Meet Transformation Specialist, Tolani Agoro, to hear more about her role, favourite project to date, and what she'd suggest to someone considering a career in technology.

In one sentence what do you do, and what does your team do?

As transformation specialists, we support the different teams in service platforms (who own the end-to-end delivery and operations of market-leading premium products and services) to achieve their strategic and operational goals by providing our expertise in continuous improvement, strategic planning, organisation redesign and automation to name a few.

What did you do before joining BT

I’ve had a relatively broad career before joining BT by working for a few consultancies. I worked on a range of things such as delivering lean transformation programmes, re-engineering processes, IT replacement programmes, implementation of automation tools as well as organisational re-design project. It’s been a great way to develop core skills I believe is needed to be a great future leader. The broad experience has also helped to think outside the box on how to tackle business problems as I have a big toolkit of concepts to fall back on.

Did you go to university? If so, what did you study?

I studied industrial economics at Nottingham University. It was a perfect course for me as I always been passionate about businesses and didn’t always agree with the assumptions classic economics gave. I studied modules such as the psychology of business decisions, understanding that we are not rational robots and can be led by emotions which then impacts business decisions & performance.

What excites you about working in technology and BT?

I’ve always been someone who wants to make change whilst always having the opportunity to learn and be challenged. As a result, working in an industry that continuously evolves was crucial to me. The world of technology is constantly evolving whether it’s in the methodologies we use to deliver our work, the technologies we use or even how we work on a day-to-day basis.  At BT, there’s never been so much change. We are shifting to agile ways of working and always exploring how best we can adapt our ways of working to please our customers. As part of the transformation team, it’s an exciting area to work in, with a real sense that you’re working at the heart of change.

How did you end up working in the transformation team?

I used to work in another team in BT and I was missing working in transformation. What motivated me is having a variety of work and being able to see the change I’ve made. Before BT, I worked for different consultancies and loved working in transformation. I had a look at vacancies and saw this role that sounded perfect for me. After some chats with people in the team and my now manager to understand more about it, I decided to apply and luckily got it. I always says it’s one of the best decisions I made in the pandemic!

What is the gender balance of your team?

I’m very lucky that we have a great gender balance in my team, with pretty much a 50/50 split and our director is a female.

What impact does Service Platforms have on our customers?

Service platforms is a critical area of the business. We own the end-to-end delivery and operations of market leading premium products and services (think of BT Sport and BTTV). As well as this we support the mobile network for more than 30 million customers; builds products and services used by more than 10 million broadband and voice customers, and 95 per cent of the UK broadcast content goes over our Media Network. It couldn’t be a more exciting place!

What has been your favourite project so far?

Whilst I’m relatively new to the transformation team I’m enjoying the current project I’m on. I’ve been supporting the media and broadcast business in developing a new operating model to enable them to deliver in a way that increases value to the customer. It’s been great to get the team to challenge the current ways of working, identify areas of improvement and collaborate to create a model that works best for the team and the customer. It’s been quite a journey but in the long-term this change will transform how we work, deliver more value, faster and improve the experience of our customers.

Do you have to be a technical person to work in Technology?

Not at all, I am not a technical person myself and don’t have a technical degree! There are so many skills needed in technology, from project management skills to ensure initiatives are delivered on time and on budget all the way to people skills ensuring people on the ground are empowered to bring their best to work. Whilst people think of technology to be all about tools and systems, we can’t forget about the people who develop, use, and maintain them as we are nothing without them. I believe what I bring to the table is bringing people from different perspectives to work on a common goal and creating momentum to make a project a success.

What would you say to someone considering a career in Technology?

There’s a vast range of roles within technology so focus on what skills come naturally to you and then what roles can fulfil it. What will make you strive and successful is doing a role that you feel are making a difference and your skills are being heard. I think this was made clear not only to myself but so many people during the pandemic. I would also say you don’t have to be technical to work in tech. Whilst I work on some complex projects, what I believe I bring to the table is bringing structure and pace to deliver them as well as creating a culture within teams to achieve a common goal, ultimately improving the experience for our customers. 

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