Tony Amos, Project Manager in Summit, NJ, United States
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Tony Amos

Verified Expert  in Project Management

Technical Project Manager

Location
Summit, NJ, United States
Toptal Member Since
January 1, 2021

Tony is a seasoned agile professional who started his IT career as a software engineer in the US Navy. After being honorably discharged, he expanded his technical expertise by serving in every role of the software development lifecycle, including coding, testing, data design, architecture, and DevOps. As he matured and delivered scores of successful projects, he combined his technical, communication, analytical, and leadership skills to establish himself as an Agile Technical Project Manager.

Project Highlights

Data Analytics System Architect
Designed and created a data analytics platform that automates the transformation of unstructured data, such as spreadsheets, documents, and PDF files, into a MongoDB NoSQL database.
Enterprise Release Optimization Through OKRs
Reduced the cost of software defect resolution by 22% over two years by introducing an OKR strategy and designing statistical cost models; also expanded pre-release testing capacity with simplified, coordinated operations.
Enterprise Agile Coach
Coached three scrum masters and four release train engineers representing 23 SAFe Scrum teams.

Expertise

Work Experience

Principal | Agile Consultant | Software Architect (via Toptal)

2015 - PRESENT
Anthony Software Group
  • Created a SaaS data analytics product to transform unstructured documents and data into flexibly structured data for use in a database.
  • Provided management consulting services that enabled organizations to create agile adoption strategies, coach agile teams, oversee DevOps implementation and expansion, and train staff on Scrum, Jira administration, and Scaled Agile Framework.
  • Headed the implementation of various agile practices for a digital technology division of an international auto manufacturer. Mentored scrum masters. Introduced and evolved Scrum practices for a mobile application team.
  • Served as a scrum master to four development teams at different maturity levels, requiring extensive use of soft skills while implementing Scrum practices.
  • Created a team of three digital marketing professionals to develop and manage the company's web and social media presence and provide video and podcast production assistance.
  • Was technical project manager to deliver the used car system in the US and Canada. Joined the project as it was behind on deliverables, realigned project tasks for more timely and accurate completion, and produced and executed the project plan.
  • Established project delivery standards through rigorous Scrum management, implemented quality standards, managed stakeholder expectations, and established a project dashboard for real-time status and more effective communications.

Release Train Engineer | Consultant

2018 - 2020
Verizon Wireless
  • Reduced defect-resolution costs by designing key metrics enabling teams to prioritize based on value; attained more predictable product quality by establishing, capturing, and reporting DevOps metrics.
  • Used Python, MongoDB, Jira, and Confluence to implement and validate my objectives-and-key-results strategy to quantify cost savings and process improvements.
  • Coached three scrum masters and four release train engineers representing 23 SAFe Scrum teams.
  • Implemented enterprise release planning, and inspect-and-adapt practices, which improved test cycle effectiveness and product quality by expanding testing capacity without increasing resources.
  • Eliminated resource conflicts by creating a data model and schedule to allocate testing asset inventory; this schedule proactively mitigated cross-team impediments while exposing dependencies ahead of problems.
  • Managed three data migration projects that relocated one Oracle and two Microsoft SQL Server databases from internal servers to AWS. Managed data engineering teams as they migrated required data, retired obsolete data, and renormalized data.
  • Contributed to strategic design sessions needed to migrate SQL databases and their custom API services to AWS. Guided design sessions to reach decision points quickly and accurately and negotiated dispute resolutions.

Consultant

2016 - 2017
Sirma Cognitive Consulting
  • Teamed with the CEO and sales director to establish this Bulgarian company’s US consulting and product delivery practice.
  • Prepared proposals, presentations, and product demonstrations as part of the sales process to large clients including Procter & Gamble, Bank of America, and The Intercept.
  • Implemented Scrum with Kanban to manage product customization, customer requirements, and product delivery from the development team in Bulgaria to US clients.
  • Implemented Jira & BitBucket Cloud to manage communications between client, management, and offshore development team; managed client backlog, wrote JUnit test scripts, and used Test-Driven Development (TDD) for user acceptance in BitBucket workflow.
  • Managed product discovery for Procter & Gamble in order to capture and document project vision, objectives, key results, and user stories; worked with the development team to create the MVP.
  • Implemented the project management strategy used to ensure reliable product and value delivery to clients. Collaborated with clients so the strategy met their needs, and ensured the offshore team understood any deviation from core practices.
  • Created real-time status reporting with information radiators using Jira, thus eliminating the need for periodic reports and creating flexible communication between development teams and stakeholders.

Lending System Architect

2015 - 2016
Principis Capital
  • Led the creation of a proprietary business lending platform, reported to the CEO, and instituted the Scrum framework with Kanban and DevOps platform while serving as a scrum master.
  • Coached the CEO on how to be a product owner while defining user stories, business rules, and compliance requirements to automate applicant processing and underwriting.
  • Completed product discovery, goals, objectives, requirements, and user experience design for the lending platform.
  • Hired and managed a Scrum development team; prepared an RFP, selected, negotiated terms, and engaged an Agile software development partner in Ukraine.
  • Established development standards, practices, and workflows; installed and configured Jira and Confluence servers, a Bitbucket (Stash) source code server, and TeamCity for build management. Created workflows to integrate internal and external code.
  • Retired an existing Oracle database by migrating data, incorporating data design best practices, designing and building an API front end, and adding high-availability features.
  • Created a middle-tier microservices platform that enabled a gradual transformation from the single 12TB Oracle DB to five more scalable SQL databases and one MongoDB database. Managed a team of three developers in building these APIs.

Vice President

2012 - 2014
JP Morgan Asset Management
  • Helped the transition to Scrum and served as a scrum master to the team responsible for designing the automated testing and CI/CD platforms for a $1 trillion global trading platform. This team became the model for the full 65-member team transformation.
  • Led the team that implemented Jira and Confluence Servers, Jenkins, and Subversion as the portfolio management system's first continuous integration (CI) platform. Created integration and testing workflows and automated pre-release validation.
  • Designed product features; the flagship product was a major investment scenario analysis module that allowed analysts to compare the impact of various portfolio changes when adjusting positions while maintaining compliance.
  • Designed user interaction, documented specs, defined performance criteria, and validated that deliverables created expected outcomes before presentation to stakeholders.
  • Refactored scores of major C# .NET modules into testable components and automated testing processes. Designed the release management process by automating system build, test, and deployment with Subversion, MS Test, Jenkins, Jira, and Confluence.
  • Designed and implemented memory management and code optimization strategies to assure the system optimally handled over 1 million daily investment transactions; also refactored multi-threaded C# .NET components from DLL code to stateless processes.
  • Guided the system team’s epic and story creation, established non-functional requirements for the development teams, and managed the release process product backlog.

Director of Application Development

2004 - 2011
GoldenTree Asset Management
  • Reported to the chief operating officer and served as an enterprise architect and director of development. Directed a cross-functional team of over 15 software engineers, business analysts, and project managers.
  • Contributed to the firm’s growth by rapidly automating strategic business processes; proactively defined, reported, and addressed IT performance KPIs.
  • Designed and created multiple software products, including portfolio what-if analysis, rules-based regulatory compliance validation, fixed income pricing analysis, foreign exchange hedging, daily portfolio pricing, and transaction auditing.
  • Collaborated with the chief investment officer, chief financial officer, portfolio managers, and head traders to design portfolio management, investment analysis, and client accounting operations products.
  • Created RFPs, selected vendors, negotiated contracts, and implemented vendor management procedures.
  • Formed and staffed a program management office to centralize direction and control of all IT projects, ensure practice consistency, and meet business expectations.
  • Met the needs of the firm as it expanded its investment strategies to include quantitative analysis by forming a quant tech team while collaborating with investment analysts to manage requirements and verify that outcomes met business expectations.

Data Analytics System Architect

Designed and created a data analytics platform that automates the transformation of unstructured data, such as spreadsheets, documents, and PDF files, into a MongoDB NoSQL database.

Clients rely on this cloud-based SaaS solution to aggregate data and perform analyses that are not otherwise possible. The service empowers clients to gather information from external sources such as business partners, clients, vendors, and internal documents. This service reads documents, applies structure to the information, and then loads it to a database. It also cleanses and enhances data by integrating machine learning and 3rd-party data into the normalization process. Clients then use various analytic tools to make business use of the information.

This product is my original design, and I drew upon many years of software and data management experience within enterprise-level organizations. As a system architect, I designed the platform and data normalization processes, wrote specifications, engaged 3 – 5 contract staff to write and test code, and implemented a CI/CD solution to automate code review, testing, and release.

Enterprise Release Optimization Through OKRs

Reduced the cost of software defect resolution by 22% over two years by introducing an OKR strategy and designing statistical cost models; also expanded pre-release testing capacity with simplified, coordinated operations.

I served as a liaison for over 80 development teams as they coordinated, tested, and prepared various enterprise and public-facing systems for monthly release cycles. Each scheduled release required a 6-week testing cycle, so I created a resource management strategy to maintain three test environments with overlapping schedules, established sprint cycles to manage testing, and participated in program implement (PI) planning to ensure proper communication and responsibility assignment.

This strategy resulted in an expanded testing capacity.

I was tasked with reducing the cost of resolving post-release software defects, so I introduced an OKR strategy to set objectives aimed at identifying, isolating, and prioritizing defects based on cost analysis.

The feature's cost factor became an input to WSJF calculations when prioritizing sprint backlog items. This forced defects with the highest cost-of-delay to be resolved first while allowing lower value defects to remain in the backlog.

Ultimately, the focus on higher-value defects reduced costs by 22% while maximizing value delivery, thus debunking the myth that all defects must be addressed immediately.

Digital Products Transition Discovery Lead

Led the effort to transition a 75-person customer care department to the Salesforce platform. The department was represented by teams serving retailers and customers in the US, Canada, and Mexico.

I collaborated with customer care department heads, team managers, trainers, and technologists to document business practices and system integrations needed to bring a Salesforce-based customer care system to life.

I aided the client in negotiating contract terms with external vendors. Also, I served as the liaison with the client's digital technology teams so that business and technical requirements were documented and compliance needs met. This ensured the project was ready for strategic integration with the larger Salesforce platform efforts.

I met the first critical component of project responsibilities by becoming the first technology resource in the client's experience to attend customer care training with employees. This included product training, a retailer visit, and shadowing real cases. The experience and knowledge gained from that investment paid significant dividends during requirement gathering, analysis, and system integration planning.

Finally, I set up a Scrum working model for external vendors since they performed most of the implementation and worked with the internal digital team to create a DevOps solution to facilitate the integration of vendors' work products into the internal testing platforms.

Enterprise Agile Coach

Coached three scrum masters and four release train engineers representing 23 SAFe Scrum teams.

As a member of the Verizon Wireless release management team, I was a direct asset to 23 DevOps Scrum teams for various internal and external software products across a variety of technology platforms. I created and monitored OKR strategies, prepared executive presentations, and tracked team-specific objectives.

Since Verizon follows the SAFe standard, I guided scrum masters and release train engineers to follow an Agile mindset, establish and follow continuous improvement practices, and advance increasingly predictable quality. I would routinely identify and correct behaviors that impeded positive progress, actively participate in program implementation planning, and run DevOps workshops as well as various Agile workshops as needed.

Scrum Master and Agile Coach

Headed the Scrum implementations across four remote software development teams simultaneously, each with different levels of discipline and maturity.

I devised implementation strategies for each team as part of a larger initiative to bring a digital technology division to greater effectiveness. Over nine months, I introduced Scrum practices such as backlog management, daily stand-ups, sprint planning, and retrospectives. Some teams used Jira and Confluence, and others Microsoft Azure.

Also, I mentored scrum masters, advised management on effective Agile practices, and established procedures for greater consistency for velocity measurement and overall sprint management. Increasing team effectiveness was achieved by proactively guiding product owners to strengthen relationships with business units and forming collaborative relationships among development teams to resolve blockers.

Scrum Master | Used Car System on Salesforce Platform

Delivered a used car inventory and sales system on the Salesforce platform. The project was in a unique situation as it faced significant schedule, team performance, and business commitment challenges.

Working very closely with a first-time product owner and a 12-member development team, I was given several tasks:

• Meet an upcoming commitment to have the product ready for business acceptance testing in six weeks.
• Address several problems with the team's dynamics.
• Bring the project in line with the Scrum framework.

Having already missed two prior commitments, the team needed to repair its reputation.

I immediately implemented consistent scrum ceremonies, eliminated excess meetings, and negotiated to reduce dysfunctional interactions by establishing boundaries around accountability. Also, I set sprint goals and disallowed any distractions from immediate goals.

In order to become an independent arbitrator for technical disagreements, I took on the responsibility of managing integration testing and empowered the product owner to be the final decision-maker.

I closely tracked activities using Microsoft Azure to maintain team focus and instituted internal and external dependency tracking to stay ahead of upcoming blockers. Finally, I proactively tracked and worked with the product owner to clear blockers rather than leaving them to developers and testers.

Lending Platform Architect and Data Designer

Transformed an aged Oracle database to a modern distributed data model combining SQL Server and MongoDB.

As part of a lending platform, I performed data analysis and business process analysis to deconstruct a 20-year-old 40GB SQL database in order to design a more flexible distributed model using SQL Server, SSRS, and MongoDB as new data stores.

I decided to use a distributed model to allow flexibility as the system grew while optimizing data storage and retrieval efficiency. SSRS provided a consistent data access method, facilitating the use of an API layer to isolate data from business process functionality.

As feature implementation progressed, the old Oracle database served as one of the data stores while we enabled functionality in the new platform. This eased the transition to the new platform, as it enabled us to gradually retire the old database as data moved to the new platform.

Agile Project Manager | Customer Feedback Migration

Launched the North American customer feedback management system by managing the transition from an expiring vendor relationship to Medallia.

I served as a member of the global deployment team and established the North American markets' relationships with Medallia. It involved managing the retirement of existing customer survey systems and collaborating with local digital technology teams to integrate survey results with an internal data lake.

I coordinated efforts with vendors and data engineers to transition retiring data so that new data would not interfere with statistical analysis. Also, I participated in data design to facilitate more meaningful statistical analysis when new data came on board, helped with data integration and testing, and documented adjustments to Medallia's rules to accommodate local market needs.

Finally, I helped the project to maintain momentum by guiding the global development team, documenting data model adjustments, creating sample analytic models for local testing, and working with the vendor to ensure data accuracy.

Lending Platform Architect and API Designer

Created and guided the implementation of two custom APIs using the 12-factor strategy. The first was a data access API to isolate data management, and the second was a business process API.

Using Python 3 and working closely with the product owner, I designed two microservice APIs which isolated business functionality and data management while facilitating eventual migration to the Cloud. Major services were implemented as thread-safe stateless processes to minimize operating system overhead, facilitate code distribution, and optimize performance.

Through design work, I prepared user stories and created organization standards for the definition of done. I helped the development team with epic and value-stream management, sizing efforts, and by addressing impediments.

Scrum Transformation

Transformed a system team to Scrum from the waterfall methodology—while implementing a DevOps platform—which resulted in that team serving as a model for 11 other teams as they progressed through their transformations.

I served as liaison to 65 developers, product owners, and scrum masters across 12 teams as they were transforming their development practices from traditional waterfall to Scrum.

This was prior to the concept of an Agile coach or Scrum coach. After I implemented sprints, sprint goals, daily scrums, sprint reviews, and sprint retrospectives to manage our backlog and define our increments, I helped the product owner to treat other development teams as our stakeholders and size, prioritize, and refine the backlog.

My team was the first in the bank to fully implement Scrum, so we became the model for other teams. I coached other scrum masters, participated in their sprint reviews and retrospectives, and helped to keep their daily scrums from becoming a status meeting.

Agile Coach

Transitioned a development team to Scrum by training staff, leading the team, and introducing Agile concepts to the organization.

I transformed the development team to Scrum for a commercial investment portfolio performance product by implementing an Agile transformation strategy. I coached the CEO and executive team as part of the Agile/Scrum transformation. Then I trained and coached a scrum master and product owner through Scrum adoption by participating in three Scrum iterations.

Agile Article Publications

https://anthony-software-group.medium.com/

Published an ongoing series of Agile and Scrum articles.

I published an active and growing series of well-received articles on various aspects of Agile, Scrum, and life in the software profession on the Medium publishing platform. The articles have been distributed and promoted by the "Serious Scrum," "Agile Insider," and "The Innovation" publications, garnering hundreds of readers and scores of fans.

Agile YouTube/Podcast Channel

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGMuc3mi8Z5qCYDkDEcd9mw

Created a YouTube channel dedicated to the various challenges inherent while becoming Agile.

I created and produced a video series that focuses on different aspects of Agile and Scrum management. Each video covers a topic, challenge, or fundamental requirement necessary to bring Agile to life within an organization. I then extracted the audio track from the video to create a podcast channel.
1985 - 1988

Bachelor's Degree in Business Management

Rutgers University, Newark - Newark, NJ, United States

JUNE 2020 - PRESENT

ICAgile-Agile Team Facilitator (ICP-ATF)

ICAgile

JUNE 2020 - PRESENT

ICAgile-Agile Certified Coach (ICP-ACC)

ICAgile

JUNE 2020 - JUNE 2023

AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

MAY 2020 - MAY 2021

Certified SAFe 5 Program Consultant (SPC 5)

Scaled Agile, Inc

APRIL 2020 - PRESENT

Professional Scrum with Kanban (PSK I)

Scrum.org

APRIL 2020 - PRESENT

Professional Scrum Product Owner II (PSPO II)

Scrum.org

MARCH 2020 - PRESENT

Professional Agile Leadership (PAL I)

Scrum.org

MARCH 2020 - PRESENT

Scaled Professional Scrum (SPS)

Scrum.org

MARCH 2020 - PRESENT

Professional Scrum Master Level II (PSM II)

Scrum.org

JULY 2019 - PRESENT

Financial Modeling

Corporate Finance Institute (CFI)

JUNE 2019 - PRESENT

Financial Analysis Fundamentals

Corporate Finance Institute (CFI)

Tools

Jira, Google Docs, Google Sheets, SQL, ETL, Confluence, AWS IAM, AWS CLI, Financial Data, Git, Slack, Zoom, Miro, Jenkins, Subversion (SVN), GitHub, QuickBooks Online, Talend ETL, Salesforce, Pytest, Figma

Industry Expertise

Equity Markets, Banking & Finance, Financial Services, Financial Markets, Architecture

Paradigms

Management, Scrum, Agile, Agile Leadership, Agile Workflow, Agile Project Management, Testing, Service-oriented Architecture (SOA), Change Management, Agile Software Development, Requirements Analysis, Agile Product Management, Agile Delivery, Team Development, Microservices, Microservices Architecture, Test-driven Development (TDD), Behavior-driven Development (BDD), Continuous Integration (CI), Continuous Delivery (CD), DevOps, Implementation Project Management, Web Architecture, API Architecture, Kanban, Agile UX

Platforms

Amazon Web Services (AWS), SharePoint, Zoho CRM, MuleSoft, Oracle, Oracle Database, Docker

Other

Jira Administrator, Scrum Master, Scrum Coaching, Scrumban, Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Scrum Product Owner, Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO), Product Owner, Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), Professional Agile Leadership (PAL), Leadership, Agile Sprints, Agile Coaching, Teams, Meetings, IT Projects, IT Project Management, Data Analysis, User Requirements, Database Modeling, IT Program Management, Project Management, Projects, Writing & Editing, Certified Project Manager, Change Leadership, Process Management, Strategic Planning, Solution Design, Technical Project Management, IT, Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC), Software Development Management, Software Development, Stakeholder Management, Technical Leadership, JSON, Backlog Management, Feature Backlog Prioritization, Requirements & Specifications, Discovery Workshops, Discovery Management, Customer Discovery, Discovery, Enterprise Metrics, Feature Analysis, Product Vision, APIs, Custom APIs, Databases, Data Architecture, PSM-1, PSM-2, Client Management, Technical Training, Technical Standards, Backlog Grooming, Agile Deployment, Agile Practices, Agile Software Testing, Requirements, Business Requirements, Technical Requirements, Functional Requirements, System Requirements, Project Timelines, Project Scoping, User Stories, Story Mapping, Product Delivery, Product Roadmaps, Delivery Management, IT Deployments, Planning, Estimation & Planning, Project Planning, Resource Management, Resource Allocation, Agile Program Management, Status Updates, Feature Roadmaps, Roadmaps, Communication, Governance, IT Governance, Compliance, Policies & Procedures Compliance, Enterprise Coaching, Agile Scaling Frameworks, App Development, Training Workshops, Milestones, Project Scheduling, Integration, Data Integration, API Integration, Enterprise, Business Analysis, Client Interviews, Cross-functional Collaboration, Enterprise Software, Enterprise Integration, AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, Continuous Development (CD), Estimations, Equity Research, Software Implementation, Software Project Management, REST, RESTful Microservices, REST APIs, RESTful Development, Middleware, XML, Consulting, System Integration, Stakeholder Engagement, Business Consulting, Communication Management, Cross-functional Team Leadership, Workflow Automation, Project Management & Delivery, New Product Rollout, Deployment, Large-scale Projects, Account Management, Quality Assurance (QA), Finance, Scaled Professional Scrum (SPS), Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), Amazon S3 (AWS S3), Amazon, Cloud, Coaching, Financials, Investment Analysis, Analysis, Agile DevOps, Agile Product Delivery, Waterfall Methodology, MongoDB, Python 3, Client Relations, Offshoring, Minimum Viable Product (MVP), Project Discovery, RFQ, Presentations, Presentation Development, Program Management, Tech Development & Implementation, Web Project Management, Metrics, Quality Management, Procurement, Task Automation, Project Estimation, Web Platforms, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Product Ownership, Startups, Product Analytics, Product Design, Product Launch, Community Management, WebApp, Web Applications, Web API, Relational Data Mapping, Relational Databases, SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), Business Processes, Value Stream Mapping, Client Delivery Management, Agile Transformation, Websites, Vendor Management, Vendor Selection, Risk Management, Automation Tools, Test Automation, Remote Team Leadership, Product Management, Microsoft 365, Project Budget Management, Regulatory Compliance, Workshop Facilitation, Workshops, Ideation Workshops, Product Requirements Documentation (PRD), Software Architecture, Web, Portfolio Management, Lean Portfolio Management, Enterprise Systems, Project Management Operations, Project Management Office (PMO), Distributed Team Management, Training, Process Improvement, Cost Estimation, Budget Controls, Jira Administration, Financial Systems, Financial APIs, Training Materials, Leadership Training, Employee Training, Web-based Training, Cloud Architecture, AWS Cloud Architecture, Cloud Platforms, Technology Strategy & Architecture, Training & Training Content Development, Request for Proposal (RFP), Web App Development, Project Reporting, Third-party Management, Software as a Service (SaaS), Technical Program Management, SaaS, Digital Project Management, Project Delivery, Serverless Architecture, Product Development, Business to Business (B2B), Objectives & Key Results (OKRs), C#.NET, Product Discovery, Web Video, Budget Management, Lean Startups, SQL Server 2014, Bash Script, Python API, Python, JavaScript, User Experience (UX), ASP.NET, ASP.NET MVC, Training Videos, Training Content, Zoho, Zoho Books, Strategy, Lean Budgets, AWS DevOps, Swagger, .NET, SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS), CRM Systems, GAP Analysis, IT Contracts, ServiceNow, Salesforce Sales Cloud, Data, Statistics, UX Analysis, Models, Scrum Testing, QA Testing, Derivatives, Oracle SQL, Big Data, TypeScript, Web Application Architecture, Cloud Security, Offshore Development, Offshore Team Management, BI Reports, Data Analytics, Machine Learning, TensorFlow, Technical Product Management, Notion

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