The Support Team ensures the smooth day-to-day running of projects, from making sure our clients are happy and their priorities are being met, to being responsible for our internal ticketing system and ensuring our internal teams have everything they need to work effectively.
We interviewed Jennifer Sheeran to get an inside view of life as a Support Manager at the award-winning digital agency, Silverchip.
What does a standard working day consist of?
Each piece of work is received in the form of a ticket. My day mainly revolves around the Kanban board where the tickets live, which shows each stage of the workflow, from new to complete.
I monitor each stage of the workflow and ensure we understand the requirements, the work is booked in with the right people, and the client is kept informed.
I speak to clients and our team of developers frequently throughout the day. A team member may need clarification on a point or some information from the client; or a client may have some testing feedback, or a question about the progress of a piece of work. I try and get information from the correct people in order for the work to run as smoothly as possible.
Sometimes things come up which disrupt our schedule (a project becoming blocked or an urgent piece of work which needs prioritising) and I work with the Delivery Manager to rework our plans and ensure we make the most of the resources we have while meeting the time requirements of our clients.
What is your go-to lunch?
I generally like working from the office and, unfortunately for my bank balance, there are a number of great places nearby to eat. Most of the time I choose to work through my lunch so I can bank up my hours but if I’m particularly peckish Rad’s Caribbean is a favourite.
What essential tools/ websites do you use daily to help you day-to-day?
I mainly use Jira and Teams to organise tickets and communicate with people. We have a couple of other tools such as Float for scheduling, Outlook for appointments, and Phoenix an internal tool we use for clocking our time and logging how much time has been spent on each piece of work.
Outside of that I heavily rely on Spotify - a good soundtrack is key to a productive day!
What is the most exciting project you have worked on so far?
One of the most interesting parts of support is that you work on most, if not all, of the products we have. I particularly like working on a Donate a Laptop, a site we launched in order to support students struggling with remote learning due to a lack of equipment. It’s great to work somewhere which supports ‘tech-for-good' projects.
What are your favourite parts of being a Support Manager?
I really enjoy the involvement with different people. While a lot of the work is individually led, there’s loads of collaboration with the team and clients.
What attributes and skills do you think make a Support Manager successful?
I think willingness to be flexible and adapt, creating relationships and communicating clearly, and confidence are great attributes to be in this job. You can learn the systems and ways of doing things but ultimately things will sometimes go wrong. You need to be able to respond well. It also helps to have a great team around you and leadership you can rely on.
What is some career advice you would give to anyone considering a career in Project and Support Management or those who are just starting out?
After a few career changes, I’m pretty new to Project Management so I’m no oracle of knowledge!
However, what I’ve found in my career as a whole is that the best thing to do is get stuck in. Ask the stupid question, be passionate about your work, and learn as much as you can. Don't wait to be the perfect fit on paper, find a company that can support you at the level you are at and be proactive about honing your skills and progressing.
If you’re considering a job in the digital field, reach out to employees of companies you like. LinkedIn is a great way of getting some free careers advice while building a network, and people are generally much friendlier than you think!