Our staff are the lifeblood of our organisation. Somebody who has a relationship with every employee who joins the company is our Head of Central Services, Michael Buchan and we’ve been lucky to get his insight on what it’s like to work at Exception.
What is your role at Exception and how long have you worked here?
- I have been at Exception for five years and my role has expanded quite considerably since I first joined. I originally held the position of Head of Human Resources but have taken on the responsibility for internal IT Services, Quality Assurance, Resourcing and Marketing. This resulted in the creation of my current role as Head of Central Services, proving that there are lots of opportunities to grow individually as the company continues to experience success.
What does Exception do?
- Exception is Scotland’s largest indigenous IT Consultancy company, providing expertise in Digital Change and Transformation programs, Managed Services, Mobile and Web App Development and Emerging Technologies. Whether we’re migrating a system of 8,000 user for the Scottish Government or developing an app to help spectators navigate the Ryder Cup – our aim is to work with our clients to help them realise their IT & digital ambitions. My role in helping facilitate this is simple – hire great people to deliver an excellent service.
What does a typical day at Exception look like for you?
- Is there such a thing as a typical day in any workplace? To use a very common cliché, no two days are ever the same here at Exception and that’s one of the things I love about my role. I conduct interviews and review applications on an almost daily basis and as we continue to grow, reporting on our current and future vacancies is a key part of my role. I’m also the Manager for our Marketing Communications Officer so I get a sneak preview of any presentations or videos that are in the works… and there is always a password or two that need reset for our staff across the UK.
What has been your highlight so far?
- I have quite a few actually. As part of our Community Relations team I have thoroughly enjoyed organising our fundraising efforts. This past Christmas we hosted a staff lunch in the office to raise money for the homeless on Christmas Day via Social Bite. Many hot meals were subsequently served. I’m also fortunate that a number of my colleagues are keen cyclists and a few of us have entered some events together. Going out on the road with Exception branded kit on has always been a great day out! Lastly, every year we host a company-wide Sales Conference. The day consists of updates from our Directors and various business areas, Staff Awards and often some team-building activities. It is always a great opportunity to network with staff that are usually on client sites and I don’t get to see very often. Each year we have a great time and staff leave feeling excited for the year ahead.
What makes Exception a good place to work?
- Variety of work – as we deal with a diverse range of clients across the public sector, financial services and commerce there are always different requirements for each statement of work. I am actively involved in the bid processes to ensure we have the right staff to excel in the roles provided.
- People – one of the key factors in any work place is getting on well with your colleagues. We have a great working environment, with offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham and London. Our Board of Directors are always accessible and operate an open-door policy, encouraging staff to have a say and ask questions.
- Events – Each year the company hosts several annual events. As mentioned earlier, the biggest is our Sales Conference where staff attend from all over the country to contribute to the day where we learn about all the plans for the year ahead. Also, we host a number of themed lunches throughout the year – Halloween, Christmas & Burns Day. All the proceeds made from these lunches go towards a chosen charity, which recently has been Social Bite. Finally, as a ScotlandIS member we attend many of the events throughout the year including the ScotSoft Conference and Dinner in October which is a great industry event.
What opportunities are there at Exception for further staff development?
- Our review process gives our staff the opportunity to express their desire to engage in further training. We do our upmost to assist staff with identifying the best options for them, whether that be through mentoring, training courses, on-line learning, accreditation or knowledge sharing.
- Formal courses – A number of our staff have participated in accredited courses to add to their skillset. Some of the most recent courses our staff have taken part in include Scrum Master and Agile Development certifications, AWS and ServiceNow accreditation.
- Meet-ups and Skills courses –Recently our sister organisation Waracle hosted a number of meet-ups. A co-hosted Alexa Development meet-up in Glasgow at ScottishPower HQ was very popular with a number of staff helping them develop skills to develop the use of the Amazon Echo in business. Additionally, we invite industry experts to inform us on relevant technology developments, such as Blockchain or Augmented Reality.
What does the future hold for Exception?
- There is considerable growth across the business and more people means that I get busier too! The Board have committed to investing a seven-figure sum to expand our service offerings and hire more great people which is really exciting.