Design Office Changes Three Months In
It’s been around three months since Head of Design Sarah Horden restructured her Truss and Joist Design teams, creating three team leader roles, filled by David Caldwell, Jenny Powell and James Hobson.
She explained her decision to change how the teams operate: “Since taking over trusses I realised very quickly that I would need a strong leader team to help and support the teams, I have found that with Jenny, David and James, they have all stepped out of their comfort zones and embraced the new challenges they have been given.”
We thought we’d ask a couple of the new team leaders how it’s going in their new roles:
David, who leads the truss design team at Wellingborough, and Jenny, who runs the joist design team at Wolverhampton are both agreed the new structure brings a number of benefits:
For David, the new structures are allowing people to focus on specific areas. From his own perspective the prospect of developing his own skills in areas where he is not familiar was a driver in applying for the role. “It’s always good to have new challenges and by trying new things you can understand what does and what doesn’t work for you and the business,” he explained – and expanded on what surprised him as he has got used to the new position. “The amount of email traffic has increased by a lot. I wouldn’t necessarily say I am doing more or less work than I previously did as I already had a fair amount of responsibility and things to do. I’m still getting used to delegating work, but I feel this will get better over time.” With plenty of new starters, David has enjoyed seeing the progression in their work and is learning to keep on top of a larger workload.
Jenny is really enjoying helping her team and making sure everyone is OK in what is a fast-paced and often high-pressure environment. “The commitment my team are showing to developing how we work and to supporting each other when the heat is on has surprised me but is very satisfying.”
Jenny continued: “The team leader structure and the extra responsibility the three of us have taken on adds a layer of support to the design department, reducing the pressure on Sarah as well as reducing the stress on everyone else as the help they need with problem solving is now in place when and where they need it.”
We asked David how he thinks the new role he occupies benefits RML: “Adding extra layers to the business can allow more senior people to focus on other areas rather than having to solely deal with certain tasks. One person can’t deal with everything, so there is no point trying to act like Superman or Wonder Woman (other superheroes are available) when it isn’t physically possible. For any business to keep growing more layers need to be added to create a necessary structure and push things forward.”
Sarah concluded: “I am extremely proud of what they have achieved since taking on the roles and would be lost without them, their help and support on taking over duties as well as continuing with their day to day roles has been exceptional. The team has grown over 12 months and combined we are a 30 person plus team, with all various levels of experience. We also have a number of new starters, who will help grow and bring fresh new ideas, which in time will help the team go from strength to strength, with the help of my team leaders. The team is a strong asset to RML and have survived some turbulent months and will continue to survive by working together and supporting each other.”
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