Saffron Connor - Project management

Saffron Connor

Economics, University of Bath
Project Management

I have held various Programme Lead roles on different defence programmes across the business. This includes responsibilities for the budget, risk management, delivering contractual requirements and stakeholder management amongst other accountabilities.

I am currently working as a Programme Manger on the Joint Strike Fighter, concentrating on Scheduling and Earned Value Management. Through each job I have learnt a considerable number of skills, increased my cultural awareness through working with colleagues, suppliers and customers across the world, and developed my project management expertise on a range of programmes.

There are quite a few to pick from - it's hard to pick just one!! However one that springs to mind was leading a team to set up a new capability in a different country to fulfil a customer's contractual deliverable. It was exciting being involved with the concept and start of an idea to seeing the final output being delivered to the customer. There were a few challenges along the way including different languages and aligning expectations; however this made the end result even more rewarding.

Rolls-Royce is a great company to work for in terms of the variety of work, culture, people, ethos, values, products - and a great place to begin a career.

I enjoy working with a team to resolve customer requests, solve challenging topics and continuously improve the way we work. There are always opportunities to develop both professionally and academically, alongside working on different programmes, at different stages in the product lifecycle and with different customers. Delivering a product or service to the customer that meets or exceeds the customer's expectation is always very satisfying.

Since being in the Project Management function I've completed a number of formal training programmes and on-the-job training. For example I have just finished an MSc in Project Management through the University of Manchester. This was a sponsored professional development programme which took me four years part time on a distance-learning course whilst working full time. I have also completed the Association for Project Management (APM) professional practitioner qualification (APMP) as well as being a full member of the APM (MAPM).

Further internal training courses have also complemented my project management skill set, such as the Lean Sigma Green Belt accreditation, risk management facilitation and engine familiarisation courses amongst others.