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A decade on…

Insight Published on 17 February 2022

6th February 2012 was my first day at PDMS.

The day didn't quite go to plan. After a few introductions and a mini-tour of the office, I went home ill with the flu. Not an ideal start. One week later, I brushed myself off and headed back into Global House for a second attempt at Day 1. This one was much more successful!

I was joining the team as a Business Analyst. I had been working as a Business Analyst for 10 years. After graduating from City University in London with an MSc in Business Systems Analysis & Design in 2002, I had worked for a software house developing systems for the NHS, a software house developing solutions for the Insurance and Re-Insurance Market and more recently, for a global Life Assurance business. Pretty varied organisations giving me a breadth of experience and opportunities to hone my business analysis skills and build up that all-important toolkit.

After a few weeks of onboarding and getting to know the systems, it became apparent there was a lot going on at PDMS. Rather than focus on a specific market or product, PDMS put its focus on expert software engineering for any business in any market. Building web-based systems, PDMS was helping all kinds of companies and government departments become more productive, use technology to increase efficiency, transform their business and get ahead of the competition. 

For my first project, I joined a development team tasked with building a new website for a private bank. My role was to capture the customer’s requirements, define the site map, plan the site navigation and then test that the website met our client’s requirements once it was built. This was a first for me, but I learned about the Content Management System (CMS), introduced myself to the Design Team, and off we went. A few weeks later I was in London delivering user training to the customer and the website went live shortly afterward. It was incredibly satisfying to be involved in something from start to finish in a relatively short time and see the efforts of the team making a difference to the customer. 

The next project introduced me to our ship registry platform, MARIS. I was starting to learn a new domain and was relishing the opportunity to grow my knowledge and skills. The maritime sector is an important domain for PDMS and we have been operating in the space for over 15 years. We have developed ship registry solutions for the Isle of Man Ship Registry, Bahamas Maritime Authority and more recently Bermuda Maritime & Ship Authority, to name but a few. Writing change requests for new functionality and system testing the software changes kept me busy and interested.

Then, in 2013 came my first ‘big’ project at PDMS. The project was to build a system for the Isle of Man Companies Registry. I was excited to have the opportunity to work on a greenfield project. Gathering up all the tender and sales documents I took a deep dive into all things Companies Registry. For the next two years the team at PDMS worked closely with key staff from the registry. Weekly workshops with users to elicit requirements. Process flows, state diagrams, data models, data definitions and certificate templates coming out of our ears! We mapped and built workflows for all the Companies Registry processes. Learning their business, building trust and becoming part of the CoReg team was all hugely rewarding. I sadly missed the big ‘Go Live’ due to a family illness, but I made a site visit a short time later to see the system and its users in action.  I remember feeling a real sense of achievement and also a bit emotional!

In late 2015 I got my first promotion at PDMS. I became the Project Manager and Team Leader for one of our software development teams. I was responsible for project delivery, budget management and resource allocation along with line management responsibility for a team of Analysts, Developers and Testers. This was my first go at people management, but I felt that my experience of stakeholder management stood me in good stead. For the next two years, I managed a portfolio of projects predominantly in the registry space; companies, aircraft and ships! During this time, I also qualified as a PRINCE2 Practitioner.

Then in 2018 I was invited to join the Board of Directors. This was an exciting time for me, and I was proud that my hard work had been recognised and my contribution to the senior leadership team was welcomed. Always one to get the qualification, I soon embarked on the Institute of Directors Certificate in Company Direction. The course consisted of four modules; The Role of the Director; Finance; Strategy and Leadership. With all four courses completed I was awarded my Certificate in Company Direction, with Distinction, in February 2020. Another milestone passed!

March 2020 changed everybody’s working life as we adjusted to working from home amidst a global pandemic. I have to admit, while I enjoyed working from home, I found I had to work harder to feel connected to the business and the team. Since the office has opened up again, I find I am in the office much more than working from home. It helps me feel part of something and helps me stay connected to the wider team. We continue to operate a “work where you are comfortable” policy and this seems to be working well with a balance of homeworking, office working and hybrid.

Looking back over my ten years at PDMS I am very proud of the things I have achieved but I also recognise that PDMS has created a space to allow me to flourish. I have been encouraged to seek out opportunities and stretch to the next level.  Within a culture of “try it and see” I have felt empowered to make changes with the freedom to introduce new initiatives and new ways of working.

Heading into my 11th year at PDMS I am becoming more aware of identifying and supporting the next generation of female leaders who want to work in this field. As a committee member of Love Tech, I am involved in initiatives that aim to inspire young girls to take STEM subjects at school and seek out career opportunities in fields where women have been underrepresented.

In my current role of Chief Operating Officer, I am involved in the entire breadth of operations at PDMS which means no two days are ever the same. It is a rewarding job, not without challenge, but with such a great team at PDMS even the hardest days don’t go by without a good laugh and some great teamwork.