IT services and solutions for retail and hospitality

  • 30 Apr 2012

A Day in the Life of Project Manager Paul Harvey

Paul HarveyEllie: For the next ‘Day in the life of’ blog, I’m going to interview one of Retail Assist’s Project Managers, Paul Harvey. Paul, how long have you worked for Retail Assist now?

Paul: I started in December of 2009, so two and a half years.

Ellie: I know that the project work can be very varied, but would you be able to describe a typical day at work for you at Retail Assist?

Paul: I would typically spend 50% of my time out on customer site – recently I have worked from the Jacques Vert Group Head Office – and the other 50% based at the Application Centre in Northampton. A day out of the office would often involve a couple of hours travel to London from my home in Northampton ready for a 9.30am start facilitating a workshop on Merret implementation or development. Whilst on site there is usually time for a lunch break and to catch up on emails regarding the current projects I am managing.

Most clients would want to get full value from your time on site so you can expect to field a wide range of questions about the Merret application or project progress. Where my knowledge of the application is lacking then these questions need to be passed on to the Retail Analysts in Northampton and followed up when I am next back in the office.

During a large Merret implementation the customer’s office becomes something of a home from home so the working day would typically end at around 5.30pm followed by the return trip to Northampton.

Ellie: What do you enjoy most about your role at Retail Assist?

Paul: I like the variety of working with different retail clients. Having spent a number of years on the other side of the fence as an IT Manager for a retail business it is interesting to see how different organisations operate.

Ellie: That is interesting, so what aspects of your job do you find most challenging?

Paul: As with any project based role there will be times when resources or time are in short supply but deadlines still have to be met. This situation is a bit of a double edged sword as it is certainly the most challenging part of the job but once you overcome the issue it is also one of the reasons you keep coming back for more!

Ellie: Finally, what previous experiences helped prepare you for your current job – I know you’ve already touched upon ‘working on the other side of the fence’?

Paul: Whilst working in my previous role as an IT manager I managed a number of different implementations of retail systems ranging from Merchandising, Warehousing, EPoS and Finance. This experience along with my view of life from the client side has I believe been of most help in my current role.

Ellie: Great, thank you Paul. If anybody reading this would like more information about Projects at Retail Assist, please visit our website or email

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