13 Jan “Spotlight” on Nancy Lamb
Nancy has recently started a new position within MiCiM as a Project Management Executive, where she will lead our Project Management side of the business.
Tell us a bit about your career and what you’re bringing to your new role:
It’s been a bit of an unusual path! I started life as a construction lawyer and worked in London, Dubai and Manchester. Then the “financial crash” hit and life was a little quiet as a lawyer so I took my first in house role at Tyco, doing a split legal and commercial role. The US had brought in a new contracting governance protocol which all contract for sales had to adhere to and it was my job to “enforce” this. It was a very business focussed and commercial role and made me understand how important it was not to suffocate a business with “process” or too much overbearing “legal” restraint. Sometimes you have to take a risk!
A random connection from my private practice days, connected me with Sudlows and I moved (literally) round the corner from Tyco to Sudlows. Sudlows introduced me to data centres and this is where my operational and leadership skills emerged. I was meant to be their in house solicitor but I think I was involved in operations, finance, commercial, procurement. It gave me a very good feel for running a business!
At Sudlows I completed the permanent water for the Gyron Campus in a project lead role (that got me “match fit” again after maternity leave!) (plus various other projects at Gyron’s Hemel Hempstead estate and some serious “leadership” on their DC1) and this is where I met Marc and MICIM.
Which lead to the NTT e-shelter project at Dagenham and now my new role as Project Management Executive.
What am I bringing to my new role? My strength – cutting through the noise! Straight to the core of the issue/problem and find a resolution. Clarity and leadership, with an approachable and facilitative attitude.
You have had a long and a highly pressurised career – what would you say are the key strengths you bring to a team?
I am one of those “sad” people who thrive on pressure! The ability to not let the pressure overwhelm you, remain calm, clear headed and focussed while bringing the team together to deliver and hopefully shielding them from some of that pressure to allow them to perform.
What are the main challenges in the Project Management/ Mission Critical sector?
The scale and location of the projects – finding a “niche” size and location(s) which can be sustained by your people and your business. A phenomenally large DC in Finlnd for a well known tech company may appear to be a great opportunity – but it burns your people out and drives your profits down. Also standing out in a busy PM market – finding our USP (hands on, decision making, driving project management and not just reporting) and selling it!
What kind of skills does one need to have to enable a career in the mission critical sector that spans for 7 years?
The ability to deal with the speed of a mission critical project. They move very quickly!
Over the course of your career, what would you say was your most challenging project?
I only ever seem to get the challenging ones! The 6 months I spent in Dubai during the “financial crash” was the steepest learning curve I have ever had! That is probably where I learnt to deal with fast changing situations and keep on top of them. From a mission critical point of view, Campus DC1 was pretty challenging dealing with three parties, with no contractual relationship all trying to build at the same time!
Is there any cutting edge technology which you are excited about, which will be at the forefront of the industry in the next few years?
Marc and I recently saw some fantastic VR technology and drone technology which can capture a room (like looking at a film/being in a film of the room) but with all the dims, etc as well. I thought this could be really useful, especially on base build to fit out, to bridge the “lag” between the BIM model and the as fitted drawings. Simply fly the drone around at PC and upload the info. No more “mishaps” where the BIM isn’t quiet up to date and things are as co-ordinated as they should be!
Are there any skill/formulae/tech you learned in your formative years you still utilise today?
Not really! Just the ability to keep pushing and driving forward! That seems to be a trait I have inherited (and passed on).
As you are always heavily involved in the final push to complete a project, what are your coping mechanisms to deal with the pressurised environment you live in?
Recognising that it is not an infinitely sustainable environment and taking the down time when it comes.
In the “moment” identifying the absolutely “key” issues/actions which have to happen to make sure the result is achieved and focussing on those. Whether it be project completion or an interim issue to unlock programme or a engineering solution to solve a problem.
What is it that you enjoy about working with the MiCiM team?
We’re all a little bit quirky, and all know what we are doing!
After a busy working week, what do you do in your down time?
Be with my little boy and my husband! Cook, get into the gym and lift some weights, enjoy some nice food out and occasionally go raving!