Welcome back Emily! How has your role changed since you returned from maternity leave?
Before I went on leave, I was working as Project Manager, but there was always the plan that I would progress to an Operations Manager on my return. I’ve had Keeping In Touch Days throughout my maternity leave to support this progression.
At the moment, I’m straddling both roles. I’m doing training with Divya, with the aim to be fully on the operations side of the business next month. But I’m also looking at a lot more on a strategic level. I’m taking a step back and looking at business as a whole, rather than the day-to-day challenges. I’m trying to make incremental changes in the business at a macro level than granular level.
I have more responsibility for accountability over the business. But because the team has grown, there is more support.
Have there been any changes to the business?
As I just mentioned, the business has grown: we have more clients. But the staff footprint has also got bigger. The management structure has changed; before I left, it was just Mark and I and the developers. Now we have more operational support. This means the communications flow has changed a lot.
What does having an Ops Manager mean for the business?
It means that we’re growing in the right way. The fact that we have the opportunity to put someone in the role is a luxury that we’re now in the position to have. I hope it’ll take a little pressure off Mark too.
Do you have new challenges in your role?
It’s the first time I’ve been in an Operations role, so there’s been a lot to get to know. It’s vital that mine and Mark’s expectations are aligned, and that requires good communication.
I have to make the team work in a coherent way, and there are more communication flows. But I also need to keep an eye on bigger picture. Profitability, billability, velocity are now at the forefront of my mind.
We have always reflected on lessons learnt after a project, but we didn’t have the capacity to do much with them. The intention was there… but I can now do something with it.
What do you hope to see for the business in future?
I want maintain a happy workforce! We can achieve this with the team all communicating in the right way. I obviously want to see growth too.
How can employers support working mothers, in your opinion?
I work 4 days, which makes a difference to my childcare arrangements and gives me balance. I also think businesses need to appreciate that we have to be flexible; if my child is unwell and needs picking up from nursery, I don’t have a choice over it. But it makes it less stressful if leaders are prepared to be flexible and let parents make up their time, rather than take sick days.
Mark Renney, our Director is delighted with the promotion:
“Wubbleyou is scaling, and I am a sole director – it has been a challenge keeping one eye on operations and another on the commercials. I think the businesses are healthier with they have dedicated people for each, and businesses should do this as soon as they can. Emily challenged us in all the right ways as a project manager, and that focus and challenge in ops will undoubtedly make us a better and stronger business. It was great to see Emily enjoy 12 months of Mat leave with her daughter, but also come back into this role!”