This month we continued our Made Tech team interview series with our Client Principal Rich Worrall to better understand his role and to feature the great work he has been doing.
Our Client Principals help us deliver on our growth goals and are responsible for growing a portfolio of strategic accounts within the public sector. They are passionate about understanding the challenges faced by our clients and support clients to overcome them by working with a multidisciplinary account team.
If you would like to watch the full interview, it is available here.
Q: Outside of work, what hobbies do you have?
A: At the moment, not many as the pandemic has put most things on hold. I have two kids so I’m keeping them entertained when they’re not in school. When there isn’t a pandemic, I enjoy a bit of middle-aged snowboarding once a year and spend an obscene amount of money collecting records – that’s my little guilty pleasure.
Q: Before you joined Made Tech had you worked in the public sector at all?
A: Yes, I worked with a mix of private and public sector. There was a project a couple of jobs ago that really cemented it for me that I wanted to focus on the public sector. We were working on a project for HM Prisons and Probation Service (HMPPS) as part of the then Digital Prisons Programme where we were trying to understand how technology could help prisoners. It was a hard project to work on but so interesting and rewarding.
We spent a lot of time going into prisons and actually meeting with prisoners and trying to understand what their needs are. We would also meet with governors to try to understand the challenges that they face and the fact that in some areas 75% of people that leave prison will end up back in prison. We were trying to find a way that technology could help with that through better contact with friends and family or could they help them find a job and somewhere to live for when they’re leaving prison, all kinds of stuff.
Especially when talking to prisoners there was a real sense that what we were doing could not only improve lives but save lives. So it was a very rewarding project and made me see that the public sector is definitely where I want to be.
Q: How do you find working in the public sector?
A: I love it. We’re doing something that’s rewarding, that’s important and will help people that live in this country access services or information that they need. It helps them in their day to day life. Equally, I’m quite politically engaged and I understand that there’s a vast amount of money that’s spent on huge legacy technology. Anything that we can do to move the government agencies away from that and save the taxpayer money is a good thing. I find it hugely rewarding and better than selling units.
Q: How long have you been at Made Tech?
A: Seven months and it’s been great. I joined in a remote world and was slightly concerned that would be challenging but it really hasn’t been. Working remotely does bring some challenges but the team I’m working with and the organisation as a whole has a real sense of community. It’s not as good as face-to-face meetings but we’re doing pretty well with it and I have started to meet a few people in person which has been great.
Q: How did you find out about the company?
A: A friend of mine had joined Made Tech and I met her last summer for a drink just to see how she was doing and settling in. She waxed lyrical about what a great place to work it was and how good the culture was, so I was like, ‘okay, I think I need to find out a little bit more.’
Q: What attracted you to Made Tech?
A: There are lots of things. I think the sense of growth and the ethos, in terms of what we do and why we do it. But it was something that came from that conversation with a friend and how the cultural stuff really stood out. The fact that the handbook was available and there was obviously a lot of value put in the team. Things like unlimited holiday, flexible working and the investment in learning. There’s a genuine demonstrable value put on the team and I thought it sounded like an amazing place to work.
Q: What was the interview process like for you?
A: It was tough but good. For me, it was an informal phone chat then a phone interview with Rory our CEO and then a couple more structured interviews with members of the executive team. It was challenging and not an easy interview, but it was enjoyable. There were definitely a few questions that caught me on top, and I’ve been interviewing for a long time so that doesn’t happen often, but it was enjoyable. I’m not sure if the fact that it was remote was a good thing or a bad thing because it’s harder to read the room but it’s a bit more relaxed. It was the first interview I’ve done in my slippers.
Q: What does your role here involve?
A: As Client Principal, I work with an account on a specific client. Ultimately, we need to make sure we’re doing a really good job for our clients and that we are delivering and doing what we’re supposed to be. For me, a lot of my role is around building relationships with key people in the client organisation. It’s truly understanding the challenges that organisation is facing and what they’re trying to achieve/what their strategic aims are. By doing this, it means we will continue to work with our clients for a really long time.
It’s about building those relationships and finding areas where we can add more value. I’m really keen to find a way of truly working collaboratively with our clients. I don’t like the old school way where they’re the client and we’re the supplier and we talk over the fence to each other. I want to work with our clients and truly collaborate. Through that, we do far better work. My role is varied but it’s one of those roles where no two days are the same, which is nice. I love it.
Q: What do you like most about being a Client Principal?
A: I think the best thing for me is people. This is a people role. So working with our team and with clients is the best bit about it.
Q: What are some of the most challenging things you find about the role?
A: At the moment it’s that we’re not face-to-face with clients. While we can still definitely build relationships, I think it takes longer. The thing that we’re really missing is the ad hoc creativity that comes out of face-to-face conversations or grabbing a coffee or going for a bit of lunch or maybe a beer. We’re obviously all very time-boxed and very focused when we have meetings but it doesn’t allow too much time for that free flow of conversation.
It’s the same internally as well. I think we’re missing that meandering conversation where some of the best ideas sometimes happen. As an organisation on the internal side, we work really hard to still have those connections through team lunches or people will reach out for a coffee. That’s all brilliant but it’s just not quite the same.
Q: Do you have any advice for someone who wants to be a Client Principal?
A: I think what’s interesting about this role particularly is that when we look across the cohort of other Client Principals, we all come from different backgrounds. We have people that come from a delivery background or a technical background or a sales background. My background is in client service which perhaps you’d think would be the traditional route. I think as long as you understand what good service looks like, you can build relationships and you can think strategically, it doesn’t matter where you come from.
The one bit of advice is, don’t rule yourself out because you think perhaps you don’t come from a specialism that would lead naturally into this kind of role. As long as you can demonstrate those key fundamentals, you can come from anywhere. Everybody brings something different to the table and that’s what makes us as a team really strong.
Q: What do you like most about working at Made Tech?
A: There’s a lot of things to like. I love what we’re doing, how we’re doing it and why we’re doing it. I love the ethos. I’ve got a lot of respect for the leadership team and I think where we’re going is exciting. We’re working with some brilliant clients and winning some great work, which all makes it an exciting place to work.
I’ll also go back to a previous answer, I think the people are the best thing. We’ve got some fantastically talented people here and that’s great to be able to work with across any discipline. People who are experts in their field and I am constantly learning and being inspired. There’s a sense that there’s always more to learn and nobody’s expected to know it all at any point in their career. It’s a supportive environment as well where everybody’s looking out for everybody, which is fantastic.
Q: Do you have any books or resources you would recommend for someone interested in a role like yours?
A: I’m not a great reader but for my role, I think it’s really important to have a good sense of what’s happening in the world and within this country particularly. We’re working with the government and there are national challenges that are facing those organisations. It’s really important to understand why certain decisions are being made and what influence they may have on our clients. What’s the bigger picture? So reading a lot of papers and trying to get that broad view is really important.
If you have any more questions for Rich about his role here, you can get in touch by reaching out on Linkedin. Additionally, if you are interested in joining our team, you can view our current open positions here. Be sure to stay tuned for our next Made Tech Team Interview coming next month.