Laura is a service delivery manager in PDS and she told us what it's like having a job in tech where technology is only a small part of her job.
What's your job?
I recently moved into the role of service delivery manager for Finance and HR in the information systems team in Live Services. I manage the team that supports our Finance, HR, and Payroll systems for the House of Commons, House of Lords, and PDS.
My role is to make sure the team responds to incidents and requests in relation to these systems, and also to develop the systems to meet business needs. For example, managing upgrades, implementing new systems such as self-service absence, and updating management information to reflect organisational changes.
What training or experience do you need to do your job?
A combination of technical support experience, experience in supporting Finance and HR systems, and a thorough understanding of the Finance, HR, and Payroll business processes. A large proportion of the role is understanding what the business needs to achieve in these areas to make sure that the systems are developed accordingly. Experience of working in IT service management and using agile methodologies is important too.
What attracted you about working in Parliament?
I started working here many years ago, straight out of university. At the time I was looking for an office job while I considered my options. I came here on a temporary six month contract, working in the Department of Finance and Administration to process BACS payments and do administrative tasks. I’m still here 20 years later! I love the buzz of being in central London and working in such an iconic place.
Best parts of your job?
The camaraderie within the team I work in and the feeling of success when I deliver something that has taken a considerable amount of time and effort. Also the quick wins when I’m able to provide colleagues with what they need, whether it’s a piece of information or a fix for a problem they have.
Most difficult thing about your job?
Juggling competing demands and managing expectations. I work across two different teams, information systems (in Live Services) and the Finance and HR Systems programme team, and it’s difficult to switch mindsets when one area of my work requires thinking about future requirements (the replacement of our Finance and HR systems) and the other requires managing and supporting our existing systems.
Why do you enjoy working in tech?
It’s probably rather revealing to say that I don’t feel like I work in tech. So much about what I do is building relationships, understanding user needs, and translating those needs that the technical element feels like a very small part.
One of the things I really appreciate about working in Parliament is the commitment to flexible working and the tech that enables us to do so (such as remote access, Skype for Business, and our timesheet system that calculates our flexitime and leave allowances).
As a mother of two young boys I simply wouldn’t be able to juggle the demands of work and parenting without the flexibility of working from home and being able to use flexitime to take my children to birthday parties and football practice.