As a keen amateur athlete, Mark always dreamed of Olympic glory. However, it would be his project management expertise that secured his involvement with the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Tell us about your work with Team GB for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
I’ve always loved sport, from my days in the school rowing team, to the Ironman triathlons I now compete in as part of my effort to maintain a healthy work/life balance.
So when I saw an internal advert for a role supporting Team GB’s preparations for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to combine my personal interests and professional capabilities.
The brief was to improve the structure and governance of Team GB’s preparations for Rio, and ultimately improve the overall medal count. The Olympics is massively complex, with a very immovable deadline, so this was no small ask!
How did you approach this challenge?
Team GB consists of around a thousand people, including staff, volunteers and of course athletes. Everyone has their own priorities, and role within the organisation, and it was my job to support the stand up of the programme management capability.
In collaboration with the Head of Programme Management, I set up a centralised programme plan, budget, and aggregated risk log. This meant Team GB had a single view on the health of the programme and could make proactive decisions.
I loved seeing how each component came together. One particular highlight was when I got to experience the ‘Kitting out’ where every member of the delegation collected their official and very smart Team GB kit!
What professional capabilities did you bring to this project?
Ten years into my career at Deloitte, I’m now a senior manager, with many large projects under my belt. Much of that time has been spent enabling clients of all kinds to tackle their most pressing challenges. Things like infrastructure changes, improving their employee experience, or preparing for Brexit. On a project, it’s my responsibility to make sure the end result comes in on time, on budget, and to client expectations.
Needless to say, our success required all these skills, and a few more I managed to develop as the deadline approached.
Did your success with this project lead to further work with the BOA?
After Rio 2016, I told everyone I knew about the ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity I’d been given to work with the BOA. However, it wasn’t long before Deloitte were involved in researching ways immersive technology could help the Team GB delegation at Tokyo 2020, which meant I was proven wrong in the best possible way!
At the time I was developing an alliance with Facebook Workplace. This tech focuses on the engagement, productivity, and satisfaction of employees, and offers the greatest impact in situations where a team is spread out over wide areas, away from typical working locations. It was a perfect fit for the BOA, and the challenges of the Olympic environment. And perfect for me, because I got to work with the BOA once again!
This time, through implementing Facebook Workplace, I supported the BOA’s stakeholders to increase familiarisation with the Olympic environment, and develop effective communication within their teams.
How does it feel to work on two Olympic Games?
Amazing, and I’m proud of what we achieved. The BOA are an incredibly talented organisation, with a very inclusive and welcoming culture. Since the original role with the BOA preparing for the Rio 2016 Olympics, to my latest project for Tokyo 2020, I have continued to learn, and cannot wait until opportunity number three comes around!
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