This time to dive into the world of project management with SARD’s Project Manager, Charlotte. A breath of fresh air, Charlotte has hit the ground running since starting SARD, which happened to be right when the world turned upside down. We’re so happy to have Charlotte smooth out any rough edges and provide a great springboard for our software development team.
I login with a coffee to hand. I am a creature of caffeine habit: two coffees and one earl grey tea per day, all to be consumed by 11am. I check my diary for the day for meetings and the to-do list I hopefully finished at the end of the previous day.
Unsurprisingly, my mornings can vary. I will usually have a mixture of internal and external meetings. I could be meeting with an existing client to talk through some potential future work or meeting with the tech team to discuss current priorities. We have a Tech Scrum at 10am where we do a quick rundown of what we are doing for that day.
If the tide is right, then I will dash out for a sea swim. During the pandemic, I finally managed to become an all-year round sea swimmer. Although, I am not entirely sure two minutes of squealing in the water in January counts as swimming. It seems to do me a lot of good though and it’s a huge amount of fun as a group, especially in the depths of winter. Top tip: wearing swimming gloves does help!
Once I’ve dried off, if I am not in meetings I try to catch up on project work. In the last year we have been working in partnership with Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust to deliver two applications: Reality Checker and the ESR wrapper as part of an NHSI bid. These projects are ending, but we have built a great working relationship with the teams there. It’s sometimes been challenging working across two organisations of different sizes, but part of the objective of this project was to build a project team together and it’s been enjoyable to do that and gain appreciation of how things work inside the NHS and their IT teams.
One afternoon a week, we run a triage process to prioritise all the tech requests that come in each week. These can come directly from anyone in SARD, but predominantly from trusts via our online Improvement Request form or through Customer Support. We review and prioritise each request for the next sprint (this is tech work that is planned and agreed for the next two weeks). It’s one of the most challenging tasks to evaluate and prioritise work, but I work with Barbara and Megan and together we make these decisions. It’s also our opportunity to talk about any implementations or client onboarding plans as these all need resources from the tech team.
I close my laptop and then dash to pick up my children and switch-over to family life, which involves negotiation on whether I will cook three different pasta sauces and if anyone gets to skip the broccoli. I am unyielding on the broccoli, but sadly a pushover on the pasta sauce.