Getting To Know Mia Hailwood - Bank North Change Manager

What are the main functions of your role?

As Change Manager, a large part of my role is working with all of our business functions, to manage and support with the delivery of their respective project plans to launch Bank North. This involves identifying where there are dependencies on other teams to deliver something, identifying risks and what mitigating actions need to be taken, as well as managing changes to systems and processes across the business. I love that I get to work with all of the different teams and get an insight into the various functions that make up a Fin-Tech enabled bank.

How important is robust project management, planning, and testing to delivering Bank North?

It’s extremely important. Robust project management ensures that what you set out to achieve is actually delivered. Having a strong project management team that can build good relationships with the business stakeholders is essential. This is facilitated by regular communication with the teams and a clear milestone plan that everyone is bought into. Not having this oversight could result in the failure of a business’s strategic objectives, so having a clear project management approach and testing solutions at every opportunity is critical to Bank North’s future success.

How does the challenge of working at a start-up compare to working at a more established organisation?

I’ve spent the majority of my career at RBS where you’re a small cog in a very large machine, which at times can make you feel as though your contribution and role within the organisation is insignificant. At Bank North, we’re building something from the ground up and the whole organisation is joined together to achieve the same goal. Not a lot of people get to experience that working in a financial institution so it’s very special.

What advices would you give SMEs looking to take a more organised approach to delivering projects and overseeing change?

My advice would be to hire a good Project Management team and build a strong change management model that everyone in the business is bought into. At Bank North, we have a really clear goal and timeline to achieve that goal which is supported by a fantastic team of people with a wealth of expertise. Everyone is on the same path, we share the same vision, and good communication makes everything easier.

Outside of work, how do you like to spend your spare time?

During the pandemic I took up knitting and I’ve made bootees, scarves and hats. I recently knitted a really nice jumper for myself which took at least 24 hours to make. The first time I washed it it shrunk so much it wouldn’t have fit a small child! Think I might need to find a new hobby.
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Bank North has been Authorised with Restrictions since 24th August 2021, at which point the firm entered a phase known as mobilisation. During this phase, the bank will be undertaking lending activities but will not be accepting customer deposits.