Our technical services project management team is small but efficient. It coordinates the different business processes necessary to turn a Ministry of Defence (MoD) support requirement into an appropriate and achievable solution on paper; this process is often called the ‘bid’ phase. Then, once the support is being delivered to MoD, it ensures progress is reported accurately and that quality outputs are provided to the customer on time in what is called the ‘delivery’ phase.
Louise Knowles is one of our project managers, having joined the team with a wealth of experience from 12 years in the Royal Air Force and a further eight years in the defence industry. Today, she tells us more about her day-to-day responsibilities and what she values most about working at Inzpire.
I’m Louise one of Inzpire’s technical services project managers
Inzpire is part of a number of different contracting frameworks, with some requiring more involvement from us than others. In certain frameworks, we have a greater level of responsibility for ensuring our customers get the support they require, at the right time, and in the most efficient and effective way.
So, how does it work?
In the frameworks where we have greater levels of responsibility, we are part of the initial decision process to ensure the required support is provided by the right supplier. Where Inzpire is chosen to lead in providing a solution proposal to the MoD, as a project manager (PM), I plan and manage the bid process, which includes internal reviews and checks of the bid and delivery documentation before they are sent to the customer via the framework. This is all to make sure we are supporting the customer to the best of our ability and ensuring they get the best value for money. But all these checks have to be done at the right time, in the right order, by the right people. So, the main part of my job is making sure that this all happens on time and to the correct standards.
I first started working in project management within the defence industry eight years ago and have worked for three other defence companies in that time. Prior to that I had an amazing 12 years in the RAF as an airframe and mechanical technician. I mainly worked on fast jets, diagnosing and rectifying faults within the hydraulic and environmental control systems and carried out servicing before and after each flight to ensure the aircraft was safe and maintained on a day-to-day basis.
Working as an airframe and mechanical technician in the RAF
I’d got to know the Inzpire team during my previous role. I really liked the way they worked and their level of knowledge so, when an opportunity came up, I was delighted to join the team.
I now work closely with all our delivery teams and heads of divisions within Inzpire. When a new requirement is recognised by the MoD, and a delivery team identifies that they are an ideal candidate, I coordinate the tasks and advise everyone involved about what needs to be done for Inzpire’s Business Winning Process. I will then follow up and get the next steps prepared. I also write some of the documentation that forms our solution proposal.
Our PM team has the process knowledge and experience to support the technical and delivery experts within the solution delivery teams.
Recent projects I have been involved with include providing technical services to in-service RAF fast-jet platforms and the provision of support to military aircrew training. We have also supported a wide range of crewed / un-crewed air platforms, as well as space, cyber security, intelligence analytics and mission data services.
We pride ourselves on getting proposal bids to the customer quickly and in some frameworks, this can be in as little as 10 to 15 working days from start to finish. It is extremely rewarding to provide the customer with everything they require to do the job in the shortest possible timeframe.
My family and I joined colleagues for a wellbeing walking weekend in May
Inzpire has helped me develop as a person and learn new skills. Since joining, I have been supported and encouraged to grow, and trusted to make decisions based on my own knowledge and experience. I have the safety net of a fantastic team, who I know will assist and advise whenever I need it.
The company also has a sociable and friendly culture. Within our small teams, wider business units and the company as a whole, we are encouraged to focus on our wellbeing and socialise outside of the office to achieve a great working life. The Inzpire wellbeing walking weekends are a great example of this. They happen a couple of times a year and my family and I joined the one in May 2023. Alongside other employees, and their families and friends, we enjoyed a weekend away, hill walking with a quiz in the evening and lots of pizza!
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