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I’m Matthew Haavisto and this is how I work November 27, 2012

Posted by Duncan in How I work.

The honour of being both the first US-based PeopleSoft guru, and the first Oracle employee to be profiled, falls to Matthew Haavisto. Matthew’s official title is “Strategy/Product Manager, PeopleTools” but most will know him either from his conference sessions, his work with customers and partners or from the PeopleSoft Technology Blog. Matthew is heavily involved with the PeopleSoft Tech effort at OpenWorld and can often be found discussing UI or the PeopleSoft Interaction Hub in his laid-back but knowledgeable manner.

Name: Matthew Haavisto

Occupation: Strategy/Product Manager, PeopleTools
Location: Pleasanton, California
Current computer: Dell Laptop (nearing end of life)
Current mobile devices: iPhone
I work: Diligently

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
We’re doing more with collaborative tools these days, so we use Oracle Beehive Workspaces more and more.  Workspaces are more efficient than email and file systems for communication and doc sharing among our project teams.  Sad to say, but my colleagues and I are still bound too much to email, though I’m hoping to reduce that use over time.  Collaborative technology is easy to deploy, but changing ingrained behavior is more difficult.   I produce a lot of external collateral like red/white papers, data sheets, RVPs, and conference presentations, so simple apps like MS Word and Powerpoint still get a lot of use.  These apps are also useful for internal communications like business requirements, specifications, and scoping presentations as well.  I also use Visio for simple modeling, and Balsamiq for low-fi UX mockups.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
Despite working in software, I guess I’m a bit of a Luddite.  I don’t go in for a lot of gadgets.  I do most of my work from my office or my home, so I’m connected when I need to be.  When I’m off work and engaged in personal pursuits (sports and music), I don’t want to be connected, so I deliberately cut the cord.

What’s your workspace like?
My workspace at the office is similar to my workspace at home.  Both are pretty simple and efficient.  I have a monitor and docking station so setup is fast.

I like coming into the office to interact personally with colleagues, though I do work from home a fair amount as well.  Since I work with colleagues, partners, and customers around the globe, I’m often on calls/web conferences at odd hours of the morning or night, and in those cases, I take the meetings at home.

What do you listen to while you work?
I’m a big fan of Pandora.  I listen mostly to classical, particularly at work. Favorites are Beethoven, Sibelius, Smetana, and Tchaikovsky.

What would be the one item you’d add to PeopleSoft if you could?
Since I work for PeopleTools, I have some influence on this.  I’m hoping we can establish better integration with social apps like Oracle Social Network.  We are also doing some really cool stuff for the future UX and mobile, so keep your eyes peeled.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
I don’t know that I’m better at one thing than others.  Rather, I’m a bit of a factotum.  I do many things pretty well, and tend to learn things quickly.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Balance your work with the rest of your life.



1. wpraf - November 28, 2012

Nice to know that you switch off when work is over. Can be a bit tricky sometimes, but definitely good if you are able to.

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