Inside Raven

Team Member Spotlight: November 2022

Process and Tools Lead Michael Zwart works with individual contributors and management teams in Product Development to ensure everyone's needs are met.

Congratulations to Michael Zwart, Process and Tools Lead, this month's Team Member Spotlight winner! Michael was nominated by leadership for going beyond his daily roles and striving to ensure everyone's goals are met.

As the Process and Tools Lead, Michael supports Product Development from a process perspective to understand the needs of individual engineers and management teams. The planning and development structure that Michael helped set up ensures that management has a better understanding of what is being planned on to be developed and what teams may need to be more successful.

Director of Engineering Jess Freesemann said that Michael provides data and insights that allow Product Development to operate efficiently. He said that Michael has been instrumental in helping the department scale and advance processes while remaining fast and nimble to meet customer needs.

On a quarterly basis, Michael leads Program Increment Planning to determine the next work the department will be doing. This process helps the department prioritize and plan what each development team will deliver during that period.

Michael helps ensure Product Development is focusing our time and dollars on the right things. With the department's growth the past few years, his focus on driving our Program Increment Planning Process has been critical to help us prioritize and better utilize our design team's resources.

— Jess Freesemann, Director of Engineering

Jess said that Michael offers key insights to not only help the department run smoothly on an operational level, but also on a relational level. Michael listens to feedback from engineers at all levels to find the best solutions for the team.

Michael's skills for listening and considering opinions from different perspectives make him a leader in the department, even though he doesn't currently have direct reports. He strives to help people grow and Be the Best. Jess said that these efforts are seen and appreciated by team members throughout the department.

Michael has leveraged his leadership experience from his work prior to Raven by taking an active role in being a coach for team leads, especially those who are newer to leading others with direct supervision responsibilities.

— Jess Freesemann, Director of Engineering

Thank you, Michael, for helping team members and the department Grow Together!