The first of our iWireless stories – an interview with Kirsty Davies
Date started at iWS: December 2011
Job title upon start: Project Administrator
Current job title: Senior Project Manager
Question: How has your job changed from when you started at iWireless Solutions?
I have had numerous roles since starting. I’ve had the opportunity to work in pretty much every department and learned from so many people. I started in design as an administrator and then worked to a Project Co-Ordinator. I supported the Project Managers in running their projects, updating their design documents, arranging access etc. I then progressed and gained more responsibility as a Project Engineer, managing my own smaller projects.
The first project I managed was the decommissioning of the Athlete’s Village (London 2012 Olympics). This was on behalf of Airwave, and I had to manage a team of sub-contractors and ensure all equipment was recovered and delivered back to the client. The project was successfully delivered on programme and within budget. When I was promoted to Project Manager, my next project was quite a challenge: installation of a cellular solution at a high-end London department store. Much of what I learned on this project was utilised to develop and fine-tune the project tools and resources used by all our PM’s today (Project Delivery Register, Build Process, etc.).
2 years ago, I was seconded as Build Operations Manager to set up and manage a newly formed installation team. This required establishing all functions of the department including processes, resources and also recruitment of engineers.
My latest role is back in Projects, as Senior PM. I am responsible for making sure that the project leads are trained to enable them to run their projects on time and within the budget. I manage the department resources and support site and office based PM work. I’ve also had the opportunity to be involved in company tenders and am heavily involved in project related commercials.
Question: What are your Top 3 lesson/skills learnt at iWireless Solutions?
- PRINCE2 (foundation & practitioner)
- Numerous site based skills acquired on-the-job
- Ability to manage and guide other staff – lead by example
Question: What key projects have you worked on over the past years?
- Major High-End Department Store, London
- O2 Arena – LTE Upgrade
- SECC, Clyde & Hydro (Commonwealth Games & 4G Upgrade)
- NWR station 4G Upgrade
- Wembley Stadium Design
Question: What was your most memorable project and why?
The London department store was my first project as a PM and it raised many challenges. Firstly, it was my first full on night project, which was a challenge in itself. I then had numerous contractors to manage and bring into the programme (DAS, fibre, electrical & core drilling). I had not managed that number of resources before and to juggle them was certainly tough. This was also the first project for a new client, so communication was key. There were also a lot of logistical lessons with working in an old building, complex riser work and new active equipment configurations.
Question: What is your best memory/anecdote of your life at iWireless Solutions to date?
I think it was my first real site survey, I went to Cardiff Millennium Stadium with our SHEQ Manager for a post-installation audit. I got to go on the gantry, which in itself is pretty amazing, but the stadium was going through tests ahead of the upcoming six nations match and was showing the team line-up on the screens. It was absolutely freezing as it was February, but such an amazing view. There were a few colleagues who weren’t so pleased – one didn’t like heights.
Question: How has iWireless Solutions grown or changed over the years?
When I started, there were a lot of younger, new staff (like myself). Now, the young staff members have grown to into the experienced ones teaching newbies. Also, we have also expanded our own skill set as a company, bringing on board a variety of people from different backgrounds and skills sets. The majority remains unchanged, which is one of the nice things about iWireless. Everyone still does a bit of everything – senior managers are as hands-on as junior staff.
What – if anything – makes iWireless Solutions special for you?
iWireless Solutions is more of a family than a workplace. Nothing seems too much of an effort for people and there’s usually someone who will go above and beyond for you (although sometimes “no” would be the best answer!). If there’s a big deadline, it’s not just one person’s problem, everyone will chip in and get it done. It’s quite a relaxed atmosphere, despite the high pressure and stress of project work. There’s also opportunity to develop and progress quickly, whilst experiencing a varied and challenging work life. It’s incredible to realise that we are celebrating our 10th anniversary this year – time has flown by!
Question: Describe iWireless Solutions in 10 words or less.
Fun, friendly, opportunity to develop & learn, goes above & beyond.