Read how Dyllan joined the Ten10 PMO team after being trained in our Ten10 Academy
We’ve helped businesses across the UK grow their tech teams for more than a decade. We’re so confident in the quality of people who attend the Ten10 Academy that many consultants stay at Ten10 to become part of our consultancy practice! Dyllan Arulampalam is just one example of someone who came to us without any IT knowledge and is now part of the Ten10 team, working in our Project Management Office (PMO) team.
We caught up with Dyllan to chat about the difference he’s making to the company, the role of the PMO, and what tools he uses every day in his role.
Explain the world of PMO to those who are unfamiliar – what role does it play in a business and how important is it?
The PMO plays a pivotal function in ensuring the smooth execution of projects within a business. The role of a PMO consultant varies from business to business, however, we all aim to make sure each project follows the rules and standards, preventing chaos and improving how things work within the business.
My role within the PMO at Ten10 differs from that of a normal PMO consultant: I am not directly involved in managing specific projects or influencing their execution. Nevertheless, my role involves a range of responsibilities, including the management of OpenAir, handling invoicing, overseeing timesheets, and managing holiday schedules.
If there were no PMO, it would be like organising an event without a plan. Without someone guiding the process, everyone might do their own thing, leading to confusion and a lack of direction.
Take us through your work – what tasks and projects are you responsible for?
In my role at Ten10, I am primarily responsible for managing OpenAir, a vital tool for managing projects and allocating resources effectively within the business. It helps us keep tabs on both our clients and resources and helps us in managing timesheets and keeping track of everyone’s holidays.
Within PMO we have to take part in regular meetings and collaborate with everyone within the business to ensure smooth operations. The OpenAir data is consistently used in those meetings to help us identify the current resource-client pairings and explore potential clients for new resources. I must consistently make sure the data is correct, as a simple mistake can slow down our business operation.
Managing the PMO inbox is also an essential part of my work. I must take care of any query from anyone within the business or even outside the business. These queries can be simple questions or aiding the finance team with any expenses. I work alongside other members of the PMO team to get this done, and from time to time I still require help for certain queries.
What kind of work do you complete in a normal week?
In a regular week, I handle a variety of tasks to keep things running smoothly. One of my main duties is regularly conducting governance checks. This means I go through our data to make sure it’s accurate, catching and fixing any mistakes as soon as possible to avoid any issues.
Taking care of the PMO takes most of my time, I receive daily queries regarding timesheets, holidays, new projects, and expenses. Twice a month, I have the responsibility of preparing and sending invoices for the clients I have been allocated. This can be a very long process due to the different ways we invoice depending on the client. My main aim is to make sure that I invoice for the correct number of days and I make sure to keep track of timesheets each week and raise any discrepancies I find.
How do you feel you’ve transitioned from the Ten10 Academy to your work?
Moving from the Ten10 Academy to my current role has been quite a journey. After finishing the Academy, I got the opportunity to work internally at Ten10. From the beginning, I was told that the PMO role could not be learned from simply completing a course, as such I had to move to Leeds to work directly with David Blyth, the Head of PMO. This hands-on experience ensured my learning was not just theoretical but practical, giving me valuable insights into the world of project management at the company.
At the start, it was a bit tough and applying what I learned in a real-world setting had its challenges. But I took each task as a chance to learn, and the more I tried, the more I understood. Working closely with David Blyth was a big help, and his guidance played a huge part in helping me get the hang of things.
As time went on, I began to really enjoy the PMO role. It’s not something you can fully grasp from a textbook. It needs adaptability, problem-solving skills, and good communication. The more I got into the tasks, the more I felt confident and skilled. The challenges that seemed hard at first turned into chances for me to learn and grow.
What parts of the Ten10 Academy training have been most useful?
Before joining the Academy, I had limited knowledge of the IT world. The Academy served as a valuable introduction to the IT sector and provided me with foundational insights into PMO functions and responsibilities. The Ten10 Academy played a crucial role in preparing me for my current placement by offering a quick and comprehensive learning experience.
During my time at the Academy, I learned about various aspects of the IT world from testing to developing. I discovered that I was pretty good at automation testing, which I found to be both enjoyable and fulfilling. Although I’ve now joined the PMO, the important lessons and skills I gained during my testing experiences continue to benefit me in my current role. The diverse knowledge acquired at the Academy has provided me with a well-rounded understanding, enhancing my ability to contribute meaningfully to my present position.
What I appreciated the most about the Academy was the supportive learning environment, where asking for help was encouraged. This culture has smoothly transitioned into my current role, making it easy for me to seek assistance when needed.
What technology, tools, frameworks, and processes have you gained experience with since starting your work?
I use OpenAir and Salesforce regularly for my day-to-day work and much of the knowledge I was able to gain on both those tools was from hands-on experience. Excel is also crucial for my role. I was not too savvy with it before joining the Academy. When I was hired into the PMO team I was given the option to complete an Excel course and this has helped me a lot in my daily work. More importantly, since diving into this role, I’ve adopted a more organised approach. This shift has not only made my workflow smoother but also ensures tasks are handled efficiently without anything slipping through the cracks.