17 Aug 2022

Career Stories

Geraldine Soo: Internship with Data aNalytics and Ai team, and Agile Project Management

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Geraldine Soo shares her recent internship experiences with IHiS’ Data aNalytics & Ai (DNA) department, including key takeaways on Agile Project Management.

Hi there! I’m Geraldine, an undergraduate from the National University of Singapore’s School of Computing.

During my internship at IHiS, I chose to focus on areas of data catalogues and analytics processes with the Data aNalytics & Ai (DNA) department. During my time here, I was in charge of documenting and promoting ways to improve our current workflows within the DNA team and contribute towards the organisational goal of achieving ideal analytics processes. As I progressively got acquainted with the eco-system here, I picked up many new concepts and familiarised myself with the workflows within the Data aNalytics & Ai department. In this article, I’ll be sharing more about my key takeaways on the Agile Methodology, one of the key frameworks that I worked with closely during my internship at IHiS!

Introducing Agile Project Management

The aim of the Agile methodology is pretty much summarised in its name – being agile. Leveraging an incremental and collaborative approach to project management and development, it is a workflow that enables the team to be highly adaptable and efficient. By working in small cycles, the team is easily able to pinpoint areas for improvement and work towards optimising them. 

My supervisor, Salman Jaffer (Deputy Director, DNA, Platform Services), already utilises this Agile framework using a handy software tool (Jira Project), and I see the benefits of its adoption. By breaking down and assigning tasks into stories, sprints and epics, it is easy for me to track my progress and avoid snowballing by identifying areas where I require additional help. It is also a great way to track team progress in the long-run, and helps the team to figure out what works for them! Agile forms an important basis for project execution, and should be an actively used framework for efficient team collaboration when embarking on HealthTech projects here at IHiS.

Closely related is the theme of project management. In the context of Agile, it focuses on integrating planning with execution and leverages roadmaps, workflow management and metrics to track project progress. These pillars are important in ensuring that the team is aligned with and reaches both incremental and project-wide goals as smoothly as possible. My supervisor does a great job at this, and often checks in on both project goals and team wellbeing during sprint planning and retrospectives. 

By being aware of the broader goals of what the team is working on, each member can focus on pacing themselves, optimising their own workflows and setting relevant timelines for themselves to achieve desired goals in the best capacity. Such practices are essential in ensuring timely completion of the project, and also contributes to the team’s wellbeing throughout the course of the project!

Lastly, ideal analytics processes constitute several technical and human factors that can increase the probability of a successful project. There are three facets to this –

having a good organisational approach
a comprehensive database
efficient data visualisation tools

With the availability of relevant data and modern visualisation tools, a team of experienced analysts (such as the HealthTech professionals here at IHiS) are able put their skills to use to maximise their returns. IHiS is actively advocating for adoption of best practices, and is in the process of streamlining work processes to increase efficiency across the board.

Final thoughts, HealthTech internship learnings

During my internship at IHiS, I contributed to this organisational goal by documenting and crafting a comprehensive guide for Data Science Model development, deployment and monitoring, which covers ideal start-to-end processes of HealthTech project execution. This enabled me to learn more about the domain of HealthTech and technical data science concepts, and also taught me practical management skills.

Working with my Data Science colleagues was a memorable experience too. It was encouraging to experience their passion for contributing to Singapore’s HealthTech scene and their eagerness for collective progress towards ideal analytics processes across the department.
Overall, the internship was definitely educational and eye-opening. IHiS provided me with ample opportunities to grow personally, professionally and develop sound interpersonal skills. I also enjoyed the meaningful work in implementing analytics processes crucial to Singapore's wellbeing!
With the availability of an experienced team of industry experts and interesting projects to work on, I’m sure that young tech talents will be able to have an enriching time at IHiS!

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