After hitting the snooze button on my phone for an hour, I finally pluck myself out of bed. My morning routine is simple; Brush, Shower, Get ready and out I go.
I start every morning by catching the train to Southern Cross Station. Depending on how lazy I feel in the morning, I either walk or catch the tram to the Docklands office from the station.
The walk takes me across Docklands pier which is usually quite refreshing and one that wakes me up in the morning.
Arriving at my desk in the office, my first task will be to power up my laptop and check emails from the previous night. My current role is Junior Project Manager on two Banking and Finance clients, both of which required me to work with our offshore technical teams. There are usually a lot of emails that come through from them over-night that need to be caught up on and responded too. During this time, I take a look at my calendar to see what I have in store for the day and note any free time slots that I could potentially use to schedule urgent meetings or follow up meetings with project teams.
I also use this time to catch up on the morning news and the latest football news across Europe. One of my passions is football, and I find myself doing the same routine every morning; having one screen dedicated to BBC Football page reading the latest player transfer gossip.
I head upstairs to level 3 to make myself a coffee with my fellow colleagues. This usually tends to be a 15-minute team catch up where we talk about sports, gym and any other interesting topics that tend to come up. Or at times, some pure morning banter.
Getting back to my desk, I make a list of all the tasks that need to be completed that day. I find that prioritizing tasks according to importance helps manage my time efficiently across the two accounts I am currently working on.
Time for my first meeting. I open up the conference portal on Skype and start sharing my project action tracker. I patiently wait for our project team and the client project team to join the call. I generally set a 5-minute rule for everyone to join before I begin the meeting. Once all stakeholders have joined, I take them through action items due, as well as any outstanding actions with past due dates. The final 10 minutes of the meeting is generally used to take the team through actions due the following day and setting the stage for an open discussion.
Returning back to my desk, it is time for my second meeting on the other Banking and Finance account I am assigned to. This client is one where I have become familiar with the leadership team and the work culture. And yes! I did get the chance to travel overseas to the client site for 2 weeks in Mid-2017 as part of my engagement on this account.
This meeting is with the project team (Onshore technical architect and offshore engineers) to plan a change in the client environment. It is critical that this is thoroughly planned as any issues on the client production environments means disruption to their day-to-day business. My approach is to thoroughly document and share discussion points from the meeting to all key stakeholders to ensure they are fully engaged and that we are all on the same page. I then send an email to the client to give them an update with a possible outage window that the team identified for the change to take place. No change can be scheduled or conducted without client approval.
As part of our graduate program, we have each been assigned a mentor by our line manager. My mentor is a senior program executive based in Brisbane working on a major utilities account. I share my experiences of the workweek with her, particularly any challenges that I am facing. Coming from a “not so technical” background, I predominantly face a few challenges understanding the low-level technical aspects of a project. She assures me that I am overthinking too much and instructs me on the importance of taking notes and asking questions through the meetings, and as she always states “There is no such thing as a dumb question”.
Coming out of the meeting, I walk over to our team area and we discuss possible lunch options. As always, we decide on walking to Harbour Town to buy lunch. We then head back to the office and up to Level 3 lunch area to catch up with grads and colleagues from other service lines.
Team catch up with the Program Executive (PE) and fellow project managers on the other Banking and Finance client. I have been assigned as the Project Manager for a number of projects on this account, so I use this time to give the team a quick update on how my projects are tracking against schedule, budget and scope. If there is a need to raise any key issues that I need the PE’s assistance and escalation to resolve, it is bought up in this meeting. Other Project Managers use this time to update the team on how their project is tasking as well.
Time to get back to my desk and smash out as much work as I can. I plug in my headphones, open up Spotify and start playing a track from my office playlist. Songs are completely random with some old school hip-hop and rock classics mixed in.
The next hour or so is used to create Project Status Reports, update Program Portfolio reports, update the weekly financials for all my projects in the internal project records tool, and also my own project financial tracker which I use to keep track how my project is tracking against budget.
Some of my projects also require procurement of software licenses and hardware. I review the statement of work and place a request in the internal procurement system to begin the process of acquiring these. For existing orders I had previously place, I use this time to chase up with the procurement team over skype.
The client has responded back with the confirmation for a change/outage window which we identified as part of the 10:30 project team meeting. This email is then forwarded to the offshore engineers to go ahead and raise a change record following the DXC Standard Change Management guidelines. Often, they reply back requesting a quick meeting. The meeting is set up on Skype and we discuss any concerns. Usually, everything is cleared up by this stage and we are ready to progress. The team raises a change record, and this is shared with the client. I also send the client a list of all the servers/assets that are in scope of the change, as well stating the change window timings for a second time for assurance.
It is two weeks out from our next Graduates team event in Melbourne. Invitations have already been sent out, however a venue still needs to be booked in. I walk over to have a chat with a colleague and we discuss possible venues. We then walk into a quiet meeting room, pick up the phone and call up a few venues and pick one that is more convenient for both the Docklands and the Collins Street teams. Once decided and booked, the event invite is updated and sent out to the team.
The workday had finished and I pack up my things and head home. Facing a similar dilemma to the one in the morning, I choose between walking to the station and catching the tram.
Walk into the house, the first thing I do is just crash on the couch, turn on the TV and take a breather.
Depending on the day, I either message a couple of mates to see who is keen for an evening gym session or rock up solo. Either way, gym time isn’t compromised on. I find this a great way to get my mind off work and recharge myself.
Get back home from the gym and straight away jump into the shower. After which, I have dinner with my family.
Log into my laptop and catch up on all the TV shows for that week. This is a long list, but I will try to keep this short; Suits, Vikings, Billions and Riverdale or if there is nothing else to watch, I open up the book I am currently reading and work my way through it, simultaneously checking my phone and replying to messages.
Bedtime! First thing I do is set up my 4 alarms, the first one at 5:30. The next half an hour or so is used to browse through Facebook and Instagram, and tag my friends in any relatable memes.