Project Management in my shoes, by Michael Hudson

In this, the first of a series of ‘In our shoes’ blogs, Triad Project Manager Michael Hudson talks about all things PM: from tricks of the trade to mentors and why every day is different.

Tell me about your role as an IT Project Manager

My job is to play a key role in the delivery of a service or product. What I am working on varies, but can include IT infrastructure, network, migrations, and software upgrades. We cover a wide spectrum of topics, including planning, resource & responsibility allocation, finance controls and stakeholder management. 

We will be expected to implement the project in line with the organisation’s standards and policies, as defined in the scope of requirements by the client, delivering against time, cost, and quality.

How did you end up at Triad doing this role?

Triad approached me back in March 2021 during the national lockdown. I had been managing projects with the Ministry of Defence, House of Parliament, Home Office, and Cabinet Office. Two interviews later, I was on board! 

What do you think is the secret to being a brilliant project manager?

My goal is to ensure that the project remains on track. I think the secret is good communication and stakeholder management. I like to build a rapport with my stakeholders and understand what makes them tick, taking the opportunity to chat during water cooler moments before meetings and so on. 

Do you have a role model? And if, so how do they influence you?

Yes, my dad, Peter Hudson. He’s my biggest fan, but also my biggest critic. He is the one person throughout my professional life that I have turned to for advice and guidance. Whether it’s early starts and long car journeys to the office, site or back home after a long day, airport layovers or nights in hotels alone, he’s always my second call (after the wife)!

What is a typical day as a project manager like?

Never is one day the same as the last! As projects progress, the activities can change rapidly. It can be tough and challenging. Staying focused and maintain a clear vision on the deliverables for the day is important.

You work from one assignment to the next. What has been your favourite assignment so far and why?

The In-Cell technology programme must be up there. As part of the HMPPS Digital, Data & Technology Strategy to have In-Cell technology prisons, it was my role to oversee the deployment of 3,500 devices to prisoners and the migration of these sites services from locally hosted to Azure.

I had never worked prison-side before and in this role, I was dealing with the prisoners directly as the end user. We had to deal with multiple challenges including the breakout of covid, wings being locked down for various reasons and prisoners not being available due to their schedules.

What do you love most about your role?

Everything. The variety of projects I’ve been involved in and delivered has been great. The teams and people I have met, some of whom have become friends for life. And the sense of achievement you get when you hit the project finish line. It is weirdly special!

What’s the hardest thing about your role?

Realising that you can’t control everything, including 3rd party suppliers and time! Switching off after a long day of issues can be tricky, especially if they were outside of my control; it can play on my mind.

What advice would you give to someone considering project management as a role?

If you’re starting out in project management or have recently become a project manager, consider finding a mentor to offer you guidance and support throughout your career. My father was a great mentor for me in my early days of Project Management, offering advice not just around the methodology but taking time to explain, giving a scenario and detailing ‘what’ action needs to be taken, ‘who’ needs to be informed and ‘when’.

If you are interested in Project Management or have a question for the Triad team, then please get in touch here