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A Day in the Life – Nicola Barraclough, Programme Manager

Infographic depicting Nicolas Day in the Life featuring a laptop, emails, conversation, finance reports and coffee

Friday 2nd July 2021

“I grab my second coffee of the day (my first coffee is always in bed not long after waking up, I couldn’t function without it!) and switch my laptop on at 8.30am.  I usually start my mornings anywhere between 8am and 9am, largely depending on whether I’m on school run / packed lunch / other child-related duties that morning or not!  Microsoft TEAMs and Vonage (our telephony system) open automatically when my laptop starts up, so I check those for any updates and respond to a couple of queries received over night.  I then open my emails and work through as many as I can.

I am quite disciplined with my emails as I don’t like a busy inbox so if I’ve opened an email, I just deal with it there and then.

This can take up a good chunk of my morning because most of my emails need actions, decisions or responses and take a bit of thinking about / preparing for!  In the mailbox today I have an email about an invoice for our recent procurement advice that I need to check in with Claire about (the MOTW Finance Manager), a couple of IT issues I need to raise tickets for, I need to chase some signoffs in relation to extension documentation, and I have a request from Jess (the MOTW Programme Support Officer) to look over a report she has drafted and to provide comments, to name a few!

I then move on to the MOTW Programme Update for July, putting some finishing touches to it.  Carolyn (the MOTW Marketing Lead) had took my draft copy a few days earlier and formatted it onto Microsoft Sway, and today I need to double check I’m still happy with the content, make any last-minute amends before sending it out across the programme.

By now it’s late morning and I turn my attention to the next task. I met with a GP Practice in Newcastle yesterday to promote MOTW and generate referrals, and they are keen to receive some regular communications and performance data updates from us.  So, I forward them the presentation slides I used yesterday and spent some time planning what the future communications should look like, chatting it through with Carolyn and Lisa (the MOTW Performance Manager) who will lead on these going forward.

I stop for lunch around 12.30pm.  I always think about going for a walk over my lunch break but haven’t managed to follow through on that for a while!  But I did make sure I sat away from my desk for 20 minutes to give my eyes and brain a rest!

After lunch I have a 1:1 with Adrianna (the MOTW Programme Administrator).  I have 1:1’s with every member of the Programme Team on a fortnightly basis, and we usually discuss workload, progress on key tasks, any queries about those tasks, and staff wellbeing.

I then have a meeting with Claire and the Mental Health Concern Finance Team, where we discussed the MOTW budget to ensure it ties in with the management accounts and chatted through any discrepancies.  After that I start to draft a Programme Overview Report for the Operational Group meeting which takes place next month.

The report is large and complex as it includes all achievements and challenges over the last quarter and details upcoming priorities for the next quarter.

Due to the nature and audience of the report it takes a while to write, so much happens in the space of three months! I also have limited uninterrupted time, and during the afternoon of report writing I receive a couple of ad hoc TEAMs calls, answer some TEAMs messages, and answer an MOTW “hotline” call (this is the main MOTW phone number, used on all marketing material.  The Programme Team take turns to answer the phone and we receive numerous calls a day from people wanting to refer, partners referring their clients, current participants querying something, or people interested in the programme and keen to learn more.  This phone call didn’t transpire into a referral, but it’s a great part of the job being able to speak to those who ring in!).

Just before 5 I take a phone call from one of the Senior Navigators, and I finish my working day at 5.15pm after raising an estates query / issue relating to some participant file archiving in the MOTW Head Office.

My day doesn’t end there though… I’m booked on to a PRINCE2 (Project Management) Foundation and Practitioner classroom course in a couple of weeks, for my own personal development, so I am going to do some pre-course work / study tonight and over the weekend.  I do have lots of project management experience but not with this methodology so want to give myself the best possible chance of success… wish me luck!”Nicola Barraclough, Programme Manager

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