Team Member Spotlight- Richard Whitwell – Business Analyst

Richard has 25 years’ experience in software delivery, the last 10 years as a business analyst. He has worked with eJet for the last year and a half on two specific projects.

Introduce yourself Richard and tell us about the projects you have worked on with eJet.
I joined eJet in January 2018 as Business Analyst to work on the commercial projects. These projects allowed me to look through the supply chain and operational aspects of airport fuel operations and to understand what makes a fuelling operation tick. Our Prague client wanted a high-level review of fuelling strategy and their options for future expansion. This was a really interesting project for me because I was able to study all the different commercial fuel strategies out there in Europe and beyond and look at the strengths and weaknesses of each type. My other main project has been for Luxembourg airport who are again, an expanding airport wanting to renew the fuel infrastructure and supply model.

What kind of things might you consider when carrying out  work for eJet?
Of primary concern for me is to make sure I understand what the customer expects from the piece of work we have been asked to do.  First thing is to do some basic research on the customer.   Following this I would want to talk to the customer and get a working relationship established. One of the key things to help with this is regular contact and progress updates. This is essential to make sure there are no misunderstandings during the course of the work. Following the initial contact a work timeline structure is developed and an analysis plan formed, which aligns with the agreed deliverables.

We asked the team at eJet HQ to pick 3 words that describe you best. The top choices were ‘thorough, approachable and dedicated’.  How does this make you feel?  

That’s good as I do very much enjoy the job and genuinely find the work stimulating. Getting down to detail so that I understand the picture better is one of my personal interests. The people I have met in this industry (across the board from refuelling operatives pumping the JET-A1, to planners, to airport CEOs) have all been very approachable and engaged people. Aircraft fuelling is not something you can mess up and get away with it!

Tell us a bit more about your career to date and what kind of things you have done to gain all this well-reputed knowledge.

The majority of my career has been working for a large bank which has strong development/delivery processes in place which were required to govern very complex projects across multiple IT platforms serving multiple product types. To understand some of the processes it was often necessary to speak to multiple stakeholders to get the whole picture. It was vitally important to be on good working terms with these people and be able to ask nicely because you were usually learning their processes on the spot and would have to keep returning to a point to make sure there was clarity before finishing a meeting. Once you had this working knowledge, you could dig deeper with subsequent shorter meetings or communications.

Such as where or when?
One thing that makes one focus and learn very quickly is that good requirements and implementation of these requirements demands a thorough and collaborative approach.  This can happen when introducing new software you are partly responsible for to the users. If it goes wrong, then there is nowhere to hide it’s your problem to sort out and people are looking at you to do it!   I’ve also put myself on as many refresher training courses as I could – I mean everything, presentation skills, test case writing, management, UML, Mentoring – everything. It doesn’t matter if I think I have done it before because I strongly believe that even if I think that only 10% of the course was useful, then I will still have learnt more as well as adding to or challenging what I already knew. You’re ‘never to cool to school’, as an old skydiving coach said to me.

What do you like most about working in the aviation industry?
It’s very varied and anything to do with flying is exciting. The technical and commercial aspects are very wide and I don’t believe you will ever know everything. I certainly won’t, so there will always be something new to look at.

And finally, what do you like to do in your spare time?

I have a number of interests – mainly, it has to be said, outdoors. Rock climbing is my absolute number 1 – particularly on our UK seacliffs, but I also very much enjoy cycling, surfing, kayaking, woodland management and films!

I also have a bit of a thing for cigars, but that’s another story.


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