DEPT® LIFE: Senior Project Manager
Meet Jack, Senior Project Manager at DEPT®! Here he takes a deep dive into his DEPT® LIFE and what excites him most about his role.
Name: Jack Roache
Role: Senior Project Manager
Time at DEPT®: 1 year, 3 months
Time in the industry: nine years
About me: When I was younger I was a ballboy at Old Trafford and regularly made Alex Ferguson a brew and met players like George Best and Diego Maradona
My journey into project management
I studied Business and Spanish at Manchester Metropolitan University. During my time there, I took a year out to complete a placement year at a small digital agency, and was fortunate to be offered a full time project management role at the end of my stint there. That’s where I really got to expand my knowledge of the digital sector and the project management field.
Since then, I’ve worked at a few digital agencies in Manchester of various sizes and specialisms, where I’ve managed projects delivering apps, campaigns, discoveries, design and build. I had the pleasure of joining the DEPT® team at the beginning of 2021 as a Senior Project Manager and I’ve now been in the industry for nine years, which has flown by!
My DEPT® LIFE
My role is primarily focused on one of our key clients, Nikon. We are working with Nikon to provide a large digital transformation project across Europe. Due to the variety of the projects we are working with them on, I get to work alongside the majority of teams within DEPT® UK as well as across Europe and the US, which I absolutely love!
Being remote, most of the work we do with the wider teams is done via Google Meet and Slack, however I had the great opportunity to go over to Amsterdam recently for my first face-to-face meeting with the client. It was amazing to finally have an in-person meeting, and ever better that it was in Amsterdam!
A typical day as a Project Manager
I like to start my day at 8am to give myself an hour to get prepared before my first meeting of the day. Between 9-11am I will usually have a stand up or project catch up meeting with the team. By having these meetings in the morning, it means I can block out focus time in the afternoon to get my head down.
Following my morning stand ups, I’ll spend the afternoon updating my project plans, budget trackers and resource profile and keep on top of the deliverables required that day. I’ll also check in with any team members that might need help. Later on, I’ll reach out to any team members working on that day’s deadlines to make sure we’re on track with everything and it gives me the opportunity to review work before sharing with the client.
In an average week, I’d have client workshops, playback sessions and estimation sessions in addition to my daily tasks, so this keeps me super busy!
Out of this world client solutions
There were two main reasons why I wanted to join DEPT®. Firstly, the sheer quality of the work that is produced. And secondly, the huge variety of clients and projects that are being delivered.
Before I joined DEPT®, I constantly saw the agency winning award after award for campaigns, sites etc. and I wanted to become part of that success story!
A few people I used to work with had moved to DEPT® and I watched them really flourish in a driven team, which was a huge factor for me. This still excites me every day. The team I have around me is focused on delivering the best and most optimal solution for the client, which often leads to awards won along the way!
The team is regularly challenged to find a different way of working, a new technology or create a new idea, which I believe is very unique to DEPT®
What makes DEPT® different is, hands down, the people. I’m surrounded by a team who are always looking to produce the best possible product or service for our clients.
Constantly expanding my knowledge
I’ve been fortunate to work on a wide variety of projects whilst being at DEPT®. This has been super beneficial in building up my understanding of tasks and skills that I previously had limited knowledge of.
For example, I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with the SEO team in Denmark, the email strategy team in London and the NFT team in America, all helping to build up my knowledge in these areas.
The wide range of projects really gives project managers a fantastic opportunity to learn something new each time, which you wouldn’t always experience elsewhere.
I joined DEPT® right in the middle of the pandemic, which I was slightly apprehensive about. However, I couldn’t have received a warmer welcome!
I was personally delivered a laptop and goody bag. I had introductory calls with all the team members, heads of departments and senior management, which helped to quickly get to know names and faces even though I wouldn’t meet them in person for some months!
Thursday’s ‘elevenses’ meetings and the virtual Friday after work beers were a great chance to meet people from the wider teams in a more informal setting, and I’m so glad these are now able to take place face-to-face again.
A place to flourish
There are a lot of non-work related things that I think DEPT® does really well and only further enhance the professional experience; DEPT® Fest, the Manchester football team, team lunches, walking and climbing groups, personal development budget and plenty more.
For me though, my biggest surprise when joining, and my favourite part of DEPT®, is the access to and communication from management. I regularly catch up with the most senior members of the UK management team and this is something I wasn’t used to at other agencies.
By removing any layers of communication, it means I can openly and honestly discuss my projects with the management team and take on their feedback and advice. This enables me to perform at a much higher level as I’m learning from a team and individuals who can support me.
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