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Neil Chalk

About

I want to help People to Live better lives with products that have a positive influence.

Work Experience

April 2013 - Present
Product Manager at 15below

  • Founder member of Product team at 15below and creating product processes
  • Managing the product development budget
  • Report on the Product related objectives in the 15below Business Plan.
  • Working to understand the business requirements for product specifications and converting these into use cases.
  • Acts as Product Owner in an agile development team when needed.
  • Providing the Marketing team with the background for case studies, product documentation and promotional material.
  • Supporting internal processes such as Change Advisory Board, Design Review Committee and Project Standards to ensure that the "right thing" gets developed "the right way".
  • Providing internal technical consultancy and business analysis of airline workflows and reservation system interactions.

Blog posts for 15below during this time:

June 2012 - March 2013
Configuration Consultant at 15below

Reporting to the Production Services Manager:

  • Plan and manage client system upgrades, including analysis and QA.
  • Establish, evolve and document formal upgrade and deployment processes.
  • Act as a technical consultant to 15below, supporting all areas of the business.
  • Build and maintain a catalogue of services and configuration information related to those services (Configuration Management Database).
  • Building knowledge of product and configuration to assist with establishing baselines and feeding into customer’s SLAs and KPIs
  • Act as part of Change Advisory Board.
  • Own Technical Debt Register.
  • Feed customer specific scenarios into QA processes / automated testing

May 2009 - June 2012
Analyst Developer at 15below

  • Secondment to the support team bringing technical and process experience as well as being an escalation point when the team leader is unavailable. I have helped automate some support tasks, improving team efficiency and reducing the support overhead. Another enjoyable aspect of my role has been in recruiting placement students and a permanent developer to the support team. Then mentoring them as they begin their careers.
  • I also provided technical input on existing business functionality to both the design review committee and production change control board. In these responsibilities I aim to maximize the technical debt that can be repaid in new enhancements and to minimize the risk to production in roll out and project go live. This was where I started loving the process of Product Management.

Both roles allow me to look beyond an immediate task at hand to the wider business and then how we can increase business value. Highlights include:

  • Co-ordinating with the Client Support Team Leader the update of the reservation system interface for a US client when their NewSkies system was upgraded to 3.2.
  • Helping to deliver and co-ordinate the roll out of an enhanced voice solution, which supported processing through Sabre Reaccommodation Manager, for another US client.

November 2008 - May 2009
Technical Project Manager at 15below


Secondment to Melbourne to assist in setting up 15below’s first overseas office to support their Asia Pacific clients.
Continued support to the UK office providing solutions to complex technical issues on project work there.
Project management and requirements gathering for local projects and Australian hours escalation point for the support team.

March 2005 - November 2008
Analyst Developer at 15below

  • Development of market leading notification solutions for the travel industry.
  • Porting a core component from VB6 to VB.NET including some key enhancements to dynamic content functionality.
  • Deliverability Consultancy - using a variety of content, software, white list and DNS methods to improve the rate of emails to reach the inbox.
  • Technical leadership on the design and implementation of solutions for new clients.
  • Technical leadership and project management during the implementation and rollout of functionality, e.g. to increase automation allowing the reduction of call centre staff and reduction of costs or to increase of revenue via targeted cross selling.

January 2001 - January 2005
Consultant at Atkins Management Consultants

  • Development of extranets and online collaborative systems to create workflow systems in Business Process Optimisation
  • Research into group awareness in collaborative virtual environments as part of the Atkins Research and Innovation department, including EU funded research. For example IST programme IST-10846 TOWER: Theatre of Work Enabling Relationships.
  • Part of a team that developed central bespoke portals for the management of programmes of works for both Shell Oil and the Royal Bank of Scotland. I was specifically responsible for developing a transport ordering B2B solution between a local County Council and Atkins, a system to manage requests to the Atkins Pensions department, and a supplier rating system for Bass Hotels. Other clients included Office of the Rail Regulator, Railtrack, Public Record Office, and the Environment Agency.

Publications: Chalk, N (2005) “Mining project information using storytelling” in Proceedings of the 23rd IASTED International Conference on Databases and Applications, Innsbruck, Austria. February 14-16, 2005.

October 2000 - January 2000
Lab Assistant (Technician Grade C) at University of Sussex

Duties included helping new students familiarise themselves with the Unix terminals and system demonstrations.

June 1998 - September 2000
Student Trainee at Atkins

Help Desk Agent/Service Support

  • As Help Desk Agent my duties included; first line support, configuring and installing new PCs, logging calls and preparing templates for company standard correspondence such as faxes, memos and minutes. Also developing a website for the department’s asset management. As part of the Service Support team I was involved in a project that identified any Y2K related problems and prepared the companies financial systems for a successful rollover from 1999 to 2000.

Developer

  • Responsibility for planning, implementing and improving various small projects involving an online collaborative system, which included giving a presentation to the client’s project managers.

August 1995 - January 1995
Technical Support at Network Si Ltd

On site at Mitsubishi Finance, Broadgate, London.

Duties included creating Microsoft Excel 5 spreadsheets with VBA code for data entry and asset management.

Education

  • 2019   2018

    MSc of Technology Management at Open University

  •   2018

    Blockchain at IBM developerWorks

  •   2017

    Data Scientist with R on Datacamp

  • 2017   2017

    Microsoft: DAT249x Ethics and Law in Analytics and AI on edX

  • 2016   2016

    CORe: Credential of Readiness at HBX / Harvard Business School

  • 2013   2013

    London, UK

    Product Owner Survival Camp

  • 2010   2009

    ABFS, Diploma Course in Motion Picture Production at Brighton Film School

  • 2014   2008

    Postgraduate Certificate in Technology Management at The Open University

  • 2004   2001

    Postgraduate courses in Computing and ICT at Open University

  • 2001   1997

    Brighton, UK

    BA (Hons.), Artificial Intelligence at University of Sussex

  • 1997   1995

    Yorkshire Coast College

Skills

AI
ASP
Agile
Analytics
BPO
Blockchain
Business
C
CSS
Cinematography
Consulting
DB2
DLT
Deliberate practice
Distributed Ledger Technology
Economics
Elixir
Ethics
Excel
Film Editing
Financial Accounting
Genetic Algorithm
HTML
Hyperledger
Impact Mapping
Innovation
Java
Law
Ledger
Line Management
Machine Learning
Matlab
Mentoring
Motivation
Natural Language Processing
Neural Networks
OODA
Open Source
PRINCE2
Perl
Product Development
Product Management
Product Ownership
Prolog
Python
R
RMarkdown
Requirements Gathering
Roadmaps
SQL
Smalltalk
Solution design
SourceSafe
Strategy
Subversion
Unix
User Journeys
VBA
Visual Basic
Volere requirements
Writing