My Experience

My professional experience stretches back over 30 years, however this page focuses on the last 10. For more information regarding my early career, please feel free to get in touch using the button below.

From Software, Web and Data Developer to Scrum Master and Agile Project Manager

My career began in 1990 when I joined the Nationwide Building Society as a junior analyst programmer. From there I transitioned into web development and on to being a SQL developer.

As my career progressed, I found myself taking the lead on projects, running the technical delivery effort, co-ordinating the team of developers I was a part of.

This naturally lead into project management, specifically in technical delivery. Due to my background, I have often found myself delivering large data-centric projects, including business intelligence systems.

My transition to Agile, and particularly to being a Scrum Master has come as a natural consequence of my drive to deliver projects better, on time and to budget.

Work Experience

Motability Operations

Scrum Master

September 2021 — Present

Working as part of the vehicle remarketing project, I initially looked after two team focused on delivering minimum viable products in the buisness intelligence and MI space. The teams consisted of data transformation developers and report writers, as well as quality engineers. Whilst we worked in fortnightly sprints, we used them as checkpoints rather than a means for delivering working software, operating a ScrumBan approach to the work, bringing in technical stories to the sprint as they become ready. I developed a burn-up chart to track progress against the backlog and estimated delivery dates based on the story points, allowing for contingency.

Following the successful delivery of these two products in December 2021, I was asked to look after two more teams delivering further key products in the vehicle remarketing space. We have just completed one of these and are about to enter UAT. The second one is on track to complete at the end of May.

In addition to running the Scrum ceremonies, I developed dashboards in Jira to allow senior management to view the status of the work at a glance, and I also attended regular status review meetings with stakeholders.

Natwest Group

Scrum Master

March 2021 — September 2021

I was the Scrum Master for a credit risk process automation project, serving teams of Java developers and business analysts. I looked after two Scrum teams, both focussed on delivering on this portfolio.

I established a solid cadence and rhythm to the fortnightly sprints, ensuring we not only held all the Scrum Events but also learned from them and committed to improving as we discovered more about the project. I also set up regular backlog grooming sessions with the Product Owner and other user stakeholders. I created and maintained a Confluence space for the project and used Jira for daily planning and reporting.

Lloyds Banking Group

Scrum Master / Finance Delivery Manager

February 2020 — December 2020

I initially joined LBG’s Insurance & Wealth Finance team to be the Scrum Master on a project that remains confidential. The role changed to Delivery Manager following a review of the team’s working processes that I led. Working as part of a wider programme that involved actuarial, protection and IT colleagues, we became a self-organised agile team that successfully delivered the product on time.

Data Communications Company (Smart DCC)

Scrum Master / Project Manager

May 2019 — November 2019

Smart DCC is the licence holder for the smart meter roll out in the energy sector in the UK. I joined to be the Scrum Master on a project to migrate business and regulatory reporting from a legacy system to a new platform and at the same time to enhance the reporting and insight capability of the company. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Capita, the system in place was always meant as a temporary measure until Smart DCC was able to stand alone. When I joined, it was just maturing into this position and required rapid migration and improvement of reports.

Following a number of internal shifts, the role itself has migrated from Scrum Master to Project Manager, however I kept the project Agile focused and delivered using Kanban. This was a six-month project, designed to remove the immediate risk of the legacy platform failing before the delivery of a strategic BI platform for the company. I succeeded in delivering on time and without the loss of any reporting capabilities.

TSB

Scrum Master / Delivery Team Lead

July 2018 — January 2019

I joined the Business Intelligence team at TSB to head up a newly formed project delivery function focussing on a new way of working in order to deliver TSB’s core values of putting things right and ensuring the right outcome for the customer. Using Scrum principles, my team initially focused on fixing high priority defects in two main areas of the data warehouse, customer value marketing and collections & recoveries. In addition, the team worked on new functionality to support the digital business function in their drive to better understand the customer journey and what provides value to the customer across the bank’s digital platforms.

Looking after a team of data modelers, ETL developers, MicroStrategy architects and report builders, as well as testers, I ensured work was developed and released in accordance with Agile principles. This included daily stand-ups, working constantly to remove any blockers and building strong relationships with key stakeholders and senior managers across all the areas my team worked with.

By developing these relationships, I successfully fostered trust between the BI function and the business, as well as driving quality requirements and iterative benefits for both the business and the customer.

After the success of the digital delivery, I was asked to head up a team looking at ways to improve the quality of the data warehouse at TSB. This included ensuring the jobs that were developed for inclusion in the overnight batch ran successfully in the production environment as well as ensuring all data lineage was intact.

The team successfully identified and implemented a number of these quality improvements as well as identifying several additional areas that needed attention, before budgetary restraints meant the team was disbanded.

Lloyds Banking Group

Lead Project Manager

February 2017 — June 2018

LBG put in place an extensive team to manage and process complaints that are made by its customers about the potential mis-selling of packaged bank accounts, including a data team dedicated to the development of a robust and accurate repository of all relevant customer data to allow complaint handlers to review each claim on a case-by-case basis.  In addition, the bank proactively identified customers who may have had packaged bank accounts that were no longer providing the appropriate benefits due to the customer’s change in circumstances and provided them with a path to a more suitable product.

While my title was Lead Project Manager, my role as on the project was very delivery-focused. The building of the complaints management data warehouse was done iteratively, using Agile principles of delivering usable functionality in short sprints. My role included coordinating the efforts of multiple work streams to deliver each piece of functionality, including the acquisition of historical data from third parties, production of mailings to customers identified by the proactive work being undertaken, the development of the data repository itself with all appropriate access and the definition and development of required MI and ad hoc reports.

My role required me to be meticulous in planning, teasing out requirements and dealing with issues as they presented themselves, as well as dealing with stakeholders up to director level by chairing regular reporting meetings. I also led requirements and planning workshops as well as picking up other mangers’ work streams when cover or technical expertise was required.

Bristol Energy

Interim Head of Management Information

June 2015 — October 2016

Bristol Energy was a new energy supply company, which entered the market at the end of 2015. I was brought in to lead the management information and data provision work stream with the remit to produce a full BI stack for the company.

I completed the initial requirements gathering process by interviewing senior managers and consultants in each of the key areas including Operations, Finance, Trading and Sales & Marketing. From this, I produced a requirements specification and logical data model.

I then produced the solution architecture for the MI environment, which was based on Microsoft SQL Server 2014 hosted in the cloud on a Microsoft Azure platform. Having identified the data sources required to feed the environment, I then built the ETL processes using SSIS and the reports to meet the requirements, providing them via SSRS and Microsoft Excel.

Initially brought in for four months, my contract was extended a number of times. By the time it ended, I was responsible for a small team of SQL developers, analysts and report writers. Using Agile methods, including Scrum, the team continued to develop the environment as well as provided directors and senior managers with KPIs and dashboards via self-build and third-party BI tools.

Lloyds Banking Group

Project Manager

October 2014 — June 2015

As a direct result of the success of the face-to-face growth programme (see below) and following its completion, I was invited to take up a new role in Commercial Banking MI Services as the Project Manager for the Conduct Risk Appetite Metrics (CRAMs) project.  This project was already in flight when I came on board and my job was to land it safely in line with the original scope and timeframe, which was the end of the year.  I managed to successfully meet both these targets, with the final work stream being handed over to BAU just before Christmas.

During this same period, I also managed the full development lifecycle on three smaller projects within another MI Service programme, Service Transition.  This programme sought to bring pieces of MI that had been created and managed by business colleagues into MI Services in order to ensure they were produced and maintained correctly, reducing the amount of manual intervention and removing any key person dependencies. This was a golden opportunity to develop Agile working practices for the programme, and using Scrum techniques, I successfully managed the transition of three of these MI services in-house, looking after all aspects of each project. This included liaising with stakeholders at all levels to ensure the correct solution was designed, planned and delivered in each case.

From January, I was able to focus my full attention on project managing the second phase of CRAMs, the purpose of which was to deliver business changes to the original scope.  This second phase was successfully delivered in June when the project ended.

Lloyds Banking Group

Data Delivery Manager / Technical Team Lead

January 2014 — October 2014

Following the completion of the consolidated risk and regulatory project in January 2014 (see below), I moved within Commercial Banking from the Finance team to Delivery and Change Management where I became the lead data developer and analyst on a project designed to redefine the scope of the services offered to small to medium enterprises by the bank.  This growth of the face-to-face division has meant that a number of customers were reviewed to ensure the service they were receiving was still the most appropriate for their needs.  A number of customers had their products realigned as a result and this meant ensuring the data the bank holds for each customer, their accounts and all products they hold was available on the appropriate systems to allow the front line colleagues to continue to offer the best service they can.

As initially the sole data analyst on the project, I managed that particular workstream for the project. I was later joined by another data analyst who had particular experience in the small to medium enterprise area of the bank, leaving me free to continue to drive the data analysis and management for the larger customers affected by this restructure as well as workstream manage the data analysis team.

As well as working with the bank’s Group Data Warehouse my role also required me to meet with key project stakeholders to understand the data requirements for the project, present the results of the data analysis at senior level and manage the data analysis workstream, including planning and prioritizing the schedule for the team. Initially brought in for 6 months, my contract was extended for a further 3 to ensure the safe completion and delivery of the project’s benefits.

Lloyds Banking Group

Data Delivery Team Lead

June 2012 — January 2014

I joined Lloyds Commercial Banking Finance division as part of a project team to deliver a consolidated risk and regulatory reporting platform, not only to deliver the currently required credit risk regulatory reports, but also the new reporting requirements from the EBA. I initially worked on designing and developing a Microsoft SQL Server data warehouse as part of the technical delivery team. My role quickly broadened to take on the technical delivery management for the project, which in turn grew in its scope, including the need to produce a version of the system for the part of Lloyds Banking Group that was to be divested, which is now TSB.

 

I also took on the work required to understand and develop the technical configuration of the third-party consolidation platform that was purchased for the project, Moody’s Risk Authority. As technical delivery manager, I delivered a configured and working version of Risk Authority in November 2012, in accordance with the original project timescales. 

 

With the increased scope of the project, a decision was made to use Agile principles and particularly Scrum delivery processes in order to deliver the full data warehouse. I continued to work as part of a team on this development, specifically on the requirements to source and supply Moody’s Risk Authority. In this role I delivered a fully regulatory compliant version of Risk Authority, together with the end-to-end ETL processes that support it in March 2013, fully five months ahead of schedule. This was largely due to the championing of Agile and Scrum within the bank by the programme lead. I then became the subject matter expert for Risk Authority, in which role I supported the BAU activities surrounding the end-to-end risk and regulatory reporting monthly cycle, providing training, advice on report building and development of ad hoc reports as required.

 

During the eighteen months I spent in this role, my work covered everything from the technical, including hands-on SQL development, through management of the delivery program to the training of the end users.  It was a role that I developed beyond my original remit with the support of the leadership team.  Originally contracted for 6 months, I was extended four times.

 

Castrol (BP Lubricants Plc)

IT Project Manager

January 2011 — June 2012

Following a number of previously unsuccessful attempts, Castrol set up a project to deliver a suite of cost of goods sold (CoGS) forecasting tools. This was a global project with a multi-million dollar footprint. My role on the project was varied and I fulfilled the data warehouse developer, business analysis, subject matter expert and IT project manager positions at various times throughout the project lifecycle.

I was initially involved in the requirements analysis, design and risk assessment phases of the project, where I worked with Castrol’s Enterprise Architects to determine the impact on the business model and processes that this new solution would have. I also spent a great deal of time in workshops with lead users with expert financial knowledge of Castrol’s supply chain processes, understanding and documenting the requirements for the project. I regularly met with key project stakeholders to give presentations to show progress to date.

I then led a team of database and front-end developers, designing, developing and building the data warehouse and front end. My particular involvement technically was to write the stored procedures used by the front-end developers to retrieve data from the warehouse. I then moved into project managing the technical delivery through successive iterative cycles, delivering improvements and increased functionality. This involved liaising with people in numerous countries in all of the regions where Castrol has a production facility, including the USA, South Africa, Singapore, China and numerous European countries. Coordinating all of the requirements from such a diverse user population was quite a challenge! As a result, I gained an intimate understanding of the plant production process of most of Castrol’s products for their automotive, marine, aviation, industrial and energy businesses. This led me to become the subject matter expert on the project with regard to plant production data.

I also took on the responsibility of leading a team of BAs and developers and provided project management support to the Castrol team from an IT perspective. The team successfully delivered on all of the key deliverables identified in the project and were also able to provide enhancements as well as ongoing support as the solution moved into business as usual.

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