I started my career as an apprentice electronics engineer with Grampian Reproducers, studying Electronics Engineering at Kingston College of Further Education and helping out in the workshop when not studying.
On finishing my HND, I was employed by RACAL as an electronics engineer. I was promoted to team leader developing automated test equipment for their micro-processor based RF positioning systems, a pre-cursor to today's GPS.
After RACAL, I moved to BT where I worked first as an electronics engineering development project manager, managing a team of seven technicians, designing and implementing specialist electronic test equipment and procedures for the test and repair of payphone and telecommunications equipment.
I was then promoted to project support manager, where I implemented the successful transformation of spares supply routes to 2,000 BT Payphone field engineers, reduced operating stock levels by £12m and introduced standard practices to meet customer and British Standards Institute audit requirements.
My final role at BT was as a supply channel project manager responsible for implementing new materials supply channels to 20,000 BT field engineers. I achieved savings of £95m by reducing site and manpower requirements. I was also responsible for leading the Total Quality Management improvement team to enhance project communications within the division.
After a year off to travel around the world, I returned to the UK to take up a contract position with DEC, rolling out a desktop upgrade. At that time the contracting profession was becoming more established. I found there was demand for Prince2 qualifications and invested in getting myself suitably qualified.
This helped me secure contracts at leading technical and financial organisations including Ericsson, Legal and General, MCI, WorldCom, Colt Telecommunications, Reuters and Atos.
Linux, going back to my roots
I've a very keen interest in operating system and Linux (tracing back to my early dabblings in 1994) and I particularly respect the Open Source ethos. As my interest has grown over the years I've tried many of the various flavours from Debian to Knoppix to Mepis to Puppy and have now settled on Ubuntu Gnome3 as my alternative desktop of choice.
After recuperating from a motorcycle accident I worked independently for several years, developing a number of projects for a variety of clients, including infrastructure refreshes, CMS driven web sites, eCommerce integrations and bespoke web application development.
Over this time I have also taken the opportunity to invest in myself by taking courses relevant to the contracts I've delivered, focussing on programming and web technologies. My driver for this was undertaking certain projects and managing the workload as a project manager, outsourcing the aspects I couldn't deliver myself to specialists in their field. While doing this and learning the various technologies, my confidence grew to the point where I feel comfortable in taking on technical work myself.
I've also created my own technical tutorials site, tech-academy.co.uk, to remind me of what I’ve learned along the way and to share with others in the hope that it may too help someone in the technical community.
I have a very strong background and appreciation of technology, ranging from electronics engineering through to the delivery of complete data centres from a shell of a warehouse building, installing power, HVAC, racks & servers, installing the OS (be it Windows or Linux) and finally the applications to deliver today’s web services.
It is this combination of technical expertise and project management experience that uniquely positions me to communicate with both the business and technical teams to ensure that projects are delivered effectively.
My most recent endeavours have been within the Cyber Security sphere, leveraging off of my Certified Ethical Hacker qualification, which gave me the insight required to deliver a cutting edge DRM (Digital Rights Management) solution for the Motion Picture industry.
I'm now looking for a Director / Head of Project Management role that will allow me to setup the project management discipline within an organisation and then to pass on what I've learned within my roles, acting as mentor and leader to ensure that today's upcoming PM's have the skills required to deliver projects in the agreed and expected, timescales and budgets.
To that end, I've also developed a new Project Management Web Application: Project-Tools.co.uk in response to having worked in various organisations that struggle to organise and prioritise their work streams. Project-Tools is a straightforward & easy to use web app that I've made open source and free to the community, in the hope that organisations will give it a try and benefit from truly getting their projects delivered "On-time & On-budget"!