Secret Recipe for Success in the Construction Industry from Mastt’s Bodana Moran

Hop Dao
Hop Dao
June 1, 2021
Secret Recipe for Success in the Construction Industry from Mastt’s Bodana Moran

Would being a woman ever stop you from thriving in the construction industry? To Mastt’s Head of Revenue Operations, Bodana Moran, it all comes down to having the right mindset and self-belief.

Describe your typical day at Mastt

Working out of Sydney HQ with our great team locally and internationally! We are a relatively new team expanding rapidly so there is always a tonne to do!

Between meetings and the day to day, I am always on a constant search for the best iced long black in the Sydney CBD and trying to stay away from berry Danishes!

How do you balance work and life responsibilities?

Those who know me know I edge on the extremes as I am incredibly passionate about what I do. At work, I am always looking to support my team and clients, while committing to things that will help me upskill, learn and grow. That typically means I have a lot going on at any one time.  

Outside of work, I have a beautiful mini-Dachshund named Bruno who is my proverbial child. Yes, I am one of those dog mums! I love doing CrossFit or going for runs. It is super important to me to look after my health as it helps me deal with my jam-packed schedule and keep in a positive frame of mind!

Secret Recipe for Success in the Construction Industry from Mastt’s Bodana Moran: a portrait of a female with her cute dog.
Bodana and Bruno.

A person who inspired you and why.

Growing up, I was always inspired by females in a position of power who would break the mould of what was considered at that time the ‘traditional woman’. From fictional Heroines like Xena the Warrior Princess (giving away my age here) or prominent women in history such as Hatshepsut, Cleopatra, Catherine the Great or Queen Elizabeth I - they have all been a source of inspiration for me from a relatively young age.  

I hope to one day be able to provide a similar inspiration to others and mentor young professionals in construction or STEM.

And of course, my amazing mother and father. They both instilled in me the value of independence and the fortitude to create my own path.  

What is it like leading a team full of men?

The majority of my career has been in male dominated industries – from construction, to technology to then combining the two (and even at one stage applying to be in the police force!). Developing my career in these sectors always prepared me for this reality.  

The most important thing to me is that it doesn’t matter what gender you or your colleagues are. As long as you have mutual respect, understanding, trust and collaboration, you will move mountains together.  

I have been incredibly fortunate to have some great male mentors and colleagues over the years who have supported me, and have had some incredible female mentors who have helped shape the person I am today in my career. Now I want to be able to do the same for men and women alike in the industry.

“It doesn’t matter what gender you or your colleagues are. As long as you have mutual respect, understanding, trust and collaboration, you will move mountains together.”

Definition of a great place to work. And a great leader.

A great leader needs to lead by example, not be afraid to put on the tool belt from time to time and back their team 110% to support them to grow in and outside the workplace. If my team is succeeding, feeling supported and are happy to come to work each day, I know I’m doing a good job!

The above also relates to what makes a great place to work. Work makes up so much of your time in life, so it’s incredibly important to maintain this culture and environment for everyone to thrive and love what they do!

Secret Recipe for Success in the Construction Industry from Mastt’s Bodana Moran: a portrait of a group of professionals smiling.
Bodana (second from the right) and the team at Mastt.

You started your career in a civil construction business before moving into the ConTech sphere. Why does construction appeal to you so much?

It’s a long story... By chance, I ended up in construction where a company took a chance on me and gave me the opportunity to be exposed to all sides of the business, from running the office, building project folders, submitting/ receiving plans right through to onsite project management and client liaison. I even had the opportunity with our site supervisors to get my hands dirty pot-holing, building pits, and learning how the guys manage horizontal directional drilling in confined spaces.

What created my love for construction is that it contributes so much to the environments and communities we belong to. You are literally in the trenches with your peers and other involved stakeholders to do everything you can to make it work and to hit your project milestones. You really build a sense of camaraderie as you have done the hard yards together, which lasts for a lifetime.  

I then moved into technology for construction to be able to support the industry through common pains and challenges faced, which I experienced on the frontline. Yes, construction is still a complex industry, but with the technology we have available today, it doesn’t need to be as hard as it is to deliver win-win outcomes all round!

Let’s talk about revenue growth at Mastt which is what you are in charge of. Tell us 3 reasons people should use Mastt to manage their capital works portfolio.

At Mastt, we are really navigating in a niche area that isn’t serviced well in industry by current software available.  

From experience, I have seen strategies utilised by clients around the world for how to best manage capital works projects. We have ERP style systems that require heavy customisation to meet asset owners’ requirements, which still don’t meet their needs or leaves them with a crazy bill. We then have the builders' tools, where clients will try to retrofit them to accommodate their use case and requirements on the job. Our clients get sick of the above two positions, and most of the time they resort back to using Excel and SharePoint-type approaches to deliver projects worth billions.

I’m not being biased when I say Mastt is meeting a need within industry connecting the dots between asset owner and PM firm requirements. The solution draws a line between the heavy requirements of delivery, only bringing in information that is critical to monitor live and in real time for decision making and tracking project, program, portfolio management progress and performance.

I love a constructive debate. If someone wants to challenge me on why the above strategies work, bring it on!

A challenge when getting people to use the platform

It would be the education piece on best practice for project delivery. It does surprise me at times that we need to go back to the fundamentals of project management to justify why certain things are important to track and why data and analytics are so valuable.  

Thankfully this is changing with clients beginning to see the tangible value of data and proper information management practices.

And something that's true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Manly Sea Eagles is the best team in the NRL – prove me wrong…

Describe the industry’s attitude towards adopting technology for upstream project management when you first started. Has it changed since?

I have seen quite a bit of change in the upstream world when it comes to mandating certain ways to receive information or mandating certain systems onto builders. It shows us that the industry is realising the importance of visibility and information.  

However there is still quite a way to go as personally, mandating a client-system to a builder is not the right approach. Conversely, if you don’t have agreed standards set with the builder on what information, the format of information and how it is received, this is also not a good way to do things.

A question that you get asked a lot but don’t want to answer.

‘How do you blend your Neuro/ Health/ Self Development Qualifications and alternative skillset to your day-to-day career?’  

As soon as people find out my multiple qualifications in this space, it opens up a can of worms that is hard to answer simply and effectively, especially in the industry I am in!

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