DECEMBER | 2019
Written by Rob Orvis
Last week our ITLT (IT Leadership Team) had Team: Target completely revamped the way
the opportunity to attend a gathering of IT their teams worked… migrating to a product
leaders from all around the greater centric approach leveraging the agile
Minneapolis area to hear from speakers and methodology and requiring all product teams
attend break out sessions addressing the to support their own applications through
most relevant issues and challenges facing IT DevOps. They created a special workspace
today. Some of the topics included Digital where teams would immerse for six weeks in
Transformation, Data Infrastructure, AI and an Agile bootcamp and learn the methodology
Machine Learning and Cyber Security. One by immediately applying the approach to real
of the featured sessions was a discussion work output. Additionally Target placed a
with Mike McNamara – the CIO for Target high emphasis on team development and
titled “Technology for an Uncertain Future”. learning – requiring a set number of days
I thought his presentation and the Target each year be spent on skills development,
transformation journey held some parallels conducting innovation sprints, holding
to the one in front of us here at Marvin. hackathons and my personal favorite…“Demo
Days” where the Target product teams would
In 2015 Target was facing some significant get together science fair style and create a
challenges both internally and within the booth experience to share all of the things
marketplace. Traditional competitors like their team was working on.
Walmart and disruptive competitors like
Amazon were challenging Target’s business Architecture: With an unknown future Target
model, many believed that traditional retail
was dying if not already dead. In Target’s wanted an architecture that would allow
case they were trailing their competition in
Digital, store traffic was steadily declining, them to pivot in any direction with both
and they were reeling from the Canada
expansion disaster which was tied to a failed speed and agility. Architecture as a strategy
is often overlooked and sacrificed for short
term urgent results. Mike was able to get
the leadership of Target aligned to the
importance of this strategy which focused on
three key deliverables..1. Data Infrastructure
Under Mike’s leadership the company made a as a platform service known as the Target
core part of their rebound strategy to Retail Platform. 2. Tenants – better known
increase investment into IT, specifically as the UI/UX layer for both internal and
Digital Transformation focused on external customers. 3.Infrastructure-
dramatically improving IT’s speed and agility simplified to be invisible to application
in delivering real value for Target’s development enabling high intensity focus on
customers known as “Guests”. Mike would speed, features and functions immediately
say that if anyone says that they can tell you benefiting the customers.
where the future is headed that you should
likely look for the nearest exit, nobody has Fast forward to present day… Target’s traffic,
that crystal ball. So… how do you lead a sales, margins are all up and the stock price
Digital Transformation when the future is is at an all-time high. Target’s future once
unknown? in doubt is now bright with innovation and
Based on this parameter, Mike and team
landed on three core focus areas for Target’s
Digital Transformation that regardless of I’m relaying this story to all of us as a
what trends emerged or how consumer
preferences changed – Target would be in a reminder on just how important it is to look
position to aggressively rise to the
occasion. The three core focus areas were… outside of our four walls for inspiration on
Priorities, Team and Architecture.
how to tackle the challenges we are facing
every day… and how much of a catalyst that
IT can be in driving the success of a
company. Where can we be four short years
Priorities: Target eliminated all projects
that couldn’t be tied to advancing their
strategic and digital transformations, “Optimism is the ability to focus on where
eliminating key distractions and freeing up
capacity to help drive the key strategic we’re going, not where we’re coming from.”
Pictured are: Justin Dragosani-Brantingham, Dennis Thibodeau and Tony Kofstad.
WEST WING HEROES
[ ]Questions and answers from the
common area chalkboards. Members of our IT team have been working very
hard to get the new west wing of the corporate
FAVORITE office located in Warroad, Minnesota up and
CHRISTMAS MOVIE running. Their efforts helped make the move as
smooth as possible. Way to go team!
A Christmas Story
It's a Wonderful Life
HOME ALONE Lost in New York
The Santa Clause
A Nightmare before Christmas
Mike Worth, Carla Roberts, Tony Kofstad, Justin Dragosani-Brantingham, Dennis Thibodeau and Shelley Grove all
played a key role in getting the West Wing up and running for the employees that will be relocated to that area.
DECEMBER 2019 03
CIRCLE OF EXCELLENCE
Tell us three things most
people don't know about you...
1. I bought a few new shirts in the last
year and pants.
2. I like having a great chair outside that
I can sit in on a nice day!
3. Being a good family member and
friend is important to me.
1. When I was 2 years old I was ran over
by a truck in a store parking lot, but
wasn't seriously hurt. I later went on to
work at that same store in high school
and made sure to avoid trucks.
2. I initially went to college for law
enforcement, but realized quickly that
wasn't for me.
3. Last summer I put a new roof on my
house and didn't fall off once.
04 DECEMBER 2019
1. I have a grandson, Roman!
2. I play cornhole competitively.
3. My kids are 9, 19 and 24 years of age.
1. I am an advocate against domestic
violence and a domestic violence survivor.
2. I used to coach youth soccer for many
3. I have a cattle farm and we sell black
1. Have 10 brothers and sisters.
2. I'm the youngest.
DECEMBER 2019 05
“THE BEST WAY TO SPREAD
CHRISTMAS CHEER IS SINGING
LOUD FOR ALL TO HEAR.”
TIPS AND TRICKS December Birthdays
OUT OF IT'S TIME TO
CHARLES RIEDEL | JAKE SCHNEIDER | JEFF LUDOLPH
When to turn on OOO replies:
KIRK BORGEN | CALEB SEVERSON | SHERRY HEAD
You're heading out on vacation.
Taking a personal day. NATHAN WORSHEK | JEREMY STANGLAND
In an all day workshop.
Or Simply a "While you're TONY GAULDIN | SUSAN HORNER
waiting..." with links to a
worksheet, blog post, or helpful BOOK "If you're hesitant to pull the trigger when things
video if you're behind on your OF obviously aren't working out, Henry Cloud's Necessary
inbox. THE Endings may be the most important book you read all
year." - Dave Ramsey, New York Times bestselling
Give yourself wiggle room: MONTH author of The Total Money Makeover.
If your worried of an avalanche "Cloud is a wise, experienced, and compassionate
of emails once you return to the guide through [Life's] turbulent passages." - Bob
office, give yourself an extra Buford, best-selling author of Halftime and Finishing
day or two to your OOO to Well; founder of the Leadership Network.
respond to emails.
Remember to include the
Henry Cloud, the bestselling author of Integrity and
basics: Your out of office, when The One-Life Solution, offers this mindset-altering
you'll return, who a person method for proactively correcting the bad and the
should contact if needing broken in our businesses and our lives. Cloud
immediate assistance. Not challenges readers to achieve the personal and
professional growth they both desire and deserve-
everyone needs to know your
and gives crucial insight on how to make those tough
dog died or that your whole decisions that are standing in the way of a more
family is out with lice. successful business and, ultimately, a better life.
-Submitted by Morgan Berg
6 DECEMBER 2019
DAN ROOD OUR
JAIME MANKA YEARBOOK
CINDI MERTENS December years of service
DAVID HIPKE 25 Jesse Hudnall
SHELLEY GROVE Ripley
WELCOME 22 John Hermanson
TO THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY TEAM Eagan
04 Maha Shakir
01 Michael Klemen
IT HOLIDAY SHINDIGS
enjoy the holiday spirit at each
BAKER: HOLIDAY OFFICE PARTY 12/11
EAGAN: HOLIDAY GATHERING AT VIVO KITCHEN 12/12, 4:00-6:30PM
WARROAD: HOLIDAY BANQUET AT SPRINGSTEEL RESORT 12/18, 6:30-8:30PM
ENFIELD: HOLIDAY LUNCHEON FOLLOWING THE ANNUAL MEETING 12/19
ROANOKE: HOLIDAY LUNCHEON IN THE PLANT PRIOR 12/19, 9AM
RIPLEY: HOLIDAY LUNCHEON TBD
FARGO: NEW YEAR AND HOLIDAY FESTIVITIES TBD
THE BEST TECH GIFTS
Finding the right gift for someone while staying on a budget can be difficult.
But if your budget is only $50, there are plenty of gifts to pick up this holiday season.
Here are some suggestions, all under $50
AMAZON SMART PLUG
The Amazon Smart Plug is an inexpensive product that can make virtually
any "dumb" appliance in your home smart. You can control when your
lamp turns on or off, as well as set a schedule for it. This also works for
other appliances like a coffee maker or microwave. We picked this one over
the thousands of other smart plugs on the market because of how easy it is
to set up. Alexa will walk you through the entire process, using your voice
With the Roku Premiere, you'll be able to watch your favorite Disney Plus
movies and TV shows, as well as those from Netlix, Hulu, YouTube, Amazon
Prime Video and much more. Roku has over half a million movies and TV
shows available across all of the apps on its platforms. This particular
model is inexpensive and tiny, but it still supports 4K and HDR streaming to
give you the best possible picture.
AMAZON FIRE TV STICK 4K
If Roku isn't quite your style, the Fire TV Stick 4K is also under $50. As its
name implies, it is able to stream in 4K, and HDR streaming is also available.
But if you don't have a 4K TV, you can save $10 and get the regular Fire TV
Stick, which has 1,080-pixel streaming. The Fire TV Stick has many of the
popular streaming services you'd expect, like Disney Plus, Netflix, YouTube
and Amazon Prime Video. It also has Alexa built in, which allows you to
control your smart home's devices using your voice.
ACCORDING TO NEWSWEEK
GOOGLE NEST MINI
Speaking of smart homes, this is the brand-new Nest Mini from Google. It's a
tiny smart speaker with Google Assistant built in. This lets you ask Google
anything (and we literally mean anything), as well as control your smart home's
devices and, of course, play music, since it's a speaker after all.
XIAOMI MI BAND 4
The Mi Band 4 is inexpensive, but impressive, fitness tracker. For under
$50, it does everything you can imagine, like tracking your daily activities,
workouts and calories. And it has a pretty amazing battery life, with 20
days of usage before it needs a recharge. That addresses one of the main
problems with smartwatches today: You need to charge them daily. But
the Mi Band 4 goes above and beyond this, all while still offering a good-
looking OLED display on the front.
INFINITY DIGITAL SALES TOOL UPDATE Written by Chad Erickson
Over the past several years, the Infinity Leadership Team has systems, developing our training implementation plan for
been looking to partner with IT in developing an In-Home launch, as well as completing the hundreds of other tasks
Selling Application for their dealer base. After lots of research associated with a project of this size and scope. This project
on external solutions and internal prototyping, we chose to needed to meet an aggressive timeline of completion and
partner with the software vendor Paradigm, to assist us with the thanks to the hard work of our team members, we are on
development of an In-Home Selling tool for the Infinity dealers. track to meet the February 14, 2020 readiness date.
Our partnership with Paradigm began with the objective of
developing a tool that would transform the In-Home Sales To properly support this project, we created an excellent
process, helping the Infinity dealers to "Own the Kitchen Table" team full of individuals with the skills and expertise needed to
and position Infinity as an industry leader in the In-Home Sales put us in the best position to be successful. Jeremy
segment. Stangland, Kay Wilmer and Jody Nelson are the key players in
building the catalog, with Dale Koch and Mitchell Stephan
For those of you not familiar with Paradigm, they are actively tackling the necessary integration needs. These five
headquartered out of Madison, WI and specialize in providing teammates have been instrumental in getting us to the finish
web-based technology and service solutions for the building line! Jaime Manka and Dan Myrick recently joined the team,
product industry. Their technology provides us with an Omni- building out our training and implementation plan. Jon
Channel selling solution, allowing us to enhance the customers’ Waak, Tyler Board and others in our ICIM team have been
window buying experience, whether they’re shopping on-line, actively working on our ICIM integrations, which is no small
in-home or in our dealer’s showroom. Paradigm’s centralized feat. Jason Chen and Michelle Alten have provided the team
product data allows us to leverage multiple technologies with focused direction, leadership and support. In addition to
including web-based configuration, website visualization, in- our internal teams, we were met by an equally committed
home selling applications and business intelligence reporting Infinity Team, which includes Kate Lutes, Jason Goldsmith,
tools to increase the value proposition that we provide to our Lynsey Huseth, Denna Hickman, Tom Goldsmith, Dan Marvin
customer base. Their company is also actively pursuing and and many others. A special shout out goes to Kate, as she has
acquiring technology companies that continue to boost their been an absolute rock star on this project! Lastly, I would like
ability to deliver innovative solutions. to thank all the IT team members who were willing to take on
additional responsibilities to allow these team members to
Our partnership with Paradigm officially kicked off in April 2019, focus on this important company priority. Your contributions
with two weeks of intense discovery to identify business are greatly appreciated and do not go unnoticed. This is an
requirements for the Infinity specific project. Our internal teams incredible example of what our entire IT team is capable of
have spent the remainder of this year working closely with the when we join forces!
Paradigm team refining the business requirements and
developing the functional designs needed to support the On behalf of the entire Paradigm project team, we wish all of
successful implementation of the project. Our internal team you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
has also been hard at work building our product knowledge
into the Paradigm catalog, working on integrations with our
CHRISTMAS ANSWERS TO
SONGS THANKSGIVING WORD SCRAMBLE
dawn MEET YOUR
email: [email protected]
denise FEEDBACK WANTED
The IT Newsletter Team is committed to achieving better teresa
communication and involvement within Marvin IT by
publishing monthly newsletters with informative and duffy
engaging content that varies from month to month.
Denise Zentner is leading us in focus and commitment to berg
chase down communications. We will intentionally
communicate content of value to all of Marvin IT,
incorporating effective tools and mediums.
Please email us at [email protected] to send us your content
ideas, feedback and anything else you would like us to share.
9-20 12 Days of Christmas
19 Elevate and Infinity Meeting, Awards
19 Tecton Meeting and Awards NOW -DEC 30 Football Picks
NOW - DEC 13 Toys For Tots
warroad 18 Holiday Banquet - Springsteel
Every Tuesday Night - BINGO @ lowbrewery | 6:30pm
20-21 Elvis - Dinner Show | Seven Clans Casino
21 Starry Starry Night | lowbrewery
21 Santa and Mrs. Claus | lowbrewery
23 WHS Alumni Game
26-31 Hockeytown Holiday Classic
18-19 Take A Kid Fishing Weekend