If someone had told me a decade ago that I would end up working in a ‘tech’ role I would have laughed out loud! But here I am..My name is Kaz Hufton and I’m a Lead Product Manager in the Digital and Technology department.
I began my journey at the Ministry of Justice nine years ago as a Contact Centre Advisor for the Office of the Public Guardian. In 2012 there were a handful of people starting OPG’s digital transformation journey. They were looking for volunteers to test an early prototype of the online Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) exemplar service. With a nudge of encouragement from my manager, I went along. I’m completely useless with all kinds of technology and to be honest I have a knack for breaking them so who better to test for usability!
After my testing day, I received great feedback on my input and was asked to go on loan to the team. It started with a day or two here and there which eventually turned into a few months. This experience really piqued my interest and opened up a whole new world of agile principles, user-centered design and ‘digital’ ways of working I knew nothing about. Before this, I would never have taken a second glance at a job with ‘digital’ or ‘technology’ in it, but there was ample opportunity for me to showcase my skills and knowledge without being super techy.
I worked with a great team who were extremely supportive and encouraging. My input even in the early days was always well received and respected. I really liked being a tester however I soon realised that product management was the avenue I really wanted to pursue. I found the process of problem-solving and providing better services for users incredibly rewarding. So I started my journey and training to become a fully-fledged Product Manager.
I went on courses, shadowed other teams and departments. I had a great manager as well as a fantastic mentor, who not only taught me new things and techniques but really helped me with my personal development. I was also provided with the safe space I needed to really learn what I could do.
Over the years I have found a great network of people across MoJ and wider government, all with different backgrounds and expertise. They have shared their knowledge and experiences with me which has helped me to grow and ultimately love a career I didn’t even know existed 10 years ago!
There are loads of opportunities in MoJ Digital & Technology for talented and passionate people of all genders and identities. Don’t stand still..keep testing, changing and iterating as you never know where you may end up.