In our series of ‘5 minutes with…’ interviews, we meet the people behind the projects:
What does project management mean to you?
For me, it’s about working closely with individuals, teams and clients to understand their requirements and to bring a tailored approach to a project.
Which clients do you work with?
I primarily work with Federated Hermes, Threadneedle, AEW, MEPC.
Why did you choose to work in the commercial property sector?
My initial project management experience involved working with public sector clients on schemes including the redevelopment of Weymouth College and Chepstow Hospital. Moving to Workman has given me more exposure to the commercial property sector, which is a different challenge but one that I thoroughly enjoy, adapting to meet the constantly evolving and changing needs of the market and our clients. No day is the same and we are all learning throughout our careers. In this way, every day is a school day.
What has been your standout moment at Workman so far?
Early in my career at Workman I acted as an expert witness on a dilapidations claim with a successful outcome for our client and was then appointed direct by the court to act on its behalf in approving the agreed works. It was both a challenging and rewarding experience. The practical and methodical approach needed for the litigation is one that has served me well in project management.
Tell us how you have put your project training to its best use on a Workman project?
Collaborative teamwork and communication is fundamental so I always promote this within teams I lead. This was put into practice to great effect when we managed to secure planning consent for a large mixed-use redevelopment scheme near Reading and subsequently brought elements of this forward to completion.
What has been your biggest project management challenge, and how did you overcome it?
A new-build retail warehouse had to be delivered within an extremely tight timescale to meet incoming tenant requirements. Careful programming at the pre-contract stage and ensuring the right design and contractor team were key to meeting this requirement.
What are your spare time pursuits and how do they contribute to your role at Workman?
I love anything involving being outdoors. I often take up new hobbies to avoid DIY – this includes surfing, to which I am an older convert. Sun, salt and sea is a great blend – and the beer always seems to taste better after being in the sea.
What has been your most significant achievement outside work, and what did it teach you?
Coaching my son’s football and rugby teams from minis to colts has been a big achievement and great to see them develop, both as individuals and as a team. Trying to keep 30 five-year-olds engaged on cold and wet Sunday mornings meant that the three Ps of preparation, patience and perseverance were fundamental prerequisites and certainly transferable to successful project management.
What is your favourite building worldwide, and why?
The city wall that surrounds the historical centre of Dubrovnik. In part it is the spectacular view from the top over the old town against the blue of the abutting Adriatic Sea that makes this a favourite. It’s also its history and how it has provided such an effective defence barrier, even under siege from modern warfare in the Yugoslav war. Nothing to do with Game of Thrones!