Doug explains how flexibility has helped him shape his role as a Project Manager
“I’ve only been here 9 months, but it’s already been a brilliant experience, working with some great teams and individuals”
Name: Doug Whincup
Job title: Project Manager (PM)
What area of Sky do you work in? Digital (Leeds Dock)
What’s your career journey been like up until now? I’ve only been here 9 months so far and came in as a PM, so got quickly stuck in to a complex and high profile project. This has been a brilliant experience, working with some great teams and individuals both in Leeds and in the wider Sky community. Prior to joining, my career has predominantly been project based with many years of PM experience across a number of industries, which has given me a great broad base of experience and transferrable skills helping me to really hit the ground running here.
What does a typical day working here look like for you? One good thing (for me anyway) about being a PM is the sheer variety of things undertaken in a typical day. There are the typical PM tasks, of course – coordinating and running meetings and calls, tracking and updating actions, risks, finances, documents and the like – but in addition there are ad hoc breakout discussions and sessions, troubleshooting, stakeholder showcases and demos, even games of pool from time to time – there is a refreshing culture here of trying to keep work fun whilst at the same time delivering cutting edge, exciting digital projects.
How have you made a difference in your role? I’ve yet to pass the year mark but hopefully at that point I’ll have plenty to say on this as everyone here is encouraged to make a difference and change the way things are. “It’s just the way we do it here” isn’t something you hear very often!
What’s been your proudest moment since working here? This will be the early morning launch of Sky Mobile – I coordinated the launch from an online perspective and (fuelled with breakfast) we saw the culmination of lots of hard work being put successfully live, working brilliantly as a digital team together with the many other wider teams also involved. Seeing the website visits and real customer orders coming in was a great buzz!
What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? The flexibility and lack of boundaries and obstacles (compared to other industries I have worked in) is refreshing, but the most enjoyable aspect on the whole is the friendly, positive and open culture, and the great bunch of people you’ll work with here.
Describe your work/life balance? As a working parent it is vital to me that there is flexibility for childcare, school runs and the like. We offer this, and whilst project deliveries sometimes require extra effort, there is plenty of give and take to balance the work with life. There is also a great social buzz, with opportunities for friendly pool tournaments, social chat, offsite activities, evenings out and the like.
What advice would you give to others trying to develop their career? Make time to talk, ask and learn about the bigger picture and how the different teams and sites operate, and where you fit in to that picture. There are opportunities; self-belief and a positive attitude can go a long way to put you in the right place to progress them!
An interesting fact/something no one else knows about you? I have a number of slightly geeky hobbies outside work; astrophotography (freezing extremities, standing out in cold pitch black places with a camera trying to get photos of stars) and snooker (I once played a frame with THE Steve Davis. And lost) being just two of them.