Greg joined Envirosoft as Product Manager in August 2022, bringing over 20 years' experience in engineering and product management. He holds a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from the University of Alberta and has completed software engineering and product training with EvolveU and the Pragmatic Institute. This month, Greg shared his journey from engineering into technology, what it takes to develop a strong emissions management software, and the activities he enjoys with his family.
What prompted your transition from engineering into more of the product side?
G: I was always interested in software technology and the application of software to solve problems, even in my early engineering career. I actually considered going into computer engineering instead of mechanical engineering, but the program wasn't quite right. I went into mechanical and O&G which has been a really rewarding career, but I always had this interest in software. In a previous engineering role, I was seconded to an implementation team where we rolled out [Mosaic] reserve software. Having been a user of the software, and really understanding the needs and requirements of the user, I found it super interesting. Also having an interest in the implementation process and the business processes were necessary for a successful implementation. I just loved it and that’s what spurred me moving into tech.
Tell us a little about the day-to-day of your role.
G: I have a small team of product analysts, and our job is to define the vision for our software. The biggest challenge is balancing the short-term backlog of software enhancements and bug fixes against the longer-term regulatory changes and strategic vision for our products. It’s about aligning priorities with the company’s strategic direction and the needs of the market. Much of my time is spent on the new planning tool product. This includes working closely with the developers on UI / UX design, the user workflow, refining requirements, iterating, and ongoing customer discussions. I want to ensure the tool will be really valuable for them.
How do you approach integrating all of the regulatory frameworks with the product development and working with our Operations team to ensure our product will have value for our clients?
G: Medium-term activities of the product team are really getting the software up to date with new regulations and codifying those regulations. We're getting ready for the next reporting cycle in spring of 2023, working with Operations to look at all of the regulatory changes that are coming on an annual cycle. Once we've scoped out the requirements, our developers start building and deploying the changes, and we source feedback from external users. It's critical that we continually communicate with the end users.
What made you want to work at Envirosoft?
G: I was introduced to Kirstie through a joint connection who knew I was interested in furthering my product journey. In chatting with Kirstie about where the company is going, Envirosoft's performance over the last two years, the growth opportunities, and the ability to be at the forefront of this new planning tool, it just seemed like a really exciting opportunity. Plus, I do believe that we need to do more for climate change, so I am proud to work for a company that’s contributing to that cause.
Would you like to share anything about the planning tool?
G: We’ve had a huge amount of interest from clients to take the capabilities of emissions manager and forecast what your emissions are going to be in the future. We're developing a tool that can both forecast emissions and compare different scenarios; for example, what types of abatement strategies we might consider, if we electrify a bunch of engines in this plant or go to low bleed pneumatics in this facility. O&G companies want to know what their options are, 'if we follow abatement strategy X versus Y, how do the resultant emissions and compliance cost forecasts compare?’ It will be a stand-alone product, but will have the ability to copy existing facilities data from Emissions Manager.
What are some of your ecofriendly habits?
G: I've been trying to improve our waste and recycling initiative within our internal office, and while I could drive to work, I prefer to take the bus. I’m excited to ride my bike again when the weather permits. We have two vehicles but one is significantly better on gas and so I often make a conscious decision to take the one that's more fuel efficient. Once availability improves, we're looking to buy a hybrid.
What do you like to do outside of work?
G: I have two teenage girls, so I enjoy spending time with them. We love to ski in the winter and play softball in the summer, we spend a lot of time in Fernie, hiking, going to the lake, downhill skiing. I'm going to Nashville with some buddies soon, so that will be fun. I really love live music.
Do you have any books or podcasts you would like to recommend?
G: I enjoy Intercom on Product, there are a lot of good insights for anyone working on product development. There's a ton of other great product content out there, but lately I've been trying to focus on the real-life application by attending product-related events and having conversations with other product professionals and our users!
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Greg!