Technical Project Managers (TPMs) have an exciting and demanding role at Quantexa: they are involved on multiple engagements simultaneously, each of varying size, complexity and timelines. A key requirement for TPMs is the ability to context switch effectively, ensuring that the required level of engagement is provided to each project to drive progress.
Read on as Wasiq_Rehman gives us insight into what it is like being a TPM at Quantexa.
I joined Quantexa as Technical Project Manager (TPM) in September 2022. Prior to Quantexa I worked within financial services undertaking a variety of roles across IT, gradually transitioning from being a technical specialist into more client facing service and programme management roles. A previous colleague of mine who had joined Quantexa, and was aware I was looking for a change, reached out and thought the TPM role could be a good fit.
Having been here for almost a year, I can attest to the fact that it has been rewarding, challenging and enjoyable in equal measure.
How do you normally start your working day?
I’m an early riser, and over summer have been cycling into work, which for me is the perfect way to transition into work mode. Time on the bike allows me to think through the day ahead and any tricky challenges around work. Once I’m showered and have a good cup of coffee to hand, I’ll review my task list and current plan for the day and week ahead, ensuring there is time in the calendar to address any key immediate deliverables, prepare for any critical meetings and presentations coming up.
How would you describe a typical day?
- Mornings are usually when we have our Project Stand-ups, a daily huddle with the team to ensure we remain aligned on our project goals, current progress, task ownership. Importantly stand-ups will be used to also highlight any issues that are or may impact progress on a project and require additional support from myself as the TPM, to ensure any impediments are addressed.
- The remainder of the day will be split between additional project related meetings with the client and other internal/external stakeholders, preparing for any upcoming sprint ceremonies (sprint planning, demos, retrospectives). As a TPM it is imperative there is transparency to all stakeholders on progress, and a portion of time each week will be spent preparing presentation material, updating status reports, managing project budgets. I’ll normally also find time each week to connect 1-1 with my project team to provide space for anything else that may need my attention.
- At the end of each day, I find it useful take stock of what has happened through the day, that I have written up notes/actions from any meetings, and key tasks have been diarised. Similar to the journey in, cycling home allows me to process the day, and transition from work to family mode for the last few hours of the day.
What do you enjoy most in your role?
The one thing that really impressed me about working as a TPM at Quantexa has been the focus on the client, and the number of roles that are involved as part of any client delivery. There is often overlap in terms of where responsibilities lie, with the intention to ensure that there is no gap when it comes to the client.
The client focus and ensuring we deliver client value really resonates with my own guiding principles around delivery. Working with so many talented and motivated individuals makes my role as TPM that much simpler and more enjoyable.
What are your main goals as a TPM?
As a TPM it is critical to understand the rationale behind why a project was initiated, what is the value it delivers, and what problem are we solving. It is important to direct the team back to this regularly throughout the project.
The other aspect that contributes to project success can be that sense of momentum – are we making progress as a team, do we know where we are against the plan, are we aware of any impediments that could slow us down? As a TPM it is my responsibility to ensure the team has a sense of direction for the project and is aware of what is required to complete the project.
All projects are a temporary endeavour and having a clear view on why we are doing something, and what it looks like when are finished are crucial to success.
What are your most memorable moments?
I knew from the first time I interviewed for the role, that Quantexa was a company I wanted to work for, so securing the role in the first instance was a highlight.
Within a couple of months of joining, I was part of a client PoC, supporting the Quantexa team as we walked the client through our value proposition and discussed in detail how our product would be used to meet their requirements. The pace at which we are able to go from nothing to having a Quantexa team and instance deployed with client data, visualising for the client the challenge we are seeking to address I have found particularly impressive.
What do you think are the most important attributes of a TPM?
Positivity, enthusiasm, and optimism are attributes that will be required on all projects. Inevitably all projects will encounter challenges, and it is incredibly beneficial for the team to maintain a positive outlook, work through the challenges as they arise - being a naturally positive person helps. My experience has demonstrated that nearly all challenges have a solution: taking action, moving forward always helps, and getting the team thinking and acting in this way quickly is vital.
What are you excited about at the moment?
I’ve recently been assigned to one of our key banking clients working on a longer-term implementation of two use cases required to address a critical regulatory deliverable.
It’s incredibly rewarding and exciting to be part of the Quantexa Team that will not only help the client meets its immediate challenges, but also proactively look to extend the platform to address new use cases as they arise.