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Welcome to the Team - Jon Ellis

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Jon Ellis has recently joined the Credentially team as Product Manager.

Jon brings with him over 25 years’ experience as a developer, IT Manager and Product Manager. We’re really excited that Jon has agreed to come on board, and look forward to benefiting from his extensive skills and experience.

Jon has very helpfully answered some of our questions, to help us get to know him and see for ourselves what his experience can bring to the team.

Q&A with Jon Ellis

Tell us a little about your background, Jon

I started my career in IT in the days when dBase 4 was still a thing, when our developer (note singular – not team) left the project I’d been helping specify requirements for. I’d spent a few months looking over his shoulder as he put the system together, so when he left, I stepped in to finish it.

That gave me the bug for developing software, but more importantly set me on a path that has defined my career pretty much ever since.

What can you bring to Credentially? 

My strongest skills are not just in the analysis and scoping of products, but in bridging the gap between the technical and the less technical – having worked on both sides of the fence, I can bring a clear and balanced view to any software project and manage stakeholders at all levels.

I enjoy the human interaction involved in enhancing a product or developing a new one from the ground up, and I’ve done lots of both! From small in-house systems to large scale multi-tenanted enterprise SaaS products.

The most important thing in Software is people. I listen to my customers; I challenge them, and I help them ask the questions they didn’t know they had. I find this approach leads to the delivery of software products people want to use and enjoy using.

What’s the most interesting part of your job?

The creative aspect - starting with the seed of an idea and helping refine and shape it into a feature that improves our software and the experience of those using it. This is a really collaborative effort, so I get to speak to and work with some great people who have some amazing ideas and offer many different perspectives.

What has been the biggest work challenge you’ve faced over the last 12 months?  

Like everyone, the impact of Covid. I lost my role in a major OH software provider to redundancy and took a non-product role for a short time in another business outside healthcare. I rapidly decided that I missed the challenge that product management brings, and also the variety of the work. Luckily for me, an ex-colleague introduced me to Credentially and I was immediately blown away by the concept of the product - after only a few conversations I could see so much potential.

What do you think makes Credentially a unique place to work?

The fact that the product has a great USP and the potential to evolve in so many directions is immediately appealing, but equally being able to work directly with our colleagues in Belarus and learn from them about their experiences adds a real uniqueness to each day. In some respects, the impact of Covid and businesses having to adapt to remote working so quickly has made working with a distributed team feel much more natural. Every day brings new challenges and opportunities and every colleague is a pleasure to work with - helpful and committed.

What are you most looking forward to for the rest of 2021? 

Hopefully the end of lockdown and seeing people’s feet and finding out how tall they are! One thing I really miss is being able to visit client sites and workshop ideas face to face; I'm a very visual person, so it's not uncommon to see me covering walls with Post It notes and scribbling on flip charts. That is the one thing that really doesn't translate well to Zoom. Face to face collaboration has no substitute.

What will the 'new normal' look like?

I think it will be a mix of remote working from home, some on-the-road time and occasional office visits. One thing we have all proven is that it is possible to work without a permanent desk in an office, and that people can be trusted and probably even more productive when not tied to a particular desk. I think businesses that go back to 'the old ways' will really suffer, as flexible working will improve employee retention rates and wellbeing. But it's not for everyone, we must equally respect and support those people who need more face-to-face interaction, or perhaps don't have great setups to work from home. Flexibility and consideration will be key.

Anything to add?

Work wise, I have over 10 years experience 'officially' as a product manager, but was probably doing the role before it became a thing. I started out life as a not great developer some 25 years ago, so moved on to manage teams of developers and analysts and discovered a passion for solving customer challenges and presenting solutions. I have extensive experience working in Construction, Property and Facilities Management, and Healthcare which is really where I think I enjoy it most. As demonstrated by this past year, Healthcare workers are absolutely essential and we all owe them a debt of gratitude.

Anything I can do to help get the right folk into the right roles more quickly seems a no brainer to me, and another reason I joined Credentially.

On a personal note, I have 2 rescue Chow Chows, prefer red to white (but red doesn't like me), my (late) mid-life crisis is a beautifully restored MGTF which will one day be a classic I'm sure, and I always fancied the job title 'Holistic Re-Imagineer' but no one wants to give it to me....Product manager is so beige!

Jon - thanks for taking the time to tell us about yourself. We look forward to working with you and seeing what our new Holistic Re-Imagineer will bring to the Credentially team!

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