Shafakh Ibrahim

I’ve not come from a Tech background, but through some interesting roles I’ve held, I have pleasantly found myself in this space.

I studied Textiles Design at degree level, where I specialised in Weaving and spent my post-grad on roadshows and running projects for designers. It may not seem like the obvious connection to tech, but weaving required the need to be methodical, structured and detail orientated, which is probably why I enjoyed it so much and equally why I enjoy what I do today.

I joined Centrica in 2013 as a project coordinator for a HR systems team and had my first glimpse of how technical projects are run in a corporate environment. The pace, the processes, the agility and collaborative nature of it all is what sparked my interest.

I then went on to work within the HR Change Management team, focusing on key transformation programmes across British Gas. One such programme was such a success that we rolled out ‘Extraordinary Leader! / Living Leader’ to develop our leadership population in the same way. To this day I still have people reflecting on this time, highlighting the true impact that it made to them and their career at Centrica.
I later supported the business as a Reward Analyst, where I project managed the Annual Reward Review (ARR), as well as several M&A projects.

Following the success of my performance as a Reward Analyst, I felt empowered to apply for the Workday System Integrations Analyst role in the Global Business Services team.

My initial focus centred around learning the existing integrations portfolio, completing my Workday Pro training in System Integrations, running my own integration projects, as well as understanding the documents, architecture and governance around the system integrations landscape.

I soon became the manager of this team, and I re-developed the full end to end process to manage the effective delivery of new Integrations, as well as ensuring ongoing support and maintenance of the existing landscape. In addition, I have set the standard and documentation for the systems integration project management journey.

Using this model, I delivered the North America Integration Simplification Project in 2018, and progressed to Global System Integrations Workstream Lead for the full Payroll Systems Transformation Programme for 2019 through 2021, to migrate, redesign and build new Integrations. This spanned the UK and North America, and I spent a year in Houston, Texas on international assignment as part of the programme. This programme was a huge success and contributed to significant cost savings and simplification across the wider systems landscape.