Safeguard Global Innovation Days

July 22, 2022

The Safeguard Global technology team recently hosted its inaugural Innovation Days, with a goal of exploring new technologies and ways of working in order to focus on and propose a solution to a business problem.

For the GEO Cloud Team, this meant tackling ways to help clients and prospects understand the risks of worker misclassification, particularly related to independent contractors.

Getting to work

The two-day exercise started with the team working together on Miro to wireframe a rough design. The steps included:

  • Breaking down the problem into tasks
  • Identifying the “must haves”

Members of the team each took up tasks and experimented with a new way of working together remotely. The team had a call each day to quickly discuss things or ask for help if needed, but for most of the time we worked (somewhat) quietly and independently.

When the team needed to collaborate, we found Visual Studio Code Live Share to be helpful because we could work on the same codebase at the same time without having to deal with source control. For this type of work, it was invaluable, but source control is the better choice for normal working patterns.

Over the two days the team naturally flowed in short cycles. The first step in the cycle was getting together to discuss:

  • What we were building
  • Where we had made progress
  • What needed to be done next

Then we would do some more of the tasks and sync back together after an hour or so. Sounds a little like a sprint, doesn’t it?

What did we build?

For the Innovation Days project , the GEO Cloud Team began work on a tool to help clients and prospects understand the their specific risk of worker misclassification of their independent contractors. The tool will apply to workers in a number of countries and will complement the Safeguard Global product offerings that help organizations grow and maintain a flexible, skilled and dynamic workforce.

This tool is designed to be available in multiple platforms, and integrations with enterprise partners are under development. To demonstrate the multi-platform capabilities of the tool, the GEO Cloud development team chose to focus on deploying it on the Safeguard Global website. The GEO Cloud Team collaborated with design and product team members to develop a web-based dashboard for interacting with the worker classification tool, which is currently in its final phases and should be launching on the website in the coming months.

Key takeaways

Breaking down the routines and processes of our normal “agile” workflow and getting back to basics was a welcome change of pace for the team. We were invigorated by being able to move quickly and get a proof of concept together in a short time.

As a team, we’re keen to have this type of work become a regular practice, where we quickly build a prototype, and then iterate to make it better.

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