dan blog 2

Meet Dan Whitehouse, our Product Owner

  • 7 min read

Written by Domestic & General

We are constantly updating our customer experience online and part of this is looking closely at My Account and see how we can improve it and make it better for you.

These updates are continually evolving and are based on customer feedback and data to continually drive a better experience.

 

We caught up with Dan Whitehouse, Product Owner within our Digital Team here at D&G who is pivotal in making these ongoing transformations.

How have these changes come about?

Customer experience is paramount to us at Domestic & General. The improvements we target, the new features we develop, and the way we communicate are all centred on enhancing the digital experience of our customers. That means ensuring our products are intuitive, accessible to all, and functional on all devices.

In a complex and high-octane digital ecosystem, we aim to provide journeys that our customers can rely on, so they can manage their products and access key services whenever they need to.

Let’s take it back, Dan tell us a little abit about you and life outside D&G?

As those who have spoken to me can tell by the Midlands twang, I’m not from ‘round these parts. I was born and raised in Coventry with two younger brothers, who are now both, unfortunately, taller and more handsome than I.

coventry on a road map

What has your journey been like up until now? What brought you to D&G?

I moved from Coventry to London in 2013 to study History at university and it brought out the nerd in me. I love reading, I don’t like watching TV or movies all that much, and I don’t have any social media apart from LinkedIn. I also don’t drink. So I’m a shoo-in for any fun parties that you’ve got coming up.

On a more serious note, I’m a big advocate of mental health awareness, having been affected by mental illness personally and through family and friends. It’s fantastic to see the stigma slowly being lifted over the last decade, and I’m proud to work for a company that supports that mission.

The natural next step after getting a BA in History is, of course, to work in digital marketing, and so my first post-grad job was as a copywriter at a digital marketing and translation agency. I’m not bilingual, so only one half of that applies to me... but it was a great intro to Facebook Ads, PPC and SEO.

After about 18 months there I applied for the Digital Copywriter position at D&G. My first interview was on a soaking wet Friday in March – so wet that the entire office had gone home (not sure that’s a thing?!). Gabriella Bello (our Digital Creative Lead) gave me a lovely tour of the (empty) Wimbledon office, and her passion and enthusiasm were infectious. For the last 14 months, I’ve been overseeing the development of My Account and Digital Claims, and I’m loving it.

What does a typical day look like for you?

My day starts with coffee. Actually, no. Coffee starts my day. I’m not a massive early bird, but I do try to reserve some time in the morning for a crossword, a podcast or a book before turning on my laptop.

My workday involves quite a lot of meetings. I am Product Owner for two separate squads – My Account being one, Digital Claims and Product Replacement the other – so I have two stand-ups, two refinement sessions, two… you get the idea. I try to support the teams, provide clear direction and prioritisation, and remove as much noise as possible to allow the individuals in the squads to do what they do best.

One thing I like about the PO role is the balance between micro and macro – I have the freedom to get into the detail as well as look at the bigger picture.

What has been your proudest/happiest moment since working here?

There have been quite a few moments that I look back on fondly. On a personal level, being promoted to become Product Owner is probably the standout one. I didn’t have the traditional skillset nor experience on paper when I was offered the role, but I was pushing for more responsibility and fortunately I was given the job.

I’m fortunate to have been part of the Digital team during a period of massive transformation, and we’ve hit some fantastic milestones as a group that have made me proud of everyone. Seeing digital Product Replacement thrive, optimising Online Registration journeys, and launching ‘Easy Login’ are just a few big achievements that would not have been possible without a team full of really good people.

If you could do anything else (regardless of skill or qualification), what would it be?

I think I would be an astronaut. The idea of going to space fascinates me; not just the scientific element but also the fact that it would give you such a different perspective of life on Earth.

Also, it would be a good excuse for not checking emails.

Describe your work/life balance?

To be honest, there’s probably room for improvement. I’m a naturally conscientious person and I like to always be ‘doing’, so I have to try hard to ‘do’ things outside of work to keep that balance.

I usually play football, read, run, do puzzles, and listen to podcasts to occupy myself outside of work. But I struggle doing nothing, so I am guilty of tipping the scales towards work and away from life sometimes! 

Some say that insurance is boring, what would you say to that?
  • So are seatbelts and parachutes...
  • Insurance is a means to an end. People pay for insurance not because they like insurance, but because it’s the value of peace of mind and security that it gives you. If that helps people to stop sweating the small stuff and be a bit happier, then I do not think that’s boring at all. It is quite important.
What advice would you give to others developing their career?

Your job role is the function you are allocated in the team, but it doesn’t limit what you can offer, the things you can learn, or most importantly who you are.

Lastly…
You can invite 3 people to a dinner party (dead or alive) who would they be and why?
  1. Gordon Ramsay – great food (and great banter).
  2. Christopher Hitchens – interesting chat.
  3. Ludovico Einaudi – beautiful music.

So yes – just me and Christopher Hitchens having an existential chat over an Einaudi composition and a Ramsay three-courser. 

If you head over here, you can read about other parts to life at D&G, and to visit My Account, all you need to do is either login or create an account, you will then be able to:

  • Book and track your appliance repairs
  • Visit the Maintenance Portal to see how-to guides specific for your appliance
  • View all your plans in one place