Tag Archives: Foundation

It’s all about the Goals! – Gus Parkhouse

Is anybody really 100% sure about their exact goals? I know I wasn’t – during 2016 a new goals measuring system was introduced at IBM. This new system showed the five areas we’d be measured against and it was up to me to decide what targets I would set. This was a new and more efficient way of having ever-evolving goals that are continually relevant to the work or tasks I’m doing.

My goals needed to be evaluated against 5 key pillars, and I used them as self-set targets or milestones which, in order to attain these goals, I had to meet. When setting any of these goals it gave the option to set a status message. The status options were closed, completed, on-going and on-track. These options helped to track the status of each target, and whether I needed to set new goals or develop the older ones to be relevant.

I wanted to have challenging goals that would stretch my knowledge and ability, and would put me out of my comfort zone. I will be using this method to set my goals for 2017 and in order to help me develop further. It also helped dramatically with my educational needs as it allowed me to forecast what education I might need to meet a set goal. For example “Complete ITIL foundation by the end of Q2”. This pushed me to complete the course and also had a specific time deadline. Once this goal was completed, I added a small explanation of what I had achieved as well as a copy of the certificate, and then updated the status to show my manager what I had achieved and to keep him up to date with my progress.

As it was a new system, my goals were very specific in the areas I was comfortable in but slightly more ambiguous in other areas. The new system did allow me to update my targets so that if they started off vague but then became more and more specific I could change them which helped me to tailor my targets in order to get the most out of my development and continue to push myself.

For 2017, I’ll be setting goals that range between my apprenticeship work and account work, as this will help me to track both of these, but will also provide my managers with an up to date view of my current progress. I’m sure you will all be happy to know that my targets will also be in the SMART format as I find this to be the most effective method.

I have found that having goals that are always evolving is a lot more beneficial compared to static targets that do not change over the course of the year. In the future I will be using this method as I feel that at times it has been challenging due to time constraints, but I have also reaped the benefits of this such as education, personal development and also helping me track my progress along the year with a visible trail to measure it against.

If you have any questions then please contact me on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/profile/preview?locale=en_US&trk=prof-0-sb-preview-primary-button

Gus Parkhouse.


2016 Year in Review – John Longworth

So, the year’s coming to an end and it’s time for my final blog post of 2016. I thought the best thing would be for me to do a recap and short summary of how things have gone. Firstly and most importantly, I’ve officially had my Career Framework signed off, which means I will eventually move out of Foundation (and essentially complete the Apprenticeship) at some point in the New Year. Putting 3+ years into something and to finally be told you’ve completed it is definitely an achievement worth mentioning. So I am!

Second small win of the year would have to be moving accounts to Hursley. Which is surprisingly much bigger than I was expecting, moving from the relatively small Preston account!. This also involved getting onto TAP (Temporary accommodation) and therefore getting the keys for and moving into my shiny new flat in Southampton. Top Tip – Prepare before moving into somewhere new if you do get TAP, having no WiFi and TV for 2 weeks is no fun at all. Also, Amazon is your friend. Moving in and gaining the independence which you don’t get while at home was something I didn’t know what to expect out of. But I reckon I’ve took to it like a fish in water, some may disagree, but I’m still alive (essential) and my Christmas decorations, including tree are already up (even more essential), so I reckon I’ve not done too bad for a newbie.

Back to the moving part, moving accounts has definitely been a challenge. The Change Management role which I moved to has potentially made it more confusing than I initially anticipated. Change Management is a team of 2 and we look after all the changes for the multitudes (probably an understatement) of projects ran on the account. Sounds easy right? So having to learn literally every project on the account and what fits in where certainly isn’t easy, but I’ve given it my best shot and I can’t say it’s gone too badly. There’s a lot to take in when you move to a new project, as I’m sure most are aware. But for any that don’t know the pain yet (firstly, you will), expect to leave work, a lot of days, not knowing what even went on in the past 8 hours. It does eventually click, just got to keep trying!

Trying to keep this short, so probably (definitely)  missing out things which should be included. E.g Attending the Think Foundation event in September, learning a lot about Cognitive in IBM, listening to some rather interesting speakers (Including Olympic Gold Medallist James Cracknell!) and having an overall brilliant day. So, speaking on behalf of most people who attended I’m sure, big thanks to Foundation, for putting on that event, and keep them coming in the future!. After saying I’m keeping it short then going on that tangent, I should probably just summarise before I end up writing even more and literally staying in work forever (It’s already 6:30pm!)

So overall, the years had it’s ups and down, as years tend to do, but it’s been a mostly positive year for sure. Huge thanks to all the people I’ve met along the way and the people who’ve given me opportunities I’d otherwise not have had (Including this blog, so thanks to Craig and Avtar for having me on here) and I look forward to seeing or working with most of you again in the coming year.

Thanks for anyone who’s read whatever I’ve written in the past 12 months and I’m sure our paths will end up crossing at some point, they do seem to in IBM! Hopefully it’s been enjoyable and as it’s now December, should wish you all a Happy Holidays and overall just look forward to see what madness 2017 brings!

John Longworth.