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July 14, 2021
Agility and advocacy
By: Alex Berry

Agility

As a Product Owner I’m essentially the individual that bridges the gap between our clients’ vision for the future and where they are now, by collaborating with them to implement their transformation aspirations. It’s my job to understand the client’s needs, their industry, their market and consider how we might create a product that will benefit them or their customers. It’s a very client-focused role, that demands the ability to collaborate and liaise with our development teams as well as our client team members.

I’ve been here four years this summer and when I first started on the graduate programme I was lucky enough to be put on a project with some really supportive senior managers. I was part of a team where there was quite a high exposure to senior management and I really reaped the benefits of some high-quality mentoring and coaching in my early days. I moved out of our Analyst Technology Group after about 12 months and am now part of the Business Agility team which is one of the pillars of Software Engineering in the UK and Ireland.

The Business Agility team is made up of a real mix of people. Unlike some of the more traditional consulting roles where you generally specialise in one market or industry, we bring cross-functional skills and work across industries and markets to help our clients along their business agility transformation journey. We can cover the traditional advisory/consulting operating models or large-scale Agile transformations. We also provide coaching to help our clients’ people on their journey towards an Agile culture and working environment. Alongside that we also provide staffing and resourcing – for example I would join a delivery team or programme as a proxy Product Owner to provide resources on-the-ground and help to deliver the solution. But in most cases, we focus on your large-scale transformations like moving from Waterfall to large portfolios in Agile-scaled methodology.


Advocacy

I'm someone that is very invested in the core ethics and corporate responsibility of a company. I’m also a feminist and keen to be an advocate for minority groups, so soon after I joined, I became actively involved with our Accent on Gender network. As part of the network, I was looking after our Women in Tech hub and coming up with initiatives to support our women working in technology - whether that be mothers, carers, or just women who wanted to connect. As well as social events we also ran educational programmes around topics like biases, gender stereotypes and creating inclusive working environments – and these were not just for women but for everyone.


I found this side-of-desk work to be one of the most influential programmes I’ve worked on. I met a lot of my now close friends through the network and was able to connect with managing directors and senior people who have been helpful in mentoring and guiding me through my career at Accenture. I was very junior when I became involved and the work I did for the network gave me a lot of early responsibility and an opportunity to operate above and beyond my career level; enabling me to develop skills that I could reapply in my live project work. Personally, I believe the additional initiatives I was involved in have been instrumental in my development and progression; there are always a breadth of activities to get involved in at Accenture, each providing an opportunity to try something new, learn and develop your skills.

That’s one of the best things here - the breadth of opportunity that’s open for you. There’s a huge diversity of projects, roles, and industries you can work on; but then you have side of desk activities to get involved with, from social media for your team (which I now do), or initiatives such as Accent on Gender or Accent on Ethnicity. You can really get involved in all kinds of different programmes and initiatives and there's a lot of resource available to support you in that.


We’re looking for more people like Alex to join our team. If you have experience in Agile and are excited by the prospect of working with global clients and on their business transformation journey, start your job search here.



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