In this blog, our Senior Project Manager Bryn Morgan, walks us through a typical day in his role at Jisp, sharing his advice and thoughts about everything we're working on.
My name is Bryn; nice to meet you. I’m the Senior Project Manager here at Jisp.
Among other bits and pieces, I lead the company's Product Management, Data Entry and Product teams, and have done so since March this year, starting as a Project Manager in April 2022.
Before starting at Jisp, I worked firstly as a Designer, then as a Design Manager for a company that built enormous LEGO statues for public venues worldwide. Using a lot of different design software packages, from 3D sculpting to steel fabrication, managing sometimes hundreds of different products at various stages through process pipelines, and of course playing with some LEGO in between. All in all, it taught me many of the skills that have proved invaluable to my role at Jisp.
How much time do you have? I like being busy, and thankfully, there’s always something to be working on here at Jisp. If I had to give a definite answer, I'd say the most fulfilling part of my job is implementing or improving processes or tasks. Anything that makes people’s lives easier or allows them to take more enjoyment from their role is something I love to make happen.
One of my favourite parts of my position is seeing others improve as they develop their skill sets. And if I can do something to make that progress easier or simpler, you can bet I'll be looking into it. Finally, I always love learning new skills that make doing all of the above that much better.
On a standard day, the first thing to do is check for any outstanding emails, Microsoft Teams messages or ClickUp tasks. There’s inevitably always something that needs reviewing or a fresh task that requires a second pair of eyes. For that reason, I use a journal to stay on top of everything. So, come Monday morning, you’ll likely find me writing up everything that needs doing in the upcoming few days.
Throughout the week, I keep my notes up-to-date with any meetings, objectives, questions, ongoing projects or reminders for future tasks. By about 10 am, I'm usually caught up and ready for my second coffee of the day. I always keep the first part of the day as open as possible for pre-planned ongoing business tasks or to help out any team members with their queries and task lists via group meetings or 1-1s.
As with everyone in the company, we're all vital components of a larger machine.
Without the work of Emma and Natasha in the Project Management team ensuring consistently strong delivery of our ongoing propositions, the massive daily effort from our Data Entry team ensuring that the products we supply to our customers are built and operational or the exemplary performance of our growing Product Team supporting the business, we would all falter and eventually come grinding to a halt.
But most importantly, no one person or team keeps the Jisp vision in sight. What we do best is support each other whenever someone needs it.
As with any role, all the qualities that make someone an effective Senior Project Manager can be taught and developed:
Organisation - I used to be (and still am in some aspects of my life) the most disorganised person ever. Bullet journals, task lists and a focused mindset are vital to help keep those plates spinning!
Empathy - Take the time to ensure you're listening to your colleagues, see everyone as your equal, and remember the person always comes first.
Rational Thinking - You should always see each task as an opportunity to assess your core objectives. Does improving the business allow you the opportunity to improve yourself? If you have a repetitive task that often takes far too long, is it worth the amount of time you are spending, or is there a better way to do it?
Did you make a mistake, or did an issue crop up? It happens all the time and to everyone. Turn it into an opportunity, even if that opportunity is simply making sure it doesn't happen again, and be happy you've likely avoided a bigger issue in the future.
Conviction - It’s a bit cheesy, but you have to trust your judgement and values while still being open to improvement. Nobody knows everything, and it can all be an opportunity to develop - you can be adaptable without sacrificing your authenticity. If you believe in what you do and are open to taking the teachable moments as they come, you'll make fewer mistakes in the long run.
My afternoons are usually assigned to ongoing projects, developing our current processes to improve our operations, tailoring development plans for the team and assessing their training needs, personal goals and the status of their respective departments. Whatever I’m getting up to, however, I ensure that time will always be made to assist anyone who needs it wherever I can.
My ongoing goal, as always, is to support and develop the team to achieve our company goals best. By striving to create a positive space where work is done with minimal oversight, minimal stress and maximum efficiency, we can effectively safeguard the happiness and productivity of everyone at Jisp.
I also ensure the opportunity to develop cross-discipline skills is readily available, allowing us to support each other and lead by example. A straightforward code that I strive to follow every day is: ‘Don’t ask anyone to do something I wouldn't do myself’ - assuming I can, of course (I'll learn to code one day!).
I’m proud to say that multiple members of my team have been named Employee of the Month throughout recent months - very well deserved!
Across all the teams, there's been fantastic growth from each and every member, taking on new responsibilities, increasing their outputs or developing their expertise in their role. On a personal note, I'm particularly proud of the Call Log Excel document created for the CRC team. While there are always improvements to be made in how it functions, it represents the latest milestone for me in developing tools to make the work of others easier and more efficient. Plus, (on a nerdy note), it's built with better overall functions than previous versions.
Microsoft Excel… pun intended. It doesn't matter what role you're in; being literate in its functions and uses will allow you to be more efficient in myriad ways and is probably the most transferable skill (outside of being able to hold a conversation) that I can think of.
No matter how long I've been here, I always seem to be surprised by the end of the day when it sneaks up on me!
My goal before wrapping up is to have the day’s tasks all ticked off from my weekly list. If our plates are a bit too full that day, I make sure to have planned our time to wrap up any remaining work the next day. Regardless of what happens, my hope is always that my team and I leave satisfied with the day's work and proud of what we’ve achieved.
If I had to be specific, it would be the ongoing investment in the skills of its employees and the prioritisation of employee benefits and incentives.
Jisp, in the year and a bit I've worked here, has introduced training budgets per person, lunch rewards for meeting KPIs, budgets for fuel to and from the office, team day out activities and our 4-day working week. All this is just a bonus, with the biggest perk being working as a vital part of a goal-oriented team where we all strive together towards our company objectives.
At Jisp, however you spend your working day, you’re investing your valuable time and energy. Every week, we edge ever closer to the culmination of our efforts, and as we achieve greater heights, we can be proud that it's been supported by our investment. By the time we’ve achieved our goals, I'll have grown and learned a whole lot. Working with Jisp has shown me it's essential to appreciate the value in both the journey and its end.