Jessica Candy is the director of the Project Management Office of Technology Solutions, and Amanda Tiede is the technology director of the Service Management Office of Technology Solutions. Together, they share their thoughts on the essential components of effective teamwork, explain the key role teamwork plays in a fast-moving growth-oriented organization and express their excitement about working for Sanford Health at a time like this.
Jessica Candy: Into IT by accident
Candy worked in the financial industry in different part-time jobs while getting her English teaching degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, and “found her way into IT on accident.” She was working a part-time job in the financial industry during her first year of teaching when they approached her to take on more of a leadership role. She chose to pursue that offer and “hasn’t looked back since.”
Candy came to Sanford Health about eight years ago as a project manager and worked her way up to leading the Project Management Office (PMO) after about four years. After that, she spent three years at another organization before returning to Sanford Health two years ago.
“I had heard good things about where Sanford Health was going and about the good things that they were doing, and I was really excited to come back,” she said.
Candy returned to managing the PMO until she was promoted to the director of the Service Management Office (SMO), which encompassed the PMO. Due to growth, she recently handed over the service management work to Amanda Tiede so she could continue to support the growth and maturity of the Technology Solutions Project Office.
Candy currently directs the Project Office, supporting roughly 350 projects on an ongoing basis and publishing standards for others to follow when engaging those projects. Beyond that, the office supports approximately 750 Technology Solutions resources and 22 governing groups.
Amanda Tiede: From financial services to health care
Tiede’s background is in computer information systems and business management — she graduated from Dakota State University in Madison, South Dakota, with degrees in both. She also began work in financial services, starting as a computer programmer.
Tiede quickly realized that wasn’t the right position for her in the field and transitioned into a technology leadership role, where she’s been for more than 15 years. She continued working in financial services, however, remaining at the same company for 13 years.
Then, she moved to a small medical software organization before coming to Sanford Health just over a year ago, where she has worked to build the walk-up concierge service desk, Tech Point, from the ground up.
Tiede currently works as a technology director overseeing the Service Management Office of Technology Solutions. Her primary responsibilities include leading the Technology Support Center (TSC); helping to deliver new business services through our enterprise platform, ServiceNow; and building out a new continual improvement team focused on driving workflow efficiencies and optimization.
Areas of collaboration
Together, Candy and Tiede collaborate to deliver new projects and capabilities that will enable our continued growth as an organization and to enhance the user experience.
Candy explained: “We partner closely together on operational change management. Our primary function in project management is driving change, and we have to continually think about the impact of that change.”
Tiede said one of her highest priorities right now is to integrate the Good Samaritan Society Center for Solutions service desk and the Sanford Health Technology Support Center service desk.
“Jessica and her team help to identify and align resources and manage the project schedule and deliverables while my team is designing the new workflows and executing on the overall strategy,” she said.
Keys to successful teamwork
What are the keys to successful teamwork?
“Transparency and communication,” said Candy.
“We need to consider what’s good for the other,” said Tiede. “I think we do collaborate really well together, and we understand that we’re both motivated individuals that are trying to get a job done, so we come together to make the best decisions possible for the organization.”
Beyond that, successful teamwork requires continued support, Candy said.
“It requires a high level of communication to everyone that is transparent and consistent on the goals and objectives that we are trying to accomplish so that the whole team can get across the finish line,” she said.
Tiede said, “I think we do have a very supportive executive leadership team here, helping us to be successful in the roles that we’re in and empowering us to deliver what we need. They give us the freedom to strategize on what needs to be done and to execute accordingly.”
Teamwork produces accomplishments
Candy and Tiede consider collaboration in service management their signature accomplishment. They have partnered to look at what is and is not working, seeking efficiency in service delivery to our business, customers, patients and all we support.
“Jess has been so responsive to our needs when we’re trying to deliver on those services or deliver on a new Tech Point location,” Tiede said. “Providing the right resources to help us achieve that work in the time that we have has been critical. We wouldn’t be able to get to where we need to be without having her folks at the table helping us to get through those activities in a timely manner. They really help keep us on track with scope, timeline and budget, which are your three drivers of a successful project.”
Preparing for future growth
Looking ahead, Candy and Tiede must consider the fact that we are in a fast-paced, high-growth organization.
“It’s going to take all of us partnering together — but especially Jess and I partnering very closely — with the resources that we have and building a strategy for how we’re going to accomplish our existing integration through the end of the year as well as any other future merger and acquisition activity coming up,” Tiede said.
Candy added that they must ensure a successful transition of the service office from her to Tiede while thinking about how services are delivered to the organization and how that can be improved.
Candy said working at Sanford Health right now is really exciting.
“I know that there’s always going to be something new that I get to contribute to or help provide a solution for,” she said. “I’m really proud to be at Sanford Health right now and excited for what’s to come.”
Tiede said she’s fortunate to be a part of an organization that’s experiencing this type of growth and impact on the community.
“It’s providing a lot of opportunities for people to really grow and expand their careers,” she said. “I know I can say I’ve grown a ton in the year and a half that I’ve been here, both personally and professionally.”