I’m Andrew, one of Kainos’ Account Leads. I work across Kainos’ public sector business. I’ve been here for around seven years. I joined as a Team Lead, being promoted after this to Delivery Manager. Before Kainos, I have a background in project management and have worked on both agency and client side, so I have seen both sides of the coin. I’d mainly worked in commercial sector but now devote my time and energy to building great working services and relationships with some high-profile public-sector clients.
‘Account lead’ – it’s not a textbook tech career and as such, each of us have quite a different background but one thing in common – a effective and well-rounded set of skills. As a growing leadership team within Kainos, I wanted to share the day-to-day of what we actually do, and really show the diversity of the role – hopefully the varied schedule resonates with you!
On Monday, I generally spend the day at our Belfast headquarters. This is my day to ‘connect’ and prepare for the week ahead. It’s usually packed with meetings – this week is no different. My day starts with an update on government procurement frameworks from our commercial team, putting us in a better-informed position to advise our customers. Following this we have our management meeting – where we discuss any risks to mitigate, the status of projects and a ‘people’ discussion, ensuring we have the right people in the right places. By holding this weekly, it allows us to be flexible and agile.
I’m currently the account lead for Defra and have a great working relationship with them. Across this large account we have lots of scrum teams based in multiple locations that I’m responsible for. So today I like to spend some time catching up with the Belfast team who work remotely on projects but based here in their home location.
One of my highlights of the week was on Monday – we’re working with Defra on a CSR project, supporting them to run an outreach event for young people, to showcase careers in digital technology. It’s specifically an event run for rural communities which means they’ll access info and opportunities they maybe haven’t considered before. It showcases the diversity of careers that are possible in digital which helps us inspire the future workforce – this event is for 12-16 year olds. It also gives me a chance to collaborate with people from around the business – our marketing, innovation and CSR teams.
I tend to travel each week and it varies in terms of where I need to be. This is something I plan myself around specific deadlines and company commitments. We have a travel team who are fantastic at ensuring my travel is always booked and it’s all as comfortable and time efficient as possible for me. This Tuesday, I travelled to Crewe to spend some time with the client on-site. I use this time to cement the relationships with the senior stakeholders, update them on progress and understand the current challenges they have and how we can continue to be an effective delivery partner. It’s great to have this time face to face.
After this, I travelled to Birmingham, and meet with one of my delivery teams. While I’m there this week, we had a team dinner, which as we’re travelling to different places, doesn’t happen all the time but when it does it’s a great chance to really catch up and a chance to really thank them for their efforts.
I spent the full day in Birmingham on Wednesday. I spend a lot of this time having 1-2-1s with my immediate team – that’s the product lead, delivery lead, tech lead on this project. I use this time with them listening to how the project is going, and taking away any escalations. As well as this it’s a great chance to give feedback. Later on, that afternoon, we had a full team ‘ways of working’ retrospective. In this session we came up with several different improvement initiatives and talked about how the last few months have gone and what our goals are for the rest of the year. It’s great to get everyone in a room and no opinions are ever less valuable at Kainos, or with our clients.
On Wednesday evening then it was time to travel home to Belfast, and on the plane, I had some time to prepare for our leadership away day.
On Thursday, around 60 of the leadership level team here at Kainos, from across the business as a whole, got together for a day out of the office. This was to be presented to by our Organisational Development team on the results of our recent staff survey, the Top 100 Companies to Work For. We held this session to really get the feedback that’s relevant to how we run our teams and projects, and how we can keep improving Kainos as a workplace and putting staff first. It’s great to work for a company where this isn’t just owned by our HR team or by upper management – we all have a voice and a part to play in making the company a real success. We were treated to dinner after this, which was a great opportunity to network with colleagues I haven’t seen in months, some new joiners and people from around different areas of the business such as our Workday capability.
After the hustle and bustle of the week, this is my day working from home. My favourite day, because this flexibility means I get to spend some time with my son in the morning before dropping him to nursery and starting my working day.
Fridays are now a day of catch up – where I work through the meetings of the week, working my way through emails, calls with operations managers, recruitment, finance, sales – it’s really time to get things done and wrap up on any actions from the week gone by.
To reflect on what keeps me here at Kainos – it’s simple. My role is extremely diverse. Each year so far, I’ve been given a new challenge which is great for ensuring that I’m always growing as a professional which keeps it really fresh. As you can see from my path here, there really isn’t a limit to where your career can take you. My favourite thing about the role itself is the level of autonomy i have, while still being fully supported. There are the obvious structures in place like extensive training and support from my leadership team, but I also have a career mentor, who is direct, honest, open and challenging – he has a different way of thinking than I do, which has really benefited me in my career, and developing my leadership skills!
Do you have the commercial know how, the all-round and the strategic experience necessary to join our growing account team? We have a growing group of account leads and we’re looking for more.