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Day In The Life of A Member Of The Management Team


What are the roles for someone in a management team?

As Head of Operations at WDL, my days are always full and varied and being responsible for the output of WDL can definitely be challenging. Whilst there is a lot of pressure involved in making sure all of our work meets our exacting standards, this is offset by the huge sense of satisfaction when work is completed, and over with happy clients.

In addition, even though a typical day for me involves troubleshooting, organising and keeping on top of things, as a member of the Management Team, there are some constants which afford me some respite from these daily pressures.

These constants take the form of regular interactions with other members of the Management Team (who all have similar pressures) as we keep focused on the business goals in and around our day jobs.

All of us, who make up the Management Team have day-to-day responsibilities outside of running the business (you already know mine) – our Managing Director (Elliot) is responsible for Sales and Finance, and the other members of the team are responsible for Creative & Marketing (Andy), Technical (Matt) and Design (Richard). As such, each day is different for all of us but I’m going to take you through a fairly typical one for me… a Monday!

A typical management day at WDL

Check messages and prepare for the day.

07:00 – 08:00 It’s quiet at this time of day so is the best time to work through issues and plan for meetings, phone calls etc

08:00 – 09:00 Pull together ‘numbers’ ahead of the afternoon Leadership Meeting. These are key performance indicators (KPIs) that show us how the business is doing and include things such as the number of chargeable hours the team worked during the previous week, the percentage of time we have spent over and above budgets, how many hours each department has in the pipeline and how long before each department can start the next project.

09:00 – 10:30 Each week on a Monday morning, we hold an ‘Operations Meeting’ where together with the Creative & Marketing Lead and the Technical Lead I run through the production schedule, project statuses, outstanding tasks and most importantly we discuss any issues with individuals and projects.

10:30 – 11:00 Team Meeting to start the week with the entire business where I go through the week’s schedule so everyone knows what everyone else is working on.

There are many reasons why we do this, not least it’s an opportunity to get everyone together to start the week, but it also allows us to start the week off on a positive note by going around everyone in turn for them to tell us their best personal and professional news from the previous week.

At the end of the meeting, there is an opportunity for people to thank each other for help over the last week and we also provide a space for any business-wide notices or changes to be announced.

11:00 – 12:00 Usually booked out for meetings (internal and/or client).

12:00 – 13:00 Meetings and/or issue-solving.

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch (get away from the desk!).

14:00 – 15:30 If no meetings are scheduled then I will work on any outstanding ‘to-dos’.

15:30 – 17:00 The management team get together once a week for our ‘Leadership Meeting’ in order to keep momentum as a business as we move towards pre-determined goals and remove obstacles.

We go through the business numbers (mentioned earlier), which also include numbers from others, we review our ‘Rocks’ (Rocks are larger ‘to-dos’, essentially personal projects assigned to each of us each quarter), we go through any client or employee headlines and then our ‘to-dos’ (small tasks assigned from the previous week).

Following this, we spend a focused hour on resolving issues. We have a list of issues that we add to a spreadsheet during the course of our working days, which when we come to them, we identify, discuss and then solve (IDS) – this creates both ‘Rocks’ and to-dos for us.

At the end of the meeting, we give it a score out of ten!

17:00 – 17:30 Check messages, issues etc

17:30 – 18:00 Create a ‘Production Schedule’ for the next day. This message goes out to the entire team and specifies the exact tasks that everyone is scheduled to work on over the next day

18:00 Hopefully, I’m finished but there are times when I may need to catch up on checking the work of various team members before the end of the day; we employ very thorough internal quality assurance checks on all of our deliverables to clients and as such the key members of the team will check from their individual areas of expertise before work goes out.

4-day week

Most of us at WDL work a 4-day week and have done for a number of years now, hence the longer working day (we are only expected to work 36 hours a week though). We were very early adopters of this practice and have never looked back, it really works for us. During this time we have seen an increase in productivity, happiness, better organisation, as well as a far better work-life balance for all of us.

Thank you for reading. I enjoyed looking at what I do. If you take anything away from this, I hope it’s the success of our “4-day week” as it has really worked for us!