Chris Sykes, Project Manager in Madison, WI, United States
Chris Sykes

Project Manager in Madison, WI, United States

Member since April 17, 2020
Chris is a passionate agile practitioner who believes in the power of a motivated team to achieve amazing things together and build fantastic software solutions. As a waterfall project management trained professional who went agile early in his career, Chris sees the benefits of having someone who is focused on clarifying the big picture while facilitating collaboration between customers and project team to drive project success.
Chris is now available for hire

Project Highlights

Education

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Employment

  • Product Owner

    2019 - 2020
    Entegral
    • Defined the vision and direction for the company's flagship SaaS offering.
    • Served as a product owner in a team to prioritize the backlog, lead the team through bug fixes, as well as provide roadmap and vision for the future of the product.
    • Negotiated a work management process with customer support and the development team maintaining the product they supported.
    • Utilized SMART objectives to facilitate measurable outcomes to strive for the development of the product my team worked on.
    • Performed user-acceptance testing on all all user stories to assure quality before deploying the work.
    • Regularly refined backlog to remove any unnecessary user stories to keep the team focused on the highest business value work.
    • Led a development team workshop strategizing how to lift the company's flagship SaaS product to the GCP platform from the legacy architecture it was on.
    • Partnered with the scrum master to help the team define the working agreements and definition of done.
    • Partnered with Scrum Master to help coach the team to grow into a high-performing team.
    • Prioritized product backlog to balance to accommodate technical debt and customer requests.
  • Agile Project Manager

    2016 - 2019
    Johnson Health Tech
    • Mediated the relationship between a development team and a key stakeholder to improve trust and constructive communication.
    • Provided servant leadership to a scrum team to drive better self organization and growth into a high-performing team.
    • Designed and implemented a process for managing a new API integration program alongside a development team.
    • Worked with international third-party clients to deliver API integrations on time as agreed in a statement of work.
    • Balanced multiple projects while leading teams through the scrum process.
    • Coached personnel in the organization how to leverage scrum and agile best practices.
    • Built relationships between other engineering departments and my own department to drive better collaboration on software.
    • Facilitated requirements gathering workshops with engineers and stakeholders.
    • Presented new ideas and approaches about project management to the upper management team.
    • Led teams with remote engineers as well as co-located engineers.
  • Co-op IT Project Manager

    2015 - 2016
    Sub Zero Group
    • Helped to establish project management documentation best practices in the IT department.
    • Contributed to the development of a new process for completing proof-of-concept projects to vet new tools and software for IT.
    • Developed mitigation strategies for identified project risks and performed risk analysis identified risks.
    • Collaborated with vendors and assured statement of work on contracts was adhered to.
    • Utilized Microsoft Project to manage projects, resources, and scope.
  • Graduate Assistant in Project Management

    2014 - 2015
    University of Wisconsin-Platteville Distance Learning Center
    • Managed a project that implemented ImageNow software to help the campus transition to a fully digital record-keeping strategy.
    • Developed and managed project timelines to deliver the scope on time.
    • Communicated with stakeholders and the project team to assure that the project was focused on the correct work at the correct time.
    • Leveraged project management best practices to define a business case for a database improvement project.

Project History

  • API Integration Management Program
    Designed and led a program for managing and delivering web API integration projects for a global manufacturing company.

    I was tasked with taking over integration projects that allowed third-party clients to integrate web APIs to send and receive specific data for their applications and customers using our IoT devices. The program needed to serve clients around the globe, and remote engagements were necessary for all projects to run through the program.

    I was the agile project manager in charge of establishing a standard practice for all projects, as well as negotiating the schedule and scope for the project after the product management team completed the initial discovery. I then worked with a small team to build and deliver the scope alongside our third-party partner.

    Much of the integrations involved RESTful APIs and testing them out on devices to ensure we met the quality standards of our clients. I led both my team as well as the client's personnel to build their part of the integration effort.

  • Web-based Software Update Platform for IoT Devices
    Led an agile team to rewrite a software update platform that updated IoT device software on a global scale.

    I led an effort to rewrite an enterprise software program that was utilized by engineers to test and deliver developed software updates to IoT devices around the world that customers had bought. I worked directly with key stakeholders and the development team to gather the project requirements, establish a timeline for the project, and build a project backlog to work through until the product was fully released.
    I led discovery exercises, such as story mapping and goal development for the project. I also worked with the team to estimate the user stories and epics that came out of requirements gathering to form an MVP for the product. As the team built out functionality in the MVP, we demonstrated it to our internal customers to gain their feedback to incorporate into the product.
    The final result was a lightweight, web-based application that managed the deployment of software updates across the various environments that the engineers built them in. Cycle times for updates were reduced and quality of updates increased as a result of the more simple, streamlined experience the application's UI offered as well as its more robust performance utilizing RESTful API architecture.

Education

  • Master's degree in Project Management
    2013 - 2016
    University of Wisconsin-Platteville - Platteville, WI, United States
  • Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology
    2007 - 2012
    University of Wisconsin-Platteville - Platteville, WI, United States

Certifications

  • Certified Scrum Master
    DECEMBER 2017 - DECEMBER 2021
    Scrum Alliance
  • Certified Scrum Product Owner
    FEBRUARY 2017 - DECEMBER 2021
    Scrum Alliance

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