Day in the life of practice manager

Tytuł obrazka

Janet started her career working in the call centre of a well-known telco. It was a fast-paced, customer-facing position that utilised her natural ability to engage with a variety of different people.
 

 

 

 

Over the course of the next 18 years, Janet progressed into several different roles within the organisation until she decided it was time for a change. Janet now holds a multi-faceted role that involves managing the resource profiling, people management, people development, and quality assurance for her organisation’s project management team.

How did you come to take on your role as practice manager?

“There is no particular career path to becoming a practice manager as such - it’s more important to have the right skills and personality rather than having direct relevant experience. If you’re a great communicator and, more importantly, a great listener who loves working with people then it could be a great career for you.”

Describe a typical day

  • Recruitment: “My role involves taking briefs from the business and sourcing suitable candidates for our ongoing and up-coming projects. Screening candidates can be particularly difficult in my role as cultural fit and personality is just as important as the tangible skills and experience on someone’s CV. Engaging with agencies like Robert Walters is a great help because they can vet the candidates on my behalf and provide me with a more concise shortlist.”
  • Team/Staff engagement and training: “My role involves taking briefs from the business and sourcing suitable candidates for our ongoing and up-coming projects. Screening candidates can be particularly difficult in my role as cultural fit and personality is just as important as the tangible skills and experience on someone’s CV. Engaging with agencies like Robert Walters is a great help because they can vet the candidates on my behalf and provide me with a more concise shortlist.”
  • Team/Staff engagement and training: "A huge focus of my role is to ensure both my permanent and contract staff members remain engaged and connected to the rest of the business - which is essential for the successful project outcome. I do this by holding regular one-on-one meetings with all my permanent staff as well as regular meetings with our senior contractors to ensure they’re still on track. I spend a lot of my time managing our coaching networks to ensure my staff receive the right support and training to further their career paths. This includes ensuring that the PM practice is in line with the industry through practice maturity assessments, staff participation in PM industry events and engagement with the external community.”
  • Utilisation: “A key aspect of my job is to maximise PM utilisation so it’s essential for me to take accurate and detailed project briefs. Success means ensuring that people continue to develop their skills and not only get on to the projects they want but also the ones that will play a key role in their professional growth.”

There isn’t necessarily a definitive career path to get into a practice manager role but it’s important to know yourself and the aspects of your job you enjoy

What are the biggest challenges you have faced as a practice manager?

“It’s essential for me to remain solution-focused as my day is often filled with conflicting priorities. My role is primarily about people so the people have to come first. My PMs are the priority above all other jobs.”

What do you like best about your job?

“The people are fantastic. I’m really motivated by my team. I really love my company’s innovative approach as it gives me the freedom to try new things with a strong support network around me.”

What advice would you give someone who wants to get into your field?

“There isn’t necessarily a definitive career path to get into a practice manager role but it’s important to know yourself and the aspects of your job you enjoy. Seek out someone in your field and talk to them, learn from them and continue to do this once you’re in the role – sharing war stories will help you to think of new ways to problem solve and tackle new challenges.”

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