Advisory Council Member: Julie Bradbury
Julie Bradbury leads Cadence Design System’s Usability and Knowledge Transfer Organization. Cadence is the leading Electronic Design Automation company, producing tools, designs, and services for the chip industry. Becoming Cadence’s first publications director in 1995 changed a lot of things for Julie; she left a 16-year career at Unisys in Camarillo, CA, where she was Engineering Services Manager. She describes her new role as Cadence’s Director of Usability and Knowledge Transfer as her “most challenging and exciting management position.”
At Cadence, Julie and her management team respond to constant change in both organization and technology. A common quote around the company is “Cadence equals change.” Change management is a skill that Julie practices constantly and one that is highly developed in her talented management team. Under her direction, the team coordinates cross-company information development and delivery, people development, and product quality decisions while also serving their business groups. Her team credits her with substantially improving the status, credibility, and impact of the publication organization. Recently, Julie’s scope was expanded to include the Usability group, and she is working with its manager to expand Usability’s impact on R&D. Usability focuses on early involvement in software design, developing prototypes for GUIs and cockpits that make highly complex software easier to use.
As a leader, Julie believes, “to make good decisions and to lead the organization effectively, you must have a business perspective.” She was one of the first publication managers to see the value of benchmarking to her organization and management team. Cadence has participated in two benchmarking efforts, knowledge transfer and evaluating organization size. Julie leveraged this information and JoAnn Hackos’ experience to position her organization for success with Cadence executives:
The benchmarking program allowed me to answer questions about how we stack up against the industry and best-in-class operations. The benchmark recommendations provided an outside view of our strengths and areas for growth. The results validated our practices to our executives.
The best practices of Julie’s publications group include: aggressive prioritization of projects by revenue growth, size of customer base, and stage of development (start-up, proliferation, end-of-life). Her managers control their resources and allocate them according to these guidelines. Julie is addressing customer satisfaction and support call cost reduction by finding innovative and, at times, controversial approaches to increasing writing time. She notes that “customers want increased accuracy and completeness in our documentation, and our processes are taking too much time away from delivering product information.” She is also re-engineering the documentation delivery process, leaving a rigid proprietary system for a flexible web-based one.
Julie is a Senior Member of STC and is active in the professional community. Recently, she served as a Peer Reviewer of the technical information organization at Lawrence Livermore Laboratories. In 1997, with Cadence’s Director of Education Services, she presented Knowledge Transfer Strategy: A Collaboration Effort between Education Services and Technical Publications at the Technology Performance Management national conference.
Before coming to California, Julie was Director of Federal and Special Projects for Public Schools in St. Louis.
Julie has two Masters’ degrees, one in management from the University of Redlands and the other in teaching from Webster University. Her Bachelor of Arts is from William Jewell College. She lives in Morgan Hill, CA, with her husband and two happy felines.