A week in my life: Martin Pownall, client services director, IDS Group
Published: 25 January 2022
As client services director, Martin takes a keen interest in all aspects of the business – but his true passion lies within UX, meaning customer-focus is an element which comes naturally to him. Alongside his workplace commitments, Martin has a busy life as a father of three and is also keen cyclist.
Here, we spend a week in his life…
I got up around 6:30am and went out for a walk with Alfie, our Cockerpoo, returning home in time to get my youngest out of bed — which is when the fun really begins! Being a father to three daughters and making sure they are ready for school, college, and childcare, means mornings can be pretty hectic.
In terms of work, I spend two to three days in the office and a couple at home. I’m super-organised so my week is already planned out – with allocated time on Mondays for client and team catch-ups.
This Monday I headed into the office. The team started the day with a butty from our favourite spot, the Drivers Club — washed down with a much-needed cuppa — followed by a ‘stand-up’ meeting.
Next, I had a client call to discuss progress with development on a customer engagement platform for an insurtech disruptor, as well as a sprint planning session.
Lunchtime was spent getting some fresh air in the beautiful grounds of Bowcliffe Hall, where our office is based. My colleague Kat tries to encourage us to get out for a walk, run, or to make use of the onsite gym. Obviously, this hasn’t been happening – but we won’t dwell on that!
More client calls followed in the afternoon to check in on progress updates.
The evening was a relaxed one, spent with my youngest daughter Daisy — playing, bathtime, reading, and finally bed.
Tuesday was a work from home day.
After stand-up with the team, I had a client demo around a facial recognition platform that we are developing to finalise. The afternoon was spent mentoring junior team members and reviewing proposals for some exciting, upcoming projects for businesses in the social media and financialsectors.
Tuesday night is when ‘dad’s taxi’ is in full swing — running my eldest to and from hockey. I make the most of the time after drop-offs, by listening to some great podcasts. I’m currently enjoying Tim Mercer’s ‘Between the Eyes’ series, as well as ‘Feel Better, Live More’ by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee — I’d highly recommend both!
The working day started with a ‘Retrospective’ ceremony with the team in Minsk.
We discussed previous sprint successes and learnings for Timbo Retro, a collaboration SaaS web-platform designed to enhance remote working post-pandemic. It encourages engagement and creates a dynamic experience for better productivity and improved mental wellbeing.
Wednesday afternoon included some personal development time, which I spent focused on UX strategy and methodology. With technology and processes shifting so frequently, it’s crucial to keep up-to-date.
With Wednesday being officially ‘hump day’ I hit the fitness studio for a strength and conditioning session with Mark from Lion Strong Coaching.
Back in the office on Thursday and after a stand-up call I had a strategy session with our CEO. We covered new objectives, client relationship development, and had a look at how the business is performing. It’s a full morning meeting followed by lunch at the Drivers Club. If you haven’t guessed already, the food is amazing!
After lunch, I had a catch-up with one of our tech accelerator clients who is preparing for growth funding, then facilitated a design workshop for the remainder of the day.
Thursday evening, I hit my bike and turbo trainer, competing in a Zwift challenge. I love cycling outdoors, but on wet, dark evenings it’s safer to race online.
I worked from home and started the day with a walk with my daughter, Daisy, and Alfie the dog.
Friday involved mentoring the UX team, which I find really rewarding. They’re a great multi-disciplined design collective and helping them understand some of the elements of user-centric design really pays dividends when it comes to their professional development.
I also planned, prepped, and organised my schedule for the following week, taking into account the busy month ahead.
A series of end-of-week calls with the leadership team closed my working week — with the aim of checking in on our collective progress, and planning ahead too.
Friday night was spent chilled out in front of the telly, catching up on recordings with the family and unwinding from our day. As you’ll have gathered, Alfie and I are outnumbered — which means the choice of what we watch is definitely not mine and need not be mentioned further ;).
You can view the full article in Prolific North here.Back to News