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Account Lead

Last updated: 2022-05-20

Rationale

This document explains the role of an Account Lead at Infinity Works and helps you to understand what is expected of you when performing the role of Account Lead.

What is an Account Lead?

Being an Account Lead means being ultimately responsible for the successful delivery of an engagement with a customer. You, your team, and the things you do will have a huge influence on how that customer feels about Infinity Works.

Account Lead is a crucial role at Infinity Works and carries a lot of accountability and responsibility. It is important that everyone who acts in this role understands the expectation of the role. This document defines and explains the accountability and responsibilities, as well as providing some helpful advice on how to be effective in this critical role.

This role is usually carried out by those at career level CL8 Senior and above.

The Role in Practice

The only caveat to this is that whilst the responsibility for activities might be distributed, the accountability always remains with the Account Lead. The most practical way of doing this is to nominate one person as Account Lead.

Historically, the Account Lead activities on some accounts have been handled by the local board. This role is intended to make it clear which activities the Account Lead is accountable and responsible for.

You will collaborate with the Technology Lead and Delivery Lead to ensure things are done to the best of IW's ability. You will collaborate with your colleagues to make sure we maintain a great relationship with the customer.

In some accounts, these roles might all be one person, in other accounts, this might be a couple of people. In others still, there will be one person owning each of these roles, it all depends on the size, complexity and nature of the engagement.

Responsibilities

As an Account Lead, the things that you do and how you do them will have a huge influence on the relationship between Infinity Works and our customers.

Being an Account Lead you are responsible for a commercial relationship with a customer, for how that customer perceives Infinity Works, for the morale and wellbeing of your Infinity Works colleagues and for ensuring the smooth running of the account from a legal and financial perspective. In many ways, running an account is like running a mini-business.

Overall Delivery Accountability

The Account Lead is accountable for the overall delivery of the engagement and is responsible for the day to day running of the account.

While a successful customer engagement is undoubtedly a team effort, with a host of people contributing, the accountability for the smooth day to day running of the account and the assurance of rapid, reliable delivery of high-quality outcomes lies with the Account Lead.

Leading an account is a multifaceted role that calls for a mix of high-level awareness, strategic thinking, fine attention to detail, and a willingness to get stuck in, think creatively and solve problems when they arise.

The majority of your time will be spent planning, communicating, collaborating, evaluating and taking action to make sure any risks are dealt with before they arise. When things inevitably do go wrong, it's your job to stay cool under pressure, think on your feet, be decisive, utilise the skills of the team and take effective action to get things back on track.

Own Account Level Relationships

The Account Lead owns the relationship with key customer staff, working to keep them happy and well informed.

The Account Lead acts as the primary point of contact between Infinity Works and the customer team. It's the job of the Account Lead to ensure that the relationship is positive, strong, open and we are delivering genuine value to the customer. You are representing Infinity Works to that customer and the things that you and your team do will have a huge influence on how they feel about us. Communication should be regular, transparent and honest. There should be no surprises for us or the customer and you shouldn't shy away from honest conversations.

If the engagement is big enough to warrant more than one account with the same customer, you will collaborate with the Relationship Lead and other Account Leads to ensure that we have a solid relationship with the customer's senior team members, such as executives and board members.

Responsible for Commercial Management & Account Profitability

The Account Lead is responsible for the sound commercial management and profitability of the account.

The ultimate objective of our customer engagements is for them to be commercially beneficial to Infinity Works. For the vast majority of engagements, this means that the account will generate a profit for the company. Occasionally, we will undertake an engagement at a minor loss to build experience, win new customers or increase our exposure in specific sectors of the industry. The Account Lead is responsible for running their account using effective commercial management and making sound, well-informed decisions using all the information to hand. This includes understanding controllable costs, rates, margins and the impact of utilisation on the profitability of an account.

Execute the Account & Commercial Strategy

The Account Lead is responsible for executing the commercial strategy that will, in most cases, allow us to grow our engagement with the customer.

Many of our engagements start with a small piece of work that allows us to 'earn our badges' and prove to the customer that the Infinity Works approach delivers great results. If the account is to have any longevity, a strategy needs to be developed to outline how the relationship will evolve, along with a plan to put that strategy into practice, all based on sound commercials. It is the responsibility of the Account Lead to understand the business domain, their market, their challenges and their priorities, and build a high-level strategy for how we can deliver Infinity Works services to help them solve their business problems and achieve their aims.

The job of the Account Lead is to know when and how to propose new services and engagements to the customer to grow our relationship from 'tactical' to 'preferred partner' in a commercially sound way. The account lead also has a responsibility to develop a strategy for the team to hand over to internal teams and disengage gracefully, when the time is right.

Owns Team Structure, Capability & Processes

The Account Lead ensures that the account has all the people, skills and processes needed to make the account a success.

The Delivery Lead is accountable for defining if their delivery team has the right number of people, at the right time, with the right skills and right working practices in place to successfully deliver a high-quality outcome for the customer. The Account Lead collaborates with the Delivery Lead(s) to ensure the whole account has its people and process requirements met in a timely manner.

This includes enabling the Delivery Lead to grow or shrink their delivery team by enabling people to move between projects or between accounts.

The Account Lead is accountable for people being on-boarded or off-boarded, having the right clearances and equipment to do their job, managing holidays and absences, expenses and approving timesheets.

Where there are issues with people or delivery, the first point of escalation (internally or Customer) is to the Account Lead. The Account Lead is accountable for understanding and resolving these issues.

Some engagements call for blended teams of Infinity Works and customer staff working together to achieve the desired outcome. In these situations, the responsibility for ensuring the team has the appropriate size, structure and skills to do their job still lie with the Delivery Lead, but the Account Lead may have to use influence and diplomacy to shape customer thinking.

In Detail:

  • Ensure that you have a complete view of the role/skills requirements and capability of the team.
  • Identify, source and onboard new hires with Recruitment and People Ops. (Remember to consider background checks, equipment, security clearance and introductions to key stakeholders).
  • Ensure that the movement of staff happens without account disruption.
  • Ensure succession planning is in place for key staff and you are actively working on upskilling the successors.
  • Ensure that staff are on-boarded and off-boarded effectively.
  • Ensure that the Delivery Lead for each delivery team has clear and well understood, well-practised ways of working so that everyone knows how to get things done.
  • Ensure that everyone knows what is expected of them.
  • Holidays and absences are reviewed and approved promptly.
  • Expenses are reviewed and actioned promptly.
  • Behavioural and performance issues are handled promptly and constructively.
  • Timesheets are reviewed weekly and reflect the utilisation objectives set by the Local Board.

Responsible for People Operations & Team Engagement

The Account Lead is responsible for ensuring the wellbeing, high morale and effective running of the Infinity Works team.

The Infinity Works team is the heart of the account. A happy, well-organised team is the best way of delivering quality outcomes for our customers. Running a team is not a simple matter, it takes dedication, hard work and lots of effort.

The Account Lead is accountable for the team members receiving enough guidance, a challenge, personal development and pastoral care to remain engaged in their work while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. On top of this, there are a lot of simple, slightly boring administrative things that need doing to ensure that everything stays on track.

The Account Lead is accountable and responsible for ensuring everyone knows what is expected of them, any behavioural or performance issues are addressed quickly, everyone has clear goals and the support they need to achieve those goals, everyone receives regular, relevant and constructive feedback, everyone has opportunities for career progression, the team has a positive culture and all the essentials like holiday, timesheets, reviews, pay rises, rewards and team celebrations happen.

In Detail:

  • Career progression, growth and personal development plan in place for all team members.
  • Rotation requests are actioned as soon as practical.
  • All team members have an appropriate challenge.
  • All team members are aware of new opportunities within and outside the account.
  • All team members are aware of their responsibilities.
  • All team members receive regular feedback.
  • All team members receive support for personal needs.
  • Successes are celebrated.
  • Infinity Works culture is shared, supported and encouraged.

Effective Account Governance

The Account Lead is responsible for effective account governance, ensuring that all IW management information is up to date and all our legal and financial processes are well executed.

In every account there are some basic, but essential, things that need to happen to ensure that the account runs smoothly and is well governed. Good governance ensures that everyone gets paid on time, we meet our legal obligations, our risks are appropriately managed and we set ourselves up for success. It is the Account Lead's responsibility to make sure that the legal and financial aspects of the account are managed well, and everyone involved in supporting the account has all the up to date management information they need to do their job, make effective, well-informed decisions, avoid issues and deliver a high-quality service to our customers.

Techniques & Essential Measures

There are a range of tools and techniques that you can use to ensure you are meeting the responsibilities of the Account Lead role.

Overall Delivery Accountability

The Account Lead is accountable for the overall delivery of the engagement and is responsible for the day to day running of the account.

  • Ensure the delivery team use the Delivery Quality Review to provide a consistent, objective measure of implementation quality.
  • Review the Delivery Lead's Reports to provide a thorough yet concise summary of progress.
  • Review the Delivery Lead's risks and issues are effectively identified and managed.
  • Ensure the Delivery Lead's delivery team have structured Ways of Working to ensure things get done effectively
  • Undertake regular Roadmap Reviews and a high-level Roadmap to confirm that things are heading in the right direction.
  • Work with the Technology Lead and Delivery Lead to ensure well planned, well-executed delivery of the engagement of course, you may yourself also be the tech and/or delivery lead.
  • Lead by Example to champion Infinity Works culture and values and be a trusted leader for the team.

Own Account Level Relationships

The Account Lead owns the relationship with key customer staff, working to keep them happy and well informed.

  • Maintain a Stakeholder Map to understand the key staff in the customer business, their motivations and our relationships with them.
  • Produce and share regular Delivery Reports to keep customers informed of progress.
  • Conduct a monthly Service Review to discuss successes and challenges with the customer, and assess how IW can support the wider customer roadmap through additional services.
  • Conduct a quarterly Customer Satisfaction Survey & Relationship Review to measure how the customer feels about IW.
  • Maintain positive relationships with Executives, Sponsors, Product Owners, Heads of Department, Finance Teams, Legal and Procurement Team and front-line Customer Staff, using formal and informal approaches.
  • Offer Value Add Services such as presentations, speaking engagements, industry events, knowledge sharing, partner introductions and social events.
  • Attend customer and industry events to better understand their business domain.

Responsible for Commercial Management & Account Profitability

The Account Lead is responsible for the sound commercial management and profitability of the account.

  • Use Kimble to keep track of budgets, forecast and actual spend on your account.
  • Use Kimble and customer demand to determine where you can modify rates, alter the staffing profile and engage contractors.
  • Use Timesheets and the Utilisation Report to track how people are spending their time. Sensibly balance billable account work with personal development and contributing to IW.
  • Use the Expense Report and the Expense Approval Process to make sure you're spending money wisely.
  • Ensure the customer is invoiced in a timely manner and invoices paid on time.

Execute the Account & Commercial Strategy

The Account Lead is responsible for executing the commercial strategy that will, in most cases, allow us to grow our engagement with the customer.

  • Review Account Strategy Canvas quarterly to understand how to best engage the customer.
  • Keep abreast of customer capabilities, plans and challenges to identify opportunities to add value.
  • Track new opportunities with the customer in IWs CRM tool and Kimble
  • Use a quarterly Customer Satisfaction Survey & Relationship Review to discuss additional IW service offerings and capabilities that may benefit the customer.
  • Evaluate opportunities to offer complimentary service outside of your current remit to unlock further work.

Own Team Structure, Capability & Processes

The Account Lead ensures that the account has all the people, skills and processes requirements met to make the account a success.

  • Use Kimble and the People Movements process to keep track of staffing demand, rotations and start dates.
  • Use a Team Competency Matrix to identify any skills gaps between the capabilities of the team and the demands of the account.
  • Use the People Movements meeting to ensure that recruitment demand is up to date and open roles are filled effectively.
  • Use regular One to One's to ensure that team members know what is expected of them and receive useful feedback on their capabilities, performance and personal development.
  • Ensure Succession Plans are in place for key team members and manage Roll Off Plans for individuals who have served more than 12 months on the account.
  • Use fortnightly Retrospective / Squad Health Check to ensure consistent ways of working.
  • Use quarterly Account Retrospectives to get team perspective & alignment.
  • Use an Account Roadmap to ensure the team have focussed work.
  • Ensure holidays, expenses and timesheets are reviewed and approved weekly.
  • Manage absences and performance issues promptly, compassionately and directly.
  • Encourage a hands-on, collaborative, pragmatic, 'can-do' approach.

Responsible for People Operations & Team Engagement

The Account Lead is responsible for ensuring the wellbeing, high morale and effective running of the Infinity Works team.

  • Hold a quarterly IW only Account Retrospective to discuss and address issues.
  • Understand team engagement, morale and concerns, using tools such as OfficeVibe.
  • Ensure that every team member has a monthly One to One with constructive Feedback.
  • Celebrate successes and hold Account Social Events every quarter.
  • Encourage staff to have regular 3 Minds Meetings with their Advocate.
  • Recognise, reward and recommend High Performing Staff.
  • Highlight and support High Potential staff.
  • Use the People Movements Meeting and the Internal Jobs Board to ensure staff are aware of opportunities outside of the account and manage appropriate rotations.
  • Encourage staff to pursue a Personal Development Plan and career progression.
  • Support team members with personal and pastoral issues.
  • Ensure that all role progression and pay reviews happen promptly and are well executed.
  • Share, support and encourage Infinity Works Culture and Values by example.

Effective Account Governance

The Account Lead is responsible for effective account governance, ensuring that all IW management information is up to date and all our legal and financial processes are well executed.

  • Ensure all legal documentation (MSA, CCSA, NDA) are reviewed by legal, signed by all parties and recorded in Google Drive before work commences.
  • Ensure every engagement has a Statement of Work, reviewed by legal, agreed with the local board, signed by all parties recorded in Google Drive before work commences.
  • Ensure all Data Mapping activities are closed within 30 days of project start.
  • Ensure your Kimble engagements are up to date weekly.
  • Review account finances, key milestones and burn rates in the Finance Tracker weekly.
  • Ensure all Timesheets, Project Expenses, Holidays and Absences are approved weekly.
  • Ensure all customer obligations around reporting and time tracking are met weekly.
  • Ensure all invoices raised within 3 working days of month end.
  • Ensure that there is no Aged Debt more than 30 days overdue.
  • Review ISO, GDPR and Security compliance quarterly.

ISO

You'll carry out your role in accordance with the requirements of ISO9001 and ISO27001 as reflected in the Company's policies and procedures and the ISO9001 and ISO27001 organisational structure charts.