I’m Tracy, and I work in Kainos’ Birmingham office as a Product Lead.
When I first applied for the Product Lead role at Kainos I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had years of experience working in Product but I’d never been a consultant before. I wondered how it would feel to not be able to make the decisions but at the same time I was excited by the prospect of the opportunity to work on greenfield projects, and to have a bit of variety.
Looking in the rear view mirror
In a lot of companies there’s normally a limited range of products and even fewer product people, meaning that you can feel quite isolated and have limited choice of projects to work on. In addition, products inevitably develop technical debt over a period of time and tackling debt whilst continuing to evolve the product can become very constrained.
My first project was to complete a Discovery for the NHS. I learnt a bit about GDS standards along the way as I hadn’t had much opportunity to fully utilise it in the private sector but most importantly, I learnt being a consultant is a bit like passing your driving test.
Mirror. Signal. Manoeuvre
I have the same accountability as I have had previously, eg focusing on value, validating hypotheses, identifying success metrics, stakeholder management and building backlogs – but now I’m highlighting what I’m doing. That’s what reminded me of when I sat my driving test, I remember my instructor advising me to let the invigilator see my looking in the mirror before signalling and that’s what I do now, I highlight my actions to our client. It’s not all about the results – it’s how you got there.
If you’ve had three hypotheses fail before you prove one then share those results and findings with the client, take them on the journey with you. It’s not all about the outcome and most importantly when it comes to them making the end decision, your client will be armed with all the facts.
A great thing at Kainos is the huge Product team we have: lots of people to bounce ideas off, and no day is ever the same. I enjoy the project I’m working but also get to contribute to other internal projects to grow my skillset and open new doors as it is recognised that investing in our people is truly a value-add.
Find out more about careers in product here.