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4 Months as Senior Project Manager: a Q&A with Leighanne

December 3, 2020

In early September, we welcomed a new member to the Venture Stream team. 

Leighanne joined us from another ecommerce development agency, and having worked with some of the biggest ecommerce brands around, it’s safe to say she brought a wealth of experience with her. 

In this post, Leighanne shares a glimpse into a day in the life of a Senior Project Manager, what she loves the most about working at Venture Stream and her biggest achievements from the past four months. 

How have you found your first four months as Senior Project Manager at Venture Stream?

Busy! There are lots of exciting projects keeping me on my toes. I’ve been trying to get to know all of my clients both old and new as well as understand more about how the agency works.

The work has been varied, lots of launches and new projects kicking off as well as trying to get to know people whilst working remotely.

What do you like about working at Venture Stream?

The culture definitely has to be one of the main things I like about Venture Stream, it’s always difficult starting somewhere new and I’ve felt supported and comfortable right from the offset. No one takes themselves too seriously and it makes it a fun, happy place to work! 

Right from the start, the team has displayed a huge amount of trust in me, I am able to make decisions on behalf of the tech team demonstrating that my experience in ecommerce and project management is clearly valued.

Is there anything you’re more interested in learning more about over the coming months?

Having worked with brands in the past that have typically had an in-house marketing and SEO team it’s not something I’ve had a huge amount of exposure to, understanding more about how these work at Venture Stream is on my list of to-dos for the new year.

What does a day in the life of a Senior Project Manager look like? 

No day is ever the same – but usually my day will start with checking emails and planning out the day. What deadlines do we have? Which clients do I need to speak to? These are the questions I ask myself.

Every day there’s a stand up with my team, the developers, and I use this as a chance to check in and update one another on the goals we have set for the sprint. There’s always one of our pets that tries to steal the limelight and jump in front of the camera though!

I would say a large proportion of the day is spent supporting the developers, helping to resolve any issues and ensuring projects are running smoothly and to plan. I’m constantly reviewing timelines and planning the direction our projects go in as well as keeping in touch with clients.

Are there any successful client launches you’re particularly proud of?

Since I’ve been at Venture Stream I’ve been a part of 6 project launches so it’s been pretty intense:

Some of my favorites include:

  • Clarity Informatics, WordPress
  • Gingerlily London, Shopify 
  • Direct4Baby, Shopify Advanced 
  • SDL auctions, WordPress

As well as the projects I’ve helped to facilitate the launches of ,I’ve also kicked off several new projects – all due to launch in Q1 which is exciting!

What would you consider to be your biggest achievement over the past four months?

I feel like coming in and hitting the ground running with project delivery, managing the portfolio and rolling out new processes at the same time is a huge achievement as I’ve needed to spin a lot of plates. Most of this has been done remotely which comes with its own set of barriers so I’m super proud of what both I and the tech team have accomplished in this short period of time.

I can’t thank my dev team enough for all their hard work!

Have you implemented any new processes during your time at Venture Stream?

In order to make the build stage more autonomous we have moved towards a sprint based approach for the tech team, which allows the developers to have more ownership of the work and planning process.

I’ve scrapped older project management tools in favour of Jira internally which has given much needed visibility of work and the ability for us to plan it out better. 

This has been a big achievement for me personally as it has required a lot of time to set up Jira in a way that supports how we want to work,  it’s a big shift in culture from how the tech team was working before. I’m keen that we always have a set of goals to work towards and we are constantly asking the question ‘what could work better?’ in order to reflect and keep improving sprint by sprint.

From the client communication perspective I also initiated the move towards using Basecamp, having used this in the past it was a simple solution which has given clients much more visibility of their project, a place to manage project actions from and a hub for all of their key documents.

What are you looking forward to most in 2021?

I would really like to get back to office life, although I’m used to working from home and it’s my happy place, I do miss the face-to-face interactions. I haven’t had a proper chance to get to know people yet on a more personal level so I’m looking forward to a few after work drinks and socialising with them all.

I’m also looking forward to growing the tech team even more. I have lots of plans for projects, processes and team collaborations so I’m looking forward to rolling these out – more to be revealed!

Careers at Venture Stream

If you enjoyed getting an insight into life at Venture Stream and think you might be a good fit for the team, why not send us your CV? We’re always on the lookout for top talent. Find out more about working at Venture Stream and check for current vacancies over on our Careers page. Can’t find the right role for you? Send us your details and we’ll be in touch.

Written by Andy

Andy is Venture Stream’s Chief Operating Officer and has over 15 years’ experience in ecommerce consultancy, design and retail marketing.

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