Meet PMO Manager Hannah Phillips
Hannah joined our Isle of Man office in 2014 and has worked across different areas of the Production department.
In this article, we found out more about her career progression and what it's like to be a Project Manager at PDMS.
Q: You’ve had a few different roles at PDMS, what have they been?
I joined PDMS in 2014 as a Support Analyst. Before then, my background was in retail/customer service. In this role, I worked with our clients to support systems that had gone live, answering questions they had, training them, investigating live issues, and supporting the testing of any bug fixes.
After two years, I moved into our Technical Services/R&D Team as an Analyst and worked primarily on one of our products. This experience led to me moving into a Product Development Manager position, so essentially running one of our products including defining new requirements, taking into consideration feedback from clients, overseeing new application rollouts, training super users, and ensuring the roadmap was communicated to all appropriate stakeholders.
This role gave me exposure to Project Management responsibilities where I very quickly realised this was the direction I wanted to take my career. An opportunity arose to become part of the Project Management team at PDMS and I applied for the vacancy and was successful. I have been part of the Project Management team for the past five years and was recently promoted to PMO Manager.
Q: Describe working as a Project Manager in three words.
Rewarding. Challenging. Exciting.
Q: What does a Project Manager at PDMS do?
A Project Manager at PDMS is quite different from your “typical” Project Manager position. We are involved in the whole project life cycle and the ongoing support, maintenance, and enhancements of the systems. This allows us to build long-term relationships with our clients, an example of this is I recently got to wish a happy retirement to our main contact for one of our long-standing clients.
As part of PDMS’ continuous growth, we have moved away from having siloed project teams and started working as one big happy family - also known as Production. The advantage of this is that we are able to create custom project teams based on our skills/specialisms. The Project Managers all work closely with each other to ensure that all projects are a success.
As well as our external clients, we also get to work with multiple departments within PDMS, including Account Managers, HR, Infrastructure, Finance, Admin – basically all disciplines within the company.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of being a Project Manager?
It would have to be when a new system or enhancement is handed over to our client and they understand the benefits it will make to their organisation/their role. Sometimes this can be after many months of working together and multiple sprints including design, development, approval, and testing before being handed over to the client. The moment they see it coming together is extremely rewarding.
Q: And on the flip side, what is the most challenging part of being a Project Manager?
It would have to be ensuring that live support cases do not have a major impact on client projects. As I mentioned earlier, we are involved in the whole lifecycle and the ongoing support, maintenance, and enhancements of the systems, and for some clients all of the above run in parallel.
Trying to get the right balance between leaving enough room for unknown live support cases and ensuring the projects have a timely plan is one of the more challenging aspects. However, the great thing about working as a Production Unit means we can always call on people outside of the core project team to assist if it going to cause any major impacts.
Q: As a Project Manager, is there a memorable project that you are proud of?
There are two memorable projects for me:
The first was the Global Service Information System (GSIS) project for Stanley Black & Decker, which was the first project I picked up as Project Manager. The project was to replace their current system with a modern solution but it quickly became more than an upgrade project. We worked alongside SB&D teams to establish a new, global process bringing together the US, Europe and Asia and integrating with four external systems to deliver more efficient ways of working. We continue to work with SB&D to this day.
The second was encouraging our MARIS client, Bahamas Maritime Authority, to transition from using Waterfall to an Agile way of working. Making a change from one methodology to another can be a bit daunting but the BMA embraced it and it has improved the project process and delivery immensely, we agree Agile methodology is the best way of working. The Agile Sprint Ceremonies allows early feedback and suggestions from the Bahamas Maritime Authority, as well as giving us the flexibility to mould the project to their goals and priorities as we progress.
If you'd like to find out more about what it's like to work at PDMS, visit our Careers page