In our next Sector Spotlight Campaign on IT and Communications we hear from Gordon Robinson who is a Product Manager at Kyloe.
Gordon left school at 16 and joined the Fleet Auxiliary as a Marine Engineer Officer. He then joined the NHS as an Admin Assistant on a temporary basis, but remained for eight years, leaving as a Senior Manager. Gordon then worked in product management for a healthcare software company in Edinburgh, before joining Kyloe last year as Product Manager.
Can you describe a typical day in your role as Project Manager?
My day starts with daily project status meetings with our Software Engineering teams. The rest of my day will be spent designing, planning and prioritising new products or features, either researching emerging technologies, meeting with end users/customers or working with the Kyloe team to complete designs and specifications.
As the bridge between our business operations and product development I also support Kyloe colleagues who work with our existing customers, sales and marketing to make sure users get the most value from the products that they use. As Kyloe is on the smaller end of the scale (by technology standards), all team members roles cross multiple disciplines but this is a great way to gain broader experience and not be as lost to other people’s jobs as you can be in a larger company.
How did you end up in this role?
I left school at 16 and joined the Royal Fleet Auxiliary as a Marine Engineering Officer. An injury had me leave the service and move into a ‘summer job’ with the NHS as an Admin Assistant. Eight years later I left the NHS as a Senior Manager to move into Product Management with a Healthcare Software company in Edinburgh who work in US healthcare, starting as a Junior Product Manager and leaving as a Senior Product Manager. In 2020 I joined Kyloe as their first Product Manager.
What is the best thing about your job?
The best thing about my job is being able to find solutions to problems, some are easy, some complex and some take a longer journey to resolution. Throughout my career I have always been solving problems and it’s something I really enjoy doing collaboratively with my colleagues. Every problem you solve improves someone’s experience and that’s immensely satisfying.
What is the worst thing about your job?
Having to prioritise some work over others. It’s always a part of life that you can’t do everything today but it is always frustrating making people wait for new products or features but as Product Manager I have to make these decisions everyday and be prepared to defend them.
What skills do you need to undertake your role?
Time Management, problem solving, influencing and motivation of your teammates. Stakeholder management, good written and verbal communication skills, critical thinking and you need to be able to make data driven decisions.
But in IT and Communications worlds you need to consistently be developing new skills as technology is always advancing and you need to keep up to date with what’s new. All IT businesses including Kyloe have strong personal development opportunities to add to your knowledge and skills or gain professional qualifications as you work.
What qualifications do you have?
Post Graduate Certificate (PGCert) in Healthcare Leadership
MSc in Health Informatics
Would you recommend this job to young people?
Product Management is a great job to get into if you like solving everyday problems and want to be more of a generalist than specialist like a Software Engineer.
Crossing the technical and business divides of an IT and communications business/department will help your career develop into senior or specialist role in the future.
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