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Neil Richardson
Neil specialises in leading, managing and delivering complex programmes of technology and business change, often from an initial need to rescue or create pragmatic yet strategic solutions. In recent years Neil has undertaken numerous assurance roles managing significant risk and planning of complex programmes enabling successful delivery (from both client and supplier side) across a wide-range of industries. Neil also provides advanced/bespoke training ad hoc masterclasses and individual coaching to a number of blue-chip project management communities as well as independent contractors.

Neil has much experience and expertise managing suppliers including offshore outsourcing. He operates at Board Level with multi-national clients and has a wide-range of senior industry relationships in the UK and overseas across financial services, defence & engineering, utilities, logistics, leadership training and development amongst others.

Contact Neil +44-(0)785-299-6070 , neil@skyblueconsulting.co.uk

Key skills
  • Understands complex problems rapidly (and can propose and discuss the pros and cons of pragmatic solutions)
  • Able to generate a shared vision by consensus with a team
  • Provides clear, purposeful and dynamic leadership in difficult situations and able to motivate people around him
  • Project and programme management expertise particularly
  • Methodical project initiation (setting up to succeed)
  • Realistic planning, budgeting and resourcing using proactive risk management
  • Team leadership, management and decisive governance
  • Delivery of value for money (outsourced/supplier management)
  • Trains and mentors client PMs to step-up and take control
2006 to present
  • Currently engaged in consultancy assignments, project assurance and specialist training/coaching with BAE Systems, Breakthrough-India and Nationwide BS.
  • Training, competence framework creation & implementation, and project management community development at ICL/Fujitsu, BAE Systems, Nationwide BS, Centrica, Parcelforce, freelance consultants, project and programme managers
  • Project Assurance for part of the post-merger migration of Nationwide/Portman BS
  • Programme Management Coaching for International Export New Products at Parcelforce
  • Business expansion strategy creation and delivery for Breakthrough in Bangalore, India (now expanding to other parts of India)
  • Project assurance for internet banking and credit card integration at Nationwide BS
  • Project life-cycle management review for Eircom
  • Project assurance to recover and restructure a new software application delivery in for a major FTSE100 company
  • Initiation of an array of projects for Astron DS/RR Donnelley Group
  • Successful strategy consultancy (2000-06) that led to a planned buy-out of a dotcom (http://www.reviewcentre.com)
2004 to present – Strategy Consultant to Breakthrough, South India
  • Transformed a charitable, loss-making training centre into a highly profitable small business by creating and delivering a successful new strategy (www.breakthrough-india.com)
  • Reduced operating costs whilst generating and increasing sales (targeting blue-chip clients) including Accenture, Oracle, Dell, HSBC, IBM, ICICI, TNT)
  • Client utilisation has risen from 15 to over 80% and pre-Trust profits distribution increase from zero in FY0 to a point where profits have already enabled two new centres and are seeking to develop a further opportunity overseas from mid-2014
  • Currently assisting in production and delivery of business expansion plans
2006 to present – Consultant with BAE Systems, UK
  • Working with BAE (Air) Systems primarily to develop greater levels of senior project management capability in situ, through workshops and one-to-one coaching
  • Part of Programme Management Team bidding for a complex £multi-billion prototype/government defence engineering contract and Risk Management Consultant on a further £multi-billion engineering upgrade contract
  • Risk management Master-Class delivery, good practice guides and ad hoc consultancy to BAE Systems
2011 to present – Consultant to The Flippen Group, Texas, USA
  • Working with the Senior Leadership Team to develop organizational and business models for coping with strategic change through successful growth and leveraging (IT) technologies to deliver more valuable and cost effective customer services and products and better utilizing their consultancy services.
  • Developed an ICT strategy working with Senior Leadership Team and now evolving that to implement pragmatic, benefits-driven ICT as the company grows rapidly.
2004 to 2006 – Business Engagement Manager & Vertex Managing Consultant to UU plc
Shaped, led and delivered a new 50 person consultancy for Vertex (in an alliance with Bearing Point) after producing a winning response to the ITT covering IS Consultancy Services

Managed and led number of project teams to deliver assorted projects/programmes including:
  • £120m CONNECT restructuring/de-scoping exercise – PM support
  • £22m Water MI Dashboard Programme – PM expertise
  • £8m Supply Chain Transformation programme – consultancy alliance
  • Development of £10m AVP cost reduction programme to 2010 – PM assurance
  • Strategic IT architecture redevelopment & systems rationalization – PM assurance
  • £3m reorganization of UUSD’s IT Division
2002 to 2003 – Programme Assurance/Coaching for Major Financial Institution (contract), Manchester
  • Assurance for a world-first but failing IT & business transformation programme: £14m 1500 Call Centre/CRM implementation
  • Created a benefits recovery plan for the Customer Services Director through major programme restructuring and delivering on-the-job coaching to the PM team (150+).
2000 to 2002 - Head of eCommerce UK for Fujitsu/ICL eInnovation
Restructured key internal resources into multi-functional teams with utilization doubling during the 2001 downturn – becoming the only profitable business unit in ICL.

Personally (re)trained over 200 of the 500 staff across EMEA within 18 months (starting with Directors and Senior Managers)
Restructured and recreated the consultancy career path and directed key assignments including:
  • Personally led the ‘A-Team’ assignment to develop and implement the V&C Portal for the Modernizing Government agenda delivering a two months’ project in 12 days, receiving open commendation from the Home Office (http://www.governmentfunding.org.uk)
  • Managed an award-winning Knowledge Management Intranet Strategy for a major utilities organization in 2001-02
  • Facilitated strategy workshops for a major retail bank in 2000-01
  • Developed, delivered and implemented a pan-European consulting approach for ICL EMEA
  • Represented ICL at conferences; delivered numerous seminars and assorted white papers
  • Line management responsibility for the ‘A-Team’ of 8 (with 75 eBusiness consultants)
1997 to 2000 - Principal Consultant for PA Consulting Group
Managed, led and delivered a number of assignments:
  • Project Manager for ICAP (London & New York) to successfully deliver global integrated Oracle Financials, data migration and associated business change in 76 days (ahead of time and under budget) with the realized benefits. Worked with the Group Chairman, Global & UK FDs and CEO
  • Successful Y2K Business Continuity PM, LIFFE, London delivering a £1.5m six-month programme into three months leading a team of 10-15
  • Programme Assurance for TNT GmbH, Germany managing delivery of Business Integration and Y2K programmes during 1999 (~ £60m resource); led Sales & Marketing and Finance & Admin workstreams within nine months exercising procurement management and apps development; provided coaching for German/UK project personnel - receiving commendation from the MD.
  • Programme Manager - Utilities & FM Supplier, UK - led team to successfully rescue Y2K programme restructuring through a mix of outsourcing, procurement and development strategies
1995-96: Business analyst/project manager (contract), Sun Life
Analyzed the entire finance operation, architectures, and applications delivering recommendations to senior management for Axa Sun Life alongside numerous smaller projects
1994-95: Systems Analyst & Designer, then Product Manager at Dolphin Computer Services
Designed a number of applications and databases largely for tertiary education
Negotiated an applications outsourcing deal based in Madras/Chennai (India) to deliver apps software working both on and offshore
1992-94: Business Systems Analyst / Programmer, British Gas SW
Assorted projects delivered in a pioneering end-user computing department with engineers from British Gas South West
1991: Analyst, Brann Direct Marketing
Developed a MI system for Brann Direct Marketing in 1991 and wrote M.Sc. dissertation on the use and value of structured methods in industry
1986-90: Teacher, Somerset CC
Secondary schoolteacher (Chemistry & PE)
Personal Background
  • Born September 1960, Barnsley, Yorkshire
  • Married to Wendy with two children Jonathan (born 2000) and Anna (born 2002) and lives on Lancashire/Yorkshire border
  • In his more youthful days Neil was a ‘useful’ cricketer (Durham, Bristol & England Universities) and played rugby for Saracens, London Cornish and Old Colstonians
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  • Enjoys cricket, football, rugby, swimming, walking, cooking, eating and loves travelling
  • Qualified coach in cricket, football and rugby
  • M.Sc. (IT) from University of the West of England
  • PGCE from Bristol University
  • B.A.(Hons, Dunelm) from St.John's College, Durham University
Publications and conferences
Neil is an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Web Portals
http://www.igi-pub.com/ijwp and long time editor of the quarterly Pelicam Newsletter.
  • Improving our approach to Internet and SOA Projects (2010)
Other articles and papers include:
  • Ten Problems with Project Planning Software Applications (2010)
  • Deriving Project Certainty (2009)
  • Confidence in a Credit Crunch (2009)
  • Top Ten Tips - Risk Management (2008)
  • Developing your PM Community - Mind the Gap (2008)
  • The Professional Certification of Project Managers (2008)
  • The Mythical Millennium Legacy (2007)
  • The Challenge of Project Management (2007)
  • Meetings for Fun (2007)
  • Silver Bullet - where to find project managers (2007)
  • Developing eStrategies (2002) © Fujitsu-Ireland (2002)
  • Creating a sustainable competitive advantage (2000) © ICL eInnovation (internal)
  • Business and IT Strategies for Customer-Supplier Relationships (2000) © PA Consulting (internal)
  • @bout eCommerce (2000)
  • Project Audit/IPA for IT Programmes (2000) © PA Consulting (internal)
  • Reshaping failing projects for success (1999), © PA Consulting (internal)
  • New method – New Labour (1998) © PA Consulting (internal)
Conference and speaking engagements
  • Keynote speaker on Project Intelligence (2009), QEH Westminster
  • Pelicam Splosh (2008), City of London
  • Pelicam Splosh (2006), City of London
  • Flourishing within the framework of commercial reality (2001) UMIST Engineering Conference, Manchester
  • A consultancy-led approach: delivery and deployment (2001) Heinola, Finland
  • From insight to delivery: developing a strategic consultancy-led approach (2000) Helsinki & Stockholm