I previously worked as a project secretary for an environmental consultancy company but was attracted to Inzpire as it was a young, energetic, up and coming company with an eye-catching vision ahead of it: “to be the most respected and admired Defence company on the planet” – it was difficult not to be impressed by this ambition. My role initially saw me acting as an office administrator: tracking paperwork, undertaking filing, purchasing equipment and generally trying to maintain some form of order in the busy, cramped environment of the Mission Systems office / development lab / production facility / coffee bar all in one room…I’m sure you get the picture!
Fast forward 4 months and the Mission Systems team had moved into a large, bright, modern building and were now located alongside the Company’s Head Office team at Landmark House. Being collocated with our support teams made communication so much easier and really sped up many of our processes and activities. The office move was also vital in providing the space for the team to grow as we were now supporting over 400 GECO Systems in the UK and overseas, across a range of 16 different aircraft types. I soon learned my Griffin from my Gazelle, my Typhoon from my Tornado and my JHC from my Jordan!
The Mission Systems GECO on a Jordanian F-16
The next year saw a rapid growth phase – the team more than doubled in size to 20. Fortunately, the guys involved in planning our office relocation had seen this team growth coming and had made provision for additional people and equipment. This has been a great lesson identified for us in our planning – think more than on iteration of growth ahead. As the team grew, so did my role. I became responsible for stock management. At present we have over 8500 items either deployed with customers or in our stock – it’s my job to be able to locate any one of these at a given time and I can, (honestly) with a bit of help from some technology!
Most recently I have become the team’s Configuration Manager. This role involves me being responsible for tracking the status of all configurable items within Mission Systems – these items can range from project documents for delivery to the customer to Inzpire internal test equipment and systems. Our customer deliverable documents go through an extensive review and approval process that I ‘manage’ – a task which involves gentle persuasion / mild threats to the team in order to ensure that all documents are reviewed and finalised in good time for delivery. For our Puma Mission Support System project we have, to date, issued over 40 documents which contain over 390,000 words – quite a task to control.
In nearly 2 years at Inzpire, I have seen the team grow, the number of projects and customers we serve grow and my own role has grown too – I’m about to attend an MoD course at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom to further develop my knowledge of configuration management. Working with a team of 20 guys can be ‘interesting’ at times and hard work, let’s face it, men are perhaps not always as organised as they should be! On the upside, I’ve learnt a lot about football, cricket and rugby – so go on, ask me one on the offside rule…
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