A New Wave

By Meghan Fisher  |   |  eqBlog
Meghan Fisher • 6 min read
Are YOU ready to take off? Equiant’s accounts receivable servicing solutions keeps executives, portfolio managers, and lenders firmly in the driver’s seat. We offer configurable options for every type of portfolio. You may choose to leverage our technology-powered platform to service your own portfolios or outsource the management of your accounts receivable servicing to Equiant COMPLETELY!
 
Contact Ericka Schwarm to learn more today!
Direct Dial: (480) 636-4892
Email: eschwarm@equiant.com
 
From Frank’s Desk
Frank had the following words to share:
“What I want us all to achieve, what I want our successes to be founded on are the unspoken values demonstrated every day, by every employee. The pillars of these values are mutual respect, trust, integrity, honesty, reliability and caring. Everything we do must incorporate these core values. If we are supportive and helpful to others, they will treat us the same way. There really is something in a work environment called the echo effect. Our behavior is reflected back to us. If we “walk the talk”, practice and live within these values, we will automatically maximize teamwork, reduce stress and optimize performance of both individual employees and the company itself.
Our core values will thrive as we create an innovative environment focusing on “why” we are here in the first place, our clients… Learning to communicate like we have never done before and recognizing the trust and value each individual brings to our teams.”
 
Company Updates
Equiant has implemented many new exciting changes over the past couple of weeks; and added one new smiling face as well. That new bright and smiling face is Jon Chase. Jon is the Director of Software Development here at Equiant. Equiant’s positive community and welcoming environment are what truly sold Jon on joining the Equiant family. Keep reading to get to know Jon better!
 
Jon Chase – Director of Software Development
Jon has been involved in the IT industry for over 23 years. He has experience in the following industries: healthcare, mining, telecommunications, aviation, promotions, pension, and pharmaceutical. Jon is originally from Massena, NY. He earned his bachelors degree in computer science from SUNY at Potsdam. Jon’s favorite aspect of his role is putting processes into place and mentoring his team. He believes in living life according to the golden rule: treat others the way you would like to be treated. When Jon isn’t at the office he enjoys not only watching his son play baseball, but also coaching him!
 
Additionally, Brad Beverlin has accepted the new responsibility of managing Equiant’s Client Relations department. As the Director of Client Experience, Brad will lead our client facing teams as the Equiant Client Experience Department. Below is a word from Peter Moody, Chief Business Development Officer:
 
“As the Director of Client Experience, Brad will lead our combined client facing teams including client support, implementations, marketing, strategic account management and external training as the Equiant Client Experience Department. Brad’s 12-year industry background as the architect and director of an award-winning developer’s customer-centric financial servicing department which specialized in Accounts Receivable, portfolio management, investor/lender/customer relations & financial compliance brings translatable experience for Equiant across the Accounts Receivable Management Industry. Add in Brad’s background studies and experience in technology, human resources & financial reporting and it is obvious he is highly qualified to support Equiant’s corporate strategy: Clients Are Our First Priority. Additionally, Brad’s strong leadership methodology sets the stage and aligns with Equiant’s corporate growth strategy going forward.”
 
Congratulations Brad & Welcome Jon! 😄
 
Tech Updates
Jon has already hit the ground running; this Tuesday Jon presented his Software Development Methodology to all of the Equiant team. This methodology will create a better system for troubleshooting, prioritizing, and allowing the Software Development team to work more efficiently. And most importantly keeping our clients at the highest priority to deliver the best client experience possible. Keep reading to discover more about Jon’s Software Development Methodology.
 
Our highest priority is to satisfy clients through early and continuous delivery of valuable software. Who are Equiant’s customers? First and foremost our clients and also Client Experience, Customer Service, Implementation, Collections, Marketing, Client Support, Operations, Sales, Finance, and Custodial; because we are ALL Equiant. Equiant’s goal is to delivery working software frequently. To do this, business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project because working software is the primary measure of progress.
 
It is best to set “ground rules” to ensure the process is carried out efficiently, effectively, and also respectfully! Here are Jon’s four key ground rules:
  • There is NO finger pointing
  • There is NO “flinging” over the fence
  • No questions is a “stupid” question
  • We can turn on a dime…for a dime
There is an involvement vs. commitment piece to this methodology as well. Jon refers to a Chicken and a Pig opening a restaurant called “Ham-n-Eggs”. The pig does not want to partake in opening the restaurant because he would be committed whereas the chicken would only be involved. This is because the chicken simply lays an egg (involvement) whereas the pig must sacrifice himself (commitment).
 
Jon’s Methodology overview consists of 14 parts listed below:
 
1. Kaizen
  • Attendees: Business Folks (staff)
  • What we do in Kaizen: Map out the current & future process, identify waste
2. Workflows
  • Owner: IT – Business Analyst
  • What we do in Workflow: Map out the screen flow from end to end
3. Mock-ups
  • Owner: IT – UI Designer
  • What we do for Mock-ups: Lay out the screens exactly as they will appear, show the sequencing of all screens
4. User Stories
  • Owner: IT – Business Analyst
  • What we do in User Stories: Requirements are broken down into user stories, use the end user perspective (who needs it, what needs to be done, etc.)
5. Backlog ready for grooming
  • Backlog: All issues that have been submitted and have gone through a preliminary review that results that this work needs to be worked on
6. Grooming
  • Owner: IT – Scrum Master
  • When: once per sprint
  • Purpose: BA & PO present the backlog stories with the development team, development team asks questions & discusses technical details, development team sizes stories (1,2,5,8, or 13) based on complexity, anything above 13 is rejected, product owner prioritizes the stories that will be taken in the next sprint
  • Note: A sprint is a regular work cycle of 2 weeks during which work is completed & made ready for review
7. Planning
  • Owner: IT – Scrum Master
  • When: Once per sprint (last day of previous spring or first day of current sprint)
  • Purpose: team discusses the stories (resizes if needed), plans for all tasks required to develop & test the stories, creates spring backlog
  • Participants: Pigs/Committed (Development Team, BA, Scrum master) & Chicken/involved (PO, the support team)
  • The chicken are there to answer any questions that the development team may have during this planning session
8. Communication Plan
  • Owner: Product Owner
  • When: Early in development cycle
  • Purpose: To ensure the value stream has a communication plan for informing and educating external customers of the new business process that is being added to the systems
  • Participants: Pigs/Committed (Value Stream, Product Owner, Communication Team) & Chicken/involved (BA, IT)
  • IT is a participant to answer any questions that the communications and value stream team may have
9. Sprint Stories
  • Owner: IT – Development Team
  • When: Time-boxed, every 2 weeks
  • Purpose: develop stories that were committed during planning, fully test, produce shippable products, daily stand-up (10 minutes, tasks completed yesterday, tasks for today, & roadblocks), Demo the stories, stories to be approved by PO
  • Participants: Pigs/Committed (Development Team, Scrum Master) & Chicken/involved (BA, PO, & support team)
  • Chickens are participating to answer any questions that the development team may have or help the team in removing blockers
10. Retrospective
  • Owner: IT – Development Team
  • When: Once after every spring
  • Purpose: Discuss is the sprint objective was achieved, Feedback from PO’s
11. UAT
  • Owner: Product Owner, SMEs, & Program Staff
  • When: When enough features are ready for end to end testing
  • Purpose: end users preform complete testing of application, last step before go-live, correct defects if any are found, identify new features
12. Training
  • Owner: Product Owner, SME’s, & Software Development Staff
  • When: Before going live
  • Purpose: To ensure internal staff is ready to roll out new features, know how to use the internal application, have the know how to respond to external customers requests/questions, release notes are created/published
13. Deployment (Go-Live)
  • Owner: IT – Product Owner
  • When: After successful completion of UAT, When enough features are ready so there is added value for end user
  • Purpose: To implement changes/new features in production environment so end users can start to use new product features
14. Support
  • Owner: IT Customer Support Staff, Product Owner
  • When: After go-live/Deployment Stage
  • Purpose: To support end users, help end users in completing tasks, document changes/enhancements
 
Equiant Staff
Each blog post features a member of our fantastic Equiant talent to spotlight their role with Equiant and how they specifically create an outstanding client experience.
 
Name/Department: Heather Harris / Customer Service Team Lead
How does your function support Equiant’s day to day operations? By developing agents, answering all client phone calls, and enhancing the overall customer service experience.
Do you work with any other Equiant departments? Actually, I interact with all other Equiant departments!
Your Favorite memory at Equiant to date? When we installed inContact into the call center’s contact system. This went VERY well and it was a very special moment for me!
 
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