My career as the first permanent Project Support Analyst in Phoenix Change started 4 ½ years ago and I have seen the value of the role develop as the maturity of the Change department evolved. 

What follows is a typical example of my day based on the last 12 months:

6:00-7:45 a.m. My alarm gives me that nudge that tells me it’s time to wake up and engage the brain. As my wife and I tag team getting the kids and ourselves ready for the day I recognise that as usual I am already using the planning skills developed in my work life to apply to my home life. Trust me when I say that when you work on projects your whole life becomes planned out week’s month’s and even years in advance. Even my own finances are forecast up to two years ahead!!

7:45-8:20- a.m. I wave my teenage son and wife goodbye for the day, drop the little one to nursery and then continue on my journey to work visualising the day, week and month ahead in calendar format.

Knowing that I have the monthly project Steering Group today I am suitably rested, well dressed and prepared for the potential of 1:1 engagement with the Senior Stakeholders in the business.

8:20-9:00- a.m. As I drive through the gates at our Wythall offices I am always happy to see the picturesque surroundings and even after over 14 years of working at the site I never get bored of arriving here each day.

As I walk through reception I am greeted by Bruce who has been here as long as I have and who meets everyone with a smile on his face and with the usual “morning, morning”.

Now at my desk I am checking emails that I have received overnight, checking my calendar and the project calendar for the day/week/month ahead and checking meeting packs that I have previously printed off for use during today.

I have Steering Group this afternoon so I do a quick check to make sure there haven’t been any declines to the meeting, which there haven’t been. I confirm to the project manager that we are still full steam ahead for this afternoons meeting, which is one of our more important Steering Groups as we are seeking approval to submit our Change control to the Operations Committee, for project funding for the next 12 months.

9:00-12:00- p.m. It’s time to do my usual weekly resource variance check for the project using the in-house PPM system, supported by a macro enabled Excel Workbook which was developed by one of our other Project Analysts. This enables me to identify if the forecasted resource time versus what the resources have actually booked are within tolerance.

Having ran the report I can see that the project is continuing to report green but two of the resource have not booked time to the project yet and as I know they worked on the project last week I give them a quick call to get them to submit their timesheets within the PPM system, thereby reducing the variance even lower. I then share the position with the PM so that they know that there are no current resource concerns.

Whilst doing this I reduce the forecast position for one of Customer resource who I know is taking a week off next month.

We are in the middle of an RFP (request for procurement) and some of the questions and responses between the project and the third party are flowing backwards and forwards through the project mailbox, tracking these for audit and fairness is part of the responsibility of the PMO so I add these to the log and drop an email to the Phoenix requestor to seek validation if the question has been responded to in a satisfactory way.

12:00-1pm. I’m off to the onsite gym for a quick high intensity workout before grabbing a healthy fully subsidised lunch in the onsite restaurant.

1pm-2:30pm. Steering Group Meeting – Armed with a Steering Pack (and a few spares just in case) I head over to the meeting to support the Project Manager by taking minutes, actions and answering any questions that are asked of me in the meeting. I am the Project Managers right hand man so I know the project inside out which helps with answering any adhoc queries in a confident informed manner.

2:30-4.30pm. Steering Group Minutes – A quick breather and cup of de-caffeinated tea from ‘The Hub’ (manned coffee bar on the first floor) and it’s time to put together the minutes and actions from the meeting, making sure that I capture any comments and decisions in an appropriate way. Good news though as the project was given the go ahead with the Change Control to request funding for the next 12 months :-)

4:30-5ish pm. Forward planning – Respond to a few more emails, prepare and print some more packs for meetings in the coming days and put my out of office on for tomorrow as I am joining a few others from Change in a volunteering day planting some trees in the Phoenix Woods.

Paul Shingler, Project Analyst