This month our Spotlight is on Simon Fogg.
Tell us about your role at Claritas
I do whatever Glenn (the owner, MD, Claritas) wants me to do to get projects and service delivered. I am primarily a hybrid Business Analyst / Project Manager assisting Claritas customers in articulating their requirements and managing projects from initiation through to implementation and ongoing support.
How long have you been at Claritas?
4 years 6 months. I started in January 2012. I switched “sides”, post redundancy, from being a Claritas customer and was known by a number of Claritas staff prior to joining.
What training did you have to have to do your role?
Significant education and training in my life to date (I started work in August 1984 on Asda’s first graduate store management training programme) that has equipped me for my current role includes:-
- BA (Hons) in Business Studies / Management Science at the University Of Stirling
- MBA at Strathclyde Graduate Business School
- Data and Business Process Modelling
- Prince 2 Project Management Practitioner
- Managing Business Change Through Programme Management
- Managing Extraordinary Customer Service
- The Service Account Manager
- Implementing a Change Culture
What would a normal day consist of?
I would be hard pushed to do all of this in a single given day but typically I would do the following:-
- Facilitate and then document requirements workshops involving staff at all levels of the customer organisation to “extract” their business and other requirements for us to then deliver a solution to meet those requirements
- Chasing progress on project work and actions from Claritas and customer staff
- Managing change requests from Claritas technical staff into the customer organisation’s change process
- Lunchtime: walk “round the block” for 3 miles around Garforth (the only exercise I get!)
What sort of issues do you deal with on a daily basis?
Issues relating to project planned work mainly revolves around clarifying customer requirements and prioritising work/issues. For unplanned work, issues are around marshalling responses from the various Claritas teams to incidents and ensuring that there is a rapid turnaround of fixes to live incidents in customer systems.
Why is your role so important to Claritas’ customers?
Depending on the customer and the work we are doing for that customer, all members of the Claritas team will be important to the customer in varying degrees.
For the work that I am involved in, I see myself, and strive to be, a “trusted advisor” ensuring that I understand the customer requirements and that these are clearly articulated to other members of the Claritas team. This includes challenging appropriately what the customer is asking for and ensuring that likely future changes to their business operation are properly considered.
What’s your favourite part of your job?
I do tend to get “on a roll” when discussing challenging requirements in a workshop setting with customer staff and marshalling the discussion to a conclusion. I have a ruthless obsession with concluding and driving to action.
Tell us a couple of quirky facts about yourself?
I recently completed my 19th Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in 3 years. This has been eye-opening as my education and learning previously was all pre-internet. A summary of the courses I have done can be found at http://goo.gl/F9qunu. I am now building a MOOC (Project Management 101) using knowledge acquired on the 19th course “Making MOOCs on a Budget” which I am endeavouring to implement with no financial cost to me.
I was in the army cadets (part of the Assault Pioneers) at Loughborough Grammar School in the 1970s. I never missed a summer camp (mainly army-related activities) or an adventurous training Easter camp (mainly leisure activities). One memorable achievement was walking 150 miles of The Pennine Way in 7 days after being dropped off north of the Scottish border and arriving at the Three Peaks in Horton-in-Ribblesdale. This included walking in whiteout conditions on Cross Fell and camping outside Tan Hill Inn (highest pub in England).
If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you take with you?
I am an avid listener to BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs podcast!
I would take:-
- Laptop/tablet device with in-ear headphones and internet access to support my Twitter addiction, to listen to music and podcasts (both are a huge part of my life) and to read books
- Large screen TV to watch quality drama series (e.g. NYPD Blue, The West Wing, The Newsroom)
- A never ending subscription to a daily takeaway delivery service of Thai, Italian and Indian food with accompanying real ale, exotic lagers and so on…