Can you tell us a bit about your background?
I have been working in the IT realm for 25 years. I started with an ERP company on the training team, developing and delivering courses for internal staff across Europe. I subsequently went into consultancy in a Business Intelligence role, where again, I trained users, as well as implementing reporting solutions. I then worked as a contractor for an insurance company, providing BI solutions for across the entire organisation. This brought in my business analysis skills and allowed me to transition to consultancy for organisations implementing change. I joined The Project Foundry in 2019 to develop the Business Analysis practice. So, for most of my career, I have been customer-focused, implementing solutions that bring value to them.
Can you tell us about your role with The Project Foundry?
As Head of the Business Solutions Practice, I am responsible for overseeing the delivery of our Business Analysis Service across our Customer base and liaising with both the customer and the delivery team to ensure that projects are kept on track and delivered successfully. I work with the customers to understand their requirements and expectations and to ensure that the team delivers solutions that enhance both their day-to-day and strategic needs. I make sure that the team is clear on the needs of our customers and deliver the right level of support to the highest standard.
What motivates you to do what you do?
Nothing irks me like inefficiencies in ways of working, just because something has always been like that, does not mean it should stay that way. Our customers require innovative thinking to help bring about change – and due to the variety or projects and customers I have been involved in, I can help them see different ways of working. I am very client focussed – I enjoy understanding new domains and like to get under the hood of how they work.
How have you evolved personally and professionally over the years?
Well – since I am a qualified Zoologist, I understand evolution as a theory and know that it is not a linear journey – but more a step change. Things stay the same until an external factor drives change. Through being a consultant over the years, I have been exposed to new industries, technologies, and ways of working. This allows me to blend the best of all and try to implement the right options. I have been through booms, rationalisations and a pandemic – each of which has spurned new ideas and ways of working. I have also learned that you don’t always have to have the perfect solution – but you need the right solution for right now.
What does culture in a work environment mean to you? Why is it Important to you?
My role is all about people and collaboration. Without a sharing culture, then my role is impossible. I do not like it when people start a sentence with; “I’m Only…”. I think a company’s culture should encourage people to be able to try new things, correct the path when they stray off it – but encourage exploration. People must know that failure is an option, and it is the team around them that turns errors around and produce the right results.
How do you maintain a healthy balance between your work and personal life?
I switch off! My job is part of my life, and a very important one – but it is not my life, it enables my life. I am a big believer in focus modes; when in work, be in work. When not in work, do not think about it, but enjoy your time with friends, family and on your own too. I am a big outdoor and adventure sports fan. When I am at 15m climbing a rock face – I am focussed on the challenge in front, above and below me, not what I left back on the office desk.
Are there any misconceptions about your work/field that you would like to clarify?
That we have all the solutions! My business solutions team will work with you to get the right solution, we cannot tell you how to do your job. We know how to get to the “there,” but you know where the “here” is. Between us – we can map out it.
Is there a particular aspect of your work that you are especially passionate about?
Challenging the status quo. I live according to the quote from Henry Ford. “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” I am all about building new solutions – not replicating what people currently use, just because that’s what they have always used!
How do you deliver value to clients?
I don’t deliver value to clients – I deliver value with clients. We work with our clients to ensure that the end goal is in mind, that we align to the benefits of any project and that we ensure we achieve those benefits. Sometimes, that means stopping or redirecting a project when the environment changes. By engaging us, the client has the benefit of expertise across multiple sectors and technologies, and we can bring that to advise them as to what is needed in their unique circumstance.
What are the typical benefits to the client from using our services (for practice leads)?
The Business Solutions Team offers a number of services to our clients, these include the; Discovery Engagement Service, Strategy into Action Service, Business Case for Investment Service, Application Modernisation Service, and the Self Service Digital Journeys Service. All of which allows us to understand our client’s environment, translate their high-level strategy into actionable projects, produce the business case and update their systems or the way that the customer engages with their systems.
What is the one thing that very few people know about you?
I am a bit unusual when it comes to leisure activities, you won’t find me watching or playing the more traditional sports such as football or rugby. I would much rather spend my time playing trampoline dodgeball, out on my SUP board, in my kayak or climbing walls than kicking/throwing/hitting a ball around a patch of grass!