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Joanne Skinner - Babcock Canada Inc.

Celebrating International Project Management Day

Today is International Project Management Day and we are celebrating it at Babcock Canada by highlighting some of our talented Project Management Professionals.

This week, we sat down with Joanne Skinner, the VISSC Program Manager (PM VISSC) to talk about her journey in project management. In this role, Joanne is accountable for the delivery of the Victoria-Class Submarine in Service Support Contract (VISSC).

Joanne Skinner, VISSC Program Manager

Q. When did you join the Babcock team?

JS: August 2019 as the Manager, Sustainment Projects Team – East.

Q. What is your role within Babcock?

JS: I am currently employed as the Program Manager Victoria In-Service Support Contract. PM VISSC is the primary point of contact between DND and Canada for the delivery of VISSC and manages the team responsible for designing and executing Service Delivery Solutions to meet Canada’s submarine sustainment needs.

Q: What led you down the project management path?

JS: I began my career as a Logistics Officer in the Royal Australian Navy, which unknowingly provided me with an excellent grounding in practical Project Management. From there, I moved to the Defence Industry and gained formal Project Management qualifications and experience, before moving again to the Australian Public Service where I was responsible for the development and implementation of National Employment and Education programs. Since then, my roles have focused on Project and Program Management, and the management of complex, geographically dispersed relationships.

Q. What does a typical day on the job look like for you?

JS: One of the greatest aspects of my role is that each day is so different. However, some staples include Stakeholder management, engaging with teams across the business, attending and presenting at multiple meetings, and working with my team to continue delivering results for Babcock and our customers.

HMCS Corner Brook, one of Canada’s four Victoria-Class submarines, at the Esquimalt Graving Dock in British Columbia

Q. What is your favourite part of the job?

JS: The team I work with. I love working with smart, driven people who are keen to achieve results but who I can also connect with on a personal basis. This makes for a dynamic and challenging workplace.

Q. What do you love about project management?

JS: The immediate challenge, the opportunity to work closely and collaboratively with stakeholders and team members, and ultimately the sense of accomplishment. Project Management demands that you are across your brief, able to think on your feet, adapt and pivot as scope, schedule and cost demand.

Q. What would be your advice for anyone looking to become a project manager?

JS: Project Management is at the centre of what we do on a day to day basis. If you like driving outcomes, managing groups of people – large or small, young or old, and being held accountable, then you are likely already managing projects. It is the scale, budget and outcomes that differ. If you are interested, reach out to a qualified Project Manager and learn more!

Q. What’s the best career advice you have ever been given?

JS: Communicate clearly and set expectations. Be personally credible and make decisions – so many people will not.

To learn more about how Babcock is supporting the Royal Canadian Navy and the Victoria-Class Submarines, please visit: VISSC – Babcock : Babcock (