Supporting a Brexit project at a leading retail organisation

Grayce Analyst, Jess Evans shares her experience supporting the Brexit programme at a leading retail organisation. 

I joined the team in June 2019, so have just celebrated my two-year anniversary! Since day one, I’ve been on assignment at a leading retail organisation and am currently working as a Technology Project Manager on the Brexit programme. I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to work on such an interesting, complex programme, and I’m very grateful to Grayce and my client managers! 

Managing the impact of Brexit

Working on Brexit means working with key SMEs to fully understand the impact of the new government and EU legislation on teams across the whole business, from stores and depots, to finance and supply chain, and making sure we can continue to trade compliantly. 

Day-to-day, I independently manage smaller technology changes from scope to close, as well as supporting bigger, more complex changes. This role involves a lot of risk and stakeholder management; working on a regulatory programme has taught me a lot about resilience and tenacity, which comes in very useful when working with changing and unclear requirements! 

This assignment is extremely important as I’m part of the team that has worked exceptionally hard in difficult circumstances to ensure that the business can continue to trade with minimal disruption to our customers. Brexit is very high-profile and is in the news daily, so it’s important to be able to tune out the noise and focus on delivery for the colleagues and customers without getting distracted by the ongoing political activity. 

Making an impact

My biggest achievement has been delivering Tobacco Track and Trace for Northern Ireland. This was the first project I was asked to manage independently and involved implementing technology changes to report the movements of tobacco in Northern Ireland under both GB and EU legislation, as well as managing the supporting logistics changes, including making changes to the depot. I managed this from scope to close. Initially, I had to work with the IT team to understand the requirements from HMRC to share with our solution partner; I then supported the IT team through design and build, and the test team during the testing phase. I built contingency into the plan so that even though some issues arose in build and test, we still delivered the change ahead of the compliance deadline. We then had to very quickly design, build and test some changes in the warehouse to accommodate the Northern Ireland-only tobacco, which we managed to deliver in a few weeks in order to support the activities of the trading and supply chain teams. 

Something else that I am immensely proud of is the Brexit Wellbeing Team. This was set up by me and a fellow Grayce teammate, Joel to help the Brexit team feel more connected during lockdown, with many of us have never met face to face! We also try to provide some light-hearted relief in our team meetings through quizzes and games, and one of the team holds mindfulness and meditation sessions. 

“Access to a community of young professionals”

For my client, I think one of the advantages of using Grayce is the talent pipeline. As previously mentioned, I’ve spent my whole two years here and have had a lot of experience working on different projects in different areas of the business, all the while being supported by my Grayce Mentor and my Delivery Manager. I’ve also had the opportunity to supplement my experience with professional qualifications through Grayce. 

My favourite thing about Grayce is that I have access to a community of young professionals. I am a lead for our the Sex & Gender Team of our equality, diversity and inclusion initiative, EveryOneEmpowered. I love having the opportunity to collaborate with other Grayce Analysts on activities and initiatives to make our community even more inclusive and welcoming!

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