We’re a small but very diverse team of Business Development Managers, each working on different projects and programmes but all working with people to improve their services. At the moment, the bulk of my work is with our Technical Services team and each day can bring new opportunities and learning. A typical day might involve a team session where we exchange views and thoughts on what we’re working on and how we can get the most out of what we are doing.
I’ve been programme managing the Technical Services 12 Point Plan for the last few months. This has been a two year programme of change and improvement with the aim of making sure our repairs service operates in a financially viable way. So far this has included improving our financial performance, improving processes and policy clarifications. An efficient Repairs and Maintenance Service goes a long way towards an efficient Bolton at Home so it’s been a high-profile programme and it needs to be kept on track. I often find myself spending the morning organising the Programme Board meetings, checking on project progress and preparing highlight and Board reports to let our key stakeholders know where we are up to.
There are a lot of meetings in BDM-land so there are rarely any free days but when I get a break in meetings I will be report writing, researching for our projects or pulling together proposals for future work. Project management has a large element of co-ordinating people to it so we will often have impromptu meetings with people to advise them and help with change management. Change can be daunting to people so we need to make sure that they are changing things in an organised way and in the ways that they feel will get the most benefit.
One of the main pieces of work we’ve been working on has been Process Improvement so some days I may be leading a session with a group of people from a service who want to improve what they do. Together we will look at how they do things now and how things might work best in the future and help the group to plan for how to change to implement the new ways.
We have regular catch up meetings once the process is being implemented so that we can support the teams, particularly with problem solving and offering guidance on building business cases. We use a methodology based on Systems Thinking which involves considering the whole of a system including the process and all the people involved. It can be really interesting to see everyone’s different perspectives on a process and really rewarding seeing people working together to get the best for our customers, our staff and ultimately our business.
Getting to see the results that come out of the work we do and seeing people happier in their work because they’re providing value in their services and not held back by process is one of the highlights of what we do and makes it worthwhile. Each day is different but we do try to catch up with each other and it’s great to work with such an innovative and supportive DBIS team.