Meet Kerri McGroder: Product Manager & Tech Guru for Aged Care Software
Looking up to her computer engineering grandfather, Kerri McGroder knew she wanted to follow in his footsteps. Creating better wellbeing through the development of care management software was the cherry on top.
A self-described homebody, Kerri is big on family, “which is maybe why I enjoy being at Lumary so much”, she says. She describes her grandparents as the people that have inspired her most in her life.
In particular, she shared a close bond with Grandad William who would share fun stories of working in Hong Kong on old mainframe computers, which shaped the course of her life.
Eventually, those stories came alive in the 90s when her family bought their first computer. She recalls getting giddy at the opportunity to play around with PowerPoint. When Kerri reached high school, she revelled in her IT classes and the chance to bond over her studies with her Grandad.
It was during this time that she also had the opportunity to get involved with the other area of her life that fulfils her – people. She was involved in various volunteering pursuits, including at Vinnies and Fred’s Van (a South Australian food service for people experiencing homelessness), as well as a local school’s learning centre for people with disabilities where she got to hang out with the students and assist with anything they needed.
Discovering her passion
Unlike many who are so unsure of what they want to do after high school, for Kerri the biggest decision she had to make was which IT degree she wanted to pursue. She stayed general with a Bachelor of Information Technology to explore a range of subjects and discovered a passion for programming.
“One of the things I really liked doing was around management, understanding business benefits and how apps can support different business aspects,” says Kerri.
After excelling in university, she joined Hewlett Packard (HP) on a full-year internship where she focused on applications and deployments, getting a feel for the industry. She then moved into a permanent role as a Technical Business Analyst (BA) with another tech company where she knew she’d found her calling in the life of business analysis.
Her role was heavily focused on the automation of basic tasks that needed more of a human touch, so workers could spend more time with customers – a precursor for what was to come. She loved the BA work, but working within the home loan sector left her wanting more.
Searching for something more
In 2020, during a strong period of growth for Lumary, a transition in software development brought about the addition of dedicated Technical Business Analysts to the Lumary family, with the aim to better facilitate software development according to customer needs and enhance stakeholder communication as the company grew.
This would also free up the developers to focus on what they’re best at – creating the incredible code and back-end integrated functionality that runs Lumary’s disability and aged care software, Lumary CM, which helps providers to streamline their organisations.
Having previously worked with Abhishek (Abhi) Chauhan, Lumary’s Director of Customer Success, she had already heard about Lumary when the role opened up.
When Abhi found out that Kerri was interested in the role, he advocated for his old colleague who he knew to be passionate about both people and the work that she does – an important qualifier for those joining the Lumary family.
For Kerri, she was excited to join an industry where she could make a difference. After meeting with the team at Lumary, her decision was made. “The passion and the purpose that came across from everybody really resonated with me,” she says.
And that was how Lumary landed their first BA!
Getting down to business (analysis)
But what does a technical business analyst even do? The role can involve different things from day to day, depending on the organisation and industry sector.
In broad terms, a BA’s responsibility is to understand and interpret business and customer requirements and translate that into technical solutions.
A large part of her BA role was to ensure that Lumary prioritised what was most important for aged care providers. Like Lumary’s disability and aged care software enables for our customers, it is important that a BA is able to use minimal resources but obtain the most efficient solutions to produce maximum results.
When doing a search for the qualities required for a BA, a few words come up: intelligently curious, inspired, critical thinker, communicator. Hearing Kerri talk about her role, it’s clear that she’s all of these things.
Stepping up to the challenge
Kerri’s same knack for critical thinking and communication led to her progression into her new role as Lumary’s Product Manager (Aged Care).
Kerri’s role as Product Manager involves her overseeing a project team dedicated to the development of Lumary’s aged care software. Kerri works directly with our in-house aged care specialists and closely with our customers to understand the current industry challenges.
In particular, she monitors evolving rules and regulations by the Government and how this will impact providers with the ongoing changes as aged care reforms.
“Every day is different, which is really exciting. One day it’s working with customers or sitting with our internal team to make sure they’re understanding the work that needs to be done. The next day it’s designing how it’s going to work in the Lumary system and how to communicate that to different stakeholders.”
“Everything that you do, you should be asking why you are doing it, what’s the benefit,” she says.
It’s about being able to discuss and problem solve the issues that people have and then applying that knowledge to make decisions around optimal solutions.
Kerri determines what the solution needs, such as updated requirements, creating a roadmap to ensure the team is picking up on the most critical work, and providing direction to the engineering team to ensure those requirements and feature enhancements are built effectively for Lumary’s customers.
For Kerri, the reason she does what she does comes down to a couple of things. The first is her passion for the work that she does.
“I love problem-solving, it’s my bread and butter. I’m always thinking about how I can build a product that is going to best support our customers,” says Kerri.
The second is the fulfilment she feels working towards Lumary’s mission alongside everyone within the organisation.
“The people are one of my favourite things. Everyone I work with is really passionate about what they do, which you don’t always get within a company. Everyone at Lumary is here to produce the best product that solves as many problems as we can for the disability and aged care providers who do so much for our communities,” she says.
Kerri refers back to one of Lumary’s core values ‘Better Together’; doing things better together as teams within an organisation, and also with those within our community.
“There’s fulfilment in knowing that the product we work on is going to support people in their lives. In automating processes, they have so much more time to focus on the person and the care they’re delivering,” Kerri says.
In her personal time, she often accompanies her fiancé – a games developer – to help out at gaming development events and conventions. If her passion for helping people wasn’t already clear, she’s even been dubbed the “Moral Support Officer” complete with an official shirt by the company her partner works for.
Not only is Kerri fundamental to the development of the Lumary healthcare platform as a Product Manager (Aged Care) and tech guru, but she embodies everything about being a Luminary!