My first few weeks as a Project Manager
<a href="http://www.earthware.co.uk/who-we-are/sally-collyer" target="_blank">Sally Collyer</a>
I found out back in December 2015 that I had a job at Earthware starting in July 2016! Finally, after finishing my studies in Computing for Business (at UEA), on the 4th July I had my first day.
My first day was a bit odd really. <a href="http://www.earthware.co.uk/who-we-are/brian-norman" target="_blank">Brian</a> was not in the office and he was my main contact in the time before I started. <a href="http://www.earthware.co.uk/who-we-are/lauren-eden" target="_blank">Lauren</a> did some general induction tasks with me and set me up on the computer. Just before lunch I received an email telling me that my final result was out for my degree. I got very nervous and my hands started shaking. It took me a while to work out what my grade was as the tab I needed to view was not there. I got a FIRST!!! It meant for the rest of the day, I wasn’t really engaged as much as I should have been because I was too distracted!
The remainder of my first week was information overload. I was getting to grips with the different systems to use and getting to know more about everyone’s role in the company. Before starting I had been helping to seek a developer intern. An application came through and by Thursday of week one I was involved in interviewing <a href="http://www.earthware.co.uk/who-we-are/riordan-panayides" target="_blank">Riordan</a>. After discussing with <a href="http://www.earthware.co.uk/who-we-are/brian-norman" target="_blank">Brian</a> and <a href="http://www.earthware.co.uk/who-we-are/jon-george" target="_blank">Jon</a> we decided that he would be suitable for the role and I got the pleasure of informing him that we would like him to join us.
After the whirlwind first week I began to settle in more with the team. <a href=" http://www.earthware.co.uk/who-we-are/neil-osmond" target="_blank">Neil</a>) asked me to be part of a new internal project that he wanted my input for. A project that I could follow in my first year. By the second week I really started to appreciate that I could speak to anyone, regardless of their role and that I could offer my opinions freely. I got involved with a variety of meetings to see how projects are run. Given that I had not been a Project Manager (PM) before, it was interesting to see the variety and depth of tasks that <a href="http://www.earthware.co.uk/who-we-are/georgina-wardell" taget="_blank">Georgina</a> and <a href="http://www.earthware.co.uk/who-we-are/lauren-eden" target="_blank">Lauren</a> do as a PM.
My third week involved a two day Certified Scrum Master training course. It was the first time I went out of the office on a course. It was held near London Liverpool Street Station. When I arrived I met someone called Matt who was also doing the course. Neither of us had any idea what to expect. We found the room and introduced ourselves to people as they were arriving and it became clear it wasn’t going to be a small group. Nigel our trainer was sat at the front being very quiet. When he began to talk he was very lively and immediately started telling jokes. This represented how the remainder of the course went – lively presentation with lots of anecdotal stories to tell. I had one day back in the office before Friday 22nd July when I graduated! It was a very surreal experience actually graduating and knowing that I had finished my degree with a first. It was a hot day and with the robes on I overheated slightly. I went for a meal later that evening with my family which was delicious. I booked into a Premier Inn and relaxed before partying the night away on fairground rides and taking silly photos.
<a href="http://www.earthware.co.uk/who-we-are/riordan-panayides" target="_blank">Riordan</a> started on the first day of my fourth week. He would be working on EEG headsets in User Testing and I would have overall responsibility for managing the project. The day went quickly as it was a very busy day with many introductions and pizza! In the middle of the week I got invited to go along to a kick off meeting for a new large project with an existing customer. It was insightful to see stakeholder mapping, user personas and stories in creation. The group were very engaged and it was a good session to be part of.
Next steps for me… well who knows! I’ve already been on a training course, been part of a kick off workshop and eaten pizza for lunch! What I do know is that I’m excited to see how my role evolves in the coming months.