I am excited to be providing our blog readers an update from our Roseville office. As many of you know, in June of 2011, I moved up to Washington state. This move was five years in the making, and was only accomplished with the support of all employees, especially Escape COO Ramona Marshall, and our co-owner Chad Guest, VP of R&D. Recently Ramona mentioned a rumor going around that “Bob is out of the picture, since he moved.” I can assure you that is not the case! I may not be in the office as much physically, but I’m just as connected mentally. We have many people that work mostly from home; I just happen to be the furthest away. We have always worked a great deal via email, plus we implemented a video conference system so I can have video meetings with anyone, or even the whole company.
When I was discussing my move, we agreed that I would return to the office every 6-8 weeks. I planned to participate in all Escape quarterly meetings, and as many User Group meetings as possible. This year due to a couple of family health issues I had to cancel my last two trips to California.
But now I’m back and it’s great to be with my co-workers, and to see the progress we are making.
I have never been the kind of company owner that wants to control everything, nor create an atmosphere where the company needs me for every decision. As you have seen, over the past several years we have brought on a lot of great people and spread out responsibility.
During the mid 2000’s, I was driving Escape Online 5 development. Let me tell you how that went. I would select the next area we needed to develop, and work out a basic spec. Then I would generally talk one-on-one with Subject Matter Experts whether in our company or within our customer (and sometimes prospect) base. I would improve the spec, and often ask a couple of people to review. Then I would assign the task to a developer and off we would go.
It’s a lot different now, and some of this has to do with the fact that I work remotely and this style would not be convenient. Instead, the team has implemented a much stronger and more thorough process. I sat in a design meeting on Monday, regarding budget enhancements, and I just marveled at the extent of the changes, and how this process has been dramatically improved.
All areas of the company were involved: development, QA, training, documentation, support, and project management. The PM represented the customer requesting most of the changes. Keep in mind at this point we are just designing the proposed enhancements! But everyone is on board, everyone asking questions and making recommendations. And as these enhancements wind their way through each department, everyone will understand them much better and be familiar with them as a whole. It will take numerous meetings to come to agreement and fully design the new functionality.
I’m thrilled to witness this growth in our people and processes. My move meant many people got to step into new roles. I’m so happy for them, and I expect these changes mean an even better Team Escape, and our system, for all our customers.