Today we’re speaking to Anna Williams, who holds the hybrid title of Senior Engagement Manager and Business Process Consultant. She’s worked with ServiceNow for a long time, and has brought that expertise to UP3. We’ve asked her about working in this hybrid role, why she chose it, and why she enjoys it.
As an Engagement Manager I sit as the link between the customer and the technical team who are delivering our Managed Development Service and projects to our customers. I plan out the work and allocate resources, effectively in a project management position, and make sure that the project or development is delivered on time, in line with the customer’s timeline.
A really important part of my role is truly understanding our customers businesses and how the ServiceNow platform supports their roadmap. By understanding their business, I can offer advice, and keep them informed on what they need to know throughout the process. I am their point of contact coordinating with the client and the Technical Consultants.
As Business Process Consultants, we get involved in running workshops with our customers to understand their requirements, their current processes and what it is that they want to achieve. We bring our ServiceNow knowledge to guide and advise them on how ServiceNow can support them and help them get to their desired outcomes. We also demo the products, the different applications, to them. Explaining the capabilities, what it can do straight out of the box, and how it will help deliver on what they’re trying to achieve. Normally our customers don’t write their own user stories, we write them and they sign off, which is then used to help guide the Technical Consultant.
We always ensure there’s clear acceptance criteria outlined so that during the testing phase it’s clear what the expectations are and that the product has delivered what the customer has asked. And one of our biggest responsibilities as Business Process Consultants is to QA the product before we hand it over to our customers, to make sure we’re handing something over of good quality that we know is working in line with their requirements. And we look at everything from the customer’s perspective. Is it user-friendly as well as functionally correct?
Yes, definitely, and by working with a number of customers you get to really understand their instance and their business. You’re working with a finite number of customers you quickly learn how the platform has been configured to support their business. That continuity from one Sprint to the next gives you the insight into why solutions have been developed in a certain way so that the right decision can be made for any future enhancements
What I like about the role is that I’m not just an Engagement Manager or a Business Process Consultant. There’s a variety of different things that you’re doing. One day you’re testing or running a workshop. Then another day it’s a road-mapping session helping a customer figure out what they want to achieve that year, having some strategic conversations. There’s a lot of variety there, and because my background has been involved in the ServiceNow platform for quite a number of years, being a platform lead at Royal Mail before this, it’s really nice to still do a bit of testing and do a little bit of hands-on work, as well as the project management and the engagement management side.
In terms of the Managed Development Service, it goes back to that continuity, we know our customers’ platforms and what has been developed in the past. If there’s any issues in production, issues in their platform, that requires some major overhaul, we work closely with our Managed Support team and our Technical Consultants to understand those issues and what we need to do to fix them. Whether it needs the introduction of new capability, or the removal of customisation for dealing with technical debt. We have that perspective of the whole platform and what the day-to-day issues are, we also work closely with our Solutions Consultants to understand the future capabilities ServiceNow is releasing that would be of use to them. We help keep them abreast of new functionality, especially ahead of their upgrades, of changes that could impact them, or changes that could benefit them.
We also build a really strong rapport and relationship with the customer, having that same face that they go to for whatever they might need, which is really rewarding. Having that single point of contact is really valuable for a customer. Especially after you’ve looked after them for a while, you’ve built that trust. We’ve delivered for them in the past, so they trust us to deliver for them in the future.
The Managed Development Services uses a series of defined Sprints to deliver the customer's roadmap. Naturally our customers have other priorities besides what they have with us, and it can be tricky for them to keep up with testing, or there might be scope creep and additional requirements that are only realised once the Sprint has begun. As an Engagement Manager, one of our jobs is to stay abreast of everything that’s ongoing, where it is in the cycle, and catching anything that’s slipping. We help keep our customers on-track, to get the development into production on time.
When it comes to our Managed Service, it’s not that we come in and deliver something and walk away, we’re there to support it and constantly enhance and develop it, and I enjoy taking ownership of these deliverables. That continued support comes from both sides of the role. The Business Process Consultant understands what’s been developed previously, in terms of how the business uses the platform to achieve whatever they’re doing. And then the Engagement Management part of the role is on that project management side of things, assigning resources and adjusting to changing customer priorities. Adjusting those resources are a big part of our job, to adapt to changes, either in timelines or what they want to achieve, to make sure development stays on-track.
A big thank you to Anna for answering our questions and providing really valuable insight into how working with the right team and the right ServiceNow Managed Service enables businesses to unlock the full potential of ServiceNow. If you’re interested in working with UP3, and bringing your ServiceNow expertise to a role that’s suited to your accomplishments, check out our careers page.
Engagement Manager and Business Process Consultant
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