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Warrington, WA1 4PE
United Kingdom

©2017 by James Grace Consulting Ltd.

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE


United Utilities (2001-2014)

Gazprom (2014-2015)

Amey (2015-2016)

Yorkshire Water (2016-Present)

CAREER DETAILS


July 2016 – Present                                                              Contract Project Manager

                                                                                                            Yorkshire Water PLC

                                                                                                                Bradford, Yorkshire


At Yorkshire Water I am currently running a SAP refresh project.


During the past 2 years I have managed multiple small to medium IT related projects including:


  • Water Supply/Demand modelling systems

  • Apple and Android mobile Web Self Service Yorkshire Water application enhancements

  • Telemetry Cisco hardware firewall procurement, /configuration and deployment

  • Smartphone rollout programme for Waste Water technicians.


These projects involve a mix of waterfall design and governance procedures (financial, RAID management, project boards etc) and agile development and tracking (sprint planning, daily stand-ups etc) for the software development projects.


February 2015 – July 2016 (4 extensions)                          Contract Project Manager

                                                                                                          Amey PLC - Liverpool

                                                                                                                   Smart Metering


This role was as a Smart Metering Project Manager, working on the government driven programme for Gas and Electric meter replacement to meet DECC targets for the installation of smart meters by 2020.  Working with EDF Energy to manage the upgrade and delivery of internal Smart Metering systems with an external software supplier. 


Responsibilities:


  • Business Process review and re-engineering.              

  •  Full budget and governance (£2.5 million)

  • Functional Testing                    

  • Non-Functional testing (including Load UI and SOAP UI for Performance testing, and NCC Security PEN testing)

  • ISO27001 accreditation

  •  Daily SCRUMS  

  • Project Boards for financial and RAID management 

  • Executive Programme Boards for Amey & EDF Senior Management

  • Go-live planning

                                                                                                                                               

This was a highly visible, multi-team facing role, involving liaison with 3rd party hardware and software suppliers, the Amey Metering Business, Amey Group IT, EDF IT & Business teams and Cap Gemini as EDF’s testing partner.  As this was a regulatory programme of work this role required a high level of financial governance, communication skills, planning and determination to keep the project driving forward in the face of many technical and business related challenges.


June 2014 – January 2015                                                    Contract Project Manager

                                                                                                                     Gazprom Energy

                                                                                                                          Manchester


This role was at Gazprom Energy in Manchester as a Contract Senior Project Manager.  The role involved the management of different application development Gas and Electricity projects for Gazprom, ensuring that the company adhered to specific industry regulations such as EMR, EII and CFD.  I managed both internal teams and external suppliers, covering applications and infrastructure, with budgets typically in the £200,000 - £500,000 range.   I used Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012 to plan, manage and track development and testing work across the projects in an Agile fashion.

Responsibilities:

  • Producing initial Project definition documentation

  • Resourcing and forming project teams

  • Running Project Control Boards

  • Budgetary control and reporting

  • Internal and external resource management

  • Running daily Scrums with project teams

  • (Developers, Business Analysts, Testers etc)

  • Sprint planning 

  • Dashboard and KPI reporting

  • RAID management

  • Transitioning projects on go-live into BAU support.


Most of the projects were regulatory in nature and are therefore very tightly constrained and monitored from a Time, Cost and Quality perspective.  Timescales were tight, so a mixed approach of up-front Prince 2 design and Agile development and QA was employed. The TCQI scorecard measures were articulated to business representatives, programme boards and senior executives on a regular basis.


Jan 2010 – May 2014                                                                 Senior Project Manager

                                                                                                                      United Utilities

                                                                                                                         Lingley Mere

                                                                                                                           Warrington


During this period I was a Senior Project Manager at United Utilities, successfully delivering numerous application and enterprise class projects for the IT department and wider business.


A number of these projects required a significant amount of internal stakeholder management and influencing skills with both senior managers within the business in UU and external suppliers, such as Esri, Computacenter, Panasonic, Crowder consulting, CISCO and UU’s offshore development partner Vertex in Delhi, India.


I was responsible for:


  • Budgetary controls and reporting (up to a value of £3.5m)        

  • Resource management

  • Licensing and hardware costs

  • Risk management

  • Lessons learned documentation

  • Liaison with the UU PMO

  • Transition into BAU support using RACI matrices

  • Management of PRISM entry & exit criteria for project closedown.


All the projects delivered involved very rigorous financial and timescale predictions and reporting via TCQI scorecard measures.  I articulated this data to business representatives, programme boards and senior UU executives on a regular basis.



Jan 2007 – Jan 2010                                                                        Head of Applications

                                                                                                                       United Utilities

                                                                                                                           Lingley Mere

                                                                                                                            Warrington


For 3 years I was employed as the Head of Applications at United Utilities, reporting to the IT Director in the IT department. I managed 6 diverse teams of Analyst/Programmers, supporting circa 200 different applications with 40 support and development staff (including offshore staff from Vertex in India), employing daily stand-ups with support teams to maintain focus on workloads.  The technologies used included SharePoint 2010/2007, C#, ArcGIS, webMethods, VB.NET and SQL Server 2005, through to legacy systems using C, FAST/Tools, AIX and FTX Unix and Oracle 9i.  All of my teams supported and developed numerous mission critical 24/7 applications and as such were part of an out of hours on-call rota.  Their workload involved juggling both development activity and 2nd line support tasks and we adhered to ITIL V3 throughout the whole of the IT department.


My main responsibilities included:

  • Team Management (leadership, recruitment, appraisals, objective setting, personal development plans, performance reviews, training, cross-skilling, supply/demand planning for resourcing, succession/retention planning)                                                                      

  • Supplier management

  • On call rota and escalation management for out of hours issues               

  • Monthly service reporting (use of dashboards, KPIs, SLA reporting)

  • Service level management & Service improvement

  • Customer engagement & Availability management

  • Capacity management & Business Continuity/ITDR 

  • Production and maintenance of Service Catalogues

  • On-boarding of new applications/services

  • Request/Incident/Problem/Release management, adhering to ITIL V3


The majority of the applications under my control were related to CNI (Critical National Infrastructure) and therefore had a typical SLA of between 99.75% and 99.99%.  Given the criticality of the systems and the diverse nature of the types and age of technologies involved, my role was a key one in the IT department and required a high level of technical awareness, clear and positive leadership and good communication skills with peers, subordinates and superiors across all areas of the United Utilities business.


                                                                                                                       Lingley Mere

                                                                                                                         Warrington


I joined UU as a Senior Analyst/Programmer in the Asset Systems team, working on the full software lifecycle of activities ranging from system design through coding to implementation and support. I quickly progressed to Team Leader, which involved people and technical management – including objective setting, appraisals and other people management tasks.