There's a lot of strong women in this business

Digital projects, deep dives and daily stand ups: Project Manager Poppy Marshall reflects on her first year at Fluid.

Tell us about your first year  

I’ve been empowered to get stuck into pretty much anything I wanted to get stuck into. I wasn’t thrown in at the deep end, I had a fantastic induction where I started off shadowing people before leading my own pieces of work.  

I’m in the Ops team and I work with the Developers in the Digital team too, I’m involved in commercial aspects, I lead client meetings and I’ve worked on internal projects too. I’ve had insight into the whole business and as a result I’ve gained an understanding of how Fluid works from start to finish. 

What are some of the projects you’ve worked on? 

I first started supporting an IT review for our client Customade, and then moved into a System Selection and Implementation for a Workforce Engagement Tool with Routes Healthcare. We met the Routes project team off-site in Manchester and that was great. I am currently in the delivery stage of their bespoke Workforce Engagement App, and it's my role to lead the project, monitor actions and risk and know when to escalate.  

Initially on the digital side of the business it was just me and Josh (Fluid Developer), and then when we started hiring, I helped to recruit four new team members through coordinating and conducting interviews alongside the Technical Director Will. That was really cool because I feel like I helped to build the team foundations.  

So, then we had our digital team and I started to refine our internal processes and ways of working. Internally the digital team didn’t have a ticketing system so we adopted DevOps, which was a big learning curve, and improved our Agile ways of working. 

As an internal project, myself and developer Jason implemented a new reporting process for the business. We mapped out the processes start to finish from creating a job, to invoicing and billing. We worked closely with the Directors to understand their reporting requirements; it was a real deep dive into the system Xero/ Workflow Max and I’ve become a bit of a product expert. It’s been an amazing way to learn about the whole business.

What qualifications have you gained?  

In the last year I’ve done my Prince 2 Foundation and Practitioner and obtained the ILM Level 3 in Leadership and Management. I also completed refresher training as one of two Mental Health First Aiders at Fluid.

What changes have you seen? 

Fluid’s been growing so fast and it’s been amazing to input how the business is growing in terms of internal ways of working. It’s given me a lot of job enrichment, working with multiple different clients as well as on improving businesses processes within the company.

What’s been the most surprising thing? 

Coming into Fluid I expected a bit of micro-management on my work with clients but from the start I felt trusted to make my own decisions and empowered to lead client work. And the upshot is my motivation has never been higher, I genuinely want Fluid to continue to succeed to the best of its ability and for everyone to have fun. I’m focused on creating a really good work environment where everyone is happy.

What’s your top tip for other project managers coming into a management consultancy? 

Prep, prep and prep. You’re talking to people at a high level every day, and leading work for them so you need to be ready. I can never take a back seat, I need to be prepared because I’m the pilot of the plane.

What do you like most about your job? 

I literally enjoy every day. I look forward to work, I look forward to our daily stand ups. I like the mix of characters in the team, I think everyone’s hilarious, everyone’s brilliant. There’s a lot of strong women in this business that I can look up to, who inspire me, and I really like being around them.

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