In this blog, we sit down with Delivery Manager, Elizabeth to learn more about her role at YellowDog, how she values being able to bring her individual strengths to the team and the culture of continuous improvement.
Although my career has been a bit of a mix of industries, I’ve generally worked with technology and data teams to implement various kinds of solutions.
I began my corporate career working as a Continuous Improvement Analyst, for a Financial Services company. I was responsible for a range of projects – some in the software space, some to do with customer communications, and some to do with people and employee experience. From my time at this organisation, I realised I wanted to head down a more specific technology route, so I joined a consultancy company in Switzerland, working in their Analytics and Information Management team. My projects there varied from setting up advanced analytics teams, to building dashboards for clients’ compliance and website analytics data, to delivering data governance policies and associated strategies.
I relished managing projects and people but wanted to experience an internal-facing role upon my return to the UK, so I joined an engineering technology company as a Project Manager.
Although my time at this company really helped broaden my base of skills and understanding of internal business operations, I missed the interaction with clients. So, I decided it would be a good time to experience the agility inherent in working for a start-up, which is when I came across YellowDog.
What YellowDog does and what YellowDog builds is fundamentally very interesting. I love working somewhere where I am passionate about the proposition and truly believe it is best in class. I am also incredibly motivated by the fast-paced environment and the challenge of working autonomously on some really exciting projects, with some really exciting clients.
I have always tried to work in companies and teams where – cheesy as it sounds – my colleagues are my friends, and where we are trusted to take things and run with them. I believe at YellowDog we have the freedom to do that. It’s encouraged that we bring our specialist skills, interests and passions to the company and contribute in that way, as well as delivering against our formal job descriptions. My colleagues teach me something new every day – whether they know it or not.
There are two main parts of my role: the first part involves scoping, planning, managing, and reviewing implementations for customers. So essentially, I help them get set up on the YellowDog Platform and support them on that journey.
The second part involves running some of our ongoing proof of value projects. These are the customers who perhaps have a new use case for the YellowDog Platform, who we work with to see how we can best support them in achieving their goals. This could involve improving the efficiency of their internal workflows, or working with them to develop a partnership with their clients in mind.
I enjoy my role because it’s a balance of running well-oiled implementation processes and bringing structure to more exploratory projects.
The reality is, it is very rare that my days ever look the same as Delivery Manager, as it entirely depends on what stage different projects are at.
That said, a lot of my key activities revolve around managing plans, addressing risks, and prioritising activities. I also speak to potential and existing clients and partners, which can include organising demos, scoping and requirements gathering, progress updates and feedback sessions.
Alongside the variety of my role, I find it really rewarding when we are able to measure the value we’ve brought to a customer. This happens either when we set a customer up on the Platform and can see they’re up and running, or we successfully test something unique that we’ve built with a specific customer in mind. It’s always really satisfying to see the benefits, whether they are in terms of cost, time, efficiency, or failure rate.
We learn so much every time we design and deliver a solution, and the culture of integrating this learning across everything we do is hugely valuable. This continuous learning loop helps us not only deliver the best solution for the customer, but also improve our offering.
The biggest challenge for me, coming from larger companies, was adapting to the greater level of responsibility. There aren’t as many stages of approval to progress through, which can take some getting used to.
I think the varied work is also a challenge but ultimately a huge motivator. Often, I start my morning thinking I know what I’m going to be working on, and then something new comes in and I have to restructure my day around this priority – as I mentioned before, no two days are ever the same!
I like to balance my spare time between exercising – going to the gym, taking dance classes and attending fitness bootcamps – and meeting up with friends to hunt down good pizza! I also spend a lot of time reading, I’m particularly into dystopian, allegorical fiction and one of my favourite authors is Jasper Fforde.
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