Nicole Wigston, Project Manager in Superior, CO, United States
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Nicole Wigston

Verified Expert  in Project Management

Project Manager

Location
Superior, CO, United States
Toptal Member Since
August 11, 2021

An excellent communicator commended for guiding teams from uncertainty to productivity, Nicole is a technical project manager and scrum master with a career spanning over 20 years, specifically in the geospatial industry, with experience, including technical software implementation, spatial database consulting, instructional design, and facilitation.

Project Highlights

Certified Quality Foods Mobile Application
Coordinated a team of remote contractors to deliver a mobile application that assessed food quality via a hardware device for a startup within an 8-week timeframe and within a budget of 650 total hours.
Operations Data Management Platform
Led a team in the automation of remote sensing data acquisition operations, empowering them to self-organize and become cross-functional while delivering an enterprise, DevOps-based solution that saved the staff time and improved reporting accuracy.
Site Master Plan Information Mapping Tool
Led a team (new to scrum) in the custom development of a web-mapping tool that leverages demographic and other data to plan for future site capacity.

Expertise

Work Experience

Scrum Master

2022 - 2022
Peregrine
  • Improved trust between client stakeholders and the development team with direct and respectful communication.
  • Reached a compromise between stakeholders and the development team by proposing an asynchronous alternative to daily scrum calls.
  • Increased team development velocity by 40% from the first to third sprints.
  • Compromised relationships between the Peregrine team and their client provided Nicole with the opportunity to demonstrate the ability to say the right thing at the right time, to the right audience.

Scrum Master

2021 - 2022
Certified Quality Foods
  • Coordinated a global and remote team of developers to deliver a complete mobile mapping application in eight weeks.
  • Facilitated relationships between the outsourced back-end development team, outsourced hardware team, client stakeholders, and our front-end development team.
  • Performed testing of mobile applications using firmware and TestFlight releases on iOS.

Senior Project Manager

2018 - 2021
Quantum Spatial (NV5 Geospatial)
  • Led the adoption of agile practices within teams and the organization, coaching about scrum ceremonies and practices to colleagues who are unfamiliar with the methodologies.
  • Spearheaded an internal project and brought the development team together to deliver a DevOps solution for the company; was commended for presenting the project’s vision to the C-suite and influencing the staff’s adoption.
  • Managed software and database version control for complex Enterprise GIS projects, including the use of Amazon Web Services (AWS) to leverage multi-tier environments for test, development, and production.
  • Provided continuous management of functional project scope and made changes to meet or exceed client expectations and requirements, while maximizing expected gross margin.
  • Handled labor forecasting to balance the project budget and staff utilization rates.
  • Managed projects according to key performance indicators such as CPI, ETC, and EAC.
  • Performed contract negotiation and invoicing management with subcontractors and clients.

Instructional Designer

2013 - 2018
Esri
  • Reached consensus within project teams and between stakeholders on the scope.
  • Rendered complex workflows from developers and product managers into compelling training content.
  • Modernized the design of training materials and curriculum for higher learner engagement.
  • Configured ArcGIS Enterprise (Portal for ArcGIS, ArcGIS Server, web, and data servers) in AWS.
  • Initiated the recording of podcasts for internal and external audiences on targeted technical challenges that were not covered by the curriculum.

Project Manager

2007 - 2012
Esri
  • Fostered strong relationships as the only remote (from headquarters) member of project management team.
  • Developed and maintained course development process (based on the Waterfall ADDIE model).
  • Managed the resource pool for a staff of 30 course developers using Microsoft Project.
  • Delivered the top five (of 22) priority courses on time and under labor budget, concurrent with the software release.

Technical Analyst | Instructor

2000 - 2007
Esri
  • Pioneered the “Geodatabase Jumpstart” program to implement and train clients in maintaining spatial databases.
  • Performed the on-site implementation and performance tuning of ArcSDE with Oracle and SQL Server databases on UNIX, AIX, and Windows Server operating systems.
  • Wrote Avenue and SQL scripts to maintain custom ArcView applications.
  • Designed and maintained a custom geodatabase curriculum for the USDA Forest Service.

Certified Quality Foods Mobile Application

Coordinated a team of remote contractors to deliver a mobile application that assessed food quality via a hardware device for a startup within an 8-week timeframe and within a budget of 650 total hours.

Certified Quality Foods developed a unique device to objectively assess food quality via a device inserted into a food sample, such as a filet of fish. Our team of remote contractors developed the mobile application interfacing with the device (via Bluetooth) to report measurements in the form of charts, graphs, and a mapping component.

As a scrum master, I facilitated daily scrum, planning, review, and coordination of communication via Slack for the team, consisting of three developers, a designer, and a product owner. The five team members were from four different companies, and I was contracted as a freelancer.

Acting as a project manager, I finessed relationships between our development team, the CQ Foods investors and stakeholders, and integration with the hardware and database development teams. I tracked hours, budget, risks, issues, and built details in weekly status meetings with key stakeholders.

Operations Data Management Platform

Led a team in the automation of remote sensing data acquisition operations, empowering them to self-organize and become cross-functional while delivering an enterprise, DevOps-based solution that saved the staff time and improved reporting accuracy.

A department director asked me to lead a project to automate the collection of remote sensing flight operations data. Each stakeholder I spoke to had a different vision of success. By conducting interviews to elicit more clear requirements, I was able to articulate the project vision and present a proposal to the C suite.

For the proposal, I identified the dev stack, the budget, staff needs, and an implementation timeline. After my presentation, I was commended by several senior leaders for finally articulating the project vision in concrete and realistic terms.

The project team consisted of a front-end developer (JavaScript), a back-end developer (Flask/Python), a newly hired DevOps engineer, a database designer, and a product owner. The team was not dedicated, so I regularly encouraged each team member to take on manageable tasks outside their specialty.

We implemented a database schema in PostgreSQL, developed a web application that parses source files to populate tables, built a DevOps pipeline to automate deployments across test, dev, and prod instances, and deployed this solution to thirty staff members across four roles with change management and training.

The MVP took just six months to develop and deploy.

Site Master Plan Information Mapping Tool

Led a team (new to scrum) in the custom development of a web-mapping tool that leverages demographic and other data to plan for future site capacity.

I conducted a needs analysis, including observing the staff's current workflows utilizing various data sources to make future site capacity planning recommendations. Along with the GIS analyst on the team, I identified Esri's Web App Builder deployed on AWS along with ArcGIS Enterprise (a full-stack solution) as the software solution.

The project team included a GIS analyst, a server admin, a database analyst, and a product owner who had not previously been part of a scrum team. I socialized the scrum ceremonies and promoted cross-functional participation. There was resistance to daily scrum meetings initially, which I phased in by socializing an agreement to communicate daily at 9 AM via Slack. The team eventually recognized in a retrospective the value of daily communication.

As the project got underway, we identified the need for further custom JavaScript development and brought on a subcontractor to fill that need. Our team identified the option to purchase curated demographic data that resulted in a labor cost savings of $22,000. We maintained development, test, and "demo" environments (for the functionality presentation to stakeholders).

Delivering Standardized Datasets for Mapping

Developed a method to vet the suitability of external web map services for diverse stakeholders along with a data migration strategy to aggregate locally managed geographic data for federal reporting needs.

Federal agencies commonly need to report at a national level, but data is maintained at a regional office level. It is challenging to aggregate hundreds of datasets, each with its own schema definitions, to a meaningful national dataset. This project listed sixty datasets necessary for reporting at a national level.

I led a team of business analysts and GIS data experts to determine which datasets were offered as existing web services that would suit the business needs, then determine which datasets would need to be internally sourced.

For the internal data, we identified gates each dataset would progress through (for each of 11 participating states). We used Kanban boards in Azure DevOps for each dataset and each state to track progress in identifying available data, assessing its quality and conformity to a national standard, preprocessing, performing ETL for migration into a SQL Server geodatabase, then creating web services for that data.
1993 - 1997

Bachelor's Degree in Physical Geography

University of South Florida - Tampa, FL, United States

APRIL 2021 - APRIL 2023

Certified Scrum Master

Scrum Alliance

JUNE 2019 - JUNE 2022

Project Management Professional (PMP)

Project Management Institute (PMI)

DECEMBER 2018 - PRESENT

Certificate in Applied Project Management

University of California Irvine

MAY 2013 - PRESENT

Graduate Certificate in E-learning

Walden University

Tools

G Suite, Trello, GIS, Microsoft PowerPoint, Jira, PostgreSQL, Excel 365, Microsoft Project, Figma

Platforms

ArcGIS

Paradigms

Scrum, Instructional Design, Agile, Agile Leadership, Agile Project Management, Azure DevOps, Planning Poker, Agile Delivery, DevOps, Kanban

Other

Scrum Master, Project Management, E-learning, Data Management, Presentations, Project Leadership, Needs Analysis, Communication, Training & Training Content Development, Online Course Design, Software Implementation, Databases, Waterfall Methodology, Facilitation, Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC), Web Project Management, Milestones PM+, Client Success, Team Mentoring, Project Management Professional (PMP), Database-driven Web App Development, Web App Development, Customer Service Management (CSM), Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Smartsheet, SQL Server 2000, App UX, Process Design, Mobile Apps, Federal Contracting, Invoice Management, Subcontract Management, Risk Management, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), IT Project Management, Data Transformation, IT Projects, Sprint Planning, Sprint Retrospectives, Serverless Architecture, Cross-departmental Collaboration, Software Release Management, Wireframing, Agile DevOps, Web & Mobile Applications, SaaS, Notion, Lucidchart, Oracle DBA, Unix Shell Scripting, Web App UX, Web App Deployment, Contract Negotiation, Stakeholder Management, Team Building

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