Immedis is looking toward the future. It created and runs an enterprise-grade platform that supports payroll functions for some of the fastest-growing global companies, including Uber.
The company’s platform provides advanced reporting and analytics, ensuring data security and regulatory compliance. But it’s not resting on the laurels of its advanced technology and success with clients.
As with any platform company, Immedis has a technical roadmap, which includes a multitude of innovations. As part of the process for developing and prioritising the roadmap, Immedis worked with Container Solutions to use its Braintrust service to get some outside perspective on the decisions ahead.
Braintrust is a new process at Container Solutions, one borrowed from Pixar, the makers of animated films. Pixar wanted to ask its teams tough questions in order to ensure it was producing the best movies possible. Container Solutions adopted the Braintrust process as a method of giving and receiving important feedback at the right moments.
The Braintrust process has worked so well at Container Solutions that, this spring, we began offering it to our customers. In a Braintrust session, a team of CS experts who have a deep understanding of the subject being discussed learn about a client’s challenges, sometimes regarding a specific project, and give honest, constructive feedback.
The Container Solutions experts are there to highlight issues that may have escaped the client team’s notice, bring in new ideas, and offer fresh perspective. The sessions are intended to offer honesty and in-depth analysis, rather than prescriptions.
Focusing on Outcomes
For Immedis, the Braintrust experience was ‘definitely useful—a beneficial exercise,’ says Richard Limpkin, Immedis’ Chief Product Officer. The benefits began with an introductory call before the actual Braintrust session itself, triggering prioritised topics for the session.
‘It made us think about things beforehand’, Richard says, especially the reasons why Immedis wanted to make changes. ‘It made us think about what we wanted to achieve as opposed to just the technical things we want to do. What is the outcome we’re looking for, rather than just what things we need to tick off a list’.
The ‘pre-call’ prepares Braintrust clients for what’s ahead. Participants are given some guidelines for the Braintrust session itself, says Pini Reznik, Container Solutions’ co-founder and chief revenue officer. Clients are asked to prepare a 15-minute introduction about the project they want advice about, including some context and the specific challenges they are facing. And then, the CS experts dig in and discuss.
‘We typically start with more high-level challenges, and then eventually do more technical challenges’, Pini says. ‘It’s mostly a conversation, though we can use artifacts like an architectural diagram’.
The Outside Perspective
The two-hour session involved six experts from Container Solutions, and focused a couple of key issues around the latest approaches to maintaining high availability.
David Quirke, Immedis’ Chief Information Officer, says the experience was useful. ‘Whether it’s what we do in business or anything else, there is value in a conscious objector, someone who questions decisions you’ve made and trajectories you have in mind for the right reasons. It very much helps shape the direction. It makes people question the comfortable stuff you do on a day-to-day basis’.
The Braintrust, Richard says, helps cut through the common challenge of stakeholders not having time to collaborate on solutions.
Another important benefit, he adds: It’s simply a valuable and rare opportunity to give project stakeholders an opportunity to grapple with tough decisions together.
‘We can objectively look at the outcome rather than how to do the thing we’re going to do: Is there tangible benefit’? he says. ‘How often you set a course to navigate without reassessing after the first leg? If we do that regularly, we won’t have wasted'.