Culture & People

Digital Platform Team: Changing “Way of Working” with IT Innovation

By May 8, 2020 May 14th, 2020 No Comments

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As a supplementary article for the previous contribution, SK hynix newsroom is highlighting daily lives of Digital Platform Team, the innovators of SK hynix’s Digital Transformation who are dedicated to turn our workplace smarter and more digitalized.

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“Digital Transformation” is one of the most important topics in the 4th Industrial Revolution. In particular, businesses that pursue efficiency as a core value are making great efforts to build a smarter and more efficient work environment through digital innovation. SK hynix is also one of these pioneering companies. Due to the nature of the semiconductor industry, which is highly sensitive even to a change of 0.00001% in yield rate, “innovation in the way of work” is the important goal that should be conquered. To achieve this innovation, the company is continuously making company-wide efforts.

For smart and efficient work environment, changes are necessary not only in human resources and corporate culture, but also in tools for working. The Digital Platform Team, which will be introduced in detail later in this article, is leading the “Digital Transformation” of SK hynix by providing tools based on information technology (IT) to build a smooth working environment for its employees.

Creating a Comfortable Working Environment for Employees

The Digital Platform Team provides innovative IT work tools to create a workplace where employees can work more efficient. The team has two main goals. One is to develop various IT tools suitable for SK hynix’s work environment so that employees can work at their convenience. The second goal is to build and connect an integrated IT platform which will be the basis for Digital Transformation, in order to heighten the average level of SK hynix’s IT services and strengthen its competitiveness in services.

To achieve this, the team first goes through a planning stage to understand what kind of work tools employees currently need and come up with the solution. After that, the team constructs a framework for the overall project and proceeds with full-scale development. After a work tool is first developed and distributed to the field, the team seeks out feedback from the field so the tool can be adjusted and then distributed as completed version. By constantly communicating with the field, the team seeks to enhance the tools’ degree of completion before final launch.

Figure. 1 Dong Ho Seo, Project Leader (PL) at Digital Platform Team explains the main tasks and
work processes at Digital Platform Team.

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When it comes to performing the actual task, the team focuses on three aspects. The first is to help company members do their job better. In this aspect, the goal is to adjust the existing inefficient ways of working into efficient and desirable working environment. To achieve this, the Digital Platform Team is currently developing and operating some IT working tools. One of them is “Chatbot Service”, which supports various tasks in terms of general affairs, finance, taxation, funding, environment, safety, and health. Such IT tools also include “Tooltip Dictionary”, which provides functions like term searching and translation.

The second aspect is to help employees collaborate smoothly. In more detail, the goal is to eliminate the limitations of time and space by allowing tasks to be carried out in a mobile environment. To make this possible, the Digital Platform Team is developing and operating services including “CUBE”, a real-time cross-platform (both PC and mobile) communication tool, and “GooDocs”, which allows multiple users to edit and manage a single spreadsheet simultaneously.

The third aspect is to provide a system that can accumulate knowledge and information generated during work, allowing employees to search and browse whenever it’s necessary. The goal is to guarantee the result of each task is stored and shared anytime, anywhere. To realize this, a variety of services are being developed and operated by the Digital Platform Team. These services include a file-sharing service “HyDISK”, an SNS-based knowledge management service “Knowledge Blog”, the company’s own video platform “HyTV”, and the company’s own portal service “Integrated Search” that allows quick searches of internal documents and data.

Recently, the team has been committing itself to establishing “Smart Workplace Platform”. This project was designed not only to simply support the employees’ daily work processes, but also to take a step closer to the field and to innovate the entire equipment and material management system. The goal of this project is to build an integrated platform to easily store and preserve data in an in-house cloud by utilizing IT devices, so that the data can be managed more efficiently through the forms organized for each data type.

“Programming Skills Are Fundamentally Essential”

To hear more about the tasks of the Digital Platform Team, we met with Dong Ho Seo, Project Leader (PL) at Digital Platform Team, who is responsible for team management.

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Q. What are your current responsibilities in the team?

As PL at the Digital Platform Team, I oversee the overall planning, development, and operation of the company’s IT services, which are designed to improve work efficiency of our employees. My main tasks include presenting new ideas, converging the voices of field workers, and converting them into new IT service tools applicable.

Q. What qualities are required for the current job?

As an IT organization, programming skills are the most basic and fundamental qualities, yet communication skills are also important. This is because you need to accurately understand the employees’ individual needs and communicate with them frequently during the development process to provide the IT service they actually require. To precisely identify the pain point among the fragmented opinions, analytical skills and an ability to empathize with are also essential. In addition, an effective planning ability and creativity are helpful as well while designing functions that solve each paint point and realizing them as an integrated program.

Q. When do you feel most rewarded during your work?

While we sometimes create programs based on the opinions of our colleagues, we often design new programs with our own ideas. I feel thrilled when I see that our ideas are completed in a functioning program and utilized well in the field. It is most rewarding to see that my effort so far was not in vain and the result of my effort is applied and used meaningfully in the field.

Q. When do you find your work the most difficult? How do you overcome such difficulties?

It is difficult when the programs we made with good intentions are not accepted in the field. It’s frustrating when we only hear about complaints regarding flaws even though the programs have some advantages as well. When this happens, however, I try even harder to be more persistent to make further improvements, because I believe that we can present a good program that will satisfy both our team and our colleagues.

“The Most Rewarding Moment is to See Our Programs Are Widely Used in the Field”

Digital Platform Team’s young trio, Technical Leader (TL) Hee Jae Shin, Seul-ye Koo, and Minkyeung Song, also agreed to provide our newsroom with more vivid perspectives as members of the team.

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Q. What are your current responsibilities in the team?

Minkyeung Song: The basic focus of the three of us is similar. Currently, we are mainly focusing on developing and operating GooDocs, an in-house spreadsheet program motivated by Google Docs that allows multiple people to access and edit a single spreadsheet simultaneously.

Seul-ye Koo: In addition to GooDocs, we are also working on developing a dashboard-type graph system that is scheduled to open in late June this year.

Q. It seems that the programming skill is the most required quality at your team. What is the minimum level of programming skill necessary in order to carry out tasks smoothly?

Song: The programming language we use is different from what I learned as an undergrad, so I had to learn from scratch after joining this team. Of course, it will be helpful if you possess knowledge and experience in this area, but having a great sense of coding will be sufficient.

Koo: Programming languages are not always that important since it is often different from the programming languages taught at the undergrad level, but basic knowledge of algorithms and programming is required to some degree. In addition, design sense is also needed, because developing user interface is one of our major tasks as well.

Hee Jae Shin: Of course, competence in software development is important, but it can be learned after being assigned to the team. During the starting period, I think communication skills are more important, since the main task is to listen to the opinions of other people who actually will use the programs, and reflect them directly in the programs under development.

Q. When do you feel most rewarded during your work?

Song: One of my colleagues was using the GooDocs program, which we developed to enhance communication while managing tasks and collaborating. Interesting point was that the colleague was using the program to book a small meeting room which is not managed by the in-house system of our company. This was beyond our expectation since we didn’t think of such way of utilizing GooDocs when we originally designed it. I remember feeling so proud when I saw that. I felt proud when I saw that the program was being used more efficiently in the field than I previously anticipated during the development process.

Koo: It feels great to see a growing number of employees using the program we made. We can see the user statistics almost in real-time, and I feel very proud whenever I see a growing number of users.

Shin: I feel good when I get positive feedback. There is a great sense of accomplishment when I solve a problem after being stuck for a while programming new software.

Q. When do you find your work the most difficult? How do you overcome such difficulties?

Koo: The most difficult moment is when the deadline is very tight. Any programmer will agree with this. It is also emotionally difficult when I feel I lack competence. When this happens, I usually solve the problem with help from senior colleagues.

Song: When it comes to requests that are impossible or unreasonable to implement with a program, I feel frustrated. When it happens, I sometimes even wonder whether I really have to accept such requests at all. When I’m stressed about this, I try to be less impacted emotionally and try to do the job as reasonably as possible.

Shin: It’s most difficult when I’m stuck in the middle of the development process. When that happens, I try to hang onto it tenaciously as it is my job. If I stick to it like that, then the problem is eventually solved.

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Our enthusiasm for technology innovation lives in every aspect of our business. With young and passionate generation of members thriving for changing “ways of working”, we certainly believe we’ll be one step closer to our next innovation. This is how SK hynix, like we always say, do technology.