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October 6, 2016
Time management and prioritization are important skills in any business, and especially in a growing tech company where things move fast. We spoke to Gordon, a Senior Engineer at Cutover, to discuss how he is using Cutover internally to improve his time management.
What’s your role at Cutover?
I’m a Senior Engineer and I’ve recently taken on responsibilities to do with service management. My main focus at the moment is the client-facing element of this, which is about ensuring that we are operating professionally. Service management is all about time management, as by managing customer expectations I am helping them manage their own time. This means it’s incredibly important that I give updates and deliver when I say I will.
Why is time management important to you?
I have a finite amount of time to devote to a multitude of things, so I need to ensure that I’m making the best use of my time. It can sometimes be challenging to prioritise and execute on time and, if things aren’t running as smoothly as you’d like, there is a greater role to play in providing input and feedback to others - which can be stressful. Making sure that you are organised from the beginning reduces the occurrence of these difficult periods when things aren’t running to plan. If you improve your work and processes so that you’re in control, you can focus on the things that matter.
Time management is also about having a good work-life balance. If I’m confident that I’ll be able to plan my day accurately based on facts rather than estimates, my work becomes more efficient and I’ll get more time to do the other important things, like spend time with my family.
What are your main time management challenges and how do you deal with them?
I’ve been at Cutover for nearly six months so, initially, there was a learning curve but now I’m better at planning because I know more about what I’m doing. Cutover is a useful tool for us internally as it allows me to plan my processes for the day, down to the second, and get some good metrics out of it. This means that when someone asks me to do something, I’ve got the data to say how long it will take and when I can start.
I am now looking to formally adopt several ITIL best practices, a set of standards adopted by most of our clients. I'm currently building Runbooks in Cutover to capture all of my processes and detail how they are done. The main goal of this is to eradicate the need for key person dependency; if my processes are understood by others on the team, then I’m not the only person that can help whenever these processes are needed. This gives me the freedom to work on other things and gives the team greater flexibility.
How has your past in Financial Services been beneficial in your new role at Cutover?
Cutover solves the problem of human coordination, which includes time management and task optimisation. As a Financial Services veteran, I know what “good” looks like in terms of time management, stakeholder management, compliance and risk reduction. I understand what the needs are and so I have a great insight into what our customers both need and would like from the product.
What could you do in the future to make your work more efficient?
A lot of the things we are doing now are still highly manual and procedural. Documenting these steps allows me to analyse what I’ve done and look at how we can automate things more. I’d like to think that ultimately we’ll end up having the majority of our business processes working within Cutover, which will remove a lot of waste in terms of time spent dealing with things manually.