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Colin Sweetman


Consultant, VREF Consultants

Location: Langford, UK


Certified ScrumMaster



I grew up in London, in the UK.  After a succession of jobs including motorcycle despatch rider, engineering apprentice and typewriter mechanic, I spent nine years with the UK Armed Forces.

I organised and led charity expeditions to Nepal, India and Tanzania, helped run a flying school and air charter operation, and finally moved into the tech industry as a freelance computer graphics and 3D animator, before transitioning into web development.

Ulimately, I've evolved into an experienced Agile/Scrum coach.

I have 20 years experience in the technology sector, working with startups, corporations like Microsoft and Chevron Texaco, Government Departments and everything in between. 

I am not a theoretician or evangelist. I bring pragmatic, sensible thinking based on real world experience of delivery from the trenches of technology projects and programmes.

I’ll work with you and your teams, to support, coach, train and mentor to get you sharp focus on product and service delivery in your organisation.

I’ll provide realistic insight and actionable step by step plans to your management team to help them energise the way concepts become reality quickly without sacrificing quality.

If you need focussed advice, training, or troubleshooting, on an individual level or for your organisation, I deliver value. My motivation is to help individuals and teams become as highly performing as possible.

Work experience

Skills Funding Agency, Senior Agile Practitioner
August 2013 - Present, Coventry, United Kingdom

I was asked to work with SFA in buiding Agile delivery capability within the Information Management Services function of the organisation.  I have built a team of over 60 Agile Champions who will be developed into internal coaches, and am overseeing five concurrent pilot projects using Scrum. I am contracted to work with the Agency on this Agile transformation programme until February 2014.

Axis12 Limited, Director, Project Management
April 2010 - August 2013, London, Greater London, United Kingdom

Axis12 Limited is a company specialising in facilitating and developing large complex web sites on the Drupal CMS and with SOLR (an open source enterprise search platform). The company uses Agile project delivery, with a strong focus on User Centred Design (UCD). I am one of the Company's founders.

My role was broad reaching, but had specific responsibilities for project managing larger client commissions using Agile/Scrum, including three separate projects for the Tate Group related to Web Development, a Unified Search solution, and the design and deployment of the Enterprise Architecture to support a new online platform for all of the Tate’s Galleries and exhibitions.  In August 2011 I presented a session to delegates at Drupalcon London on managing enterprise scale Drupal projects using Agile.

Axis12 uses Scrum for project delivery and Kanban for operational support of client and internal platforms.

Care Quality Commission, Senior Agile Project Manager
September 2012 - April 2013, London, United Kingdom

The Care Quality Commission is responsible for ensuring the standards of health and social care across England.

Reporting to the Digital Communications Programme Manager, my role was to manage the Online Services project, moving it from a traditional waterfall project approach to an Agile/Scrum model, with User Centred Design at the core of requirements elicitation and confirmation. 

This project is a cornerstone of CQC’s digital transformation programme and involves moving a large number of complex transactions online using the following technologies

- A Drupal 7 based layer providing end user and system user access to the transactions, coupled with complex business logic and validation rules

- A federated sign on solution using Open AM

- A Java based middleware layer

- A Siebel CRM system

The project employed a mix of third party suppliers, contractors and permanent staff.

Capita National Strategies, Programme Manager
September 2007 - March 2011, Reading, Berks, United Kingdom

I was responsible for managing a portfolio of digital projects based on the Drupal CMS with annual budgets in excess of £5M, and an establishment of up to 104 people on the portfolio team.

The overall remit was to rationalise 38 separate education web sites using different technologies on to one single Drupal based platform, and to move the organisation from a traditional print/CD-ROM/DVD content distribution model to digital delivery.

The web site generated traffic of 17 Million page views per month with over 100,000 registered users. I introduced and oversaw an environment of enterprise scale Agile working using SCRUM for development projects and Kanban for operational support, with multiple cross functional teams based both in the UK and offshore, working in concert. The web site won three e-Government awards and an international award from the Web Marketing Association.


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