Question: Did you make any major changes or facilitate major work in any way?
Yes, I did.
I was hired to transform a software consulting company. At the time this company had several opportunities in semi-related software contracts, but they would be too costly to pursue individually. I was hired to consolidate and unify a technical vision and build a company out from that single focus. I proposed a long-term vision with short-term actions applicable to these early contracts. I conceived a Software as a Service application platform that provided diverse tools for analytic and workflow design, this would later be named by the industry as a low-code platform.
I proposed that subsequent contracts, would include the building of the vision and that over time, the cost to create applications would exponentially decrease.
As a result, we were the first low-code platform offering SAAS products to the oil and gas industry in Canada. Within 18 months development costs were cut by 50%, today a team of one client representative, one senior developer, and one quality assurance can produce a complex, multiple workflows, and low-code application in a week.
Question: Did you successfully solve a difficult situation with a client?
Yes, During a major single sign-on security upgrade, we had an untested use case cause major downtime for our clients. At the time, the cause was unclear and there was measurable damage to our client relationships.
I immediately implemented an “action room” with multiple client-facing and development teams. I feel collaboration is key in these situations because it can quickly identify unseen risks by individuals and you can quickly workshop solutions this way.
We collaboratively discussed the current status, known facts, strategy, and actions. Dozens of high-frequency touchpoints were conducted over the next several hours strategically implementing low-risk hotfixes and transparency briefings to the client.
This resulted in a return to uptime that was satisfactory to the client, and a clear message from the client appreciating diligence. Client relationships were not damaged, and our client scores did not change. An “Action-Room” process was added to our tier 1 incident response resulting in a 20% gain on tier 1 responses.
Question: Did you successfully solve a difficult situation with a client using technology?
Yes, An equipment inspection oil and gas application had to function and sync from offshore oil platforms to onshore management dashboards in near real-time.
The bandwidth on some oil rigs is comparable to dial-up speeds, much below 1.2 MBS and there were frequent drops of connections.
I lead a team that introduced a solution to solve this.
Our strategy was to make a system that made improvements immediately. As well as lay the groundwork to continually show technology gains.
The team designed and implemented an offshore fail-over, always-on connection service to facilitate resuming uploads.
This resulted in an increase in successful data uploads by 70% and a satisfactory near real-time dashboard update for our clients onshore. This technology and strategy were rolled up into our entire installation process and evolved into a modular react library. This library systematically delivers only needed packages, to guarantee small install sizes, in some cases only 100s kilobytes per application.
Question: Did your ideas or suggestions help increase the performance of individuals or machines?
Yes, in a low-code saas products company we were having design resources become overburdened with operational duties and an influx of sales. There was a threat that features and innovation decisions by developers would add up to an overall decrease in innovation quality.
To overcome this, I lead the Director of Research and Development and the Director of Operations to install GIST. Goals, Ideas, Step-project and tasks, an idea bank process company-wide. This allowed us to capture and promote all ideas but allowed only proven innovations to move into agile development.
The process was especially useful for client-facing employees, who could now introduce and argue for their high-priority client items. Furthermore, we implemented a much shorter road map process, focusing on 4-month immediate features.
This resulted in a much more focused set of features being released, that directly addressed client needs. Because of this client satisfaction and scores increased by 10%.
Question: Did you prepare any original reports, special papers, or documents?
Yes. I regularly prepared and presented information to staff, founders, and board members including Key Performance Indicators, Budget and forecasting data, and roadmap timelines.
Once, during an executive transition, investment spending had to be clarified with the board. At the time, the board did not have a detailed understanding of our proprietary low-code environment and its ability to produce more applications cheaply.
I created a deck explaining the technology, its strategy, and its roadmap. I explained how it cuts traditional development costs by 30-50% and where and why the investment was occurring. I presented to the board with positive feedback.
The board fully supported our vision and had a better understanding of our technology spending going forward.
Question: Did you implement any impactful processes or procedures?
Due to a provincial-wide security breach and ransomware attack on Newfoundland’s public health records, we wanted to increase the accuracy of tracking employee security awareness, training, and readiness.
Our readiness overall was unknown. I established a partnership with the 3rd party security services firm Knowb4.
We implemented a company-wide assessment and readiness training initiative. Over several months, we conducted staff audits, online training, and testing.
Initially, less than 30% of staff were trained properly, once complete 100% of staff were scoring more than 85% in KnowB4 readiness and security audits.
Question: Did you show creativity by developing and implementing a plan or solving a complex issue?
Yes. Being in a low-code company, we constantly wanted to challenge the time and energy it took to produce a software application, in order to maximize our return on Investment.
Early on, All our client-facing staff had no software design experience.
So process of translating client requirements to software design was expensive.
I created a universal software design system that was practical, easy to learn, and streamlined software design.
The design system was called “Intension Design” and focused on answering the question of what was the user’s most likely intention at any one point in the software.
And then to prioritize those intentions in easy and limited design decisions.
I integrated these design principles into the low-code software design tools of our platform, aligning them to named screen components and universal navigation.
The design system was well received and embraced by our client-facing staff. This resulted in a dramatic decrease in design times for all new applications, in some cases as high as 40% less time.
Question: Did you help client relationships by solving a complex issue?
We wanted to cut the training time needed by our clients in order to learn our software.
At that time, we had already implemented our own universal design principles for staff.
We believed we could really add value to our customer’s experience in our software and in learning our software if we exposed them to these principles.
I lead an initiative where our client-facing training personnel created a client-branded explanation of our universal design system.
We changed our training approach so that it explained how our software answers the questions our users had and then gave a fake data pilot to explore.
This resulted in reduced training sessions from multiple 3-hour sessions to 1 session.
As well as a much more tactical hands-on approach to our training.
Clients appreciated the early hands-on and were excited to get the live software. This increased our client scores by 10%.
Question:Did you assist someone else in realizing their objective?
I was in a company, where, unfortunately, we hired someone at a salary that was above their current skill level.
Due to a shortage of talent, and potential in the individual, it was decided to work with the individual to learn an operational management skillset that matched the salary level.
For several months I closely mentored this individual to reach their objectives of running a technical operational department. Exposing them to numerous operational responsibilities including budgeting, service cost projecting, and staff motivation.
This resulted in an immeasurable appreciation and loyalty from the employee. The employee went on to be an excellent decision-maker and strategist, being promoted to Director of Operations.
This employee made operational savings of 15% in their first year as Director.
Question: Did you implement or participate in any sales or profits, and or cost save recommendations?
We wanted to improve ROI by further integrating the latest gains of our low-code application development platform into the sales-to-production pipeline.
I conceived of a new approach to sales that offered a low-code development cycle for free in the form of a demo.
At this point, our low-code platform maturity was high and for very little energy we could produce surprising turnarounds on unique requirements.
Instead of having a developer interact with a client-facing manager post-sale, we would have a developer attend initial discovery meetings that were high-priority.
This often resulted in a custom demo being created in the room with the potential buyer.
By putting custom software in the client’s hands during a sales cycle resulted in a decrease in the cost of acquisition by 10%. Furthermore, this process also reduced development time by 10 – 15% as the demo was the base of the purchase application.
Have you managed significant budgets and investments for a department?
Yes, I have budgeted investment, cash flow, and salary burn to increase the runway of the company.
In one particular case, salary burn was high, I revisited and researched the company’s strategy in the use of public funding projects and tax credits (namely IRAP and SR&ED) and focused these initiatives on systematic long-term goals.
I managed the lead architect as we aligned our roadmap so that the projects are naturally built on top of each other from year to year. We re-arranged our Jira and change request processes to better align with proper funding deliverables.
I lead a department that holistically changed its software design outputs to maximize salary spending.
This strategy resulted in consistent and maximized tax refunds and a series of publicly supported projects. Saving the company 3.2 million in salary over 8 years.
Question: Did you contribute to the motivation of staff?
Yes, leadership is an important part of executive responsibilities. At one point, I was involved in a company that unfortunately had downsized by 16% of its staff.
Staff morale was at an all-time low and it was uncertain if the impact of people leaving would affect others. For the leadership team, we knew we had to readjust our core values, and the CEO and I created those values. and I presented those values and vision to the company.
After this presentation, I brought core staff into the board room. I highlighted each person, on their value and contribution to the company.
I ended this talk with how they all individually contribute and how as a team they will be the company’s success.
There were no further exits from the company and I was individually thanked by staff who said it was the most inspirational and motivating talk they have had with a leader.