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Practice Lead

Last updated: 2022-05-20

Summary

As a Practice Lead, you are a senior practitioner at Infinity Works with a particular focus on one specialism. The specialisms for which we have appointed Practice Leads are: Cloud, Data, Delivery, Design, Engineering, Mobile, Product and Test. The key elements of the role, as applied to your specialism, are:

  • Ensuring we hire the right people (right number, right aptitude, right level).
  • Ensuring our clients understand your specialism and the value it can bring to them.
  • Defining what good execution looks like and incorporating into processes such as Delivery Quality and Account Summaries.
  • Ensuring engagements have the skills, knowledge and support they need to deliver technically excellent outcomes.
  • Ensuring colleagues in your specialism are well-supported and have clear routes for progression.

You make sure that where your specialism is implemented it is done so effectively. You help team members deepen their understanding of the specialism and hone their skills so that they can confidently talk about and execute it. You encourage more people to be ambassadors of the specialism.

You work collaboratively with colleagues in your specialism to deliver all of this, including shaping the practice and relying on them to lead on initiatives. You champion them and ensure they are visible leaders with due prominence and recognition. Your role is to work with them to establish clear goals and support in the background where required.

You are not part of an "Ivory Tower" of thinkers and approvers but remain a consultant, leading by example, providing insight and strategic direction, adding value and delivering results for clients. The aim is to instil quality rather than assure quality. You should embody "Thinkers who do and doers who think."

This role can be carried out by those at career level CL7 Principal and above.

Comparison to Consultancy roles

People at Principal and Distinguished level in both the Practice Lead and Consultancy tracks are leaders in their specialism. They lead by example and are visible exponents of good practice who drive their specialism forward. The differences are in emphasis and there are no hard boundaries. Practice Leads still get involved with client facing consultancy and Consultants still have a voice on defining what good looks like and the other areas where Practice Leads focus more of their time, as outlined here. Practice Lead is not a level, it is just a different role. Those at Principal and Distinguished levels are eligible to be considered for roles in either the Practice Lead or the Consultancy tracks. Those who naturally gravitate toward defining processes, building consistency, and documenting how we do things will find the Practice Lead track a good fit; those who prefer to lead from the front and solving hard client challenges will likely enjoy the Consultancy track more.

TrackLead from the front and solving hard client challengesDefining processes, building consistency, documenting how we do things
Consultancy trackPrimary focusSecondary focus
Practice Lead trackSecondary focusPrimary focus

Regional and central practices

We have a limited number of Practice Lead positions.

Due to the scale and ubiquity of these specialisms, we have Engineering and Delivery Practice Leads in each region. They report to the regional TSL and work both within the region and collaboratively as a national team with support from the Director of Practices.

For the other specialisms, we only have one Practice Lead and they sit centrally, operating across the company and reporting to the Director of Practices. Over time, we may appoint additional Practice Leads in some of these specialisms as the need emerges. The Practice Lead will work with local leaders in each region, championing and supporting them and helping them play an active role in the practice.

See also: company structure.

Experience

The qualities required for the role are:

  • An in-depth understanding of your specialism, emerging trends, how it impacts customers and comprehensive knowledge of implementation.
  • A proven ability at Principal or Distinguished Consultant level.
  • A proven ability to influence senior stakeholders and empower others to take effective action.
  • A solid track record of delivering value for customers, not just technical expertise.
  • A proven ability to consult with customers at a senior level, solving business problems through the appropriate and effective application of the right tools, technologies and techniques.
  • Embodies Infinity Works culture and values.

Duties

Define and position the specialism

You are responsible for defining and articulating the Infinity Works view on a specialism, highlighting the aspects we favour, for example through blog posts, articles, whitepapers, value-add sessions, workshops and events. You provide clear guidance and formally document our implementation approach for your specialism in a way that makes it easy for customers and staff to understand it.

You ensure the specialism clearly addresses the needs of our customers, solving business problems and delivering results across a range of target sectors, and is applied only where it's a good fit.

Building bridges

Where appropriate you will work with groups and communities in wider Accenture to inform our thinking and theirs, build shared understanding and collaborate.

Promote the specialism

You work alongside other Practice Leads and Marketing and Sales professionals to increase customer engagement with, and adoption of, your specialism. You confidently articulate the benefits of the specialism and demonstrate our technical capability to senior customer stakeholders and the wider industry.

Support implementation in critical engagements

You are accountable for making sure engagements involving your specialism have the skills and knowledge they need to be successful and work alongside other Practice Leads and Client Practice Leads to support successful outcomes. You advise the team involved in an engagement on how best to deliver results and use your personal capabilities, sometimes leading from the front in a hands-on role to ensure engagements are delivered to a high standard with technical excellence.

Upskill staff

You are accountable for implementing a structured approach to upskilling Infinity Works staff so that they know how to talk about the specialism and implement it effectively. You create and curate a range of specialism-specific resources such as Knowledge Base articles, 101 sessions and Academy Launchpads to upskill our staff, customers and partners.

Tool and technique curation

A core part of our culture is to be "modern, not trendy". You are responsible for keeping Infinity Works at the forefront of our industry, bringing new technologies, tools and techniques into the fold when they're ready, and not before. This requires you to remain knowledgeable about latest thinking, influencing teams to use appropriate approaches when the time is right and remaining vendor agnostic.

We have many open-source contributions and we want to encourage more where appropriate. You are responsible for encouraging, curating and publicising our open source contributions.

You facilitate teams improving their knowledge and capabilities through self-serve learning by contributing to the Infinity Works Handbook and a range of supporting resources.

Shared responsibilities

Ensure quality

Alongside other Practice Leads and CPLs, you ensure our staff know how to implement your specialism effectively from start to finish, and are delivering with quality on all engagements. You have a structured approach for assessing the quality of engagements that involve your specialism across the business and are able to take targeted action to address any issues that you find.

Support marketing & sales

You support the marketing and sales team to ensure that the way we present your specialisms is credible and compelling. This may involve supporting the creation of marketing collateral and assisting with pitches and presentations to potential customers.

Support recruitment

You support local boards and the talent teams to uphold the quality bar for new hires in your specialism. You know what good looks like and help write role descriptions, devise modern capability evaluations and insightful interview formats to ensure we attract and hire the best candidates.

Delivery culture

Our delivery culture and values are well documented. You live the culture and promote the values. You are responsible for bringing the culture to life for others and make it a core part of how Infinity Works teams conduct themselves. You need to know where we're falling short of our aspirations and be able to take practical actions to address this.

Working model

Depending on your specialism, you may work across the whole of Infinity Works or focus on one region (see regional and central practices). You cover all client accounts that use your specialism within your area of responsibility. You split your time between developing and promoting the specialism, delivering the specialism and furthering a wider Infinity Works understanding of the specialism. You spend a proportion of your time on billable work and common uses of your time include the following.

Potential accounts evangelising and promoting

You work alongside the Sales and Marketing team to ensure that potential customers have a full understanding of your specialism and are fully convinced of our delivery capabilities.

New accounts first person in

Where required, you will join an engagement to support it as it kicks off, working to develop a deep understanding of the customers' needs, make strong connections, and deliver immediate results that stand us in good stead for the future. Crucially, you are not there for the long term. Your role is to get the new engagement off to a good start and get some good foundations in right from the beginning. To avoid getting "stuck" on the account, you must also bring along the person who is going to lead the account going forward and work alongside them during the initial days and weeks. When the time is right you will exit the engagement, ensuring everything is handed over to the long-term lead.

Existing accounts checking in

For accounts that are already up and running, you take a different approach. Your objective is to ensure that no engagement is lost due to poor delivery quality.

You use your own insight to devise an extension to the existing Delivery Quality process, aiming to check in with all accounts that involve your specialism at least every six months. The check-in will show you where the team needs help and, where necessary, you provide hands-on support to get the engagement back on track. You keep the regional leadership and Practice Lead community informed of your findings and the areas you're helping with.

Community leadership

A great way to instil quality is to bring people together to share knowledge. You ensure that a vibrant and supportive community exists around your specialism. Some specialisms may choose to operate a single, company-wide community, while others may have regional communities which meet regularly, sharing learnings and coordinating efforts nationally where appropriate.

Partner support

You work alongside the Head of Strategic Alliances to ensure that we derive maximum benefit from our partnerships, position our propositions appropriately with our partners. You work to meet our partnership obligations through initiatives such as staff certification, case studies industry and technology solutions, and joint events.

Relationships

Technical and Delivery Leads

Technical and Delivery Leads involved in customer engagements across the company are your main ‘customers'. Your job is to drive continuous improvement by mentoring them and their teams, enabling knowledge to be shared, advising on the ways of doing things and helping when they get stuck.

Other Practice Leads

You collaborate with other Practice Leads to ensure that all the specialisms form a cohesive and complementary offering and are presented and delivered consistently to our customers. You should work together to share good practice and to help each other out where appropriate and present an aligned and effective view to the rest of the company.

Client Practice Leads

Client Practice Leads are key people to enable you to achieve your goals and meet your responsibilities. They represent core leadership and key business experts, so collaborating closely with them is essential.

Regional boards

The regional boards are ultimately accountable for the commercial success of a regional Infinity Works business unit and are therefore significant stakeholders. Similarly, it follows that each regional board is accountable for the success of the work we do for clients so you have to work closely with them to understand what the priorities and risks are across their region, applying your capabilities in the most effective way to support their success.

Director of Practices

The Director of Practices provides support and direction on national approach for all practices and helps bridge between practices. For centrally aligned practices, you also report to them. Regionally-aligned Practice Leads report to their local TSL.

ISO

You 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.