Step5 prides itself on its ability to remain agile and flexible to suit the needs of customers. These qualities are embodied by our talented team of experts who adapt to complex and unique environments every day. Our approach is to focus on attracting the best people and we aim to drive bi-directional commitment and loyalty. As such, our associate network has grown over the years and includes some of the most talented and respected specialists in the industry. We believe in providing people with the opportunity to develop and grow, to learn from each other and to excel in an inclusive and supportive environment.
A fine example of this philosophy can be seen with Programme Director and Account Lead, Victoria Scott, who – as she approaches her four-year anniversary as a Step5 associate – reflects on what has been a transformative personal and professional journey in that time.
A transformative journey
“I love what I do and I’m so grateful to be in the position I’m in. Sometimes I end the day and still can’t believe how fortunate I am,” said Victoria. “From branching out into a new industry to running an account for one of our largest clients – my journey at Step5 has been transformative, with supportive individuals shaping my trajectory.
“I often think back to a time when things were very different. I spent seven years out of work to build a family and raise two children with disabilities and found myself struggling to re-enter the world of work. I was applying for roles I knew I wasn’t really suited for and struggling to find something that would work long-term. It’s a common trope, unfortunately, one which women around the world are all too familiar with. Thankfully, though, Step5 gave me an opportunity to prove my worth.
“I had the hunger to learn from the very beginning. I had the Project Management skills and experience from previous roles, but it was a new industry for me, so I knew I had to work extra hard to develop my knowledge. This took dedication and sacrifice, but I can look back now and say with confidence that it was worth it.”
Steps to success
In her first client engagement as a Step5 Associate, Victoria entered as a PMO lead and immediately seized the opportunity to delve into the development domain, supporting the wider team in the successful recovery of an ERP platform.
Within just six months and as a result of their success, the team were asked to run the client’s IT function and were tasked with developing and implementing an e-commerce platform that would broaden the client’s global reach. By leveraging her extensive experience and thanks to the support of her colleagues, Victoria ascended to spearhead the client’s IT PMO where she played a crucial role by introducing Step5’s PPM framework that established and embedded best-in-class control and assurances across the business for project delivery to support the wider IT transformation initiative.
“When we first started, the client had no PMO function or delivery governance,” said Victoria. “I conducted a review and a health check for each project to identify project performance, clarity of scope and benefits, key risks, and schedule expectations.
“After that initial work, we were able to provide training, coaching and support to the project managers to ensure the successful implementation and the embedding of the PPM framework. From there, we focused on providing accurate reporting to the executive management team so they could manage risks effectively, ensuring all projects were under control, minimising costly project issues and delays, and stopping unplanned project overspend.
“The introduction of the PPM framework and prioritised portfolio vastly improved certainty of project outcomes and led to the adoption of new standards and templates within the central PMO function that radically improves the business’s ability to execute projects.”
Ultimately, the work delivered by the Step5 team, underpinned by the introduction of programme and project industry-standard governance and processes lead by Victoria, successfully delivered a digital platform that is now driving new business for the client, receiving great internal feedback, and improving customer experience.
Leading by example
Over time, the scope of Victoria’s role has expanded, evolving to include overseeing business operations, and culminating in her placement as the strategic second-in-command to the VP of IT. In her current position as Head of IT Business Operations and Step5 Account Director, Victoria has found a role where she can showcase her excellent people skills, lead by example, and build an environment that enables her team to continue to drive value for the client.
“I take pride in challenging the conventional archetype of an IT Programme Director,” she said. “Balancing the client's needs with team requirements is a continuous juggling act. My responsibility involves offering the essential direction crucial for the account while playing a pivotal role in the client’s IT function.
“My role includes cultivating and leading a team, inspiring them to consistently exceed expectations. They know they can trust me and rely on me. I put them first, drive things forward and fight their corner. They’re my responsibility and I recognise I have a duty of care. I need to ensure they are looked after so they can deliver the best possible service for the client. This team growth has been instrumental in showcasing that nurturing talent is achievable, especially for someone like.
“I think I’m an example of what can be achieved if you give someone an opportunity. An opportunity to learn, grow and mature in a role. It’s not necessarily about a person’s background, but about their character and their skillset. And if you surround them with the right mix of people who can support and guide them, they can really flourish. Such opportunities are rare for women in what remains a predominantly male-dominated profession – my story seems unprecedented in this landscape.
“The dedication and loyalty I've received from Step5 and its people since day one has been reciprocated as I've repaid the initial trust placed in me – I feel exceptionally grateful. I'm profoundly thankful for the continuous support from Step5 and eagerly anticipate further developmental strides in the future.”