Detailed descriptions of technical projects I've designed & implemented:
Developed evaluation system to objectively score employees' performances and abilities.
Purpose and Scope: To deliver a comprehensive, quantitative, and distinctly objective system of assessing new hires' performances across multiple dimensions of core competencies, including:
- technical understanding, i.e. the intrinsic knowledge they brought to the table
- procedural performance, i.e. whether they followed company protocols
- general participation, i.e. their desire to become a part of our organization
Such a tool could be used to support the on boarding of new hires to the position of Field Support Engineer.
Motivation: Prior to my taking the role of Department Manager, our previous methods of new hire evaluation lacked objectivity and transparency; they provided little actionable information for continued professional growth of new employees. These gaps hindered management's ability to truly assess a new hire's fit to the role into which they were hired and to make informed decisions about whether the new hire was the ideal candidate for the position.
Development and Implementation: I held a week long conference where I invited technical specialists from other departments to work alongside my own staff to break down our coursework into discrete modules. Once broken down, each module was then assigned three distinct areas of interest that would be graded on a standard numerical scale. The areas of interest were defined as technical understanding, procedural performance, and general participation, and the criteria that determined the numerical grade for each area was based on actions we expected a trainee to demonstrate for a given task, i.e. objective observations. We finalized the grading criteria for each module by group consensus and I had the final system ratified by the management of the affected departments.
Results: This system has dramatically improved the quality and capability of our entire training program; key achievements include:
- Reduced the time to determine a new hire's viability from several months to one week, thus saving tens of thousands of dollars that would otherwise be spent on a non-viable candidate.
- Enabled management to make informed, standardized, and objective decisions about candidate viability based on both individual and group-level performances; since all candidates are graded on the same scale and individual performances can be easily compared.
- Redefined the Trainer's role as an objective observer, rather than of a judge of character, whereby the trainer is better able to focus the trainee's areas of improvement rather than on whether or not they're a good fit for the role.
- Led to the creation of a copious data set–each trainee's performance generates over 100 numeric and text-based data points–permitting extensive multidimensional analysis of trainees' strengths and weaknesses.
- Surprising finding: This dataset also enables evaluation of Trainer performance in concert with Trainee performance based on certain statistical and normative methods I've employed.
- Similarity to "Moneyball": This data set has led to the establishment of an entirely new candidate targeting model for our Field Service Engineering Department.
Used Moneyball approach to develop new ideal candidate profile for technical recruiting.
Purpose and Scope: To utilize the rich data set derived from the training performance evaluation system to identify key qualities that predict the best candidates for the role of Field Support Engineer.
Motivation: After implementation of the training performance evaluation system I recognized that the system was creating a robust and valuable data set. I believed these data could be used to specifically identify the areas that predicted success in the role of Field Support Engineer.
Development and Implementation: I organized the data set and combined it with certain candidate background information in a way that permitted the use of linear classification techniques to determine features that correlated with the most successful trainees. These features were communicated to management of the affected department and employed as an entirely novel approach to candidate recruitment strategy.
Results: This system has identified several features indicative of strong candidates that run counter to the industry standard profile of the Field Service Engineer, thus providing us with a distinct competitive advantage in terms of strategic recruiting within our industry.
Leveraged video production talents of staff to produce rich training media content at negligible cost.
Purpose and Scope: To provide field employees with the ability to review technical repair procedures at their discretion in order to remain familiar with important processes they may not encounter with high frequency.
Motivation: Prior to the implementation of the video media program, Field Service Engineers were significantly limited in their ability to remain proficient at infrequently encountered repairs. The only method of review was flying engineers to headquarters for supplemental training sessions–at huge cost to the organization.
Development and Implementation: I recognized one of my staff possessed both affinity and talent for video editing, and as such I made training video creation a component of his core responsibilities. With minimal investment into formal training and resources (e.g. an iMac workstation) this employee flourished in his new found role of video content producer.
Results: Training videos have permitted field employees to review and remain competent at infrequently encountered tasks, and the need to fly field employees to headquarters for review courses has significantly decreased.
Leveraged cloud-based solution to significantly reduce materials distribution costs.
Purpose and Scope: To make certain physical media available to employees electronically and securely.
Motivation: Certain products in our line of medical analyzers required the use of physical media (e.g. CD-ROM discs, floppy disks) to perform critical maintenance and repairs to the software and operating systems. Prior to the cloud migration of these files, Field Support Engineers needed to order these items from warehouse stock and wait on-site for multiple days for the media to arrive, thus causing significant delays in repairs and high costs of staying on-site multiple days.
Development and Implementation: Due to the strict regulatory environment in which medical device companies operate, a sufficiently secure cloud-based service needed to be identified. Furthermore, the physical media needed to be successfully copied and archived to permit reliable reproduction by field employees locally.
Results: Field employees no longer need to remain on-site for additional days while waiting for the delivery of physical media to perform certain troubleshooting and repair tasks.
Targeted underserved market with new customer course yielding $150k in new revenues to date.
Purpose and Scope: Certain customers within the medical device industry are unable to enter into traditional servicing arrangements for the medical devices they purchase. Rather than having the manufacturer perform routine maintenance and repairs on their systems, they opt to have their own in-house engineers perform these tasks; however, in order to so so, these in-house employees must be certified by the manufacturer to perform such tasks.
Motivation: Since the manufacturer's own engineers generally must perform all service on the systems they sell, a special arrangement needed to be created to protect the interests of the manufacturer while also accommodating the customers' specific needs. I played a central role with crafting such an agreement that would serve to meet customers' needs while also being agreeable to the manufacturer from both risk-based and cost-effectiveness perspectives.
Development and Implementation: Using pared-down versions of the training courses we already offered to our own employees we were able to quickly produce a wide range of training offerings to our broader base of technical customers.
Results: Word-of-mouth [no direct sales] business has resulted in increasing demand for our courses and yielded over $150k of new revenues since the program's introduction in 2012.