Dan Saunders, my background revolves around IT. Having spent years playing around with computers and setting up home networks and personal computers for friends I was actively encouraged to further this knowledge by going to university.
I enrolled onto the Business Information Technology course at Southampton Solent. Here I was able to learn about many different aspects of computers. The business side of the course allowed me to learn about the psychology of business, product marketing, presentation tips, inter-personable skills and management techniques. In combining this with the IT side of the course I found that I was well suited towards product management, sitting between the developers and the customer/management.
Having worked numerous jobs throughout university including a year working in a primary school, I was recommended for my first serious role at Basemap. This initially involved looking after an existing product and seeing it through the latter stages of its lifecycle. Recently I have been involved in numerous other IT projects, involving new software to be developed. The most recent example has been working with central government in designing a new emissions/accessibility software solution for use by all councils in the UK; this has involved pitching the idea to key industry members and developing the software using SCRUM for continuous feedback on the product. The development has seen me lead a team of developers from the design stage right through to production.
Basemap Ltd, Product Manager
August 2007 - Present, Guildford, Surrey, United Kingdom
Dan was employed at Basemap to help out primarily with the Accession work. It utilises GIS to provide Origin/Destination assessment of Public Transport and highway networks. Dan learnt how to use the software in the beginning of August 2007 and within three weeks of employment Dan had compiled a training outline, manual and was running his first Accession training course. Since then Dan has successfully managed and run over 40 training courses which have resulted in over 250 users being trained. It is clear Dan is an excellent trainer based on the numerous positive feedback that’s been received.
Dan is in charge of the Accession product and provides technical support for the 250 licensed machines using the software. Dan is also required to give advice on the software and different methodologies that can be used. Dan gives presentations and talks on the software; he was an invited speaker to a Department for Communities and Government event and spoke to over 20 different council members. This resulted in Accession becoming a recommended tool for every council to use in GB.
Dan gets heavily involved in testing new software. His ability to pick up software quickly allows him to test for bugs in software created by Basemap, Point and Press and Citilabs. Dan's involvement in testing products ensures that no product has been released prematurely and the clear communication between him and the developers have ensured that these errors are quickly isolated and fixed.
Dan has recently been involved in launching new products to the market; this has involved many technical meetings between potential users, central government and developers. Dan has spearheaded the B.E.S.T. solution, from successfully applying for grant money through to finding a County council to partner with in the initial pilot study. The initial pilot is about to run, after this Dan will look to use his experience and contacts to take the product to the open market.