Project Description

Chris Sykes

Chris Sykes

PMO Manager

Areas Of Expertise

  • Business and technology transformations
  • Investment banking
  • Mergers and demergers
  • Acquisitions
  • Financial analysis
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Quality assurance
  • Industry research
  • Impact analysis
  • Risk management
  • Responsible and ethical lending
  • Start-ups
  • Governance
  • Social and environmental assessments
  • Stakeholder management
  • Negotiation


  • IPMO-Expert® (International Project Management Officer – Expert)
  • AgilePM® (Foundation), CRMP® (Certified Risk Management Professional)
  • MCITP® (Microsoft Certified IT Professional) Project Server and SharePoint
  • PRINCE2® Certified Practitioner, SAFe® 5.0 Certified Agilist (Scaled Agile)

About Chris Sykes

Chris joined Seven Consulting’s Melbourne team in June 2016. He is a senior manager with 25 years of global experience and is recognised as a trusted advisor, an excellent communicator, advocate of value, and highly respected. He has successfully set up and led several traditional PMO and Agile Value Management Office (VMO) teams, to help organisations build support structures that enable the successful delivery of their portfolios of change programs. Chris demonstrates a genuine passion for nature conservation, sustainability and corporate responsibility. He understands the principles of ethical standards, behaviours, and decision-making, integrated with environmental, social and governance factors. Chris has experience in portfolio strategic alignment, project selection and prioritisation, resource utilisation, benefits management and realisation, fixed capacity planning, value stream budgeting, and cross-dependency management.

What Chris brings

  • Traditional and Agile PMO expertise in Portfolio Governance, Executive Reporting, Financial and Resource Management, Tools, Communications, Stakeholder Engagement, Transformation and Change Programs.
  • Essential skills to operate effectively in highly complex technology environments, spanning diverse cultures and nationalities, across multiple countries and continents.
  • Valuable knowledge and key insights into banks of varied international locations; Africa, Australia, China, England, Germany, Japan, and Scotland 

Key Clients

  • Iress
  • Colonial First State (CFS)
  • WorkSafe Victoria (WSV)
  • AGL Energy
  • National Australia Bank (NAB)
  • HSBC Holdings Bank
  • Barclays Investment Bank
  • Commerzbank AG
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ
  • Century Holdings Bank
  • African Banking Corporation

Key Achievements

As PMO Manager at Iress, Chris worked alongside the Program Director and key senior stakeholders to perform a sensibility check on the technology-related inputs driving coverage and timing within the documented Transition Services Agreement (TSA) and the supporting planned work. This review was time-bound and undertaken within a 3.5-day window, as an immediate input to review the Transition schedule and inform any necessary alterations / risks prior to commitment. Where possible, broader callouts on risks / issues related to general timing and risks of the divestment were also made but bound by time constraints. Essentially, Iress was in the process of divesting several of its current businesses / business functions. The first business was the MFA (Managed Funds Administration) which underwent divestment and hence an imminent agreement with an external party was in negotiation. The establishment of the Transition Services Arrangement (TSA) to guide the separation was the primary driver of this urgent review. 

As Senior PMO Manager for CFS Edge Technology and Delivery at Colonial First State (CFS) aka Superannuation and Investments HoldCo, Chris set up and managed the PMO, circa $76M / 170 FTE. Immediately following the separation with CBA, Chris established and managed a critical team of four PMO specialists whose primary focus included Group Executive level governance and reporting, cost and resource management, risk, and issue management, change control, quality assurance (internal audit), health checks and PIRs, program planning and scheduling. Recently, CFS shifted towards a release-based delivery model to enable end-to-end product management, whereby Chris advocated and uplifted key program capabilities to ensure continuous delivery and incremental improvement, through the mobilisation of release trains and delivery squads to support an agile (hybrid) framework and new ways of working.

As Senior PMO Manager for the Wrap Transformation at Colonial First State (CFS), Chris set up and managed the PMO. CFS strengthened commitment to significantly increase competition in Australia’s wrap platform market through strategic partnership with one of the world’s leading wealth management platform providersThe launch of the new wrap platform marks the next stage of a $430M investment CFS has made across the business over five years. The new wrap platform offers market leading features in the areas of investment selection and managed accounts, adviser services, advice tech integration and data management.

As Senior PMO Manager for the Prevention Strategy at WorkSafe Victoria, Chris set up and managed the Prevention Strategy PMO, circa $100M / 200 FTE. As a Senior Manager he was responsible for all PMO processes and services and for the quality of all PMO deliverables across the Prevention Strategy Program, including compliance with legal requirements and industry standards to ensure that programs are conducted ethically and transparently. Chris provided planning, reporting and governance services through the delivery and support of PMO processes and templates and performed regular health check reviews. He managed a team of PMO Consultants to deliver the PMO servicesIn addition, Chris performed PMO management services to support the delivery of the Strategy Program, in accordance with agreed parameters around Schedule, Quality and Scope, in alignment with client requirements, and in adherence to Enterprise policies and procedures.

As Value Management Office (VMO) Manager at WorkSafe Victoria, Chris authored a 60-page VMO presentation pack to share the ‘VMO’ concept with executives and senior leaders. He was subsequently engaged to establish and implement the VMO for Strategic Delivery on a $110M / 400 FTE portfolio of 12 programs, to support Claims and Recovery Strategy (Insurance) and Prevention Strategy (Health and Safety) business units. All VMO artefacts produced and successfully transitioned to EPMO.

As Senior PMO Manager at WorkSafe Victoria, Chris set up and managed the Strategy PMO at WorkSafe Victoria on a $140M / 450 FTE program to support traditional and Agile teams. Managed a team of up to five people.

As PMO Manager in the Customer Markets Value Office at AGL Energy, Chris was a senior member of the Value Management leadership team. After spending two and a half years in Customer Markets, Chris was engaged to transition the Customer Markets Portfolio (CMP) into a new Value Office, to provide insight and oversight across the Customer Markets plan, to turn strategy into action and unlock opportunities for growth and transformation. Chris successfully embedded enterprise portfolio governance and executive level reporting, established shared best practices, and supported decentralised but efficient program executionHe enabled further uplift in portfolio capabilities through communities of practice, workshops, and training, and thereby enhanced the growth and dissemination of institutional knowledge.

As PMO Manager in the Customer Markets Portfolio (CMP) at AGL Energy, Chris enabled continuous improvement to business processes and tools by helping to streamline and automate key functions, using SharePoint, Project Online, JIRA, Confluence, Tableau, and Power BI reporting dashboards, resulting in increased due diligence, enhanced data quality and accuracy. Furthermore, Chris leveraged property services to enable large workstreams to better collaborate, communicate and co-create, by providing them with the necessary work environments in which to operate more efficiently and effectively, through collocation.

As PMO Lead at AGL Energy, Chris managed a team of eight people and successfully led the Agile PMO on a large Customer Experience Transformation (CXT) Program consisting of multiple workstreams and circa 600 people, within Customer Markets. The organisation invested $300 million over three years, in order to enhance digital capability and platforms, to deliver an industry-leading digital experience and drive value for customers. CXT aimed to uplift core systems and capabilities, drive customer adoption of digital interactions, and deliver unique customer experiences that build trust, advocacy, and loyalty. CXT was about putting customers first, using sophisticated analytics to make sense of data in order to provide personalised services and new product offerings, helping customers optimise their energy plans and ensure a sustainable future.

As PMO Lead at AGL Energy on the CXT Program, Chris helped to set up the Tribe Services team in an Agile environment. This new Agile PMO provided a consistent context for delivering in a more Lean and Agile manner, driving the new way of working. Chris worked collaboratively with all relevant business units such as Finance, IT, Procurement, Group Risk & Audit, Procurement, and People & Culture, to ensure that the program adhered to organisational policies and processes, and upheld enterprise PMO standards and best practices. His primary focus was Portfolio Governance and Executive Reporting, whereby Chris successfully established the respective communities of practice, leadership forums, showcases, ceremonies and cadences, for effective portfolio execution.

As the Workstream Delivery Manager to the ASIC PDS Project, part of SFT Program at NAB Wealth, Chris managed a team of eleven Product SMEs. The goal was to obtain substantiated evidence required to support the issuance of 475 Product Disclosure Statements (PDS) for 1.1 million NAB Wealth members, who transferred to the MLC Super Fund. Chris successfully contributed to achieving the project’s overall objective, to meet all ASIC PDS regulatory requirements. Chris had responsibility over provision of evidence to support development of scope, assessment of requirements, development of templates and matrices, production of disclosure documents, enablement of PDS reviews and approvals, and alignment of the project plan to stream milestones. Chris was instrumental in ensuring NAB Wealth met its compliance obligations within the stipulated timeframes, as part of the separation activities.

As 2IC to the Program Director at NAB Wealth, Chris chaired team meetings and actively participated in project steering committees, providing progress updates and status reports. Chris offered detailed insights to project and program executives and Project Approval Board (PAB) members. He successfully engaged with the NAB Wealth Trustee approval delegate, the Disclosure Governance Committee (DGC), product managers, relationship managers, digital and procurement teams, resourcing, risk and management assurance, in relation to the review and approval of 475 PDS documents. He played a key role in the NAB Wealth / MLC separation.

At NAB Wealth, Chris devised a method for tracking the daily progression of activities by circa 20 project resources, to provide an accurate view to the steering committee on where additional resources should be assignedHe owned the issue of ~6,500 PDSs to be mailed to product members (where sub 500 PDSs were expected to be delivered). Chris proactively managed the fulfillment of these 6,500 member requests with Fuji Xerox, in the form of emails or letters, for each benefit category and product type within the scope of the ASIC PDS project; to include insurance guides, investment menus, fee flyers, and plan schedules.

As Senior PMO Analyst at NAB, for the Bank’s NextGen Program, Chris worked on the $1.5bn multi-year transformation program. He was tasked with upgrading and implementing changes to a wide range of core banking systems, finance and risk controls, data sources, processes and customer channels. Chris undertook the management of previous NextGen PMO deliverables, and he was the primary point of engagement for consultants from Accenture, CapGemini, Deloitte, Infosys, and Oracle on key PMO matters. He received recognition for outstanding performance from his EGM.

For NAB’s NextGen Program, Chris successfully managed complex project financials on large initiatives. These included resource time costings, funding proposals, budgets and forecasts, and variance analysis. He reported to executive level on headcount, FTE, costs, forecasts vs actuals, and program status. Chris engaged with risk and management assurance teams to mitigate risks and resolve issues, and he maintained a critical dependency register to escalate internal and external dependencies.

For NAB’s NextGen Program, Chris actively controlled, monitored and maintained procurement processes and resource requirements, purchase orders, cost uplifts, goods receipt, invoicing, statement of works. He managed resource profiles, accommodation, property, demand and system on-boarding and off-boarding. In concurrence, he successfully set up and maintained project and resource schedules, and prepared detailed resource plans. Chris reviewed staff utilisation, release priorities, capability projections, insights, and trend analysis. Moreover, Chris initiated and managed the transition of all programs financial tracking workbooks to a new cost management toolset. He analysed data and identified cost savings to minimise program over/underspend.

As PMO Lead at HSBC, Chris played a key role on the $100m transformation program within the Global Banking and Markets division in the UK. The program focused on optimising resource and technology costs across business asset classes, and streamlining processes and policies, ultimately resulting in effective and sustainable savings in excess of $150m compounded year on year. Chris successfully set up and managed the global PMO remit, including governance, portfolio reporting, cost management, resource management, vendor management, and senior stakeholder engagement. Chris had responsibility over governance relating to contracts, recruiting, and invoicing. He was able to ensure 100% compliance with policies, enterprise methodologies, standards, principles and processes.

At HSBC, Chris effectively engaged with workstream leads on the management of resources and financials. In conjunction with relevant teams, he was able to accurately maintain <3% variance on FTE and costs, month on month (forecast vs actual). Chris successfully designed, developed, and exclusively managed the global program SharePoint sites and workspacesThe program was guided by strict governance, regulatory compliance, and legal standards.

As IT Manager-PMO within the Technology PPM team at Barclays Investment Bank, Chris was based in LondonHe specialised in project tools, status reporting, financial reporting, project governance, and portfolio management. His extended role encompassed process quality management and SharePoint development, with a focus on the tactical solution to enhance the MS Project Server environment. The ‘Alpha’ program that Chris was involved in supported the Lehman integration with Barclays Capital.

As Workstream Manager for the implementation of Microsoft Project Server at Barclays, servicing 20,000+ users, Chris engaged with Microsoft and other key vendors to discuss new project tools and technologies. He was subsequently appointed as Release Manager for the review, prioritisation and approval of all major system releases, and established the Project Server working group to drive through challenges to the toolset. He produced user acceptance testing (UAT) documentation and facilitated testing sessions.

As Release Manager at Barclays, Chris accurately tracked and monitored project progress and status reports for the Top IT Projects at Barclays. He ensured adherence to project governance and reviewed reports for exceptions, produced detailed presentations for senior executives and Technology steering committees, and delivered communications to key interfaces; program managers, COOs, and CIO directsChris oversaw ABSA Capital governance, reporting, compliance, inductions, onboarding and offboarding.

As PMO Coordinator at Commerzbank AG within the global IT Program Office based in London, Chris’s key functions involved tracking and monitoring of pipeline projects from inception through to delivery and closure, while providing effective data analysis and portfolio reporting to senior stakeholders, ensuring quality control and adequate support to project and program managers.

Other Team Members