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KARINS WAY PROGRAM: INVESTING IN INNOVATION

As concerns about COVID-19 grew, we saw the need to reconsider how The Karins Way program would function. We collaborated with Studio BC/C to adapt the program to be completely virtual. That meant that the iterative design and prototyping process, as well as prototype tests, would be done at a distance.

Our program’s testers collaborated with team members to provide important feedback necessary for refining innovative ideas into implementable solutions.


We recently spoke with program tester Hector Velazquez from the Daytona office about the ethical considerations he took into account while testing prototypes.

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What was your approach and reaction to the prototype you received? 

I'm an engineer and, more than in most other jobs, following a code of ethics is very important. I’ve worked at a government facility before and we were very strict on certain things, so I take ethical business conduct in our industry seriously. That’s the point of view I bring to the process. David thinks the same way when it comes to certain things, and I had a lot of feedback about the ethics of our prototype idea as well.


Your role as a tester on the team is unique. How did collaboration work between testers and core team members?

I tested prototypes as if I were a client receiving them. I took each prototype and tried to look at it as an owner would look at it and not like an engineer or someone working for Karins. I looked at it with the perspective of: how will an owner feel when they receive it? How are people perceiving what they're receiving?


Beyond being the voice of the client on your team, what other ways did you add to the team’s ideas as a tester?

Aside from looking at ideas from a client standpoint, I also looked at how the client might perceive our business. I take pride in what we do. I take pride in the way Karins handles our clients, about how Karins cares for our clients. I was looking to see that we were providing something that I felt comfortable with, that we could get good feedback about and learn from.


What do you hope to see come out of this prototype?

The questionnaire we worked on will be for the evaluation of our services which really provides good feedback to us. It's all about that. We can't really measure how we did without having KPIs that help us figure out where we are and how to improve.


Having people from different offices collaborating on your team, what do you see as them benefit of your teams makeup?

The program was designed to get everybody on the same page, trying to get the company moving toward a greater unified culture so that if you moved from one office to another, there would be some changes, but generally the experience is going to be the same.


How do these innovations relate to delivering engineering integrity?

For me, engineering integrity means that we are detail oriented, we're accurate, we're reliable, we’re responsive, and we add value. We provide peace of mind. We're successful. That for me is the integrity that we apply in our client promise. We are providing information they can use for the future.