March 08, 2021
My name is Wendy and I’m a Circle Director at Valtech in the UK. The concept of Delivery Circles is relatively new to Valtech in the UK, but they are by no means a new idea. At Spotify for example a similar concept is called ‘Tribes’.
It takes time for any good team to form, storm and start to really perform. Prior to circles Valtech used to form a new team for every project – this meant that every time we won a new piece of work we had to build a team from scratch.
The circle model allows us to bring projects to an existing circle where we have a group of people from all disciplines who have already built relationships and connections with each other, have established trust and a core set of values and ways of working. Circles work as independent units within Valtech but we ensure we don’t become too separate by having Circle Director catchups and the concept of ‘Craft Circles’ for particular disciplines. The Craft Circles bring people together from across the circles to share knowledge, experiences and learn new skills. People can move between circles if there’s a project they’re particularly keen to get involved in which is happening somewhere else.
My role involves working with teams, customers, colleagues in other countries and the senior management team at Valtech to ensure we’re doing the very best we can for our people, our customers and the company. No two days are the same, there’s a lot of context switching, time management pressures and a lot of prioritizing that needs to be done but I love what I do and it’s never dull!
My career in technology started at Compuserve in the early days of the internet when email addresses looked like firstname.lastname@example.org and nobody had thought about using names. I moved on to an amazing 7 years at Sift Software then spent some time at Play.com before moving on to True Clarity (acquired by Valtech) where I’ve been for the last 13.5 years.
I am fortunate enough in that time to have worked alongside many fabulous, strong women from whom I’ve learned a lot (you know who you are). I’m pleased to say I’ve worked with great men too who have never made me feel anything other than ‘one of the team’. I’ve read stories of how women have been treated in other jobs and companies and it makes me incredulous that such behaviour is tolerated and of course it shouldn’t be and we all have a responsibility to call that out and stand up for ourselves or others who may not feel so able.
At Valtech when I look around me (harder now we’re working remotely) I see women in all kinds of roles – design, business analysis, people management, finance, operations, user research, development, quality assurance, delivery management and leadership. I see the same in many of our customer organisations too. We are emerging from the shadows.
There’s not as many of us as I’d like and we are outnumbered by men, however I genuinely believe that a key factor is that we have a long way to go for women to see our industry as something that is open to them. As a business we are also continually reflecting what we can do to attract diverse talent to our business
At school nobody talked to me about a career in technology (it was so long ago that we didn’t have computers) although girls were encouraged to learn typing and shorthand and of course home economics!
I am optimistic for the future. If I come back in 10-15 years time and look around our industry I am sure I will see more great women in technology. There will be more of us in leadership and management roles and the diversity we bring to a group will make a career in technology a better place to be for all.