“At a recent training workshop I was asked ‘how did I cope’ when faced with difficult issues. I personally have coped because I have been fortunate enough to have great staff and teams to support me.”
Tell us a brief outline of your career?
I transferred from another government department some years ago to introduce a strategy of constructing operating cost budgets. My first few years at DE&S were in the finance function. This led to my involvement on private finance initiative (PFI) and partnering projects, and close working with industry. Until about a year ago, I was the team leader for the buying back of services as part of the Defence Support Group (DSG) sale. I now work in commercial and my task is to develop robust contract management in DE&S.
What does your role now involve?
My current role is to address contract management across DE&S projects, and identify opportunities for benefits and more efficient ways of working.
This position and most of my previous ones have been demanding and challenging in that they focus on change. In some cases the changes are significant and an important factor is the management of stakeholders, both internal and external. It is therefore rewarding when the benefits are realised and support is achieved. I therefore put great emphasis in stakeholder management and development and the maintenance of robust relationships.
In my view these are not soft issues but at the core of achieving success.
How important to you is teamwork?
At a recent training workshop I was asked ‘how did I cope’ when faced with difficult issues. I personally have coped because I have been fortunate enough to have great staff and teams to support me. For me it is imperative to have a coherent, focused and, dare I say it, a happy environment. Such investment is invaluable.
Are you interested in a Commercial career at DE&S?
Do you and your team rely heavily on having processes in place?
While process is important, it must not become so dominant that it blurs the task in hand. We need governance and a degree of process, but it should not be allowed to stifle innovation. I am of the firm opinion that, in the large, DE&S has a raft of expertise and experience. I have worked closely with other government departments and the MOD is the leading light in terms of understanding the methodology behind procurement, and we are doing an excellent job. As such, we should be proud and confident in everything we do.
What do you enjoy about your job?
I enjoy the daily challenge of change. I like the complexity of the task, although it may not always be evident to my team! Most of all, I enjoy the camaraderie and the enthusiasm the team displays when presented with a problem.