Goodbye Google +

If you are signing in to 6prog with google + you probably are already aware it is being retired at the end of the month.

It could also be that no one really notices. Big ‘awwww’ for google [no?]

We have updated our sites with new signings from Github.

Neat 🙂

Finding talent is expensive

Does it have to be?

talent searching?

It is expensive and time consuming putting together a good team of freelancers, right?

So what do most companies typically do when the programme finishes? They ‘hand back’ ownership of that freelancer to the agency who provided them. This is not deliberate, it is not wilfully ignorant, it is contractually imperative.

What if this weren’t the case? What if, YOU, the client, could ‘hold’ the talent. If YOU had a platform to contact, communicate and nurture the team of people who want to work with you on YOUR programmes.

Usually these articles then go on to explain why paying more means you can have a better level of service – surprise – the charges at 6prog are lower than what you are currently paying for contract recruitment.

Take a poll of the freelancers in your office today and ask what facilities they would want. I’ll wager none say ‘an agency’ but many will opt for a straightforward platform.

Lee Lam joins 6prog | Coaching and People Advisor

Lee is a personal and corporate coach. Formerly Chief of Staff at Barclays, Lee qualified as a coach with the Coaching Academy in 2004, is ITIL qualified and has the CIPD Level 5 Diploma in HRM.

Having worked with Andy on several projects in the past I was very interested in the 6prog initiative, notwithstanding the advantage it would give to organisations in hiring and managing non-permanent staff.

I’m looking forward to working with the team especially on topics such as people, delivery and quality.

It’s great to have Lee on the team. Her support and coaching will be invaluable to us as we scale.

Interview Lee Lam and Andy Barnes March 25 2019
make your valuable network valuable


After completing a dual honours course with degrees in Law and American Studies at Keele University, Lee took a take a gap year before undertaking my further legal practice studies.  Having been put on a project team for a groundbreaking Technology transformation project, she caught the tech bug and therefore embarked on the graduate programme for the Royal Bank of Scotland.  It was indeed one of the last years that they selected non-Technology graduates to join the Technology programme, and this ability to prove herself in brand new situations became an obvious theme in her later career choices. 

After supporting critical Bank systems and infrastructure from the data centre in Edinburgh, she returned to London to join the Trade Floor Support team, having to once again pick up new skills along the way.  After wanting to learn more new systems, she moved across to Fidelity International to join first the trade floor team and then specialising in market data support, supporting the move into Fidelity’s new London headquarters.  She realised that she wanted to have more of a strategic impact and decided to join Barclays Capital where she was quickly identified as a team leader and ultimately became Service Delivery Manager.  Lee swiftly moved towards the COO and business management space, and joined the IT COO Office.

Later at UBS Lee joined the Group CTO COO team, where she was responsible for overseeing the budgets of several disparate but coordinating departments.  The experience of managing complex and large budgets finally lead her back to Barclays, where she became COO for the Emerging Markets Technology team.  Her ability to think strategically across business areas as well as an ability to design complex process and systems to facilitate financial and resource management optimisation meant she was responsible for overseeing the redesign and centralisation of the business management function across all of the Investment Banking IT areas, as well as redesigning the sourcing strategy for high volume consultancy agreements. 

Her final role with Barclays was at group level, as Chief of Staff to the Head of Application Services, where she oversaw the governance for her department’s transformation programs, and set the Lean implementation strategy to be deployed across the organisation.  Her key involvement was in successfully rolling out the Dynamic Working strategy for Barclays group, coordinating the training of 400 line managers to support them in managing remote and flexible teams.

Since 2016, Lee has run her own disruptive consultancy, focusing on changing people management strategies and team dynamics, alongside supporting companies going through significant change.  This includes her Ditch the CV program, helping businesses to recruit more successfully.  Her approach to work is to facilitate the conversations necessary to identify the real challenge facing your business and work with you to provide a fix for it that lasts. 

6prog Partners | Open Orbit Technology

SaaS platform for improving process improvement

Six Sigma SaaS platform, Open Orbit, re-engineers the way Process Improvement (PI) is delivered, taking the enterprise to PI 2.0. It dramatically increases the effectiveness and efficiency of investments in process improvement.

Open Orbit turns up the knob on all the dimensions of a transformation project by applying Lean Six Sigma to project definition, process modelling, measurement, root cause analysis, solution hypothesis and benefits tracking. It provides an active Diagnostic Workbench that reduces the effort and time required to get results, a live and context-sensitive Open Knowledge Base of insights and best practices, and a connected Community Forum to drive sustained benefits and engagement. It is the thinking place of choice that practitioner can turn to, so it naturally becomes the system of record for improvement projects.

It enables Agile and Anytime governance at a project as well as process levels, accessible organisational memory and standardisation of approach – without having to mandate usage from the top. Instead of depending on adoption driven from the top, it entices the Lean Six Sigma practitioner directly by making their job easier and time more effective.

More information? Login to 6prog and click Partners under the menu [top right]

Birendra Agarwal joins 6prog as Strategic Advisor

Birendra Agarwal

6prog is pleased to announce Birendra Agarwal joining as Strategic Advisor. Birendra is an entrepreneurial banking and financial services CIO with work experience in the US, UK and India. His expertise spans Capital Markets (Foreign Exchange, Fixed Income and Equities), Transaction Banking and Wealth Management with a particular focus on Digital and FinTech.

I’m delighted to be working with 6prog.

This platform addresses a key need in the contract recruitment space, a much needed innovation!
Having known Andy for some fifteen years, and when he showed me the 6prog platform, I did not hesitate when he asked me to join.

Interview with Birendra Agarwal and Andy Barnes [18 March 2019]


Until recently Birendra was CIO Commercial Banking at Lloyds where he successfully transformed IT for the Markets and Global Transaction Banking divisions. He has returned to the consulting practice he setup prior to joining Lloyds. Envision provides business development services to FinTech firms and strategic technology advisory services on diverse topics including digital transformation and resource strategy. This belies an extensive career in Investment, Commercial and Retail Banking IT.

In 2012, Birendra returned to the UK following three years in India as Managing Director and CIO at Nomura. This was a position he was well experienced for having played a key role in setting up the near shore centre in Belfast as part of Citi’s Global Resource Strategy. Birendra had a long and fruitful association with what ultimately became Citi.

Starting with Salomon Brothers in New York in 1994, he went on to head Market Data Services and was then appointed to run Retail Wealth Management E-Commerce Technology. Birendra was further promoted to set the strategy for Citi’s award winning digital FX platforms in his capacity as Global Head of FX E-Commerce Technology from 2001-2004.

In April 2004 Birendra made the move to UK as CIO of Global FX Technology, soon followed, in 2006, with promotion to MD and CIO of Global Rates & Currencies. In 2007, he was appointed CIO, Global Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities before joining Nomura in 2008.

Birendra is passionate about Fintech and is a Mentor at Level39. He was Co-Chair of REACH (Race, Ethnicity and Cultural Heritage) network at Lloyds. He is a keen Cricket fan and was on the Audit Committee for the International Cricket Council from 2008-2012.

Who likes hidden charges?

We don’t believe in hidden charges, cash-back schemes or multi-layered charging policies. We don’t believe in subscriptions, tie-ins or upfront fees.  We believe in transparency. 

6prog members pay a low service fee of 3% per transaction.

Furthermore, if you invite someone new to join 6prog, any transactions you have with them will be free. Forever.

6prog interviews | Richard Kettle

Richard has been a contractor for the past 15 years. His clients have included UBS, Credit Suisse and Barclays. 6prog wanted to learn more about his experiences and to share them.

“Hi Richard,  what have you been up to recently?”

I most recently have been working on TBTF projects, where systematically important financial institutions were deemed to pose a serious risk to the economy in the event of collapse. Because of this, regulators insisted these banks “ring fenced” certain aspects of their operations and I was tasked with helping to create and build these new entities to meet this regulatory request. We also created a business solutions entity to ensure the non-regulated business was funded and managed in the event of a collapse of a trading entity. 

This then led on to Brexit planning as this would also require the creation of a new entity within the EU. These projects were typically 18 months each in duration. 

“How much of the bank does this type of project affect?”

I covered group risk control in London and Zurich, which included, Credit/Market/Operational risk and compliance. My role was to build and implement the standardised set of project tools to be used. This included the runbook, budget planning, on boarding of external staff, RAID log, SharePoint site, governance decks, Steerco meeting material and scrum sessions amongst other tasks. I also had to help with the creation of TOM documentation, BRD, BRSIT, ARS as well as policy documentation and service level agreement documentation.

“What was a key take-away in this project?”

I learned during my time on the trading desk working in the middle office on a previous role the importance of having a plan and process and how important documenting and being able to prove something or to be audited is to a project or team. The basic concept I keep in mind when working on a project is that to deliver on time and on budget we need to have a clear step by step guide from where we are to where we need to be. We know things are likely to move and change and we are agile enough to factor that into our planning, but we need a tangible set of activities or milestones to deliver and a plan of how we do that. These milestones have to be clear, understandable (by non-business people such as audit) simple enough to be measured/tracked and then when closed have the closing document to prove it. But the most important thing to remember is that it’s people that will deliver these projects and if you can’t find a way to get from each member of the team their contribution then we all suffer, so strong people skills/relationship building is my first starting point. 

“How do you deal with challenges?”

I have found that in every project you will face issues and that’s why we have a RAID log! But the biggest obstacle is when people do not set realistic targets/milestones or re-evaluate them during the project. Hiding behind an amber rag status and hoping for something that isn’t likely to happen causes problems that just do not need to be there. If you plan well using clear statements that are measurable and where you need to, you update your approach, keep on top of your dependencies and where others depend on you, and are led correctly by a strong PM or PMO function things should go to plan…. Also, at the start, think of the known unknowns, the unknown unknowns and document them. They might come up again later and you need to demonstrate they were part of your thinking!!!!

“What is your biggest achievement?”

I am proud to say that all of my projects have come in on time and on or under budget. This is down to correctly tracking the spend, spending where it’s needed, having the right people in the right roles and having clear leadership and targets/milestones. If you have a plan, are agile enough and honest enough to change as you require and the people are the right people then you stand a great chance of delivering, on time, on budget every time!