Kinney Group Core Values: What It Means to Be Customer Centric

Part of the reason I was excited to join Kinney Group was the company culture. In particular, I most related to our Customer Centric core value.

For over half of my life, and starting at age 14, I’ve worked in restaurants. So for me, providing great guest service is in my blood. That’s not to say that it’s “easy” by any means, but that the gratification of having a direct impact on a guest’s experience and seeing their delight is a huge motivator.

As I grew and evolved into different roles within the industry, I began to interview candidates to add to my team. No matter what role I was interviewing for, I always started by asking the same question: What does great customer service mean to you?

The answer to that question can really tell you a lot about a candidate—and for as many quality answers as there are, there’s an equal number of crazy, off-the-wall answers. (Trust me!)

Over time, I’ve crafted my own answer to “What does great customer service mean to me?” Simply put, it’s getting customers what they want, when they want it, in a polite manner.

Being Customer Centric is about providing quality customer service at every point of the sales and service process. This is in our blood as Choppers at Kinney Group.

Getting customers what they want…

I can recall times in my career when guests know exactly what they want, and it’s up to me and my team to execute and provide. But it’s also a really exciting opportunity for me when I can help a guest figure out what they want. Maybe they’re open to trying something new? Maybe another product or service would better meet their needs? It’s an opportunity to showcase knowledge and expertise, and when you do that—you build trust.

We’re all customers at one point or another. And I know that for myself, it’s way easier to do business with someone that I trust. Trust means that I feel that a service provider has my best interest in mind.

…when they want it…

In business, timing is everything. Great customer service providers will understand when a customer wants a product or service delivered. Most of the time in my career, the timing is simply “now” or “as fast as you can,” but it’s important for the service provider to understand that. Have you ever dined out and received your entrée, and then your appetizer, and then your drink? Simply delivering the product or service is really only half of the experience. Building a great experience with a customer by understanding their timing—that builds trust.

…in a polite manner.

I can think of a number of people who are really good at what they do, but I will sometimes settle for less only because I don’t want to deal with them. Or maybe I reserve dealing with that person for certain issues. Being approachable and kind, combined with a can-do attitude, is the cherry on top of a great experience. One of my favorite quotes ever is from Maya Angelou: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” In essence, don’t be a Richard!

Here at Kinney Group, we’re laser-focused on customer-centricity. Our team spends a great deal of time understanding the three returns on investment (mission, human and financial) for our customers. We want to understand what their end goal looks like for using our services, on a timetable that works for them. And finally, we have great people that do great work! It is very satisfying to see feedback come in from a customer explaining how much they enjoyed working with our engineers.

Join Our Team!

It’s very rewarding for me to work for a company that recognizes the true importance of building trust with customers by providing a quality experience. If you excel at delivering what customers want, when they want it, in a polite manner—consider joining our team! A position at Kinney Group is an investment in your career. See a list of our current openings and apply online.

How to Deliver the Unexpected Experience Every Time –– KGI’s Delivery Framework

The What

In over ten years of professional services engagements, we at Kinney Group have learned a lesson or two about how to really deliver the unexpected experience for our customers. As you can imagine, there are hundreds of elements that factor into delivering a “good” engagement.

Let’s focus on one engagement. You gather your NPS score and feedback in areas like the quality of your technical expertise, project management team communication, and the end solution that your team provided. Then, you place a bet on what made the project a win.

Now take hundreds of engagements, like the 500+ engagements Kinney Group has delivered on behalf of Splunk. This is where you start to identify trends and consistencies that truly made your engagement a win.

Historically, the secret to setting a team up for success on every engagement has been a mystery. But with years of data and customer feedback, we’ve created a new approach that ensures customer and company success… every time.

 

The How

There are four foundational elements essential to our business operations, each of which ensures a successful delivery framework:

  1. The Three Returns on Investment (3 ROIs)

As a company, we focus not only on the financial savings that our services provide customers, but also on the human and mission returns on investment that a successful delivery brings. Saving an organization the financial dollars, minimizing time spent on human intervention, and ensuring impacts that align with business objectives are the cornerstones of our delivery approach. Heck, we don’t even “close-win” our sales deals without nailing down the 3 ROIs to ensure we’re molding our offerings and services to best fit the customer’s needs.

  1. Culture

At Kinney Group, our CEO Jim Kinney (known to colleagues as JK) likes to say, “culture is our number #1 advantage.” A positive culture lays the foundation for direct communication, strong team structure, and colleague empowerment that ensures our people do good work. And in today’s age of remote work, the work from home stipend doesn’t hurt, either!

  1. Talent & Expertise

It’s no surprise that our world-class talent at Kinney Group is the result of a kick-butt recruitment team and high-quality colleague referrals. We like to think smart people know smart people (and then recruit them to join other smart people at KGI). This technical talent provides the expert knowledge and skill to deliver unparalleled work for our customers. Every team of well-equipped KGI colleagues are experts in their own fields, ready to offer support to customers and colleagues. Our robust recruiting efforts, from sales and marketing to project management and finance, all lead our engineers to deliver the best work for our customers.

  1. Methodologies & Systems

We are a highly technical company, so an obsession with effective systems is built into our operations. With the power of our analytics and automation experience, we “eat our own dog food,” as JK says, when it comes to investing in our systems and automating process to scale. We encourage transparent and consistent practices between our teams through team playbooks. Every internal team has a playbook filled with our documented processes, so when it’s game time, we have the play-by-play ready to hit the field.

 

The Why

Now for the why. The Kinney Group’s Delivery Framework is inspired by Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle: the What, How, and now the Why. Each of those layers became thoughtful steps we worked through in order to deliver the best services for our customers.

  1. A formula for customer success

If we use the 3 ROIs to truly understand what our customers need, everything we do should be focused around creating business value. Showing up and just completing the items on the statement of work is boring, and it doesn’t always provide the outcomes that leaders are seeking. Getting to the bottom of why our customers engage industry experts is crucial for our team to live up to our potential and showcase what our technology can do.

  1. Enable scale and consistency

Over the last year or two, we’ve really been able to focus on our delivery process. In that time span, we restructured our delivery department, added a customer success team, and implemented post-engagement support. We’ve been able to boil down the process of delighting our customers to a fine science with a consistent rhythm.

  1. Remove risks

With so many different teams working to ensure a positive customer journey, inter-departmental communication is key. We do this by installing an agile champion in each and every department (even the HR and Marketing teams)! Believing in the agile mindset is no small feat. We all have regular team stand-ups and syncs with others across the company. This allows us all to be on the same page and have our eyes on any potential issues that may arise. Keeping these meetings short, sweet, and to the point is crucial to moving at a Silicon Valley speed–even here in the Midwest.

2020: The Year in Kinney Group

Although 2020 was fraught with hardship, uncertainty, and unrest, we can all take pride in moments of success despite adversity. Like so many other businesses, Kinney Group transitioned to a remote workforce in mid-March. This change brought some challenges for sure, but it also revealed the resilience and persistence of our Choppers. Now that last year has come to a close, Kinney Group is busy with our 2021 Kickoff, starting the year off right with setting goals and celebrating our successes. We’re taking a moment to look back at some of the 2020 wins here at Kinney Group:

Company

In 2020, our content team published 90 blog posts.

Engineers undertook 120 new engagements/projects in 2020.

Over the course of the year, we held 15 webinars with 370 attendees.

Our audience engagement on LinkedIn grew by 563% (follow us!).

Our incredible team of engineers spent 51,728.75 hours on engagements, delivering exceptional solutions, services, and results for our customers.

We launched 1 incredible new platform for Splunk: Atlas.

Our incredible team of engineers spent 51,728.75 hours on engagements, delivering exceptional solutions, services, and results for our customers.

Colleagues

28% of our colleagues joined after March 12, 2020, meaning that our Work From Anywhere (WFA) policy is the norm for almost one-third of the company.

Our internal IT department resolved 449 tickets for colleagues over the course of the year.

We welcomed 33 new colleagues and offered 32 promotions.

The average tenure for KGI colleagues is 2.75 years, which exceeds the average tenure of tech companies like Apple and Google by nearly a year.

Altogether, colleagues completed 385 assignments on Lessonly.

Over 200 devices were “delivered” to colleagues working from anywhere.

We welcomed 33 new colleagues and offered 32 promotions.

Culture

Colleagues recognized each others’ work with 377 culture coin nominations.

100+ songs were featured over the course of the year on our Kinney Tunes colleague playlist.

We ordered 150 #hoodies for our Atlas launch in November.

Our 2021 Kickoff boasted 10 sessions hosted by colleagues, for colleagues, including bread-baking, “For Bees’ Sake,” and a virtual fitness challenge.

Colleagues recognized each others’ work with 377 culture coin nominations.

But Most Importantly…

We are One Team, and we can’t wait to see what 2021 has in store!

As the year progresses, make sure to follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to stay tuned. We’ll be updating the blog regularly with Splunk tips and tutorials, Atlas announcements, insights into Kinney Group culture, and more! Special thanks to Joi Redmon, John Stansell, Christina Watts, Cory Brown, Alex Pallotta, Wes Comer, Brock Trusty, and Zach Vasseur for their help in gathering data for this report.

Tips for Tech Recruiters: Learning the Lingo

Throughout my recruiting career, I’ve been primarily sourcing, screening, and networking with candidates in the technical field.  I’ve worked with .NET developers, web developers, systems administrators, desktop and helpdesk support, network administrators, and more.  All of these individuals have a very unique language deriving from their respective careers that were learned over years.  Through different conversations, interviews, and networking events you really start to pick up on the lingo and what different technical terms mean; which helps me determine which candidates are knowledgeable and which candidates are just giving me surface-level answers.

Given all that has gone on in the world currently, I’ve had to learn a number of different “languages” in different recruiting positions within the last 12-18 months.  I’ve learned and used many tools that helped progress my expertise in the recruiting space. I’d love to share these tips with you.

Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks

The best way to learn different technical languages, specific positions and different industry lingo is to talk to as many people as possible.  I have to be frank here for a second – all of the new technical languages were a little overwhelming when I started here at KGI. Everyone has to ramp into these new environments, so here are a couple of practices that can help:

Interviews are Learning Opportunities

Completing a lot of interviews with candidates who may or may not be qualified is good. But you should also use those conversations to learn more about their specific experience, details of job duties, and language that may differ from other environments.

Learn From Your Technical Talent

A great resource is utilizing our own colleagues and technical consultants as learning tools.  These individuals make themselves readily available to talk to and give more detail about their past experiences, current skill set, and job details they execute for Kinney Group.  This has been a HUGE help for me in terms of learning about Splunk, data analytics, and the different certifications and security clearances that are required.

 

The Secret to Security Clearances

Speaking of security clearances… this has been another great learning curve moving into a governmental talent acquisition opportunity.  From the outside looking in, you don’t ever think about how high-security clearance levels go.

Lean on Your Experts

A great aspect about Kinney Group is that our very own Facility Security Officer, Casie Nolan. Having a person whose specific job is to know each security clearance, how much it takes that security clearance, and how long the process will be to obtain that security clearance is incredibly helpful.  She talks to candidates and knows what qualifications a potential candidate should have – and when a candidate gives her their current security clearance, she’s able to verify the accuracy, quickly.

This is a tricky area for most recruiters, as recruiting cleared resources can be complicated. If you don’t have a direct work resource to lean on, reach out to your network for guidance.

 

To Sum It Up: Be a Sponge

When working with different companies and industries, be a sponge.  Soak up every bit of information and talk to as many expert level people in that field as possible.  Lastly, the best way to learn is to get uncomfortable and just jump in the pool with both feet, survive initially, and then excel!

Being in the recruiting world within tech comes with incredible opportunities for growth and learning. I hope you could take some practical tips back to your own organizations.

The 3 Business Advantages of an Agile Framework

At Kinney Group, Agile methodology is an essential component of how we deliver projects and execute on customer success. To adopt Agile and reap the full benefits, it’s important to see the full picture of what this process can do for your business. In our years of execution on this process, here’s what we view as the key benefits that Agile can bring to your business model.

1. Ability to Pivot

 

Pivots are a mess to watch and can be intimidating to get involved with…(queue up the scene of Chandler and Rachel helping move a couch with Ross yelling “Pivot!”).

If a customer comes to you and says we just upgraded our systems from v1.5 to v2.0 – you’re next step will be to make changes to the software you’re developing for them. Maybe it’s an easy fix, but what if that’s just one of many continuous changes you see in a project… How about when a new revenue stream emerges for your business to take charge of before the market is saturated with competitors? Is your team scared to try bringing on the new challenge? Have you tried and fallen on your faces?

The ability to pivot quickly can be life or death in some situations. The best way to turn this chaos into a competitive advantage is to put a new way of thinking around this new idea.  Let’s talk about pivot and process.

2. Drive Your Process

 

First, let’s talk about different processes that drive agile. Agile is a mindset. There are many frameworks to get the job done- Scrum, Kanban, Scrumban, Extreme Programming, SAFe, LeSS, Lean Software Development, Crystal, DAD, AgileUP, the list goes on. Take the framework that fits your team and run with it. Make the AGILE planning scale to your business.

A perk of working at a company like Kinney Group, that’s fast-paced and zoned in on results, we’re able to constantly adapt our Agile methodology to fit our team’s needs. As a Scrum Master, here are some questions I’ve seen asked by team members…

Can we do a PI Planning Session for a team of two people?

How about combining two different scrum teams into one stand-up?

What about a Scrum of Scrums? Can we get our business leaders internally tracking on company goals? Oh, and leave out the Scrum Masters?

I’ll give you a hint, the answer to all of the above is YES. Typical PI Planning is for an Agile Release Train (ART) made up of 50-125 people from multiple scrum teams consisting of 5 or more individuals. With a company size of about 85 employees, that would be our entire business. Make the planning process meet your business’s needs and size down.

3. High Performing Teams

 

The best leadership trait from the Agile Manifesto is to Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need and trust them to get the job done. At Agile MeetUps, I hear this all the time from other Scrum Masters: working with high performing teams is one of the best feelings. Realistically, a team reaching this status only happens 1 out of every 10 teams you work with. It’s your job to empower your scrum teams to be excited to work on each project. Agile encourages up, down, and all-around communication.

Our CEO, Jim Kinney, tells us all the time, “When we’re running in the same direction, we are unstoppable.” Delivery early and deliver often. You’ll never have the dreaded conversation “Stop! You’re going the wrong way” again. Delivering small bits of value on a consistent, often weekly, basis will keep your stakeholders informed of what you are working on and the direction you’re headed.

 

“When we’re running in the same direction, we are unstoppable.”

 

Kinney Group uses Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®) as a jumping-off point for our Agile journey. We’ve taken this process, made a few mistakes along the way, and turned it into a process that has brought our company to the next level. By utilizing this process, our company has been able to accomplish our goals quicker, bring on new revenue streams, and develop our own product solutions package. All while keeping our company culture and doubling down on a customer-centric approach. If you’re looking for successful services delivery, let our process work its magic and help you solve your analytics and automation needs.

Scrum 101: The 80/20 Rule

The principle of the 80/20 rule is 80% of the whole, or value, comes from 20% of the execution. Also known as the “Pareto Principle,” this rule is intentionally vague because, as discussed by Kevin Kruse in Forbes, it’s found everywhere. From an execution and product standpoint, Scrum applications of the 80/20 rule vary. The rule could mean a minority of the development team will interact with the majority of your tasks. The rule could also imply that a small subset of your bugs will interfere with users the most. Like laws of nature, these elements occur naturally, but the true value of the 80/20 rule is when you actively exploit it to improve your overall Scrum developing & delivery process.

The 20

Scrum is aligned to exploit the Pareto Principle. The time constraints of a sprint paired with the pressure to produce a high-functioning product can be daunting. Sometimes, these constraints lead to engineers building around requirements instead of developing a solution. Then, post-review, the developers can make their case for further enhancements for the next sprint. This candid conversation fosters an environment of simplicity and team efficiency.

Now the developers and the project can stay on track for delivering not just a product, but the value to the client. The Scrum process empowers the team to keep building the 20% that matters and to cast a critical eye towards scope creep. This attitude is not easy. As we know, many developers feel like the task’s not finished until it can cook itself dinner (wouldn’t that be great?). By setting good task definitions, the value-based solution development can be achieved!

The 80

Kinney Group strives to connect our work directly with our stakeholder’s needs and objectives. We developed “The 3 ROIs Framework” to make that happen. Through the framework, our Kinney team outlines the financial, human, and business objectives of our customers on every project we deliver. The 3 ROIs Framework is further enhanced by Scrum teams that fully exploit the 80% value to deliver the unexpected experience to our clients.

By nurturing an environment for candid feedback between developers, product owners, and users, the team can identify key features that are punching above their weight. These are your “special treatment” features. These features may take additional interface work or enhancements towards improvement. Although they may seem small, these features can improve first impressions towards the overall product. This precision can turn your application from a jack of all trades to an instrumental piece of software, strengthening your client’s mission, financial, and human goals.

Again, this laser focus is at odds with developer behavior behind building the complete picture, requiring user feedback. It is important for product owners to take on the role of championing the users’ needs and equally important for the development team to listen.

The Takeaways

Of course, the 20% of this post that provides 80% of the value is the wrap-up summary. Take these tips and help shape your Scrum and project delivery processes:

  • Re-enforce iterative development. This will ensure each sprint is forcing developers to take the short, simplest routes. Then, they can re-assess in the next sprint if additional work is actually needed.
  • Have candid conversations with your Product Owner and users. These folks will lead you to find the 20% of your product that provides 80% of value.
  • Prioritize work that aligns with the 20% features. You want your solution to shine for users. Always have a bias to improving this feature over adding additional bells and whistles.
  • Gather your ROIs from your client and start by discussing the 80/20 features.

At Kinney Group we design, build, and integrate IT infrastructure solutions for some of the most demanding government agencies and commercial organizations in the country. As an organization, we develop our solutions through Scrum and agile best practices and delivery. By leveraging next-generation technologies, adopting proven engineering practices, and agile development principles, we create custom solutions and world-class environments for data.

Want more information on how we can put that power to work for you?

Scrum 101: Three Myths of Traditional Scrum

Hi, I’m Georges, Scrum Master Myth Buster.

As a resident Scrum Master at Kinney Group, I’m responsible for promoting and championing Agile & Scrum habits on our automation projects. I started off as a developer, which shaped a lot of my goals and expectations in Scrum today. I have a bias to producing work, lightweight management involvement, and simplifying everything that’s not technical. A Scrum Master’s role is to produce an environment that is encouraging for developers and for growing the Agile mindset. Throughout my journey of training, execution, and experimentation, I have seen common Scrum myths permeate through the software development and project management ecosystem. Follow along as I debunk three myths about traditional Scrum best practice, so hold on to your Jira tickets and let’s go through the big offenders!

Myth #1

Scrum makes my development teams more efficient.

One of the first books I read for training was “Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time.”A great read for learning the Scrum trade, but with an untrained Scrum eye, some directors and management may take away the wrong impression of how their teams will operate under a new delivery framework.

Teams today are most likely doing a hybrid practice of Homebrew/Waterfall/Agile systems. A distinct change in your Agile practice may reinforce good habits that make your team faster, however, it’s important to remember that speed is not the goal of Scrum. The goal of Scrum is to make our teams more effective not efficient.

With a bias to client and user interactions, our engineers are executing on project goals while verifying their work repeatably. Many may argue that effectiveness leads to efficiency from a high level, and they would be right, but the message behind Scrum-based development should never promise the moon. Short-term stumbles and smaller gains will happen along the way and Scrum allows your team to break these bad habits along the way. Sometimes, a team needs to slow down before they can speed up, resulting in more effective work to reach a customer’s goal.

Myth #2

Scrum is a set of meetings and rules for my developers.

I love this myth. It’s at the same time entirely true and completely misleading. By reducing Scrum to its artifacts and ceremonies, we ignore the foundation that Scrum rests upon — the Agile Mindset. When you ignore the Agile Mindset, your Scrum practices will never reach their full potential. This may ultimately get in your way instead of fostering a better development environment.

Equally important, the Agile Mindset not only requires your developers’ participation, but it involves your entire delivery pipeline. Your company’s salespeople need to champion the need for Product Owner involvement. Your business analysts need to write Statements of Work that promote handshake agreements on changing priorities. Your project managers need to keep their development teams as stable as possible. Scrum is not a set of meetings and rules for your engineers to follow. It’s a shift in the entire delivery framework and requires everyone to pitch in.

Myth #3

Scrum is the evolution of Waterfall and supersedes it.

Scrum and Waterfall are two delivery frameworks eternally locked in a misguided war of buzzwords and superstition. The truth is, they both have value for different reasons. Scrum did not kill Waterfall. However, Scrum did create a system that is better suited for rapid development, experimentation, and unknowns. Waterfall still has place for fixed, ‘simple’ work requirements. By requirement and by design, these won’t deviate from the initial technical and feature scope. With complex, initial asks on a Waterfall project, it’s no wonder that Agile processes have taken over. However, it is important for developers and managers to treat the words, “We are doing Scrum” with respect and not as a not-so-clever way of saying, “We aren’t doing Waterfall.”

Myths = Busted

There is a common misunderstanding intertwined within these myths: Scrum is easy. The truth is that Scrum isn’t just a simple evolution of the classic plan to execution flow of Waterfall. Scrum requires all hands-on deck in an organization to support. It is not a band-aid, but a methodical shift in how a company operates. If executed and supported sufficiently, adopting a Scrum practice can result in the effective delivery of your product and, most importantly, happy clients.

Permission to Be a Person

It’s your first day with a new employer, in a new position. I give you permission to get lost and be late. I give you permission to ask numerous questions. I give you permission to forget my name, where the bathroom is, and the name of your new role. I give you permission to be nervous and eager, to want to do everything in one day but have no idea what is going on around you. I give you permission to be excited and driven. I give you permission to finish all your Lessonly courses as quickly as possible on Day 1 (because I have more scheduled to roll out tomorrow and many days over your first 90 with us). I give you permission to leave a little early, overwhelmed with the many new names and faces you feel obligated to memorize before the weekends. I give you permission to come back tomorrow before your first orientation meeting, at whatever time works for your schedule. I give you permission to get coffee as often as you need it because coffee is my love language, but it’s also fuel to keep your fire going. I give you permission to be you and to show up every day as you and to take care of yourself, to fulfill your role as you see fit and to be a person.

Trust is Essential

As the Learning & Development Manager at Kinney Group, giving my new colleague permission to be a person is trusting them to make good decisions for themselves and the organization. Trust-giving is an important part of the Kinney Group culture and we lead with it right out the gate. Any Patrick Lencioni fan recognizes that trust is the foundational building block for developing and managing functional teams. The fast-paced, agile nature of working at a tech organization requires synchronized and operative departments in order to achieve business objectives.  Additionally, trust-giving teams generate a great culture.

I’m fortunate to set that tone for the organization, and I do that consciously in three distinct ways:

Re-direct Apologies.

In every new hire week I’ve managed, I’ve received some email, text message, phone call, or face-to-face explanation of an apology because the new colleague was late, pulled into another meeting, forgot to bring something to work, can’t remember their password… there’s always an apology. I re-direct these, letting my new hire know they’re okay and I have no expectations for them, other than to keep showing up and learning. Please don’t apologize to me, I trust that you’re a professional who can self-manage and make decisions. I am owed no apology.

Give & Encourage Autonomy.

My orientation schedules are full of blended-learning experiences, meetings, team activities, lunches & coffee dates. But I don’t plan for 40 hours of activity and work and I don’t dictate a start or end time to their days. I trust my new colleagues — just as I do my tenured colleagues — to work as they see fit, communicate, and focus on hitting their goals.

Be a Human.

I help my new colleagues unlearn and relearn how to be a person at work by paving the way. I give myself permission to be a person and lead with my vulnerability. By setting this example, I believe it helps new colleagues trust me and our organization as a people-focused business. And we are.

“A Company is Not a Thing, It’s All of Us”

Jim Kinney, our CEO, reminds us that a company is not a thing, it’s all of us who show up every day inspired and driven to carry out the company’s mission. We trust our colleagues to show up every day and give them permission to show up as the persons we hired, the talent we desired, and a crucial element to our business journey. On your first day, 90th day, 180th day and for every day you’re here. It’s to infinity and beyond, we’re chasing the stars. And we believe the best way to do that is to give you permission to be a person at work.

Learning on the Daily at a Scale-up Tech Firm

A group of engaged Kinney Group employees volunteering at Gleaners Food Bank.

“A day without learning is a day wasted. There is so much to learn and so little time to learn it.”
– Sir John Templeton

It happens all too often where I’m sitting down focused on my to-do list, and… WHAM! I get hit with a curveball: researching new technology, working with an unfamiliar client, or communicating to a diverse audience.  As a scale-up tech firm, Kinney Group is selling more services and products all the time, making it is impossible NOT to learn something new every single day. That’s the beauty of it. I can confidently say that I’m learning and gaining skills that will further my career every day I come to work.

Does that sound like something you might be interested in?

Working at Kinney Group

In order to function at a fast-paced tech company, you need to work hard, trust yourself, trust your colleagues, and hope for a little magic along the way. Each day, I spend the majority of my time recruiting and hiring people who have the talent to take Kinney Group to the next level. I get to see the tangible impact of that work when we’re able to secure a new contract or increase our service to clients—that’s inspiring. That is something that drives me to better myself and have detailed discussions with those around me so that I’m able to find new colleagues who will add to our team.

A group of engaged Kinney Group employees volunteering at Gleaners Food Bank.

 

At Kinney Group, every new engineer we hire brings his or her very own skill set and knowledge of different techniques to the table. In a world where the tools at your fingertips are continually being created and updated, staying relevant is vital. So it’s wonderful to see our talented and supportive team work to keep each other on their toes.

The “Non-Work” Times

Don’t worry, we have some fun too. I may lose a friendly game of euchre more than I win, but everyone is always a good sport. I can’t even begin to touch on the elaborate theories that came up during our weekly Game of Thrones recap meetings, where I was always having to defend why Bran is not the Knight King. And when the whole company comes together at the beginning of the year for our annual Kick-Off meeting, it’s a grand celebration of our work and each other.

Members of the Kinney Group Team having fun at our annual kick-off meeting.

Big Tech Skills, Small Company Vibe

Working at a small company has its perks, including wearing a lot of different hats. Some days I may be wearing my “culture and engagement” hat, and other days I may be wearing my “benefits and administration” hat. Some days I may be wearing my “trusted advisor” hat (AKA: “I’m going to google that this evening and get back to you tomorrow” hat). If I’m lucky, I may wear all those hats even before I go to lunch.

The best part about being a smaller firm is that everyone at Kinney Group is consistently getting pushed out of our comfort zones and is encouraged to try new things. In the past two weeks, I was able to attend a regional hiring and culture conference, make changes to our company-wide communication policy, attend a TechPoint summer engagement breakfast, and do some research on new vendors that pair with our Applicant Tracking System. This is all while hiring new colleagues and working towards my quarterly goals.

Charting Your Course at Kinney Group

At Kinney Group, your journey is up to you. The trick to staying relevant is reading different blog posts like this one from your fellow employees, watching our engineering team’s webinars, and taking part in our many employee functions, such as our annual Indianapolis 500 Carb Day celebration… Above all else, fine ways to challenge yourself every day and know that no matter what, you can find a group of people you can be yourself around here.

If this sounds like a work culture you’d like to join, consider exploring our Careers Page to see if Kinney Group could be the place for you.

About Kinney Group

Kinney Group is a solutions-oriented professional services consulting firm specializing in automation and analytics to harness the power of IT in the cloud to improve lives. Security is in Kinney Group’s DNA, enabling the company to integrate the most advanced automation, analytics, and infrastructure technologies as an optimized solution powering IT-driven mission and business processes in the cloud for federal agencies and Fortune 1000 companies.

We are an elite team with a unique combination of credentials for strict security environments who serve our customers with an unexpected experience. We specialize in Splunk, AppDynamics, Puppet, and VMware to serve our customers as they journey through digital transformation. Learn more at kinneygroup.com.

 

Kinney Group Named Puppet’s Government Partner of the Year 2018

Kinney Group Named Puppet Government Partner of the Year

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – February 14th, 2019 – Kinney Group today announced it has been named the recipient of Puppet’s Channel Partner of the Year award for Puppet Government Partner of the Year for 2018. In receiving this award, Kinney Group was recognized for being a top performing partner in revenue, solutions, and field engagement, as well as for making continuous contributions to drive customer success with automation.

Kinney Group Named Puppet Government Partner of the Year for 2018

“We are honored and humbled to be recognized as Puppet Government Partner of the Year.” said President and CEO Jim Kinney. “We continue to view Puppet as the best platform in the market for helping Government customers harness the power of automation to address security requirements, enable digital transformation, and also to save millions in funding each year through eliminating manual processes.”

The annual Puppet Channel Partner of the Year awards honor Puppet’s channel ecosystem for delivering customer excellence and innovative solutions. This year’s award winners also demonstrated exemplary performance in the implementation of Puppet technology. The program recognized thirteen partners globally in seven categories.

“Puppet is dedicated to building solutions that allow customers to automatically deliver and operate all of their software across their entire lifecycle in any environment,” said John Schwan, vice president of global partner sales, Puppet. “Key to this success is our customer-centric partners. We congratulate Kinney Group on its Puppet Channel Partner of the Year Award and applaud its ongoing commitment to drive enterprises forward.”

Shawn Hall, Director of the Next Generation Data Center team at Kinney Group, offered this:

Puppet as a platform provides tremendous value to our Government customers every day, especially in the areas of security and compliance. With Puppet’s newest capabilities and integrations with tools like Splunk, we are able to utilize Puppet to deliver on even more compelling use cases. Puppet is a leader in their space, and we are excited to continue this great partnership as we do great things for our customers with Puppet.”

About Kinney Group

Kinney Group is a solutions-oriented professional services consulting firm specializing in automation and analytics to harness the power of IT in the cloud to improve lives. Security is in Kinney Group’s DNA, enabling the company to integrate the most advanced automation, analytics, and infrastructure technologies as an optimized solution powering IT-driven mission and business processes in the cloud for federal agencies and Fortune 1000 companies. We are an elite team with a unique combination of credentials for strict security environments who serve our customers with an unexpected experience. We specialize in Splunk, AppDynamics, Puppet, and VMware to serve our customers as they journey through digital transformation. Learn more at kinneygroup.com.