Tian Foo Chou, Project Manager in Singapore, Singapore
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Tian Foo Chou

Verified Expert  in Project Management

Project Manager

Location
Singapore, Singapore
Toptal Member Since
April 12, 2024

Tian is a certified project management, IT service management, and agile transformation professional. He has 15+ years of experience driving international program delivery, operational excellence, and process improvement initiatives. As an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, Tian is adept at leading the cross-functional delivery of complex cloud or hybrid-based programs, employing data-driven measurements and visualization to identify and continuously improve critical productivity metrics.

Project Highlights

Next-gen Internet Banking Micro-frontend Platform
Drove an agile, multiyear client product delivery program for the next generation of digital banking solutions architected on a custom-built micro-frontend platform.
Migration of a Payments Merchant-acquiring Portfolio
Led the technical effort to baseline and prioritize the product backlog for technology migration. Transited to an operational readiness lead role to ramp up capabilities of the corresponding support and service management in a just-in-time manner.

Expertise

Work Experience

Senior Delivery Manager

2024 - PRESENT
Elastic
  • Joined the team midway through a 10-month project to smoothen the kinks out of Agile implementation.
  • Drove outcome-based delivery, focusing on enterprise observability dashboard delivery to achieve three objectives: anomaly detections, probable root cause, and blast radius.
  • Led storyboarding sessions, employing design thinking principles to achieve outcome-driven delivery.

Program and Delivery Lead

2021 - 2023
GFT Technologies
  • Led an agile, multiyear client product delivery program on the next generation of digital banking solutions, architected on a custom-built micro-frontend React platform.
  • Built and ramped up the resourcing and capabilities of multidisciplinary delivery teams consisting of 40 team members across three geographical areas.
  • Re-aligned the fixed price, scope, and schedule contract against agile delivery methods to optimize the customer's business values. Subsequently, the customer was able to deploy quarterly product releases incrementally.
  • Coached and mentored teams to be agile, not just do agile. Collaborated closely with the client's program, leading to a transition to a more flexible and adaptable approach. Allowed us to respond to changing priorities in a 100% scope creep situation.
  • Employed analytics of Jira and Confluence data as a "single source of truth" for the project to continuously drive performance improvements of project teams.

Head of Service Management, Asia Pacific

2019 - 2021
Wirecard
  • Implemented performance metrics and KPI dashboards within the APAC customer support team to drive continuous improvements via a virtuous feedback loop.
  • Collaborated with key technology program leads to institute the "technology implementation Bible" that iteratively prioritizes and delivers technology solutions, thus aligning overall operational readiness timeline and milestones.
  • Defined and implemented stage gate checkpoints to ensure customer support readiness in customer support SOPs, incident management, knowledge management and training, the customer support best practices forum, and supply chain optimization.
  • Led the investigation, resolution, and post-mortem of several high-profile and complex priority 1 incidents with strategic customers to effectively address root causes and drive the implementation of preventive measures.
  • Built and ramped up a dedicated data analytics team to drive the conversation with businesses on using merchants' historical performance to project future migration priorities and necessary adjustments in commercial agreements.
  • Developed and ramped up an 80-person regional operational and service management support team to support incremental technology solution roll-outs and corresponding batches of merchants getting onboarded.
  • Used RPA technologies to root out inefficiencies in the point-of-sales terminal setup and configuration process. Over a three-month period, the lead time to prepare terminals was trimmed by more than 50%.

Merchant Acquiring, Operational Readiness Lead

2017 - 2019
Wirecard
  • Led the regional business operational readiness team comprising project managers, process analysts, and trainers. Consolidated and rolled out Wirecard's merchant-acquiring regional business processes to 11 markets (countries) in APAC.
  • Launched the minimum viable product in four markets within four months.
  • Built fundamental data analytic capabilities to support financial analysis and migration data preparation.
  • Drove the merchant migration program in four markets and 12,000 merchants, integrating technical solutions, business ops readiness, partner/merchant integration, and supply chain logistics, aligning with an evolving technology delivery solution.
  • Built and ramped up a newly assembled team of 20+ cross-functional specialists to map out underlying business processes and gap analysis, getting all operational teams ready for successive waves of merchants migration in a JIT manner.

Principal Project Manager

2009 - 2017
ACI Worldwide
  • Handled the national payment switch migration, including all major card network interfaces, 30+ bank host interfaces, and 20 variants of POS-acquiring message formats.
  • Saved 12+ person-months in costs and increased customer revenue by $2 million by leading cross-functional teams to successfully recover three enterprise projects that were in distress and reach full resolution with the respective customers.
  • Improved KPIs by over 25% over the first six months and value-added 5-year long-term contracts worth $3+ million after leading the program to revamp the engagement model with a strategic North Asian customer account.
  • Completed a card issuer upgrade implementation involving 10+ million cardholder accounts for a Middle Eastern country despite the political uncertainties caused by the Arab Spring.
  • Implemented a retail fraud management platform with a Chinese bank that was handling 12 – 15 million financial transactions and 30,000 – 40,000 fraud detection alerts daily, with a peak of 1,000 transactions per second.

PMO

2012 - 2014
ACI Worldwide
  • Mentored and coached APAC project managers on applying project management methodology, processes, and tools. Consistently met the requirements of project audit KPI benchmarks.
  • Led consulting services to enact recovery of projects in trouble with two separate customer engagement situations. We brought the projects to the necessary level of management visibility, and both were back to green status within three months.
  • Facilitated streamlining APAC project management processes to reduce overhead and improve customer SLAs. This helped remove unnecessary process steps, resulting in time and cost savings equivalent to 100 project manager person-days a year.

Senior Program Manager, Global Services

2003 - 2009
Savi Technology
  • Improved inventory process efficiency by at least 35% by implementing an ammunition visibility system and reducing workforce deployment by 30%.
  • Achieved a monthly recurring revenue stream of AUD 65,000 to 115,000 by implementing a solution to accurately track the rental of three million crates, pallets, and roll cages against 250 participating partners.
  • Implemented a solution that simplified the supply chain asset tracking workflow by cutting at least 30% of unnecessary work steps.
  • Executed an active RFID solution to automatically track and monitor the movement of all bonded cargo containers within Shekou's free trade zone, Shenzhen, and China. Negotiated a recurring monthly revenue stream of RMB 250,000 to 500,000.
  • Led and completed the Smart and Secure Trade Lane APAC global initiative. Concluded implementations at Port of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and China Merchants Shekou.

Next-gen Internet Banking Micro-frontend Platform

Drove an agile, multiyear client product delivery program for the next generation of digital banking solutions architected on a custom-built micro-frontend platform.

The program started with a single scrum team of five members: a solution architect, senior engineers, and a lead UX designer. Within four months, a micro-frontend prototype framework was built and showcased to the customer, which helped secure further funding and ramp up the development team. The program eventually consisted of five teams, numbering up to 40 cross-functional personnel.

This program was centered around using Jira and Confluence as a single source of truth. Relying on this source of truth, I successfully drove continuous improvements via a data-centered approach to program status and progress reporting. Additionally, I reconciled a fixed price, scope, and schedule project against employing agile methodologies. This allowed the team to deliver product releases incrementally at least every quarter from the 6th month onward.

The client extended the entire team's engagement beyond the original tenured period based on outstanding results achieved in our first year.

Migration of a Payments Merchant-acquiring Portfolio

Led the technical effort to baseline and prioritize the product backlog for technology migration. Transited to an operational readiness lead role to ramp up capabilities of the corresponding support and service management in a just-in-time manner.

Wirecard acquired Citibank's APAC merchant acquiring portfolio of 20,000+ merchants in 11 different markets. They hired me as a technology program lead to initiate the technical migration planning and design.

I worked with a team of cross-functional specialists to baseline and prioritize the product backlog for migration, balancing the technology buildup roadmap and expected business values projected on merchants' historical financial performances. After realizing that the support and service management functions were unprepared for the forthcoming technology solution deployments, I also volunteered to become the operational readiness lead.

Within two to three months, I built up another cross-functional set of expertise to drive a business process mapping and gap analysis exercise. Subsequently, I introduced agile methods and techniques to iteratively build and implement process changes and corresponding measurement metrics in parallel with the incremental technology solution rollouts.

Within the next four months, we successfully launched and supported the minimum viable product in four markets. My contributions resulted in my promotion to head of service management for Asia Pacific.

North Asian (Taiwan) National Payment Switch Migration

Took over this distressed project that was three years behind schedule, recovered it with a re-baselined project scope and budget, and successfully transited the customer to production with a newly committed statement of work (SOW).

This national payment switch was built on a legacy product platform over the course of 20+ years. It has integrations with all major card networks and payment schemes and 30+ bank hosts at different degrees of commercial arrangement. It also supports 20+ variants of POS-acquiring message formats.

The original migration project was meant to migrate the full legacy solution to a newly constructed product solution platform. When I was brought in for recovery, the project was three years behind schedule and had a severe budget overrun.

Collaborating with the customer, I led a team of cross-functional specialists to formulate and propose a recovery plan. The team re-baselined the project scope and obtained approval from the customer to decouple risky dependencies that do not necessarily contribute to intended business outcomes. The team implemented a 6-month surge strategy of rotating deployments of 20 technical consultants on-site to help the customer achieve a quick-win milestone.

We won support from the customer to close out the original contract and continued our engagement under new terms and SOW. After 1.5 years, we successfully delivered the committed solution and the customer's desired business outcomes.
MARCH 2024 - PRESENT

ICAgile Certified Professional – Coaching Agile Transformations

ICAgile

JANUARY 2024 - PRESENT

ICAgile Certified Professional – Agile Coaching

ICAgile

DECEMBER 2023 - PRESENT

Advanced Certificate in Learning and Performance

Institute for Adult Learning (IAL)

OCTOBER 2023 - PRESENT

ICAgile Certified Professional – Leading with Agility

ICAgile

OCTOBER 2023 - PRESENT

ICAgile Certified Professional – Agile Project and Delivery Management

ICAgile

SEPTEMBER 2023 - PRESENT

ICAgile Certified Professional – Business Agility Foundations

ICAgile

DECEMBER 2022 - PRESENT

AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

Amazon Web Services

JANUARY 2021 - PRESENT

GER527: Technology in an Ageing Society

Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS)

NOVEMBER 2019 - PRESENT

Extrapreneurship Program: AI RegTech Project

CFTE – Centre for Finance, Technology and Entrepreneurship | Onfido

MARCH 2017 - PRESENT

ITIL Foundation Certificate in IT Service Management

AXELOS

MARCH 2009 - PRESENT

Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)

GoodAgile

MAY 2007 - PRESENT

Project Management Professional (PMP)

Project Management Institute (PMI)

Tools

Zoom, Jira, Slack, Confluence, Skype for Business, Microsoft Power BI, Office 365, Excel 365

Paradigms

Kanban, Agile, Requirements Analysis, Scrum, Agile Project Management, Agile Leadership, Demand-driven Resource Management

Platforms

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Other

Scrum Master, Agile Program Management, Statement of Work, Budgeting, Data Visualization, Stakeholder Management, SLA Management, Agile Coaching, Mentorship & Coaching, Point-of-Sale (POS) Systems, System Migration, Contract Negotiation, Complex Program Management, Project Management, Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC), Coaching, Team Mentoring, Risk Analysis, Contract Negotiations, Scope Management, Team Leadership, Cross-cultural Management, Cross-functional Team Leadership, Cross-functional Collaboration, Stakeholder Engagement, Stakeholder Mapping, Stakeholder Analysis, Client Presentations, Contract Review, Remote Team Leadership, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft 365, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Continuous Improvement, Service-level Agreements (SLA), Card Payments, Payment Networks, Process Transformation, Agile Transformation, Incident Management, IT Outsourcing, IT Service Management (ITSM), Customer Service Support, Resource Management, Governance, Supply Chain, RFID, Negotiation, Technical Support, Business Agility, ITIL 4, Mobile Payments, Online Payments, Customer Journeys, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Business Process Analysis, Field Service Management, Journey Mapping, Salesforce Sales Cloud, JQL, Process Mapping, Business Analysis, Data Analytics, Agile Product Delivery, React, Technology in Elderly Care, Regtech, Entrepreneurship, Learning Strategy, Pedagogy, Project Management Office (PMO), Python 3, AIOps

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