Christine is an IT project management professional with over 20 years of experience in managing systems implementations for organisations across various industries. At Envision, Christine leads the Delivery and Success team. She is responsible for implementing best practice project management across client Envision implementations with a focus on ensuring clients achieve their objectives and ultimate success.
We caught up with Christine to find out more about her career and how the combination of IT, Project Management and Infrastructure is the perfect career path.
Why did you decide to build a career in the software industry?
It started back in year 8 in South Africa when I watched a TV show that looked at careers to give schoolkids an idea of what was involved in various industries and the types of roles available. I was taken with the concept of computers and programming, fascinated by this new industry that was ready to reshape the world.
In year nine, we were allowed to undertake extra-curricular courses, and I jumped at the chance to start programming. I began using punchcards, each card contained one line of programming code, and I have never looked back.
What do you love about working in infrastructure?
For a while, I had wanted to use my experience as a project manager to become part of the sector and work on projects in a more traditional on–site role. However, when Kirk Kulbe introduced me to Envision, I knew that it was this side of the fence I wanted to sit on.
The sector has so much potential and can make substantial productivity gains through the widespread use of technology.
For me, combining my IT and technology skills with project management and infrastructure has been like a new career, and I have brought my strengths to an industry that is riding the wave of beneficial technological disruption.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’mcurrently overseeing the implementation of Envision across 15 major infrastructure and resources projects in Australia, New Zealand and North America. In my role, I’m responsible for the overseeing the scoping, design, training, support and go–live stages of implementation as the Delivery and Success team ensure then Envision is thoroughly embedded across the projects that we support.
What has been your greatest professional achievement to date?
Back in 2013/14, I was responsible for project managing the ERPimplementation for GOLDOC, the authority delivering the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. For the first time, the Games’ procurement was performed using a SaaS solution, and we created a reliable, reusable system that was best practice and delivered for stakeholders across the whole of the organisation.
To be involved in the delivery of a major global event was fantastic and it was a privilege to see over 4,000 athletes across 18 sports utilising facilities, infrastructure, systems and processes that I had had a role in creating and implementing.
But best of all was the fact that I understand that the system was so successful it was recommended for usefor subsequent CommonwealthGames.
What’s the most useful thing you’ve learned throughout your career?
I’m tempted to say patience, which is something any project manager would agree with, or perhaps listening, which is a skill that we all need.
But, for me, it has been learning when to say ‘no’ and to do so appropriately. Project managers often say yes to everything as they think it is the right thing to do, however in reality, if you want to deliver and do a job well, you simply cannot say yes to everything.
What would your last meal be?
This is an easy one; my Nanna’sroast with all the trimmings, but particularly her Yorkshire puddings! To follow would be her apple crumble with cream – an absolute classic that only a grandmother can make.
What is the last movie you watched or series you binged?
I’m not a massive watcher of TV. I much prefer music although I did binge recently on the Top 1,000 Hits of all time on Max TV, which was a great trip down memory lane through the classics that I have always enjoyed.
Who do you admire from your industry?
Nina Du Thaler. I first worked with Nina in 2008, and over the years, she has been an inspiration to me and advocate for me. As an IT professional, she has delivered significant projects, transformed brands through the use of technology and been awarded and recognised by the industry for her outstanding achievements and contribution in our field.
Nina has been a standard–bearer for women in IT and leads the way for many of us who have built careers as females in our industry.
What excites you about the future of technology in infrastructure?
There is so much opportunity to improve productivity and efficiency across the sector. From simple things like minimising the manual input and multiple handling of timesheets and paper dockets through to using insights and analytics to predict and manage performance, the scope for positive change is significant.
We can also improve the operation and security of project data by using systems such as Envision which have been designed to fulfil a specific role, rather than Excel, which although usable and powerful, is prone to mistakes and errors that rapidly cause problems down the line.
What piece of technology can you not live without?
My phone. It gives me access to everything I need whenever I need it. I think we underestimate just how powerful out phones are; you can access just about any piece of information and content from a device that we can hold in our hand.
I’d love to know what Alexander Graham Bell would make of the latest Apple or Samsung device.
What would be your dream project to work on?
The Commonwealth Games would be hard to top, but the Central Interceptor under construction in New Zealand is a fascinating project too. Or closer to home, Cross River Rail, a project that will help transform Brisbane and connect the city like never before.
If you could get tickets to any concert or event from the past, what would you do and see?
It would have to be the first time Michael Jackson did the moonwalk for the first time in Pasadena in 1983 at the celebration of 25 years of Motown.
What is your go-to piece of software?
For work, it is Office 365. It is reliable, familiar and combines everything that I need to be productive and to manage work and communications across my role.
For fun, Spotify. I can remember the days of a Sony Walkman being the portable music device of choice. The era of a 45–minute cassettes, very limited battery life, not being able to skip tracks and the songs getting slower and slower as the batteries ran down. Today I can stream just about every song ever recorded anywhere that I want.
What advice would you give to someone starting in your industry?
IT is a fantastic industry to work in, but it is also very tough. You need to be open–minded at all times because it is an industry built on solving problems and creating new systems services and tools, and you can’t succeed unless you can see all perspectives and collaborate effectively.
It is also an industry that can quickly become 24/7 365 days a year if you let it, so remember to take care of your wellbeing and to balance work and play to remain at your peak. The rate of change is also tremendous, so you need to keep pace with change and continuously learn, which requires a great deal of effort and focus.
What have you learned during isolation?
The importance of staying connected. We take connection for granted in an office environment, so when people are working remotely, it is vital to have regular check-ins with everyone on your team and within the wider business.
I’ve also learned how much I don’t miss commuting.