Expedia Group.

Expedia Group is the world’s travel platform, with an extensive brand portfolio that includes some of the world’s most trusted online travel brands. When I had the opportunity to combine my love for travel and adventure with my skills and experience in team management and user experience I jumped at the chance.

At Expedia I lead the team responsible for the activities line-of-business. We have three dedicated designers spanning core shopping, native app, campaigns as well as other line-of-business collaborations and projects around price clarity, destination discovery and SEO. We partner closely with engineering, product, content and strategy to take a data-driven and traveller-centric approach to our design decisions. We test our work in the real world and let our customers, through a test-and-learn philosophy, drive our iterations and ultimately the experience.  
Apart from leading the team, providing support and feedback on projects and coaching our more senior designers in mentoring others, I also partner with other line-of-businesses and wider teams to pitch ideas, concepts and collaboration opportunities to senior leadership.
I joined Expedia in an expansive phase and was immediately tasked with hiring a senior content strategist and a senior user experience designer locally. As the market in Brisbane isn’t that big I successfully advocated for partnering with a specialised design recruitment firm that knew the local talent and who might be a good fit for our team. This way I was able to quickly fill my roles without lowering the bar of neither skillset nor cultural fit. 
In my time with Expedia I’ve managed talent both locally and remotely (India) and pride myself on being available for my team both ad-hoc and through recurring one-on-ones. In these sessions I provide support, feedback and ideation for ongoing projects as well as career conversations and collaboration on progression plans. In this role I have also leveraged my conflict resolution skills when I took over managing a designer that had a broken relationship with a product manager. Their collaboration and communication issues had been left unattended for some time resulting in complete breakdown in the team. I listened in on both parties as well as other team members, consulted with my manager and HR and then proceeded to de-escalate the issue and resolving it by firstly rotating the team while working closely with the designer and secondly becoming a “UX buddy” to the product manager to help guide in UX processes and collaboration. I also worked with leadership to avoid future breakdowns or conflicts within that team. ​​​​​​​
Coming from consultancy I am used to agile work methods and daily stand-ups, but what I quickly realised was that the deign team lacked an efficient way to accurately and quickly track progress and velocity so that collaboration with stakeholders, strategy, engineering, product and other workstreams could progress smoothly. I therefore took it upon myself to pitch new ways to leverage our tools and also implement a third party software to visualise story points, velocity and burn-downs for a shared understanding and view of progress.

Advocating and implementing a tracking system of story points, velocity and burndown.

I also created an overarching view of all projects and pipeline work across our team, the backoffice team and the third-party integration team so that we easily could spot team efficiencies and bottlenecks, prioritise work and escalate needs and potential issues to leadership for discussion and resolution. 
As part of this work, and thanks to our kick-ass team, our modernisation project launched a full two months early and became the second line-of-business to leverage the new Expedia look-and-feel as well as the first one to be on the new technology stack. A big win for the team!
Leaning again on my experience from consulting, I identified a few projects and concepts that could really up our game in helping our travellers identify the best destination for their next adventure and get a good idea of things to do there. I pitched these ideas to my boss and then dug through insights and traveller data, reached out to content strategy as well as other teams and created data and insight driven storyboards and concept designs to present to leadership. 
Given the confidential nature of this strategic work I can not share these storyboards or any details about the projects.
Leading talent and seeing them grow and take on new challenges and stretch their skills is something I find really rewarding. Through my different work places, locations and managers, I have found myself often lacking direction and clarity of my own career progression and sometimes felt it's been more based simply on the latest project or the "last shiny thing" we built rather than a driven continuation of learnings and goals. Therefore I've taken pride in being actively available for my direct reports and documenting discussions, challenges and goals. With this we jointly draft a career progression plan that allows my directs to drive their own focus areas and actively reflect on their progress. This is something we use and come back to throughout the year and in our one-on-ones, not only at OKR or end-of-year evaluations.

Career progression plan example.
Left-most area notes are based on one-on-one discussions, middle section shows discussed and agreed upon focus areas and right-most area is for the employee to self-reflect on outcomes and learnings. 


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