Hi, I’m Kris, and here’s my 2021 in review!
Coming into 2022, as my niece would say, “nachinayetsya“ (here we go again.) I was again fortunate to continue my work as a Product Manager for a global technology consulting firm. I saw some miracles and some challenges. You were all here on Earth for the rest.
I’ve continued as a customer facing Product Manager for a Global Technology Services firm and focused on an earlier stage in the product life cycle, moving from deliveries to discoveries.
This focus enabled better hand-offs to delivery teams as well as various advantageous new partnerships and collaborations with other parts of the organization resulting in collaborative business development opportunities for all.
The teams I worked with this year designed a vaccine development data decision engine, an IOT distribution and sustainability experience platform and a manufacturing distribution and supply chain experience platform. Learn more here.
Some were familiar, some were new.
- Demonstrating the value of product management.
- Breaking down organizational silos within people, processes and technologies.
- Breaking down customer experience silos (need for continuity in the end-to-end experience.)
- Accounting for complex regulations, compliance needs, legacy systems, integrations and dependencies.
- Determining the way to bring and accelerate the right technology efforts when the core business may not be technology development.
- Environmental changes in ways of working.
- Environmental changes in supply chain logistics.
- Environmental changes in customer needs.
Each year I’ve spent with the organization I work for has fostered exponential growth in my development. I am as always blown away by the heart and soul of my colleagues.
- Delivery of current and future state research, pain points, problem statements, opportunities, experience design concepts, architecture, capabilities, dependencies, integrations, features, epics, user stories, acceptance criteria; all leading to customized strategic solutions, roadmap and initial implementation plans with warmer hand offs for better ability to execute.
- Receipt of multiple awards from my peers for my work.
- Leadership of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative for our Global Product Management Community of Practice. We test piloted a new allyship training created by our genius Human Resources liaison for business units. Our community was able to achieve 75%+ associates trained in allyship.
- As a charter member and officer I was able to work on the start up of a corporate Digital Toastmasters club.
- One of my direct reports was promoted.
My scorecard for last year’s goals:
- (.5) identify structures to maximize on strengths and shore up around limitations – More on this in the next section.
- (.5) provide the best possible support and enablement to those in my reporting chain and those on the teams I work with – Results were mixed.
- (1.0) keep learning by working with an initiative, an industry and or a technology I haven’t worked with before – I was able to work on a product in IoT (Internet of Things) for the first time!
experiments / hobbies / extracurriculars / other
- At the end of 2020 I learned I have Autism. Which explains some things.
- Later in 2021 I learned I have a chronic auto-immune condition where my body attacks its own organs in response to triggers from sources such as food, environment or stress.
- I have received tremendous help in navigating the Autism from a fantastic organization called AANE (Aspergers Autism Network.) I spent the first part of 2021 in something of an identity crisis, working through an understanding of what this means for me. Fortunately it seems I’m still the same person, with the same accomplishments and some new areas to explore for better understanding of my strengths and weaknesses. Unfortunately I had to turn my attention away from that work to focus on health for the latter part of the year.
- In 2021 I lost 40 lbs. I sought out a functional medicine doctor who could help me understand and manage my condition. Treatment for the autoimmune challenges has involved the elimination of many foods, regular low impact exercise, supplements, medications and a more disciplined to energy expenditure and stressors. I have seen amazing results but I’m not out of the woods yet. Of course this condition also represents challenges when it comes to the pandemic but I have been able to safely isolate so far.
- Early last year I was fortunate to move into a dream home on the Gulf of Mexico where I am able to take my stand up paddle board out onto the Gulf from the back of the building. This represents a lifetime goal achieved. A big influence on this goal was some data on what makes people happy in their lives – being near water and nature are a couple of big ones. I have often been able to walk up to 3 miles a day in nature and that goes a long way to keeping perspective.
- I volunteered for NCWIT again early in the year, coaching college students and career changers in elevator pitching.
- I volunteered for AANE this year, as a panel guest on a webinar about a framework for how to advocate for yourself as a neurodiverse person.
- In spite of the self-imposed isolation I’ve also been able to both find and provide support and social connection this year at work and outside of work and this has also been a major contributor to well-being. While acknowledging the video calls have been dissatisfying to many, I view them as an incredible gift. Does anyone else remember when a video call was a bizarre futuristic fantasy on the Jetsons cartoon show?
My scorecard for last year’s goals:
- (.6) establish a writing practice – I journaled faithfully for the first half of the year until SLE kicked the remaining pieces of the chair out from under me. Journaling helped a lot but I did drop it in order to make room for other pressing demands on my time.
- (1.0) keep moving toward and hopefully settle into a home and lifestyle that suits whatever a new normal may be – Definitely knocked it out of the park.
- (1.0) put supports into place to be as adaptable as possible to whatever is coming next; celebrate that many of the measures I have put into place for being resilient have gone a long way to maintaining resilience during 2020 – I continue to meditate and I am now striving to take even better care of my health. I have stellar behavioral and physical health support. I have received both individual and group support from AANE. My colleagues at work and especially my manager have been wonderful.
- (.7) be extra mindful that my and everyone’s experiences are valid and may have differences – how can we support one another and work collaboratively toward common goals? – In working on the DEI initiatives and taking ally training myself, it’s become apparent that there are so many facets to diversity that require sensitivity. I admit I fall short. There are some practices particularly from the area of social work that I’d like to study and adopt.
goals for the coming year
To be healthy and continue to do the things I love.
Think you can help me achieve my goals or think I can help you? Get in touch!
e: kris at silente dot com
m: seven one eight two one three nineteen thirty nine