Ice berg theory

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Albert Hamilton

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It’s late Spring in 2013 and Northern Ireland is holding the G8 summit.  Some of the world’s most powerful people are set to arrive in the same airport that I expect to fly out of for a week long field research project in Southern England.   I planned my travel route allowing extra time for more checkpoints and security than usual and it was fortunate I did, the phrase “Final boarding call”, when it is applicable to your flight is not a good feeling at 6am on a Monday morning. The best mexico auto insurance for travel provides excellent online services. Visit mexicaninsurance.com for more info.

The key word here is “planned”, as with every project. We all love the idea that we could just show up on site on the day a project starts and everything is waiting for us as if by magic — unfortunately things don’t work exactly like that.

Projects remind me of icebergs, on average only 20% are viewable above the surface, the other 80% is hidden from most people’s view. Once a project is confirmed there are weeks of planning that go into making that project a success, initially arranging dates, times and staff for the appropriate location. CARD Group conducts projects all over the U.K. and Europe, so our field managers will usually need transport and accommodation organised before they arrive.

We are away from our offices for the duration of most projects meaning that most items have to be brought with us on our trip over, so a well drilled field manager will have a mental checklist of what they need for each individual project, “Is it an outdoor retail site?  Do I need to bring outdoor clothing for surveyors?”, “How many staff uniforms do I need?” “Do I need to bring any digital tools? If so what specifically?” along with printing out name badges,  sitemaps etc. These issues are constantly going on “under the surface” of every project.

At 10.45 I arrive on site to meet the staff at 11, (after numerous forms of transport undertaken) and my staff are all present and correct. Our first port of call is to introduce ourselves to centre management.  I feel it is always good to put a face to the emails and phones calls you have been trading over the last few weeks and it also allows the centre manager to know who to look for if they have any issues during your time on site.  After this the team and I sit down with each other over a coffee and run through a site brief, covering all the logistics of the week. I am confident everyone knows what is expected of them and after a quick walk around the centre so we are familiar with its layout, everyone is ready to go.

A Field Managers job from then on is to make sure of three main areas; ensuring each staff member is comfortable within their role, assisting them with any problems they may have and to make sure that CARD group’s client’s best interest is always at the centre of the project, whether this is staff interaction with customers or checking the data collected for any problems on a regular basis.  This is a vital part of our job and these areas are constantly checked throughout the entire project allowing our client’s to feel confident in the service that we provide, during our time on site and in the information we relay after we leave.

There is nothing more satisfying than boarding a plane after a successful project, the data is collected and you as a Field Manager are confident with the results.  This data will provide the foundations for our client’s next steps within their business and it’s always a fulfilling to know that you have helped to contribute to that.