She’s funny. She’s oh-so-talented, and now she’s in the hot seat! Take a break and get to know Oliver!
We want you! (to get to know the people who make up our talented team). Join us for a quick glimpse into the world of Avantians – what they do, what they value, and whatever sneaky thing we could get them to reveal.
Oliver Hankinson is a Product Owner at Avanti and an integral member of the Product team.
With a background in tech support and client success, and previous roles as Product Owner and Product Manager, Oliver’s experiences have helped shape her into one of Avanti’s amazing Product Owners.
The title ‘Product Owner' is an ambiguous term for some – how would you describe your role in one sentence?
The way I’ve heard it best described: we figure out what the customers want and what works well for the business, and find the middle ground to bridge those two together. We want our clients to have the best experience possible and we want to make it work in the context of the business.
As a Product Owner, what do you see as Avanti Software’s biggest strength and its biggest flaw?
I think they’re one and the same, our greatest strength and flaw. We’ve been around for 40 years, we have a huge depth of knowledge and history. We’re constantly trying to innovate, move and evolve, so it kind of holds us back, slows us down a bit – we’re not as agile as a new company because of that history. But at the same time, it means we’ve dealt with a ton of nitty-gritty edge cases that only impact, say, 10% of the population – and that experience means we’re extremely powerful in dealing with the needs of our clients. So it’s the best part, but it’s also the worst part.
Which Avanti value do you naturally align with the most?
For me, it’s Do What You Say. Accountability has always been one of my core values. Personally, I think it comes down to respect, you know? We’re all here trying to get to the same end goal and accountability is a big part of that – you need to be able to trust in your coworkers to do what they say, to help move the needle, and I’m not saying it’s an issue where there’s a lack of accountability. More so that I am incredibly happy and proud to work for a company that acknowledges the importance of it.
That ties into our next question, what makes you proud to work at Avanti?
Quite honestly, it’s Avanti’s culture that makes me proud to work here, that made me come here in the first place. I used to work with Angie (Avanti’s wonderful Director of People & Culture), I’ve seen her build an incredible culture and an incredible company before. I’m proud that she’s doing it again at Avanti and doing it well, and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of it.
What’s one area of leadership in Avanti that you really admire?
Something that I really like and admire – and I’ve heard it from others who have recently been hired – is how honest we are in our hiring process. We’re a 40-year-old company, we’ve got a lot of history, we’re making changes. I don’t think we’re hiding the fact that it’s messy, and I appreciate that, the open honesty.
If you had to talk about one topic without stopping for a minute straight, which topic would you choose?
I don't know if it would be a minute, 30 minutes, or an hour, but there’s this new topic that I have no clue how long I could go on talking about. B-rated horror films! You know those really cheesy ones that are terrible and funny, but that’s what makes them good? Probably those, I’ve recently gotten into them, with COVID and all.
Saving the best for last: Would you rather be covered fully in fur or fully in scales?
I’m going with fur! I'm already always cold and I feel like if I had scales, it would be kind of like I need a heat lamp on top of everything. At least fur, on the other hand, would be insulating. Yeah, fur.
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