Jim Charvill has been with LexisNexis Enterprise Solutions (LN ES) since 2016 as Software Engineering Director for LexisOne, the company’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. He played a key role in enabling the company to adopt the Agile methodology and deliver LexisOne as the first cloud-based ERP system to Fieldfisher.
Following an organisational restructure, Jim is now heading the engineering function for both LexisOne and Lexis Visualfiles, the legal workflow and case management system.
We asked him about this internal move and how he plans to approach it.
How has your role changed?
Previously, I was responsible for all development related aspects of LexisOne, including facilitating and guiding the company’s transformation towards Agile development and delivery to the customer. Now with Visualfiles within my remit, I’m focussing on engineering practices across both products, extending opportunities for collaboration between the teams and ensuring that customer engagement remains key to our delivery.
What excites you about this new role?
I’m personally committed to helping drive ‘agility’, operationally via our lean Agile approach to both development and customer delivery, but more importantly through our people. The bit I enjoy most is sharing the experiences with smart technology teams as they learn to challenge themselves and continuously improve what they do and how they do it. As a team, we have made significant progress adopting Agile practices as well as thinking more like an agile business, but we still have plenty to learn. This new role presents a great opportunity to accelerate this transformation across the business, sharing the lessons learned across more teams and encouraging broader adoption of Agile. Already, the Visualfiles team has started its own Agile journey.
Collaboration will play a key role – I’ll be evaluating the skills, knowledge and best practices in the business in order to create an environment that encourages sharing and learning across the teams.
We have also adopted some progressive approaches within our teams, fostering more open and honest conversations and encouraging wider feedback through introducing some new roles key to Agile delivery and a ‘coaching’ style of leadership. This is already yielding some benefits as people start to take the reins of self-improvement and best practice into their own hands. I’m eager to facilitate this change in approach more broadly across the business.
Will customers benefit from this reorganisation?
Absolutely. Customers are central to our ways of working and we’ve already seen the great things that can happen when you build open and trusted partnerships. A question that I’ve been asked recently is what added value can customers get when using our solutions together. LexisOne and Visualfiles are complementary solutions and I’m determined to help our customers realise the added value from adopting more of our products. To this end, the focus is on building on our role as a trusted Technology Partner and working together with customers so that they can see the value of their investment.
We’ve also taken concrete steps towards a more flattened organisational structure. Removing some of the hierarchy and the inherent complications it sometimes lends itself to, especially around communication. This change will benefit our customers too giving them greater visibility and insights into the work we do together. Our focus is squarely on being open, building trust internally and externally and on continuous improvement, in line with our Agile principles.
What are your interests outside of work?
I live in and love the countryside. My springer Charlie keeps me fit and I like to think (or at least I’m often told) that my wife and two teenage kids keep me firmly grounded. I’m a long suffering Notts County supporter, which still now regularly teaches me some tough lessons. I also like to challenge myself. I’ve just been on a week-long camping expedition in the wilds of Mull, which involved clinging to rocks, dodging adders and the occasional impromptu dip in the sea – very cold and very testing!