28 Aug Strong Women in Business Series Featuring Lynn Roberts
Who are you?
I am a proudly Capetonian, 37 year old female who has been working on systems implementation projects for almost 15 years.
What do you do?
I am currently a Business Readiness Lead on a Digital Transformation Project in the Retail Industry.
Did you always want to be a Business Readiness Lead?
Definitely not – ha ha! I only learned about this kind of role when I joined the project last year.
What is Business Readiness?
My role forms part of a Business Delivery team which also consists of Training, Organisational Change Management and Communication streams. Business Readiness entails components of all of these, but with a key focus on ensuring individuals and teams are equipped and ready to adopt the change.
What was the journey like to get to your position?
I originally joined the project as a Trainer in 2019, and after some time was asked to take on the Business Readiness Lead role.
What obstacles did you face on the way to achieving your career goals?
An obstacle I feel that anyone in a technical role can expect to encounter is being too far removed from the people-side of an implementation. At the other end, the same is also true and can be said for people-focussed roles and potentially gravitating too far away from the technical aspects. It will always be a bit of a balancing act and finding the sweet spot can prove to be a challenge – but when you do find it, then that’s where the magic happens.
…share your opinions – as long as it is in a respectful way
What was the hardest obstacle you had to overcome in a previous role?
It would probably be coming into a new organisation and challenging the status quo. I always tend to question current processes and understand the reasoning behind decisions, especially if there are other options and ways to be considered. This feedback, of course, is not always welcomed when you are a “newbie”.
What gives you the edge?
Truly caring about the end user experience when working on a systems implementation project. I meet many people who are good at what they do, but they don’t have a true understanding or appreciation of the end user experience. I feel that this is particularly important in the Retail industry, where the end users are often store staff… it is so important to gain an understanding from their operational viewpoint to ensure a successful implementation.
What do you value more in your success: Your team or your individual strength?
Ah…this is an interesting one. Although I love being in a team, I think I value my individual strength more. This is partly because I feel that my individual strength allows me to influence others positively, which in turn leads to team strength.
What are your dreams and aspirations?
To continue learning and growing so that I can be seen as a sought-after consultant for systems implementation projects across the country (and the world!).
What advice can you give to other women in your industry to help them persevere and succeed?
Don’t be shy to let your voice be heard. I feel it is so important to share your opinions – as long as it is in a respectful way. Also, ensure that you get yourself a few mentors or coaches to guide you along your journey!