Technical Leadership II
So, since I’ve joined Lloyds banking group, I’ve taken on a bit of an unusual role, especially for an organisation of this size. If I had the complete freedom to say what it is that I do at Lloyds, I’d say that I’m somewhat of a semi-manager, not a full blown manager by any means, but I’m at an odd stage in my career.
One thing that I’m trying to get to grips with is how I can provide detailed & accurate documentation on financial & efficiency reports, since this is something I’ve never really done before. Never mind the fact that these projects that I’m working on are so huge that they just require an immense amount of engineering effort. I’ve even spoken with my manager & he has asked me to take on some very ‘company philosophical’ type roles & one of those is to really push for a more agile way of working. Since Lloyds is such a large organisation, obviously embracing any form of change is far from an easy challenge to tackle.
A lot of people may think, duh agile is the only way to work, or whatever, but in a company the size of Lloyds, where risk & cost means success or failure, it’s hard to push for change. Between that & the fact that you have to face many engineers that have become ‘victims’ to institutionalisation, it’s very hard to challenge what’s currently there. Often people that do things in a certain way that may be wrong or odd will just say, well that’s how we’ve always done it. But when it comes to trying to show these people the light, they often say that it goes beyond the scope of their role or that there’s ‘x’, ‘y’ & ‘z’ blocker. So just trying to find & implement some strategy whereby a healthy & long overdue change can take place, honestly, I find it exhausting. 😂
But I refuse to give up, if there’s anything on my CV that’s 500% true it’s that I’m ambitious & enthusiastic, I refuse to be defeated because I’m simply out of my comfort zone. To be perfectly honest, while it may be odd to say out loud, I enjoy being out of my comfort zone because that means that I’m learning & progressing in some manner or another, truth be told that’s the only reason I left Admiral, I just felt like I was in such a comfortable position that I wasn’t really growing or developing anymore.
I’ll admit, just learning about the structure behind an organisation such as LBG is a challenge in itself, never mind all the subsidiaries, policies & rules, etc. But one thing on the subject of change that I’m seriously adamant to implement is a more DevOps focused culture, I don’t mean force all engineers to learn how to build an entire production ready environment from the ground up. But to embrace all the great aspects of DevOps, such as the knowledge sharing, I’ve previously said it in this post, there are silos in LBG, but I’m teaming up with an array of engineers, architects & managers to try & eradicate these silos. Thankfully, due to some of the issues that have gone on in LBG, I’m able to provide a base case as to why these changes need to take place & a number of the engineers & even the managers are actually on board with this idea.
A big part of leadership is to follow by example & in my honest opinion enthusiasm & passion are two of the most powerful tools that you can have as a leader. As my manager has said, he really enjoys how enthusiastic I am because it’s quite infectious, I won’t lie, I’ve not read up much on how to be a good leader, evidently, I’m struggling with some of these semi-managerial roles that I’ve been allocated already.
But as my journey within LBG continues, I hope to report positive change & I hope to become an ambassador for excellence in engineering. My biggest concern with engineering is how it affects the customer, while it may not be the right mindset to have in the world of finance, I don’t try to think too much about the cost, provided it’s not obscene! 😂 – An example of where I think about the customer experience is to minimise outages, increase system stability & reliability, etc.