Meet the TMI Team 

No. 2: Mel Little, Client Services Manager

In the second of our staff interviews we meet Mel Little, our Client Services Manager.

Hi Mel. You work in our client services team, with Simon, who we met in our first interview. How long have you been working for TMI?

Hi. I’ve been here for three and a half years now. I thought I’d been here longer though, in a good way!

Imagine you’re at a careers fair in a school. How would you describe what you do to the children?

I support organisations when they first enquire about our project and programme management software, and then throughout the time they’re our customers. Initially I demonstrate Verto to people who are interested in using it. When they decide to go ahead, I help them work out exactly what they need from the software and help build it to suit their needs. Once it’s live, I help train them in how to use it and how to support their end users. 

My goal is to make sure our customers always get the most from Verto. This includes things like visits to see them, sharing information on new developments to the software and being available on the phone or email to answer any questions they have.

What skills do you need to do your job well?

As Verto is a project and programme management tool I need to understand how projects and programmes are delivered. 

Because we help our customers configure Verto to suit how they work, I also need to have good listening skills. It’s crucial that I understand what each customer needs Verto to do so I can make sure that between us we build a system that will meet these needs.

What’s your favourite Verto feature and why?

I love how everything is in one place. It makes a real difference when you’re managing lots of projects and programmes that have different people working on them – people who have different responsibilities and use different key documents. With Verto you can simply log in and see in real time what’s going on across everything. You can clearly see where things are progressing well and where you need to take action.

“Verto is very clear and easy to use. Everything is in front of you on one screen and it guides you through the whole process so it’s very easy to learn.” 

Harpreet Riyat, Project and Resources Manager, City of Wolverhampton Council

What does a typical day look like for you?

I don’t really have a typical day and that’s why I love my job – because it’s so varied. One day I could be travelling across the country demonstrating the software, meeting our customers to help them get started with Verto or delivering training. The next I could be working from home, making calls, answering emails, sharing information and planning for the meetings and training I have coming up.

What have you learned while working at TMI?

I’ve learned that no two organisations manage their projects and programmes in the same way. Although what they do is based on the same project management principles, so there are lots of commonalities, ultimately, they are different. This is where Verto’s flexibility – how our customers can configure it to suit what they do – comes into its own.

“The strength of working with TMI has been how they’ve tailored our Verto system to our exact needs – making it part of our organization, not a bolt on.” 

Louise Witts, Interim CEO, South West Academic Health Science Network 

What has surprised you most about working with TMI?

I’m not sure if surprised is the right word, because it’s how generous our customers are. How willing they are to share best practice – how they want to help each other and learn from each other. 

Who has inspired you?

I’ve definitely learned a lot from Simon. I’ve always been the type of person who needs to know the details and understand why things work the way they do. However, in my current role it’s the customers who are the experts in how and why they do things and it’s my job to build Verto to support that. Simon has shown me that it’s OK if I don’t understand the customer specific processes because, when we’re building the software for our customers, they know the detail of what they want and need, and I know how to make that happen in Verto. 

What’s one of your short-term goals? And a long-term one? 

In the summer I climbed Snowden for the first time. This was something that really pushed me out of my comfort zone and I felt a deep sense of achievement when I made it to the top – despite a few wobbles along the way! I’d like to continue with this next year and climb more.

In the longer term I’d like to push myself even more out of my comfort zone in terms of physical activity. So, I’m going to step up and try a do a few more obstacle runs in 2018. I’ve already signed up for Nuclear Races and Tough Mudder so I’ve got a head start on this.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? And the worst?

The best advice came from my mum. I used to lack confidence and be quite shy, so I found speaking up in meetings hard.  I wasn’t happy with this and wanted to change but didn’t know how. 

My mum told me I could be whoever I wanted to be and said I should create a new confident Mel, and be her. She helped me have confidence in myself so that over time, with a few versions of Mel along the way, I did change. Now I’m happy speaking in front of other people, which is good because I do it a lot in my job with TMI. 

The worst advice I ever had was when I did my first Nuclear Race this year. Someone told me I wouldn’t get too muddy. They lied. I got so muddy my clothes were beyond saving and I had to throw them away!

Thank you, Mel. Don’t fancy doing your weekend washing! 

Next time we’ll meet Paul Hill our Development Manager.

To find out more about how Verto can help you manage your projects and more easily work with others please call us on 0118 334 6200 or message us here