First, the "dry" professional details:
I have over twenty years of experience in delivering information technology and business improvement solutions to the manufacturing, retail, distribution, engineering, and financial industries, and have held senior positions in both blue chip and start-up organizations. I like to provide both hands-on and executive experience in these industries, engaging on consulting and implementation engagements, and leading organizations in the delivery of these same services.
Trained as a mechanical engineer, I have many years of practical experience in the manufacturing and distribution of several types of products, from automobiles to consumer packaged goods. Between 1992 and 1998, I worked extensively on developing a production model based on the Toyota Production System for several General Motors facilities, implementing such techniques as just-in-time materials management, kan-ban methods, distribution center automation, warehouse management solutions, and e-commerce solutions in this arena. During this time, I visited production facilities in Japan and Thailand to learn these techniques first-hand. I also have done extensive work on "The Theory of Constraints", using these theories to improve cycle time in such divers environments as machine tool production and software development.
Most recently, I have turned my attention to merging the skills learned in a production environment to applying these same techniques in the software development world. As a principal in ITFirst, (my wife and I owned this company, where we developed custom software), I have used Agile techniques with my own staff to develop software solutions for many clients, including 3M, SafetyCall International, Home Depot, GE Financial, Moneygram, and many other companies, large and small. Over the last 4 years, I have been increasingly in demand to coach organizations in Agile software development methods, working with many organizations to help them overcome the political, organizational, and logistic barriers to moving to an Agile model. I am an internal coach with Thomson Reuters, where I teach, mentor, and lead teams in their quest to adopt agile techniques.
EDS Project Management Methodology (team member)
Business Process Reengineering Training Guide – AT Kearney/EDS
Pull Systems Implementation Guide
Some speaking engagements:
Guest lecturer, Notre Dame University
“Effects of Kan-Ban techniques on the supply chain”
Data Warehouse Group, Sydney, Australia
“Data warehousing – hints for success”
Mercury Interactive Users Conference, Orlando
Second Harvest National Conference, Dallas TX
“Software for client and distribution management”
Sample client workshops
“Client-facing organizations – can you become one?”
“Retail exchanges – where do they fit in your strategy?”
“CRM – is it just for sales executives?
“Scrum Methodology for software organizations”
“Agile software development – why should you adopt it?”
“Requirements – the key to successful software”
Coventry Technical College, England
Bachelor’s Degree in Production Engineering, 1977
Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), Senior Member
Institute of Mechanical Incorporated Engineers, England
So, on to the personal, perhaps even fun, stuff!
I am a professional soccer referee, refereeing in the US for the last 7 years. I have been refereeing for almost 20 years, working games in England (where I learned to ref), Hong Kong, Australia, Indonesia, and Singapore, but now I restrict my soccer activities to the local level.
My wife and I are avid curlers, and we are the founders of Dakota Curling Club, located in Burnsville, MN. Consequently, we are both active in the US Curling Association, lending advice and guidance to other start-up clubs around the US. We also both curl in Owatonna, a small town about 45 miles south of my home.
I own 5 acres in Burnsville (a suburb south of Minneapolis), where we keep chickens (usually around 20, primarily for eggs). Every November 5th, we hold a large (and getting larger...) party on our property to celebrate an English event, Guy Fawkes Night. This is the day Guy Fawkes was discovered in the basement of the Houses of Parliament planting barrels of gunpowder, in an attempt to blow-up the MP's and the King. The party seems to grow exponentially every year, as more and more people hear about it!
Oh, and I am English, having lived in the US since 1981. I was recruited by Xerox in Upstate New York (Rochester) to work there for a couple of years. I went back to England, but decided I liked it better here, so I came back. I have sinced lived in Colorado, and now the Twin Cities.