A Day In The Life of Susanne Allso
This months' Day In The Life' features Susanne Allso, Solution Architect for Workday Adaptive Planning at Formulate. Sue talks about why she loves her job, manages her day and why she would not wish to be a teacher.
Please describe your job, what do you do?
As a Solution Architect, I implement Workday Adaptive Planning for our customers. I manage and develop Workday Adaptive Planning projects which allow customers to move away from long and somewhat painful Excel budgeting and find a more efficient cloud-based solution.
What is a typical day? Has the pandemic impacted it at all?
As a mother to a child in primary school, my day typically starts with a lost shoe, reading book or a second journey back to school due to a forgotten clarinet. But, of course, the latter being more my fault than hers.
Once the manic school run is over, I start my day with a strong coffee and a cuddle with our new puppy called Ru before logging on to commence my working day.
I have found working from home essentially easy as it allows me to take and collect my daughter from school most days, something I could not do at the time with my oldest son and something I treasure being able to do now.
However, I miss the social banter an office environment can provide, so I regularly start and end my working day with a quick Teams chat with one of my closest colleagues.
Having worked within the Formulate team for almost four years, I have worked on multiple projects both myself and as project lead to larger teams and have gained valuable experience and knowledge from every project I have been part of. In this profession, you can never know everything, and there is always something new to learn or a different way to approach a solution that always keeps me busy and my brain active.
I found the pandemic a challenge as not only did I find out I am rather rusty at fractions, I missed my family and friends terribly and found the balance of homeschooling and working full time rather difficult. I am so grateful for the support and flexibility I was given from my colleagues, my clients and my employer. Although I will always cherish the time I spent with my children, I have concluded I could never be a teacher!
What do you love about your job?
I can honestly say working within the Formulate team and the wider Kainos team is the best role I have ever had. The Formulate team have a great team ethos, and we are always willing to help each other when necessary. We share knowledge and keep in touch regularly to ensure customers always receive the best solution to meet their requirements.
What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?
Good communication is key; the ability to build strong relationships with customers and manage and prioritise multiple tasks is a must.
Which companies have impressed you during the pandemic?
During the pandemic I was very impressed with my daughter's school and how they adapted their approach quickly not to allow the children's education to suffer.
Bearing in mind that most teachers are unfamiliar with Teams or Zoom and do not use it daily like some of us parents, I was impressed with their ability to learn and implement it quickly.
Having experience holding meetings to large audiences using Teams or Zoom, I can only imagine how much harder it would have been for teachers. Trying to teach and manage 30+ children and keep their attention for an entire school day using a tool they are not familiar with must have been incredibly tough.
What are your favourite tools and techniques to help you get your work done?
Teams is a great way to keep in touch with other colleagues regularly and manage priorities for the day. I also use Trello to manage my daily and weekly tasks.
And how do you finish up your day?
I always end my day with a priority list for the following day/week to keep myself organised.
During the pandemic, I invested in a free-standing darts board which I regularly use to help take a break from the screen and relax at the end of the working day. I have an 18 year old son, Matthew and a 9 year old daughter, Isobel, who keeps me pretty busy on an evening and having a new puppy also keeps me active, although walks are far less enjoyable when it is raining!