‘A day in the life’

Here’s another instalment of our ‘Day In The Life’ feature. We asked Jen Woof, one of the globaldev project managers, to share her working day with us…

jenIt’s Monday morning and I’m in the office for an early 8am start, ahead of another jam-packed week. The office is nice and quiet at this time of the day so it’s the perfect time for getting through a few emails and crossing off some all-important jobs before the rest of the Development Team arrive. The Monday morning routine starts the same as any other morning – with a check of the team’s time tracking entries and Kanban movements. From this I calculate project velocities, whether projects are on track, and what the task priority is for the day to keep the project on budget.
By now it’s 9am and the office has livened up, the kitchen is filled with morning coffee drinkers, and everyone is tapping away at their computers. I whip around the Dev Team for a ‘scrum’ with each project team. This is a great way to get the project team together, tie in Dev, Engineering, UX, QA and Tech Ops activities and eliminate any blockers in their daily targets.

My calendar rings a 9.30am reminder that the weekly Project Update Meeting with Barry, our Technical Director, and Sam, my fellow Project Manager, is due. We discuss project progress, priorities for the week and any anticipated changes. Outcomes from the meeting allow me to put together my weekly Management Reports. These are written every Monday in time for Tuesday’s Management Meeting, and consist of a status update on all active projects, a review of all active budgets, and the weekly Development resource plan.

11am and more admin follows with a write up of a Project Retrospective Report for a project I launched last week. Retrospective reports are important to highlight what went well in a project, what didn’t go so well and what we could do differently in future projects to help them run more smoothly.

Midday now and another calendar reminder, this time for the weekly Development Meeting which is time allocated to communicate what we have going on internally in the department as well as how the business’ key metrics are performing. This meeting is held in the break-out area so there’s always a mad dash to the bean bags, with the Comms Team providing a soundtrack of the Benny Hill theme tune.

I decide to grab lunch at my desk so I can check over any important emails that have come through while I’ve been busy doing my reports. Checking emails soon merges into a review of tickets (our internal bug tracking system) that are coming in from various departments in the company. I regularly monitor tickets, prioritising the importance of the ticket against other jobs, and delegating the work to a member of the team (when the schedule allows it). Most of the tickets come from our Partner Team and Customer Care Team and provide a vital line of feedback from Partners and members on the performance of our sites.

Next on the agenda is writing the project specification document for my next project. I catch up with Nick, our Business Intelligence Manager, to pick his statistical brain for numbers to formulate a project business case and, whilst in the Finance Department, I check in with Karen, our Financial Controller, that our latest Project Costing Report was accurate with its Capex and Opex categorisation. Back at my desk with a much needed cup of tea (numbers are not my strong point) I get work on the project spec, writing up notes from the project kick-off meeting to structure a brief and functional requirements list. It’s important to be as thorough as possible because, if signed off by Management, my specification will translate into both technical and test tasks.

With only an hour left of Monday, I decide to sit in on the smoke testing for a project going into QA today. Smoke testing is the first QA task of any project where the ‘happy path’ is checked or, in non-QA talk, that the high-level requirements of the project have been met.

The Dev Team is a fast paced and constantly evolving team, and that’s what makes it so great to be a part of. Each project is a new challenge, making it a rarity for any two days to be the same! There is always something going on so it’s important to stay on the ball at all times. By now it’s 4.30pm and I’m wrapping up today’s to-do list, ready for it all to start again tomorrow. It’s just another manic Monday!

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