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Conor Whelan, Head of Delivery at Digivante Ltd

In this Accomplished Peeps Interview, we spoke with Conor Whelan, Head of Delivery at Digivante Ltd. Conor shared with us a look inside his day to day and how he chooses to lead his team successfully, starting by creating a culture of trust. 👇

Explain your role and what a typical workday looks like for you.

As Head of Delivery, I’m responsible for managing a team of internal QA specialists with the aim to deliver solutions which meet all the requirements of our clients. I also work closely with sales and marketing in relation to how we deliver our products in those areas.

A typical workday is made up of a catch up with the team in the morning to go through progress updates and allow them to escalate any issues to me. It’s also an important catch up from a social aspect to make sure everyone in the team feels included and has a voice. This has become more crucial with us working from home during the pandemic.

I will usually have 2-3 client calls including our sales or customer success teams which will either be new leads or existing clients that we are discussing existing/future work with. I will also have meetings with different team members on specific client requirements to ensure the best possible solutions/ approaches are in place.

Remaining time is made up of strategic changes, research, product improvements, marketing content updates etc.

Describe the layout and feel of your personal workspace.

With the pandemic we are now a remote first company. I work from my dining room table as there is plenty of space for my laptop and screens. I have a chair from the office meaning it meets all DSE requirements. The room I work in has plenty of natural light and views of the Cotswolds so it is good to switch off and allow for some thinking time away from looking at the screens.

What's one habit or ritual you need to start and finish your day?

Dropping off and collecting my children from school/childminder. Not just because it has to be done, but also getting in the car and listening to radio ensures I take a break from work and have a change of scenery.

How does your team use asynchronous communication to stay in the loop while working remotely?

We have an internal tool which allows for regular company shoutouts and updates from different departments regarding substantial changes. We also use SharePoint to provide communication in relation to changes to internal documentation or process changes.

What is your #1 personal productivity hack when working remotely?

Be flexible with your team's time. Working from home allows for better work life balance so embrace this. There is a fear that people working from home will take advantage and not work as hard. I’ve not found this and have built a culture of trust, if someone takes a few hours break, I fully trust they will work it back. I don’t monitor my team's time, as I know they will act responsibly.

Is there one particular podcast or youtube channel that you can't stop listening to or watching?

Although I work in IT, I like to take influence from other areas as a lot of what’s out there in relation to IT is very similar or rehashes of old ideas. It might sound strange, but the YouTube channel I never miss is Chael Sonnen (Former professional MMA fighter). He’s very well read and often applies his learnings to analysis e.g. the Paradox of Choice was not something I put a lot of thought into before he mentioned it, and it’s something I’ve used since.

If you could be doing anything else than what you're doing, what would it be?

Volunteering at schools or universities to show the next generations what IT strategy and delivery is about in the real world.