David Wolverton is pioneering a new practice here at Davison. As our product line and our clients continue to grow in complexity, and the time to address opportunities and issues shrinks, Davison has instituted a highly specialized response mechanism called “strategic solutions,” which is designed to address mission critical initiatives requiring cross functional leadership experience.
David is uniquely qualified to lead this practice as in his 18-year career at Davison, he has led teams and projects with every discipline required, ranging from product managing and architecting core modules, leading client implementations, and providing support and guidance on best practices. We asked David to tell us more about it …
Davison: Describe your professional experience that led to this new role.
DW: Throughout my career, I’ve always kept a focus on the customer. This new role is very aligned with what I have been working on here at Davison – creating on-the-spot solutions to address the user’s needs, with an eye on the strategic features that can be built into the system.
Davison: What is your vision for this new role as it relates to the company’s growth?
DW: “Strategic Solutions” is a very cool sounding title that means creating solutions that meet the “hot right now” issues and address what will be “hot next.” Previously, my role combined “fire-fighting” and “hot development” work, along with the tactical billing and time tracking for Professional Services (not so “hot”). When we brought in Mike DeLessio as the Director of Professional Services, it freed my time to focus on the “hot.” With this new position, I can take the extra time to make sure that every fix is strategic, not one-off. This is critical for Davison, so we can continue to grow each feature strategically, adding value to the core.
Davison: What do you hope to accomplish in your new role?
DW: I will be helping Davison expand current products, a huge win for our customers. I’ll also ensure that we don’t move into the weeds with extensions that are not aligned with the needs of the majority of our current customers and the strategic direction of the company. I’ve accumulated a great deal of product knowledge over the past 18 years with Davison, and will be sharing that knowledge with other associates, as well as my belief that everyone at Davison needs to behave like a contractor. When you’re a contractor, you want to be sure your performance will result in repeat business.
This department will be successful by focusing on two main goals: What does the customer want? And how can I make that happen for the customer? Providing a nuanced improvement or small new feature adds value no matter what, but when we evaluate custom requests from the point of view of the HRPyramid ecosystem, we can apply solutions that benefit everyone. This is one of the reasons we recently made deep improvements to the Client Allocation report. We identified the “need” versus the “request” and turned it into an enhancement, and through our “CustomToCore” process, everyone will benefit.
Davison: Who are your idols and why?
DW: Walt Disney! And the idea that you can “imagineer” better answers for problems. My belief is that creating software — even business operations software — can include an element of “edutainment,” software that can both entertain and educate at the same time. No one wants to be assaulted by techno-babble or told “no” by “overbearing” software. An error message can tell the user what they need to do, or tell them “no” in a fun way they don’t mind seeing. People should “feel” a relationship with us just as people feel with Disney.