needs in terms of cultural fit, aptitude and personality.

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Bespoke solutions that fit

We are not going to lie to you: we make mistakes sometimes, and we learn from them. But one mistake we won't make is taking on a job for which we are not the right fit. Greed can be blinding, but in the end it is not worth the hustle. We are not going to ruin a relationship with a potential future client and our own reputation just to grab a fat contract for which we are not best suited. That is why we at Taleo believe in understanding our partners and clients first, so that we can commit to a job fully knowing that we can provide the level of excellence for which we are known - or else. Building lasting relationships, in business as in life, is about honesty and communication.


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GREED IS OUT OF FASHION

In the past, we have been under pressure to accept a contract based on the dollar value. In one case, we assigned a job to one of our consultants knowing that it was not only the wrong fit for the individual but for our organization as well. In the end, the project was completed competently, but unmemorably. However, the marginally satisfactory results it achieved left us all with bad tastes in our mouths. We risked the reputation of our competencies and trust based on greed. Today, we would refer prospective clients in a similar situation to a reputable competitor. We won't risk the relationship, whether they are our client or not.

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DO I LOOK FAT IN THIS?

If we think we can be of help, we will talk to you. There are no efficient generic solutions, and we do not have a standard procedure: we believe in differences, and we adapt to them the same way a bespoke suit feels RIGHT because it has been tailored according to the person's shape and personality. This involves the process of active listening. It is not about us telling you how to conduct business; it is about us finding a way to work with you so that you can feel more comfortable doing what you do best. We won't just agree with you all the time. We will offer experience and knowledge and an open mind. We will try to understand why you are successful, and how we can help you to be even more so, without betraying your own style.

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ONGOING ALTERATIONS

Business, like people, grow and change in shape and habits. Just as clothes need alterations to adjust to the physical and mental evolution of the person who wears them, we believe project management services must be flexible and take in to account the key to successful relationships: adaptation. Being aware of how your company evolves is the foundation of our work because we are not afraid of change. In fact, one of the qualities we value in people when recruiting new people for our team is their passion for adventure, be it intellectual or physical. An inquisitive mind thrives when challenged.

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ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL

A client approached us with a typical request: established utility company seeking experienced, capable project manager with proven track record in the industry. We matched one of our coveted Senior Project Managers who had 20 years of experience to the task. Six weeks into the project, the sponsor approached us entirely disappointed. The arrangement was not working out. It turns out we had missed the suitability mark completely. Their personality and communication styles conflicted and it resulted in us swapping in a new PM and caused a delay in delivery. Lesson learned: it is not always only about professional skills and experience. Our business is about people. Plain and simple.

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WALKING IN YOUR SHOES

Empathy is a big word, but we GET it. Everyone has a bad day sometimes. Everyone can be difficult or snappy or obtrusive on occasion. So what? We talk, we discuss passionately, we listen. We learn, and we move on. So do you; that's just life. Project management is not an esoteric science, and we don't have magical recipes that are going to turn your company into a multimillion dollar global behemoth overnight. We don't peddle inane pablum. We just try to understand what you are about and then offer you a wealth of knowledge, experience and human skills. Good people, good ideas. Try THAT on for size!

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Off the Cuff: Relaxed but Effective

We don't believe in Casual Fridays: they mean the rest of the week is some slow, protracted nightmarish grind from which slovenly employees can get temporarily liberated come the weekend. It's kind of like breaking free from an ill-fitting, cheap suit. We feel comfortable in our clothes because we do not wear a uniform, not even metaphorically. We do not THINK alike because we like diversity. At Taleo, every day is Casual Friday, because we do not have careers: we have vocations. And, quite frankly, work is much more fun when you really like what you do. With or without a tie on.

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KNOWING WHEN TO MOVE SHOP

We brought on a new PM years ago. We rapidly grew a genuine admiration for her raw skills and natural abilities. She was completely capable, experienced, competent: the ideal profile of what we were looking for in other practitioners. She was assigned a big contract with a company who, after three years working with her, approached us privately. They were so impressed that, while acknowledging the clause that prohibited this in the contract, wanted to hire her on as a full time employee. Without standing in the way of opportunity or choice, we told her about the proposal. In the end, she accepted the offer that was best for the direction she wanted her career to take her. She continues to work with us today.

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WE ARE NOT FASHION VICTIMS

Every month there are a few new books published (not to mention the millions of blog postings) that claim to offer revolutionary new approaches to project management and client services. These miraculous cures for all corporate ills very rarely work because companies are not archetypes. They are a group of people, very different people, doing things together under circumstances that are constantly subject to change, influenced by the unpredictability of life and daily events. We resolutely ignore trends. Our managerial style is about common sense; supple, responsive thinking and shared responsibility based on knowledge and experience. Just like life, really.

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LOOKING GOOD

To avoid micro-managing our highly effective people, we give them the freedom to complete projects on their own. As a consequence of this as well as working with far too many clients, we have, in the past, been guilty of letting the dialogue between the client and us throughout the process falter. Typically, an unhappy client tells us right away, but a marginally satisfied client will usually stay quiet, and until our close out meeting we don't find out that the client thinks we did merely an 'OK job'. This mediocre outcome is completely unacceptable. We now make sure that dialogue is fluent and open at all time, while ensuring our people have enough leg room to do their job well without constrictions.

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SMALL, BUT PERFECTLY FORMED

The crucial choice every services consultancy must make at some point is between expanding blindly or keeping tight and in shape. If we were in the car manufacturing business, we would say, "the bigger the better". But our line is people and ideas. We are extremely selective when recruiting new members of our team. Pressed by client demand, the choice between hurriedly hiring someone untried who we do not know that well or rejecting the assignment (even if that means loosing a client short term) is a no-brainer for us. Better slim, focused and competent, than bloated, generic and inefficient.

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SEAMLESS INTEGRATION

Common sense is the less common of all senses; most projects fail because, at some point along the road, they get entangled in confusing psychobabble, received wisdom that is not at all that clever, or fixed procedures rooted in corporate tradition that are no longer apt to deal with contemporary challenges. Sometimes it is people who derail the process; a conflict of egos, an incompatibility of core skills, or a lack of proper focus for a variety of reasons can ruin a perfectly logical and well planned project. That is why we advocate for inclusion and integration based on clear assessment and impartial understanding. Maybe it is not what other consultancies do, but it works.

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SHAPING UP YOUR BUSINESS

How do we manage risk during a recession? Avoiding it altogether means stifling innovation and curtailing opportunity. Throwing caution to the winds and going for it might end in tears. Let's put it this way: some people know instinctively what to wear and how to look good effortlessly, while others need a bit of advice and encouragement. We think of ourselves as enablers, contributing to make things happen while keeping an eye on possible mishaps. Nothing is certain in this world, but we make sure projects don't get out of shape.

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DON'T BE AFRAID OF COLOUR

Colourful is a synonym for eccentric. We disagree. For us, colourful is a life-affirming combination of professionalism, lateral thinking, efficiency and strong convictions. We uphold old-fashioned values like honesty, trustworthiness and respect for other people's opinions and cultures, and combine them with a very passionate commitment to our work and our personal lives. Our practitioners are not only very good at what they do, but also participate in their communities and have varied interests outside the workplace. They are interesting, engaged people.

Shop Talk

Insights, thoughts, things and people that have caught our attention or from which we have learnt valuable lessons. Read our blog

Measure Up

We value, nurture and reward talent highly. Do you think you measure up? Come and work with us at Taleo! We are hiring

Contact Us

Relationships are very important to us. We look forward to meeting you and finding out how we can help you. Contact Taleo

About Us

Experts in Fit

Solutions come in many shapes and sizes. When it comes to your project, you need a solution that fits. Consulting expertise meticulously tailored to meet your goals.

Other factors contributing to our uniqueness include:

  1. Unique Factor #1 - Taleo is invested in our client’s success. We provide an additional level of support by pairing our consultants with an in-house senior project manager who, throughout the lifecycle of the assignment, acts as an advisor to the consultant. This provides additional experience and wisdom, which is brought to bear on the client’s project. Our clients benefit in the form of reduced risk, increase probability of success and better project outcomes. All of this is provided at no additional costs. Consider it a complimentary quality insurance program.
  2. Unique Factor #2 – Over the years we have developed an understanding of how to increase success on our consulting assignments. Comprehensive communication and well-defined expectations establish the vital foundation that projects require to have a higher probability for success. To this end every Taleo engagement follows an established framework, which is led, by our consultant and supported by our in-house senior project manager. This Taleo team collaborates directly with the client sponsor to define expectations at the start of an assignment; maintain an ongoing assessment of progress and direction during the assignment; and complete a close out review at the end of the engagement. These value-add services are provided at no additional costs to our clients. This disciplined but non-onerous approach to client engagements consistently leads to a successful conclusion. This is why clients routinely invite us back to engage on their most important and difficult initiatives.

At Taleo, we offer a range of professional consulting services in the fields of Program and Project Management, Business Analysis, Change Management, Project Control and Project Scheduling. We pride ourselves on our ability to match clients with consultants that meet the requirements for skill and experience, while also matching our clients’ needs in terms of cultural fit, aptitude and personality.

Taleo was founded in 2010 as a response to the commodity-based approach to consulting taken by large body shops. In an effort to avoid delivering inconsistent results to clients, we’ve taken a different approach.

Differentiators:

Many firms offering consulting related services tend to be recruiters focused on amassing large resume databases. We are quite the opposite. Taleo does not accept resumes from any and all consultants who express interest. Instead, we invest in assessing consultants, validating their skills and experience, understanding their personality and individual work style. We then determine if we will add them to our team or not. Over the years we have been building our portfolio of competent consultants and saying no to those deemed mediocre or less. Our goal is to have a portfolio of the best, proven, competent professionals who consistently deliver results on client engagements. When you work with Taleo you have access to this portfolio versus a data warehouse of resumes and non-assessed individuals. When we share a consultant’s profile with a client, they know that this person is established, capable and has been qualified by Taleo. As a result of our quality approach, our consultants land 76% of the assignments they interview for and are invited to extend their contracts 89% of the time.

Shop Talk

Insights, thoughts, things and people that have caught our attention or from which we have learnt valuable lessons. Read our blog

Measure Up

We value, nurture and reward talent highly. Do you think you measure up? Come and work with us at Taleo! We are hiring

Contact Us

Relationships are very important to us. We look forward to meeting you and finding out how we can help you. Contact Taleo

Services

Experts in Fit

You are a Calgary based business that must complete various projects and initiatives to support your overall business mandate. Delivering projects, completing process and business analysis isn't your core competency. You do it because it supports a greater need. You may have a team of people who can do some or most of the work BUT...

Made to Measure

  1. Our clients come to us with issues critical to their organizations where they want the contractor to hit the ground sprinting.

  2. Our assessments, the knowledge of our staff and our understandings of our clients, all position us to step effectively into a client's challenging situations and deliver solid results.

You need contract specialists from time to time to cover staff shortage or provide specific skills and experience that are important. You are seeking a supreme fit for your need, not just a match of skills or experience, but an individual who will integrate into your culture, how your team works together and the unique nuances of your company's style.

Project solutions in IT, business and EPC is our specialty. It is all we do; it is our passion; it is our competency, and it is what we do very, very well. This expertise is even more effective when we assess our staff and our clients' working styles. We match our people to assignments based on three key criteria 1) cultural fit 2) skills and knowledge 3) type of experience.

Project Management: Our Project Managers average over 20 years of experience, overseeing a variety of projects across a wide spectrum of industries and functions typically on business, IT or EPC initiatives. Productive from day one, they are well-versed in the application of project management, product development, and systems methodologies with access to all of our industry best practice processes, templates, and models.

Program Management: These highly seasoned professionals have the extensive project and program management experience required to effectively lead programs of all sizes and complexities. Taleo's Program Managers are trained to interact with your management executives to achieve success for your program as well as provide constructive and objective recommendations on ways to improve your project management environment.

Organizational Change Management: This area of expertise is much more then simply providing communication or training experience. Taleo OCM consultants have the ability to help our client's internal leaders transform their organization. They enable these leaders to take their organizations through positive change due to triggers such as new technologies, new processes, new structures or M&As.

Project Controls Specialists: Taleo has a specialized pool of expert Project Controllers, Planners, and Schedulers who average 10+ years of experience in project planning, estimating, cost control, issue and risk mitigation, and project reporting.

Business Analysis: Research shows that 56% of all consultants employed on major IT programs are performing some kind of business analysis yet only 17% of them have had any formal Business Analysis training. Taleo business analysts are proven experts in the area of requirements definition and implementation. Process improvement is a unique skillset which, when successfully applied, can bring significant benefits to the organization. Our Business Analysts offer comprehensive solutions in process modeling.

Delivery Improvement Services: In addition to execution services focused on delivering a set of specific objectives relating to a project, Taleo provides services targeted at systemic issues affecting the organization's performance. The opportunities range from the appropriate methodology, project offices approach, reviews, coaching and more.

Project Reviews (Recovery, Success Assurance, Lessons Learned): The consequences of failed projects can be grim. According to findings from the Center for Business Practices (CBP) nearly half of an organization's projects are at risk at any given time, no matter the size of the organization. With so much at stake, early detection and action is key to avoiding the substantial losses associated with troubled projects and project failures. Taleo addresses project reviews at both the organizational and individual project levels, depending on your specific needs.

Performance Management: Taleo has developed a framework for measuring the performance of Project Execution practices to evaluate their effectiveness and demonstrate strategic business impact. Measurement provides you with the information necessary to make intelligent decisions about what you do. For example, you might want to understand the performance of your project management processes, your project office, or your Project Management training initiatives. Taleo will work with you to develop a measurement program customized for your organization to accurately demonstrate performance results to key stakeholders.

Project Management Maturity Advancement: Advancing project management maturity improves your organization's effectiveness at executing projects. We work with our clients to assess the current level of maturity, develop an achievable improvement plan, and help keep the momentum going by supporting the execution and measurement of the recommended improvements.

Coaching and Mentoring: We help bridge the gap between theory and practice. Taleo' Mentors work closely with your personnel to reinforce their understanding of sound project management or business analysis concepts and help them apply these concepts within their work practices. This type of personalized knowledge transfer from experienced resources encourages the development of competencies more easily gained through example, guided learning, and hands-on practice.

Project Portfolio Management Assessment: Working on the right projects at the right time is critical to sustain a competitive advantage, yet many organizations struggle with allocating limited resources and assets wisely. Taleo's project portfolio management (PPM) approach helps you select and manage an optimal portfolio of projects - one that maximizes your organization's responsiveness, revenues, and adaptability. Taleo helps structure your PPM practices to provide your organization with a consistent way to select, prioritize, and manage projects that deliver maximum business value.

Project Management Office (PMO): Implementing standard project management practices and improving project success rates are two of the main reasons why organizations establish project management offices (PMOs). Yet there are many complex factors that impact the ability of a PMO to operate effectively. Often overlooked is the crucial role a PMO can play in organizational governance, supporting centralized project prioritization and resource allocation decisions. Recognizing the PMO's strategic value, Taleo has pioneered a process for designing, implementing, and refining the practices and structure of a project management office.

Shop Talk

Insights, thoughts, things and people that have caught our attention or from which we have learnt valuable lessons. Read our blog

Measure Up

We value, nurture and reward talent highly. Do you think you measure up? Come and work with us at Taleo! We are hiring

Contact Us

Relationships are very important to us. We look forward to meeting you and finding out how we can help you. Contact Taleo

People

Rare Threads

Taleo people are unconventional and driven: we pride ourselves on being different, which in turn helps us to think laterally and come up with ideas that might not be obvious at first sight. They are derived from a rich human experience and a capacity for change, learning, and adaptation.

An Overview:

Matthew Hillhouse is a seasoned Management Consultant and Project Manager with more than 20 years practical experience. He holds the PMP designation from the Project Management Institute, an MBA from University of Calgary, an AMP from Oxford University and a BA from Wilfrid Laurier University. His diverse industry experiences and strong interpersonal skills allow him to relate well at all levels of an organization.

Matthew has worked for private, public and regulated companies in Calgary, Toronto and Edmonton. Industry experience includes Oil and Gas, Finance, Venture Capital, Biotechnology, Software Development and the deregulated Electricity Market in Alberta. He has served on a number of private and public boards providing strategic input on business development and management practices. His direct project experience includes more than 55 business and IT related projects. Matthew is also an avid sports enthusiast participating in long distance enduro mountain bike races, triathlons and mountaineering.

Matthew Hillhouse Owner / Managing Partner

In university while wrapping up my undergraduate degree, I was drawn to both the adventure and discipline required to be a commercial pilot and flight instructor. Freshly graduated and a few years into flying I met an amazing business man (whose hobby included flying a small diversified fleet of airplanes!) who became a key differentiator in the course of my life. Bill was the CEO of a venture capital firm with boundless creativity, commitment and intellect.

It was easy for me in the beginning to have a strong admiration for his ability to recognize true potential in small under developed businesses. It took me longer to appreciate his strategy and method in growing me. I was consistently thrown in to uncomfortable and foreign scenarios where I had little experience. He pushed me to learn things on my own and knew somehow that I was capable of doing it. With the aggregate of my lessons and successes, I developed an uncanny ability to diagnostically assess a clients situation and integrate myself seamlessly in to the team.

Founder of Taleo in 2010, Matthew serves as managing partner. He works daily with the business team, Taleo’s clients and consultants in supporting the ongoing pursuit of delivering high valued results on each and every assignment.

Laurel Sim Owner / VP of Portfolio Management

As an award winning program manager and senior project manager, Laurel applies her wisdom and experience in managing Taleo's portfolio of active assignments. Laurel's natural passion and talent lies in the area of helping others be their best. Laurel and her team of senior project managers are paired with each and every Taleo consultant to provide support, an advisor, a sounding board and a confident. The mission is simple... help our consultant be the best they can be, wow the client, deliver the goods and keep building our track record. Through Laurel's consistent approach to quality, Taleo demonstrates that two heads are indeed better then one.

Ryan Buchan Talent Manager

Ryan is our talent scout who is always on the lookout for that rare consultant who brings the skills, experience, wisdom and certain style that makes them standout. He has developed a comprehensive approach to finding and assessing top talent which ensures that Taleo always has the best to offer our clients. Ryan's role is critical to the success of our clients and our business. Through his effective and selective people selection he helps support the steady growth of Taleo.

Corey Martell Business Development Manager

Corey Martell is our Business Development Manager. The reason Corey is such a great fit has everything to do with the many hats she has worn in her career. Her legal training honed her attention to detail – a quality that helps ensure our clients are in good hands and not being overlooked. While teaching junior/senior high school and coaching many school sports teams in Edmonton, she inspired her students to reach their goals. She brings forward that passion with our consultants and clients. Her work as a mediator for the past decade focused on creating win-win environments - a strength she brings to our team every day. Education and experience aside, she is a fun-loving athlete with a passion for connecting with people and her professional priority is building meaningful, lasting relationships for the mutual benefit of Taleo’s consultants and clients.

Karen DayAdministrative Manager

Karen Day is our Administrative Manager, who brings 25 plus years of experience and knowledge to Taleo. She devotes her time to ensuring all general office procedures, HR, financial, and payroll aspects of our business are handled quickly and professionally.

Karen works with the Taleo Team to create closer relationships with both our clients and consultants on a daily basis as well as through the planning and execution of social events.

Shop Talk

Insights, thoughts, things and people that have caught our attention or from which we have learnt valuable lessons. Read our blog

Measure Up

We value, nurture and reward talent highly. Do you think you measure up? Come and work with us at Taleo! We are hiring

Contact Us

Relationships are very important to us. We look forward to meeting you and finding out how we can help you. Contact Taleo