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Dynamic Duo – What Makes A Great Team?

What makes a great team? Communication? Having a common goal? Everyone contributing? Mutual support? Diversity? Strong leadership? Being organised? And what about keeping things fun? Probably all of these things…and more!

So, does the same apply to a team of just two? Being a duo certainly makes for easier communication…not to mention finding agreeance on everything from project requirements to when to break for lunch. I recently sat down with one of Civilex’s dynamic duo teams – Project Manager Matt Willis and Senior Project Administrator Nicole Verheul – and asked them what makes “a great team”.

From the outset, there couldn’t be two more diverse people coming together as a team than PM Matt Willis and Senior PA Nicole. Why? Well, it comes down to a combination of background, personality and project responsibilities.

Nicole is New Zealand-born with just one year under her belt living and working in Australia. Her professional background is in accounts – both payable and receivable. But following her arrival in Australia and looking for similar account-based roles, her employment agency suggested she apply for Project Administrator positions. She heeded their advice and the rest is history. Nicole joined the Civilex family in 2017 as a Project Administrator and hasn’t looked back. Her placement couldn’t have better suited her skillset either as she has recently been promoted to Senior Project Administrator.

Matt grew up in a small town halfway between Geelong and Ballarat and completed his Bachelor of Engineering Science at the University of Ballarat. As part of his degree he undertook a work placement with Fulton Hogan, and following his graduation took a role at Civilex as a Graduate Engineer. After successfully proving his capabilities in the construction industry he quickly climbed the ranks to Senior Project Engineer and was recently promoted to Project Manager.

Matt and Nicole work together on a range of Civilex infrastructure projects. The PA role is in place to support and assist the PM in efficiently managing project financials, and subcontractor and supplier management. Nicole’s role enables PMs such as Matt to focus on larger projects, without compromising the integrity of the project and maintaining the high level of client responsiveness and flexibility Civilex is known for.

As part of a much larger project team, Nicole and Matt have also worked together on the Melbourne-Lancefield Road Project, which forms part of the state government’s Towards Zero Plan to improve the safety on Victoria’s most dangerous roads. Assigning a Project Manager and Project Administrator as a team enhances the entire process of the project. On one side Matt leads his team of engineers and subcontractors on-site, and within Head Office Nicole manages the mountainous administration involved in major projects such as Project Zero and mentors other Project Administrators and walks through systems and processes with new Site Engineers. Together they work seamlessly in delivering successful projects to our clients.

What do Nicole and Matt both enjoy most about working for the construction group Civilex?

The people. The culture. The project variety.

Nicole: “What I love most is the variety of people and projects at Civilex. Being encouraged to venture out of the office and onto site means I get to meet and work with some amazing people such as the PMs and Site Engineers. It’s great being able to meet them in person and seeing the project come to life.”

Matt: “My favourite aspect of Civilex is the culture – it’s an upbeat environment where everyone gets along. Our culture is fuelled by our Directors and Managers who promote mateship within the company through various functions such as staff lunches and social occasions.”

What is the most important attribute to the Project Administrator-Project Manager relationship?

Trust. Communication.

Nicole: “Communication 100% – being able to build strong relationships with PMs and getting to know each other a little better makes all the difference to being able to work as a great team. And of course, trust is a big one. Trust that we as Administrators have got their back. Everything we do is about revenue and costs.”

Matt: “Communication! Discussing the entire project with our Project Administrators and keeping them engaged and involved in project developments is critical for both their interest in the project and their understanding of the information they are processing.”

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