Q&A with Quintin Matthee: Technical Operations Project Manager at Riskex
In this blog, we catch up with our very own Technical Operations Project Manager, Quintin Matthee to understand what a typical day looks like for our busy technical operations team and importantly, tap into his views and ideas to help optimise user engagement with AssessNET.
Q: Can you tell us, what does a typical day in the life of a Technical Operations Project Manager look like?
There really is no typical day as a Project Manager, my tasks and time can vary day to day depending on the programme and team needs. I like to clear my emails by the end of every day and plan time in for the following day to complete open tasks, this might be in the form of a meeting with a team member or Director or allocating time within the day to review/plan/resolve a challenge. This is the bane of most people’s lives, but it allows me to hit the ground running the next day.
I start the week with a review of my diary followed by a daily team stand-up so we are all clear where we are, what we are trying to achieve in the week, what we need to prioritise and track any potential issues that might come up.
Client work-log updates and general client communication start from 10:00 am. Delivering great customer service is the key to success and communication sits at the heart so keeping internal and external stakeholders updated with progress is vital. I may then attend a series of client or internal meetings with senior stakeholders to discuss further developments or drive new programme launch meetings, set expectations and generate launch plans to fit client/internal stakeholder deadlines.
Or I might have to prioritise urgent meetings to resolve a pressing/high priority challenge. No matter how well managed your projects are, all projects are likely to encounter an unexpected problem at some stage.
My day ends with catching up on all my emails received throughout the day and getting ready for the next day. I get so much out of my job that it feels good to keep on top of things. There’s nothing like the feeling of successfully delivering a programme or development that’s going to improve an organisations performance.
Q: What work habits have helped you succeed as a Technical Operations Project Manager?
In a dynamic project management environment, it is important to be proactive. Effective goal-orientated planning is vital, we break large projects into smaller more manageable chunks so I make sure everyone is moving in the same direction to achieve the common goal. Apart from making the right decision at the right time, you should be able to prioritise tasks. Focus on solutions with a clear open and honest communication channel with your team, rather than blame individuals turn problems into a learning experience for example what are we going to do differently next time.
As a Technical Operations Project Manager, I work with a lot of people from Helpdesk Executives to Managing Directors so steal with your eyes and ears meaning learn from those around you and never stop. Know your team’s strengths and weaknesses and play to the team’s strengths, no one can do everything on their own so collective team effort will lead to project success. I have to identify, manage and eliminate risk in advance.
Q: What processes do you have in place to ensure that you can provide the best customer experience possible?
Providing great customer service helps to build long-lasting positive relationships, but one size does not fit all so tailor my approach. As a general rule of thumb I always;
Listen – Listening is one of the simplest ways to provide excellent customer service. Sometimes customers just need to be heard, so be sure to actively listen to what they have to say, make notes and provide recommendations and solutions.
Respond promptly to questions, queries and actions – Customers appreciate a speedy response to their enquiries, especially when they have a time-sensitive request so set expectations and keep everyone updated. I have a daily meeting scheduled with the team which allows me to effectively prioritise queries or development challenges and effectively communicate with clients.
Always set an agenda for a meeting – Everyone is busy so make the most of your time with a client
Make note of client feedback – Use client feedback to improve your customer service process, but don’t just focus on the negative you should also make sure you continue to push what works well.
Keep your promises – Plan effectively and communicate changes as early as possible.
In my view, by applying the above you will deliver great customer service.
Q: What in your view are the key factors in ensuring a proactive approach to developing AssessNET in line with customer needs?
Consistent delivery over a sustained period of time. This not only supports great customer service it also builds great relationships and client confidence.
In order to do this, I need to understand what our clients want to achieve with every development because a solution might already exist so knowing what the product can do is very important. Once a development request has been identified I need to scope the development followed by planning and communication. I create development work-logs for clients and work with clients to manage their expectations and make sure that their developments are correctly prioritised.
Priorities also change and setting up regular catch up meetings puts our clients at the heart of our business to drive what we develop and when.
The development team works in 2 week cycles and produces functional features and enhancements every 2 weeks. To make sure we progress and continue to improve as a team we look at lessons learned after every release and build resilience.
This process is followed every 2 weeks to make sure we deliver enhancements and new features in line with client expectations.
Q: What’s the most exciting project you are currently working on?
I am going to be a proverbial fence-sitter and not pick a favourite. We consistently develop great new features and client-specific enhancements but also launched a range of new clients from different industries. To find out more you will have to review the last release notes on the platform!