Imogen Beresford-Bone, production partner manager at Xbox, talks about her varied role, the importance of collaborative work and of owning your mistakes
What is your job role and how would you describe your typical day at work?
I’m a production partner manager at Xbox, working out of our Reading office. It’s not a role that’s easy to define succinctly, but if it’s to do with publishing or production of games it probably falls under our team. We work with both third- and first-party publishers and developers throughout the lifecycle of their products, helping them bring their games to our platforms successfully and on time. A typical day can be quite varied, from title planning months in advance of release, to certification of content or supporting our live titles with post-release content roadmaps. We’re also often the first point of call for dealing with blocking issues, whether for tools and services or the games our community are playing right now.
What qualifications and/or experience do you need to land this job?
There’s a whole range of backgrounds on this team, and that often brings rise to interesting, varied perspectives. Having previous experience working independently is important, as we are empowered to manage our own projects within our account teams as much as possible. Equally, however, having experience working in a team is vital. Not only are we part of broader account teams, but we also have production partner manager counterparts in both Japan and the USA. When you have a shared workload, you need to be able to work closely with your counterparts and therefore be a highly collaborative person. This ensures we maintain a consistent, best-in-class, global experience for our partners.
If you were interviewing someone for your team, what would you look for?
In addition to the aforementioned ability to work both independently and as a part of a team, I’m always interested in someone’s ability to be accountable, or responsible. We’re all human, and we all mistakes at some point in our career, and I want to know how someone deals with a situation when something goes wrong. The ability to stand up and own an error is one of the things that I respect the most in colleagues. Being able to take responsibility for a mistake you’ve made, work to fix it and take learnings from that experience is vital for me. I’d also like to see an ability to be flexible, and open to different perspectives. This industry is fast paced and often evolving, and to effectively navigate that I think you must be open to change and new ideas. Having a rigid mindset, or way of approaching things, can cause friction nor is it conducive to a good growth mindset from a personal development point of view.
What opportunities are there for career progression?
Whilst this is my first job at Xbox, there are people who have worked in the team for many years in various roles. In my experience, Microsoft has a real desire to retain talent and this results in lots of opportunity to move to new roles within the business. There is an attitude here of ensuring that we’re ‘learn-it-alls’ rather than ‘know-it-alls’: we’re encouraged to spend time in working hours focusing on our own development, learning new skills. With Microsoft owning LinkedIn, we get access to LinkedIn Learning and there’s a whole wealth of knowledge we have access to there to help improve our personal and professional skillsets.