I've been on a journey as a technology leader, entrepreneur and software developer for nearly 20 years. These are the main skills I've gathered along the way.
Strategy & vision
Designing, selecting and promoting new project methodologies, techniques, practices and tools. Strategically minded and able see the big picture, whilst also keeping an eye on the detail. Experience of developing the strategy and vision behind over 70 digital innovation projects for non-profits.
Understanding and applying Lean Startup to the design and ongoing development of new digital services – especially for social good. 10 years' experience of using this methodology to help non-profits turn numerous digital concepts into working realities, through an approach that favours experimentation, exploration and testing assumptions. Took Elefriends from initial concept to full-scale service supporting a community of over 80,000 vulnerable people.
Implementing an internal culture of continuous learning and experimentation. Able to think outside the box, and be creative in developing new approaches. Developed innovation processes and personally managed over 2,600 hours of staff innovation time which spun out new social good projects to help young offenders, homeless people and local charities.
Team building & leadership
Experience of hiring and developing a multi-disciplinary delivery team, growing it from scratch to 20 people with very low turnover rate. Getting the best from people by developing processes to address mastery, autonomy and purpose. Implementing a culture of T-shaped people in order to break down departmental silos and engendering a do-ocracy startup culture.
Experience with designing and optimising internal processes within a multi-disciplinary delivery team; especially with regards to human-centred design and Agile project management. Bringing new efficiencies to improve quality of output by applying methodologies such as Scrum, Kanban Design Sprints and Lean Startup. Developed an internal playbook for ideation workshops, co-creation and Content Strategy that tripled the size of the business.
Service design for vulnerable groups
Designing and undertaking service design activities, including designing custom workshop and research activities to meet specific objectives. Workshop facilitation and usability testing with vulnerable groups, such as young people and people with mental health problems. Designing for users, with users. Making sure users' needs are prioritised in technology projects. Passionate about design best practice and user participation.
A seasoned senior practitioner with many years of experience researching users needs and designing user interfaces to reduce the friction between the task someone wants to accomplish and the digital tool being used for the task. A specialist in interaction design, content strategy and information architecture. Also experienced in managing visual designers and copywriters to support UX activities.
Used to building long-term relationships of trust with senior stakeholders – some client relationships have lasted over six years. Comfortable working at board level. Also setting up steering groups and high-level project governance. Experience of rescuing failing projects and restoring trust. Experience of delivering face-to-face presentations to groups of stakeholders in often pressured and political situations. Able to constructively challenge and remove unnecessary barriers to service delivery.
Agile project management
Using Agile methodologies to make sure projects deliver value as early as possible. Hands on experience of overseeing and managing multiple Agile software projects at the same time, with budgets from £5K to £1m. Implementing checks and balances to make sure projects are a success. Experience in leading a collaborative, dynamic planning process – prioritising the work that needs to be done against capacity and capability of multi-disciplinary teams. Proven track record of managing and mitigating risks and issues strategically.
Training & mentoring
I love sharing complex concepts in a simple way and making them accessible to all in a safe space. I enjoy coaching staff and have been asked by public sector organisations to train staff on topics such as Lean, Agile and service design. I've also taught young people to code and mentored young offenders.
Operations & finance
Hands on experience of hiring, firing, contracts, IP and trademarks; including monitoring, managing and reporting on finances. Experience of implementing ISO 9001 Quality Management System. Annual budget responsibility of £840K.
Chatbot design & development
Researching, designing and building new digital products that engage with humans using natural conversation (NLU). Helping non-profits use AI and chatbots for social change. Building chatbots using IBM Watson Assistant which is the industry-leading AI technology.
A can-do attitude with proven track record of drive and determination. Willing to take risks and not take "no" for an answer. I have first-hand experience of initiating and growing numerous initiatives from scratch, such as Yoomee, Sheffield Tech For Good, Hack days for refugees, teaching and mentoring. My freelance business won UKBI Incubated Business of the Year.