Women in Architecture Spotlight – Lisa Woodall

Featured in this week’s spotlight is Lisa Woodall, Global Head of Discovery and Design of WPPIT.

Lisa is a passionate and collaborative senior business leader with a track record in shaping, leading and implementing experience focused initiatives in order to strengthen business performance and business model integrity.

Question: How did you get your start in the industry?

Answer: It started on day one of my career when I landed as a graduate working on a strategic build programme.  And a couple of business architects (female) took me under their wing and introduced me to the world of data entity and business process modelling.

From there, I went on to work on significant transformation programmes, be that major restructures, operating model shifts involving offshore and onshore processes or simplification of the IT estate.

Q: What is your current responsibility, and what is your typical day like?

A: I’ve just landed my dream role as head of discovery and design.

My mission is to drive a more experienced-based view of architected change.  I’m looking to data-driven insights to inform our decision-making, foster open and collaborative conversations that encourage innovation, and embrace design thinking principles to prioritise colleague experience in all aspects of our what we do.

I can see the team’s work changing the insight that guides us, the conversations that we have and the ways of working of our teams to focus on designing better corporate IT services that deliver new value to the business.

A typical day it’s only been a matter of weeks. It’s involved a lot of “noodling”, “modelling”,  and working with a great team discussing how to weave research and design more fully into how we provide that wrapper around our technically architected solutions.

Q: What do you like most about your job?

A: I’ve always enjoyed being able to step back and step up and look at the bigger picture, consider the strategic goals, and the degree of change across the layers of business and provide options and scenarios on how to achieve change that’s going to make the most significant difference.

I’ve worked with some amazingly inspiring people who have also wanted to make a difference and have been encouraged by all those who work in the architectural and design disciplines who also want to improve the business world.

Q: What architectural trends are you looking out for the rest of 2023 and 2024?

A: How the profession is moving to a more hybrid discipline, and the recognition that business architecture has an increasing part to play as businesses have more complex ecosystems to operate in.

How can we help shape the hybrid, physical and virtual worlds to change how we work and the dynamics of the operating model as we become less dependent on physical places

And, of course, how conversational AI and different ways of interacting with our customers will change the operating models for many of our businesses.

Q: What is one thing we can do to support or increase the number of women in architecture

A: I go back to the start of my career when female architects took me under their wing and encouraged me to be curious, speak up about the future that I could see and helped dispel the myth that architecture is only a technical inward -facing  discipline it’s  far more than that.