Sami Hammarberg acts as a Solutions Architect and Scrum Master at HiQ. His persistent ambition to learn and develop his competences led him to take a lead in Snarveien application project.
”In Norway St1 operates under Shell brand. This mode of operation surely created its' own share of communications challenges in application development”, says Sami.
The project started with a small but multi-diciplinary HiQ team. The relatively traditional team consisted of a designer, a Scrum master and a tester, and two application developers. To ensure success, the team had only one wish: a popcorn machine. It is still in daily use. Driven by popcorn, development was progressing fast, and soon the first version of the application was already at the fingertips of end users.
As the project proceeded and iterative application versions were delivered, the team grew too. Soon the project team size peaked with some 10 professionals. At this time, Sami´s role too was transformed from scrum master to solutions architect.
The app became a hit amongst the customers and they simply fell in love with it. As Nina Rosland, Head of Retail Sales, Loyalty & Digital Marketing, St1 Norway, said, "Our aim was to make St1 customers´ life easier, faster and more flexible. We did not just deliver what the customer wanted but created a new way of doing business.”
During the project, Sami has had a chance to see the application development process from different angles. When acting as a Scrum Master he facilitated the team and took care of tearing down barriers in the process. He was also responsible of the architecture and the account management. Sami has a versatile background as an IT professional – he used to work at CGI before joining HiQ a couple of years ago.
”My strong background e.g. as a developer, tech lead and architect has been useful and given me the opportunity to support the team the best possible way. All-round and versatile knowledge is in a key role every day. When you work in an agile manner in a team, it´s impossible to hide between certain roles. This also makes every day different one - and that suits me more than fine”, emphasizes Sami.
Now Sami works as a Product Owner, mainly at the customer premises but visits HiQ offices in Otaniemi and Punavuori from time to time. ”I act as a buffer between business management and development team. I have been working in this project since the beginning and I know the system. I think this long-term continuity brings clear benefits for the customer – especially when there has been many changes on both the technological and the business side. I´m glad that the customer appreciates my point of view e.g. in service development roadmap”, he says.
Snarveien project is a good example of a turnkey project – from idea generation to a practical solution – and this is a major motivation point for Sami. During the project, he has had a chance to work on use-cases, prototypes and testing some new ideas. Mobile technologies and platforms are under rapid renewal cycles and therefore the services require constant development. This hectic pace keeps Sami awake with the new.
”I really like my versatile role as an IT professional, topped with great colleagues and the HiQ spirit. We share a great drive with our HiQ-team, the customer and the partners. What I truly appreciate and value in my daily work, is that we can enjoy the openness - and discuss the challenges together with the customer. This is most rewarding. I also think it´s cool to work in the mobile world and create something brand new”, says Sami.
According to Sami, the key to successful teamwork is common team practices, such as when everyone should be present at the office. "The key is trust in each other," he emphasizes. Tools enabling remote working give more room for flexible working hours and life balance. In addition, internal role rotation offers the possibility to develop own skills and widen the competence areas. However, life is not just work – out of office Sami takes a physically leaps out of the digital circles. ”I charge my batteries best with sports”, he closes.
What is Snarveien?
The Snarveien mobile application provides users with service and convenience when visiting St1´s Shell stations in Norway. HiQ provided St1 with the application, taking responsibility for everything ranging from concept and user experience design to actual implementation, testing, maintenance and further development.
Customers are brought back to the app daily and repeatedly by the flexible digital services it provides. For Snarveien most effective of these services is the unlimited coffee for a year with a one-time fee. In addition to coffee, the app provides for example tools for managing the St1 Master Card, paying (Apple Pay) and even redeeming local Trumf benefits. Snarveien application is also a key channel for St1 digital marketing. ”Bring your own cup” is also an ecological choice for the customer – making disposable cups redundant.
Over 100000 users have downloaded the app and it is used 80000 times daily. The added sales has been significant and St1 has been very satisfied with the benefits of the mobile application.
Photos: Sam Jamsen