Meet our intellistar Ian Frost, the intelliHR Delivery Manager who is helping deliver the success of our software development team.
A: After school I went to university and started a Bachelor of IT, halfway through I decided to work in the real world and I got a job in the automotive industry as a parts interpreter. After four years I decided to go back to university and ended up working at a company called Oniqua.
After a couple of years, I went into cloud solution architecture. That meant coming up with the design of a hosted Software- as-a-Service platform. I then stepped into a role with Simple, a marketing automation service, looking after the internal IT team, customer support team and the software development team. I then went back to Oniqua, before my path led me to Jeremy Fong [intelliHR Chief Technology Officer] who asked me to join intelliHR.
After creating the initial automation and infrastructure that runs the intelliHR solution, I implemented software development practices and automated solutions that moved work from development through to the platform ready for customer use. An opportunity developed to run the team’s operations day-to-day, so I stood up for the role.
A: One portion of my role is service delivery. I interface with the intelliHR Customer Success Team and handle any escalated support issues they may have. I also deal with customer implementation from the technical side, this means talking with our customers’ IT teams about issues they might have, scoping any integrations, negotiating any requirements and things like that.
I’m also the iteration manager for two development teams which means supporting the team to problem solve and help to understand new learnings that a team might have come across and bringing approval from people who need to sign off on change. I help to provide a business context plus challenge assumptions, which is very common in the software engineering world. You see, when you set out to build something in your head you’re always wrong, it’s difficult to get it right in your head, so it’s about going through a process of iteration and discovery.
At intelliHR our development operates in two-week sprint processes and at the end we have a retrospective to look at how the team functioned and any improvements that we can make so we have a continuous improvement cycle. It’s my role to manage those ceremonies and facilitate planning for the next period, to report on the outcomes of the sprint and encourage that continuous improvement.
That’s the thing I’m most proud of in the team, having that attitude around continuous improvement. There’s a Japanese philosophy called “Kaizen” that Toyota made very famous, it’s about continuously looking at your processes, never being satisfied that you’ve got the perfect process, there’s always room for improvement. Always having that attitude and looking for and implementing those improvements. That’s the thing that increases our capacity sprint to sprint and allows us to produce better quality features.
I’m really proud of how everyone is really open minded to the idea that there might be a better way. It’s an important asset culturally.
A: When we have that eureka moment, when we discover an opportunity that will have real benefit for an end user that nobody has thought of. I just wish we had more time in the day, because we have so many of those ideas that we want to put in place. We have to be really selective. We try to make the process so that we go into the features quite open minded to allow for as much innovation as possible. The less prescriptive we are as to what to build, the more opportunity there is for the product team to come up with something innovative.
A: We have a massive opportunity in terms of what we can bring to the table for our customers, especially with analytics, I don’t see many other competitors with the same analytics offering. I’m most excited by the potential in real AI-driven machine learning and the real insights we’re going to be able to pull out from the data we are gathering. I think that’s the most exciting thing.
A: It’s one of the best teams that I’ve been a part of, everyone in the development team is really smart. Everyone has either a solid professional background behind them, so the best practices that are in the team are strong, or they’re a fresh graduate and have a lot of enthusiasm for learning. There is a ton of respect amongst us because of the strength of the team. We also have an enormous amount of fun, every day we’re laughing and having fun while getting the job done. I think that’s super important for what’s essentially a creative endeavour.