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  6. September 2012
  7. Employee Profile - Kiron McDuff, Graduate, Strategy, Business Transformation and Technology


Kiron McDuff

Employee Profile - Kiron McDuff, Graduate, Strategy, Business Transformation and Technology

Posted by Kiron McDuff at 01:49 PM

Tell us about your current role and what you enjoy about it.
I am currently managing 4 small change projects across our business. They all differ in their scope and nature and as a consequence I interact with a variety of different areas and people. In some of my projects I am dealing with external partners/suppliers and in others I have exposure to and interactions with senior staff. My role means that I get to see an assortment of what our business entails and engage with people from a mixture of areas and this is both interesting and beneficial. 

What do you do in a typical working day?
On a typical day I will have several dial in meetings for each of the projects, I will have email queries/problems to respond to/sort out and I will have updates to project documents to do. My days vary depending on how many meetings I have, what activity is taking place on the project and the urgency of different tasks. All in all there are many different things to do.

How does your role fit into the wider department/company?
My team, Solutions Delivery, manages the projects that the business areas want to undertake. We are a key part of ensuring that ideas are turned into reality. Projects can be mandatory (driven by regulation, necessity or other reasons) or beneficial (work that will create benefits for the company – financial or otherwise). Irrespective of the reasons my team deliver top quality work that positively impacts our company. And they work very hard to make sure it is done right!

What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy the variety of work and areas that I get exposure to. On top of that I get to interact with a whole host of different people. Building relationships with people means that you know who to go to if you have questions and sometimes you end up working with them again. Essentially I coordinate successful delivery and I have recently implemented my first end to end project. It has gone live and the business owner and team are very happy. It is satisfying to know that people recognise what you and the team have done.

What is the most challenging part of your role?
Sometimes there are a lot of technical IT or Insurance discussions or information on projects and I don’t understand. As a consequence I have to ask for it to be put in the simplest terms or simply if everything has been done as required. People are very understanding though and happy to explain or tell me if it is right or wrong.

What do you need to be successful in your role?
You need a host of skills to be able to do this job well. I am still learning but essentially you need good communication and time management skills. It is important to be able to handle people and focus them on the goal at hand. For me having a basic understanding of as much of the technical side as possible, you may not comprehend everything but the more the better. Whether you are working with internal or external people you must be able to collaborate with them to ensure you achieve the optimal results. Linked to this is the ability to gather information, understand issues and formulate solutions. Often I won’t be involved in the specifics, as these are driven by the business areas, however it is important I manage the whole process. 

Have you taken any professional qualifications?
I have previously taken the Prince 2 project management qualification and I am just about to start the CII Certificate in Insurance to help boost my basic insurance knowledge. This should help me with understanding some of the subjects I encounter in my day to day work. 

What have been your career highlights so far?
Career highlights so far would have to be my first implementation. I managed the piece of work from beginning to end and it was successfully made live and the business area is happy with it. I received praise for my involvement and I was happy with how the whole piece had gone.

On other pieces of work senior staff have commented positively on my performance and this has been a good thing.

What are the main benefits of working in Business Technology Services?
Business Technology Services is at the heart of everything Direct Line Group (DLG) does; new/updated systems, new partnerships, compliance with regulation, what we offer out customers etc… Therefore everything we deliver contributes to the bottom line. The people in the team are friendly, knowledgeable and hard working. I have learned from them already and will continue to do so. If I have questions or need help people are willing to support and offer guidance.

Why did you choose a career in insurance?
Insurance is a rapidly evolving market and is a necessity in this day and age. There are a lot of opportunities and with DLG (or RBSI when I applied) the chance to be part of a multi billion pound company starting afresh was an appealing one. I feel that there is a good foundation to carve out an exciting career.

Watch Kiron's video here.

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