Ceri Parkes, Project Manager in London, United Kingdom
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Ceri Parkes

Verified Expert  in Project Management

Project Manager

Location
London, United Kingdom
Toptal Member Since
August 23, 2019

Ceri is a delivery-focused and versatile project and operations expert, fueling transformative change through delivering business-critical initiatives and recovering complicated failing projects and programs. Ceri is recognized for successfully delivering optimum business solutions, including overhauling underperforming teams and instilling optimum changes by understanding impacts, mitigating risks, and overcoming challenging barriers.

Project Highlights

Recovered Failing Project
Succeeded in stabilizing the project within three months by enhancing efficiencies and performance.
Agile Transformation
Succeeded in implementing agile practices and resolving existing problems.
Business Transformation
Succeeded in executing a redundancy program, significantly improved SLAs, and instilled positive motivation in the workforce.

Expertise

Work Experience

Operations Consultant

2023 - PRESENT
Envist
  • Worked on a number of client projects with a main focus on project rescue. Quickly assessed and understood the root causes of project issues, providing efficient and effective solutions and adding substantial value within tight timelines.
  • Navigated complex project landscapes and offered precise, data-driven recommendations.
  • Focused on creating high-performing teams, enhancing communication, fostering collaboration, and aligning individual goals with the overall mission of the organization.

Operations Specialist

2024 - 2024
INNOluxe
  • Completed an analysis of operations across the company, from sales & marketing through to supply chain, finance and HR.
  • Proposed a revised strategy, roadmap, market expansion, budget and execution plan to increase sales through a combination of solutions.
  • Introduced change of approach to improve relationships with distributors and suppliers.

Finance and Operations Consultant

2023 - 2024
Outvertising
  • Reviewed the current processes and tech stack, transitioning the organization to Google Workspace, Slack, Salesforce CRM (free license for NFPs), accounting software, and document sharing.
  • Embedded a culture change focused on project-based initiatives, goals, and priorities.
  • Restructured the commercial model and the strategy.

Chief Operating Officer

2020 - 2023
Applicita
  • Conducted an overhaul of people, process, and tech, resulting in a staff restructure, significant changes in ways of working, products, services and pricing.
  • Introduced OKRs and KPIs, driving a culture of transparency, alignment and working towards the same goal.
  • Inherited complex, strained client relationships, resulting in trusted partnerships and continued relationships.
  • Built high-performing teams, and robust and repeatable processes, resulting in measured improvements in efficiency and cost savings.
  • Responsible for setting strategy, daily operations, budget management, commercial decisions, problem management, human resources.

Operations Specialist

2020 - 2021
Live Tech Games
  • Successfully hired the right people for the growing team, implemented seamless boarding processes, nailed productivity with the right balance of space for creativity and getting things done.
  • Embedded continuous learning and process + people for rapid issue resolution.
  • Enhanced data analytics in the platform to aid data-driven decisions for new features.

Digital Transformation Consultant

2020 - 2020
My Method
  • Conducted business and technical requirements analysis, focussed on how both B2C and B2B users interact with the tech and people.
  • Developed a prioritised feature list, vetted multiple suppliers.
  • Created a business case, budget and digital transformation roadmap, with input into a VC pitch deck.

Transformation Program Manager

2019 - 2020
Drivvn
  • Engaged as the transformation program manager to lead the end-to-end implementation and execution of a complex business change.
  • Managed the delivery of a brand-new, strategic, web-based platform for the business. Worked alongside our nearshore development partners to deliver under-challenging circumstances and deadlines.
  • Coached the team on agile ways of working to drive collaboration and efficiency.
  • Led the restructure, moving from a team of 50 outsourced to 20 in-house, hiring the right people and ensuring clarity on roles and responsibilities.
  • Co-ordinated gaining clarity on the product strategy, ensuring alignment across the business, trained the team on agile practices and devised repeatable onboarding processes.
  • Improved strained relationships with clients due to complex problem-solving, negotiation, transparency, alignment and visible progress.

Digital Transformation Program Manager

2019 - 2019
Paperchase via Palladium Digital
  • Engaged as digital transformation consultant to lead a due diligence program for a major stationery store, with ownership for engaging with business stakeholders to identify and gather requirements, identify priorities, and understand resource gaps.
  • Headed up due diligence, defined priorities, and implemented best practices.
  • Collaborated with the client to assess and understand the benefits and costs of initiatives to determine priorities while ensuring that requirements were met.

Business Change Project Manager

2018 - 2019
Wowcher
  • Conducted a program of work focussed on increasing the NPS score, including proving cash refunds over credit, providing more visibility post-purchase; including postage tracking and introducing live chat on the website.
  • Spearheaded the implementation of a revised refund process following extensive review to improve the overall process and timelines for customers seeking refunds.
  • Embedded continuous improvement ethics, focussing on consistently researching and amending processes to better service customers.
  • Managed the timely resolution of data issues to ensure accuracy and reliability of information.

Agile Transformation Program Manager

2017 - 2018
M-Kopa (Kenya)
  • Conducted change impact assessments and delivered continuous improvement sessions to gain insight and drive understanding of new ways of working, including Agile.
  • Provided coaching and mentoring to business leaders. Led a scrum of scrums and instilled best practices by encouraging and driving understanding of the benefits of change.
  • Managed the outsourcing of IT operations, built and maintained collaborative relationships with suppliers, and managed processes and ways of working with suppliers.
  • Improved performance and productivity of onsite IT support teams by utilizing ITIL standards. This resulted in a significant increase in incident resolutions, first-time fixes, and SLAs.
  • Led a restructure: exit of 60 local staff, replaced by 12 offshore, followed by significant process changes, embedding agile, clarity on roles and responsibilities and the use of champions to help in adopting the change.
  • Introduced OKRs and KPIs, ensuring alignment on goals and the ability to measure outcomes and make data-driven decisions.
  • Worked with C-level execs to educate them on the agile mindset and embed business cases, ROI and business owners to aid in product prioritisation.

Technical Project Manager

2013 - 2016
Risk Management Solutions
  • Oversaw and coordinated the setup and implementation of a professional services PMO with ownership for defining program and project management standards to improve delivery outcomes.
  • Managed large-scale, complex programs of work (over £1 million budgets) related to a next-generation cloud platform for insurance companies with ownership for leading integration to PaaS, driving business process change, and managing third-party vendor relations.
  • Provided leadership and resource management for projects with a focus on driving performance, enhancing efficiency, and managing under-performing staff.
  • Spearheaded the introduction of a repeatable approach to improve ISO 27001 complaint infrastructure buildouts for the transition from client ownership to SaaS.
  • Delivered a range of projects and programs, including infrastructure change, software implementation, CAT model development, data migrations, data warehousing, and API integration.

Business Change Consultant

2015 - 2015
St. Pauls' Catholic Bookstore
  • Engaged as the change management consultant to review, assess, and transform the organization's existing IT processes and systems. This included implementing a POS system along with a cost-saving program across warehouse and office operations.
  • Developed a business case for a POS supplier change, managed the RFP process, and negotiated discounts.
  • Managed and coordinated system implementation of post-supplier selection encompassing tender, contract, implementation, and go-live phases of project delivery.
  • Worked in close collaboration with key stakeholders up to C-level to define and translate the business vision into a target operating model and three-year action plan for change.
  • Liaised with internal teams to resolve conflict by delivering workshops to drive improvements and address employee concerns.

Agile Delivery Manager

2012 - 2013
IMX Software
  • Oversaw and coordinated as the key decision-maker the end-to-end delivery of business-critical projects. This included banknote and FX trading systems for Tier 1 banks (with a budget of over £1 million), web client application implementations, data migrations, and business change initiatives.
  • Conducted an intensive review of the existing 12-month plan, identified that team structures were not working as they should, and recommended changes to existing resource structure in Vietnam and the UK.
  • Was instrumental in stabilizing two failing projects within three months by analyzing and defining project needs and executing robust change to resolve and enhance operations.
  • Reduced the Vietnam team to six resources and increased the UK team to six. I also introduced a buddy system to enhance the performance and productivity of the Vietnamese resources.
  • Engaged with the client regularly to understand priorities for each sprint, restructured project plans to ensure conflicting priorities were achieved, and changed sprints from four weeks to two.
  • Managed scrum ceremonies, removed blockers, coordinated global teams, maintained project PM status, and velocity reports in line with project specifications.
  • Defined and implemented robust processes and role changes to enhance the efficiency and performance of the offshore team and developers.

Recovered Failing Project

Succeeded in stabilizing the project within three months by enhancing efficiencies and performance.

IMX Software needed to recover two struggling projects due to conflicting priorities and a lack of engagement between local and offshore resources. I was engaged as the Agile delivery manager to turn around the performance of two projects for Tier 1 European banks. I analyzed and defined project issues, implemented Agile methodologies, reviewed the 12-month plan, scaled back the Vietnam team to increase UK-based resources, engaged with the client to define sprint priorities, and changed sprints from four to two weeks.

Agile Transformation

Succeeded in implementing agile practices and resolving existing problems.

Summit Media required significant changes to remediate problems with staff attrition rates: 95% of the staff left within the last six months. I was engaged as the agile transformation program manager to lead a business-critical agile transformation program. I identified the underlying business problems, devised an improvement strategy, managed complex supplier relationships with two external development agencies, resolved complicated stakeholder relationships, and ensured a full understanding of business problems for the C-level through clear communication.

Business Transformation

Succeeded in executing a redundancy program, significantly improved SLAs, and instilled positive motivation in the workforce.

M-Kopa Solar Kenya needed to reduce their outgoing costs by conducting a major redundancy program. I was engaged as the agile transformation program manager to lead the redundancy process for 80% of the IT workforce. I managed complex risks, liaised with legal and PR teams to manage the impact, implemented structural changes, led the outsourcing of IT operations, managed supplier interactions, and mitigated potential riots and security breaches.
2007 - 2011

Bachelor's Degree of Science in IT and Management

Birkbeck (University of London) - London, UK

DECEMBER 2020 - PRESENT

Inbound Marketing Certified

HubSpot

MARCH 2014 - PRESENT

Managing Successful Programs - Practitioner

QA

JANUARY 2014 - PRESENT

Certified Scrum Master

Scrum Alliance

JUNE 2007 - PRESENT

Prince2 - Practitioner

QA

JANUARY 2007 - PRESENT

ISEB Business Analyst Essentials

ISEB

JANUARY 2004 - PRESENT

CIMA Foundation

CIMA

Tools

Google Docs, Slack, HubSpot, Jira, Microsoft Project

Industry Expertise

Insurance Technology (Insurtech), Energy, Insurance, Retail & Wholesale, Renewable Energy, Digital Agencies, Africa, Financial Markets, Automotive

Paradigms

Change Management, Continuous Integration (CI), Agile Project Management, Scrum, Management, Organizational Change Management (OCM), PRINCE2, Agile, Waterfall Delivery, Kanban, Agile Software Development, Agile Leadership, Marketplace Platforms, DevOps, B2B2C

Platforms

Azure

Other

Risk Assessment, Business Process Refinement, Project Budget Management, Project Leadership, Project Management, Vendor Management, IT Projects, Process Design, Business Processes, Budgeting, Requirements, Scope, Software Project Management, Business Transformation, Process Transformation, Project Delivery, Client Management, Outsourcing, Third-party Management, Delivery Management, Process Improvement, Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC), Communication, Project Planning, Stakeholder Management, Processing, Leadership, Remote Team Leadership, Project Timelines, Project Rescue, Process Optimization, Coaching, Sprint Planning, Best Practices, Project Scheduling, Backlog Management, Program Management, Resource Allocation, Workshops, Business Requirements, Microsoft, Project Discovery, Product Delivery, Emerging Markets, Estimations, Business Transformation Program Management, Target Operating Models, Discovery Workshops, Custom Solutions, Project Management Office (PMO), Agile Transformation, Digital Transformation, Resource Management, Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Complex Problem Solving, Executive Presentations, IT Operations Management (ITOM), Risk Management, Executive Support, Budget Management, Change Leadership, Governance, eCommerce, Agile Program Management, Scrum Master, Software Development, Workshop Facilitation, Distributed Team Management, Waterfall Methodology, Chief Operations Officer (COO), RFPs, RFQs, ITTs, Responses, Proposals & Quotes, Dashboards, User Stories, Product Management, Product Roadmaps, SaaS, Platform as a Service (PaaS), IaaS, Project Management Infrastructure, APIs, Technical Requirements, Process Flows, Inbound Marketing, CRM Systems, Startups, New Product Development, Technical Project Management, Business Analysis, Culture Management, Software as a Service (SaaS), Agile Coaching, Strategy, Negotiation, Data-driven Decision-making, IT Outsourcing, Mentorship, Human Resources (HR), Google, WhatsApp, Sales, Operations, Marketing, Gaming

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