In the third of our blogs looking at the different roles a CDCer ( Consultant Development Community ) will have on a project, Richard Longstreet describes a role in managing technical delivery.
When I was asked to write a blog describing my current role I thought it would be easy, I’ll just write a step-by-step guide to the work I do on a daily basis, how hard could that be? But then I took a step back and thought about it properly. It is very easy to get caught in the moment with the work you’re doing and not actually take in the scale of your role, and the responsibilities you have, even this early in your career. I hope that in this blog you will see the level of responsibility given to CDCers, as I believe it is a real strength of the CDC.
As you can read in our other blogs, the project I’m working on (with Henry and Charlotte) is aiming to create and deliver cost-saving and revenue-increasing solutions (a dream for all clients) through streamlining their business processes. My position in the solution lifecycle follows Charlotte’s role where the ideas for these solutions originate, and Henry’s role where they are developed and the intricacies of the solution defined. I come in for the final stage in the lifecycle of one of these solutions, where they are actually delivered by the Technical teams and go live into the customer’s processes. My role, in short, is to manage this delivery, making sure we’re on time and on budget.
I believe the key to good Project Management is great communication, by this I don’t just mean regularly speaking with Stakeholders, but also ensuring that all the correct parties are speaking with each other, and that I’m asking the right questions, really getting an understanding of the current situation. Further to this, it also means building relationships with Stakeholders, once you have a trusting relationship with your Stakeholders, it becomes far easier to get their engagement when it is required.
Examples of the work I do on a day-to-day basis show the importance of communication in Project Management. Speaking to the Solutions teams to understand when their initiatives will be ready to go into delivery allows me to forecast resourcing with the Technical teams, ensuring there is no delay to the development of the solution. Ensuring that the Tech teams have sight of the initiative before it is passed into delivery ensures that we already know how intricate the architecture of the solution will be, and if necessary can allocate a resource to investigate this further before it is passed to the delivery teams. Once the solution is passed to the Tech teams, they estimate how much effort it will require to deliver, we use this to measure the ROI on the solution, to make sure it is worth delivering. Throughout this process I am constantly asking questions, understanding what testing will be required, what systems will be involved, what timelines the solution needs to be delivered in. This helps me pull together all the teams and ensure we’re all on the same page (and also learn a lot about technical delivery programmes). Once we have gone through this process, we can start development of the solution.
Once the solution is in delivery I establish the plans with the teams, establishing where they have dependencies on other systems, what documentation they require, what involvement we’ll need from the customer, and what sign-off is required. I hold regular checkpoints with the delivery teams and the customer for each of the solutions (I’m currently managing about 30 solutions) to ensure that everything is on track with delivery, and that we are not going over budget. Where this is not the case the responsibility falls on me to identify solutions that will bring the delivery back on track, chase the other systems for whatever we may require from them, or, if necessary, feed back that the delivery may be delayed.
This is my first extended project at Capgemini Consulting, and the responsibility I have been given, looking after all these solutions, has inspired me to push myself further and has really helped me develop. While the role is quite technical, I believe the Project Management skills I’m developing are transferable into any role, and I always have the extensive support network that the CDC provides behind me if I need any help.