Made Tech Blog

Making a difference, one project at a time

Welcome to Made Tech Insiders, where we interview the talented individuals shaping our organisation.  We’ll explore career journeys, project highlights, and future tech trends, showcasing what makes Made Tech an exceptional place to work and innovate.
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Thom Beckett’s career journey is a great example of the power of seizing opportunities and embracing change. He’s now finally found his niche in the ever-changing field of technology. 

Q: How did your career journey lead you into the tech industry?

With a background in philosophy and a stint as a primary school teacher, my route into the tech world is quite unusual. I moved from teaching into the civil service and that’s when my journey into tech really began. It started with responsibilities like managing websites and gradually progressing to more tech-focused roles in digital communications and assurance programs. Along the way I picked up lots of valuable transferable skills. Working in communications in one of my roles was particularly  helpful – it’s easy to underestimate how much of any job comes down to effective communication and getting a message across succinctly. My time at Government Digital Services (GDS) also gave me a huge amount of experience in project management and risk assessment, skills that I continue to use every day.

Q: You work mainly on digital transformation projects – what would you say is key to success?

With digital transformation projects, I’ve come to realise that success hinges not only on the vision from the top but mostly on the collective efforts of the individuals within the organisation. While leaders like Chief Digital Information Officers (CDIOs) and Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) set the direction, it’s how engaged and involved the frontline staff are that really makes the difference.

Achieving real transformation is a balancing act of the people, process, and technology. Each component is indispensable, but it’s when they’re truly integrated that meaningful change happens. Take, for instance, the development of tools for government departments – you always need to take a big-picture view of the implications it will have on the organisation. If you introduce a particular piece of tech, how does this change the way that people do their work? Does a particular meeting have to operate in a different way? Are you asking people to collect slightly different information? Unless you understand all the nuances of the change, it may be tricky to deliver successful transformation.

Q: What’s it like working at Made Tech?

At Made Tech, there’s a real focus on getting the best outcomes for clients. It’s inspiring to work in an environment where everyone shares the same aim of delivering results that have a real impact on people’s lives. 

A recent example where I think I really made a difference, was on a project for a government department that involved streamlining a series of complex IT project management processes. I rescued a ‘creaking’ Trello board and overhauled a series of Google form inputs that were all being done manually. The end result was a tool that automated all of those different stages, and although it was a relatively small project, it made a big difference in how well people collaborate and work together. 

What keeps me motivated at Made Tech is the variety of projects and the opportunity to learn from different people. It’s like having a new job every three months. Whether it’s simplifying processes or building tools to improve organisational efficiency, I find making a real-life impact for users is really fulfilling.

Q: What are some top tips that you’ve learnt in your latest role?

  • Put users first: The needs of the end-users have to be at the forefront of every transformation project. Without a deep understanding of the people who will be using the tools, even the most cutting-edge technology you want to introduce may fall short. 
  • Communicate your vision: Build communication that flows both downward and upward within the organisation. Without buy-in from those on the ground level, you’ll get scepticism among frontline workers who will struggle to see how the project directly impacts them. 
  • Listen to people: Discover who’ll be using the new tools and technologies. Understand how it will impact their day-to-day work. 
  • Break down silos: Bring together diverse perspectives and you’ll get more innovative solutions.
  • Iterate and adapt: Recognise that digital transformation is ongoing, not a one-time project. 
  • Understand what you’re going to measure: For me, success metrics must be tailored to each project, whether it’s reducing project timelines or improving the quality of a process or a system.

Q: What advice would you give to others considering a career in tech? 

I see my journey as an example for others considering a career change or transition into tech. Tech may seem like a closed shop from the outside, but there are a wealth of opportunities for individuals with diverse skills and backgrounds, not just those with a traditional ‘technical’ background. It’s not about knowing everything; it’s about being open to learning and growing in your role.

In reflecting on where I’ve come from, I’ve come to appreciate the importance of adaptability, continuous learning, and a willingness to embrace new challenges. Anyone with these qualities could easily be successful in the tech industry.

For more information on job opportunities at Made Tech take a look at our careers website.

About the Author

Thom Beckett

Lead Consultant at Made Tech

Thom is a transformation consultant at Made Tech, looking for opportunities to align government organisations with their digital future. Before joining Made Tech, he spent the best part of 20 years working in various UK Civil Service departments.