September 03, 2019
From watching to working
By: Jenni Hagan

Jenni having breakfast

I work in Accenture's Communications, Media and Technology operating group, but that's a bit of a mouthful, so when people ask, I usually say that I work in TV. Of course, this requires further clarification before they assume I'm an extra on Hollyoaks and I follow up with 'in the technical part, not actually on TV'.

Telling people about my work is never a simple conversation - the truth is, the work we do is so vastly different from client to client and from industry to industry that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question "So what do Accenture do?"

For me, my work is best described as a behind-the-scenes view of one of my favourite pastimes - watching TV. I have spent the last 5 years working with a number of clients in the TV industry; and every year I find new, interesting things to do. The work is usually centred around some kind of 'problem' or 'improvement', such as "there's a huge sporting event coming up - how do we make it as simple as possible for users to sign in?" or "we have a higher error rate - what can we do to reduce it". We look for solutions or changes that can give clients an edge in a really competitive market.

A disclaimer before we go into the details: I'm not an engineer, or a dictionary-definition "techie". I studied English Lit and History, but I soon learned that you don't need to have a computing degree (or any degree at all for that matter) to have a passion for tech.

A day in the life

I'm currently working with Channel 4, helping to create and deliver the technology that puts their content on mobile devices and on the web. I'm a delivery lead, which means I coordinate the activities of the many talented Scrum Masters, Developers, Testers and UX Designers that are responsible for shepherding an idea from concept to real-life production.

Every day starts with a stand up - our teams might be dealing with complex tech and juggling many different tasks, but these meetings are kept to a strict 15 minutes. That's probably one of my main goals - making sure no meeting is longer than it has to be, so that people are given the time and space to do what they do best.

Throughout the day I'll keep in touch with the team over Slack, or face to face, depending on where they are. If any problems arise, particularly ones that require support from multiple departments, I'll pick these up and try to get them sorted.

I'll also spend a lot of time looking at our metrics. We measure and assess our work continuously; using the data we gather we can work out release schedules and launch dates. It's one of the most useful tools we have. It can prompt useful discussions in retros, identify problem areas and highlight the areas that are going well and deserve to be celebrated.

Beyond the day-to-day, I'll spend a bit of time looking at the future. What are we building in six months' time, and what can we do today to help prepare?

People development is also a big part of the role, and an area I want to work more in. This involves working with people who are new to the company, ensuring that they have what they need and are finding their way, or welcoming new people to our team.

Outside the 9-5

As much as I enjoy my job, I’m not in the office 24/7 – and nor should anyone be! I’m lucky enough to live in central London, within walking distance to the office (I wasn’t born in London, but within months of moving here, I learned that a non-tube/train commute is a BIG DEAL). So, every day I take in the London skyline and listen to a podcast – my current favourites are “How I built this” by NPR and “How to fail with Elizabeth Day”. It’s a great location for the commute, but even better at weekends – you’ll find me sampling the coffee at Borough market or café/bar hopping with friends. I try to offset all of my café grazing with running – my normal route is a 10km river loop but, try as I might I still can’t run it in under an hour!

Jenni is skiing with her friend Jenni is walking around the city

I also get a generous holiday allowance from work, which I take full advantage of! So, if I’m not in London, I’m probably exploring somewhere in Europe; I speak Spanish and lived in Spain for a while, so I often visit cities there – and nothing beats Spanish food!

Why Accenture?

There are tons of companies out there, some with really exciting work and interesting roles. But there are some things that, for me, set Accenture aside. I work four days a week. I'm not a parent, or in part-time study; I just like the balance of it. For me, my manager's response to my request to cut my working hours showed me that leaders in Accenture genuinely care about the people that work for them.

The work is constantly evolving too. What I was working on two years ago is nothing like what I am working on now, and I know that in another year there will be exciting changes again. It keeps everything refreshed - it may have been five years, but it's still the most interesting job I think I'll ever have.

Are you a digital disruptor? We have partnered successfully with Channel 4 over the past two years to build their All 4 product and are excited to be helping them with their growth in Leeds. Search live roles here.

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