A Day in the Life of a Technical Programme Manager at Monzo

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The Technical Programme Manager role is hugely varied. It's a role that's all about wearing many hats and supporting the delivery of overall technology strategy and large engineering projects. I want to take you on a journey through a typical day in my life as a Technical Programme Manager (TPM for short) here at Monzo.

My unique journey to becoming a TPM

I've been in this role for about a year now, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it! Before this, I spent three fantastic years specialising in managing technology risk and controls here at Monzo. That experience was my springboard into this new role.

One of the things that made this transition possible was my strong understanding of our company's tech stack, engineering ways of working and the Platform collective as a whole -  thanks to my previous role. In preparation for this move, I spent additional time with our engineers deep diving into our tech stack (thanks Suhail!) - this helped me to level up my knowledge even more. Understanding Monzo’s technology is key for this role - it helps me to challenge engineers when setting up a programme, support the decision making on technical trade-offs, run workshops and represent projects to non-technical audiences.

My typical day & responsibilities

One of the most exciting aspects of my job is the wide range of responsibilities I juggle on a daily basis. Let's dive into some of them:

Running key engineering projects and programmes: Setting up and running major engineering projects and programmes is the heart and soul of my role. It's a multifaceted job that involves everything from gathering requirements to running workshops, reviewing technical proposals, helping to decide between technical trade-offs and working closely with our amazing engineers day to day. I get to wear many hats here - from handling conflict management,  building detailed project and programme plans, managing inter-dependencies  to ensuring projects are on track and finding the best people to execute on a programme of work. 

I'm also responsible for reporting on their progress and working cross-functionally to ensure we have the right people in the right roles. This means I regularly interact with a diverse group of stakeholders, from engineers and senior management to suppliers and even regulators. Ensuring good governance throughout is essential for Monzo - that’s another inherent part of my role. 

On a typical day, I will get to do most of these activities depending on the state of the project - my mornings will almost always start with a squad’s stand up;  then I might need to build a report card for one project, work through the milestones for another and provide feedback on a technical proposal for the third! No two days are the same.

Building teams: Building effective project teams is a crucial aspect of my work. The success of any project hinges largely on the strength of the team, making it absolutely paramount to ensure we have the right mix of individuals. For larger programmes, this often involves assembling a cross-functional team, tackling a layer of complexity that requires seamless coordination with engineering managers outside of my collective. Timing their involvement appropriately is key to maximising project success while minimising disruption to their ongoing work.

Equally important is crafting a team with the right blend of seniority and skills. This ensures a dynamic environment where individuals can learn from one another, support their career growth, and receive guidance from our most seasoned engineers.

The optimal mix of people varies depending on the project type, including its complexity, materiality, and visibility. There's no one-size-fits-all formula, so when building a team, I identify a rough mix of required skills and consult with team leaders and seasoned engineers to identify individuals well-suited for the project. I will also discuss their involvement with the individuals directly as their interest and commitment is absolutely key, given that our programmes often span 6 months or more.

If a project requires a specialist from another team, such as a frontend engineer, I proactively coordinate this months in advance. Inclusion in early scoping work ensures they are ready to hit the ground running when they officially join the team, aligning with our timelines seamlessly.

The ultimate success indicator in team building lies in having a solid company-wide context, fostering strong relationships across the business, being mindful of others' priorities, and making tough decisions empathetically.

On a typical day, you might find me identifying individuals to support a project, engaging in conversations with team leaders, or assisting in solving team problems to enhance overall efficiency and happiness. Building effective teams is not just a process; it's a commitment to creating an environment where everyone can thrive.

Supporting the delivery milestones of engineering teams: A key responsibility is to support the planning of milestones for our engineering teams. This means I'm right there in the trenches, overseeing the process and actively participating in developing those milestones. It's like being a bridge between the company-wide objectives and what these milestones mean for our engineering teams. On a typical day, I may be working with engineering managers and engineering leads to follow up on progress or helping to reprioritise some projects that no longer make sense for the squad to complete.

Monthly business reviews: Once a month, we run a business review session which is attended by all our engineering leadership. During these meetings we check in on how the teams are doing. We review our squads' progress against the milestones, key performance indicators, and any other updates. It's a crucial moment to see how we're tracking and make adjustments if needed and to identify upcoming cross team blockers. On a typical day, I may work with the engineering managers to help fill out their review templates or run the actual session where I get to ask loads of questions!

Variety is the spice of life

I really enjoy being a TPM here at Monzo. Each programme brings its unique challenges and allows me to learn and adapt. I also get to interact and collaborate with a huge diversity of people across different functions. Problem-solving is a daily exercise - I get to unblock teams from doing their best work by solving problems or helping them navigate the complexities that often follow big projects and programmes: what technical trade offs to make, managing stakeholders and getting buy-in, focusing on the big picture,  staying on track and adjusting course as needed. Seeing projects and programmes progress effectively because of my input is incredibly satisfying, especially when it might have otherwise stalled.

Monzo’s supportive culture of enabling career transitions and team moves made this journey possible for me - It's a role that keeps me on my toes, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Are you interested in joining Monzo?

We have some great opportunities at the moment across the whole business. We currently have a job for a Technical Programme Manager, and we have plenty more roles you can check out on our careers page.