“It’s About Staying Ahead of the Curve”. Navigating the Process as Godel’s Head of Internal Products
Mikhail Tarasevich has been at Godel for more than 7 years, successfully gaining experience within the BA division. Recently, Mikhail was promoted to Head of Internal Products where he will bring his vast product development knowledge to the role.
We sat down with Mikhail to learn more about what he will bring to the table as Head of Internal Products and how having a deep understanding of how Godel operates as a business will enable him to stay ahead of the curve.
Tell us about your background at Godel?
It’s interesting, during my 7 years at Godel I’ve only ever worked on one Godel engagement. When I started, there were only five people on board the team, but now the project has grown to over 200 people, and it has been a unique experience. Within the BA division, I began working in the Talent Acquisition function, a dedicated function to enhancing the recruitment process by constantly striving to find the right people.
At the very beginning, we were trying to find people who have mainly hard skills, so those who are experienced business analysts who know all the techniques and have deep backgrounds in many systems. However, right before COVID-19, we switched to another approach completely which focussed on finding the right people who can fit into any team and who are helpful to each other and confident in trying new things. It’s important to understand the goal, what someone is asking and what the job expects from you.
What is the purpose of internal products at Godel?
In short, the purpose is to automate our internal business processes, set goals, KPIs, etc, and then monitor how we are doing and how we are evolving over time. The Internal Products function has been through an ambitious journey and has matured largely throughout this year in terms of the processes and overall governance of the business. We have reached the point where we can plan to become a better product development team, responding to the company’s needs in a quick and professional manner.
As I’ve mentioned before, a large part of the purpose is to automate the running of the company. We have a lot of business processes in place, and some of them require a lot of manual work and we’ve found it isn’t cost-effective and probably not the right way how to spend people and resources. What I think should be taken into account is that in some cases, it’s not always beneficial to automate something but instead, continue doing it manually or revisit the process.
As Head of internal products, what are your priorities?
That’s a good question. I have written a lot of things down but I’m working out how to prioritise them – they are different but at the same time all necessary! So certainly, the main one is to automate the work of the support team because there are dozens of requests coming through every day. We have a fantastic support team, but there are only a couple of people who are reviewing the high number of requests each day. This is something we need to improve as the system was not designed for such high numbers and it can take a lot of extra time.
We have ambitious plans to grow by the end of the year. I think that there are plans to grow by 25% approximately and next year again. We have a growing number of people in the company so we need to think about how internal products can scale with it and how our support team can continue to deliver efficiently. We would also like to prepare a concept of how we analyse the necessity of the product, or how much time we can save and how will it affect us as we grow as a company. We are growing fast so we need to hire more people to reduce the workload while automating the job in some way which is more cost effective.
I would also like to define this process internally; we call it a business case development. If there is a business case then we can present it to the board, we should explain what the values are to Godel. We need to make the process of the support team clearer.
So, for example, if we get a request, we can advise that we cannot answer it now. You can expect the answer in a certain time frame. If it doesn’t work for you, you’ll need to escalate, or you can leave the date or cancel your request because it will be no longer valid in a big time etc. It will be more transparent for you how to organise the support stream.
And lastly, what are your plans for the rest of the year?
Over the next few months, we will look to learn more about how teams at Godel work because there are similar requests all the time and it would be good to get the processes in place soon. But at the moment there is no such function, the challenge is that you must update the database manually and we would look to automate this. Once we have established a good understanding of what our plans are for the remainder of the year, we will also be able to map out our long-term goals.
We have a great team in place and you can see how far we’ve grown over the years, and I look forward to bringing Internal Products to the next level. I hope to improve the overall efficiency of Internal Products – with the end result of having more proactive processes in place to automate requests, notify the team and get problems fixed early – staying ahead of the curve.