Tony Simms Senior Test Manager

Tony Simms (MBCS CITP)

UK Based – Globally Available      

+44 7957870267


An experienced and versatile ISEB qualified Programme Test Manager with 20 years’ experience in managing in-house and third-party test teams for clients within the Retail, Government, Utility & Financial sectors. Responsible for full end to end testing including creating test organisations from scratch

Excellent stakeholder management skills as evidenced by his testimonials.

A wide breadth of experience across multiple sectors allows him to develop solutions and approaches that are not always obvious to those with a narrower field of experience. 

Able to communicate across all levels within an organisation, often bridging the gap between business speak and technical speak, to bring a greater clarity and singularity of purpose across the organisation. 

He is the author of the book “Managing Third Party Supplier Software Quality”, which includes a set of model contract clauses.

His largest team today has been 150 testers located across 6 locations in the UK and India   

He has been a test manager since 1999, and a tester since 1995 

Details of roles prior to 2014 can be found on LinkedIn;

Career History

Dec 2018 – Current:        National Grid.                  Zensar Testing Services Deliver Manager.

Responsible for over 130 testers operating in an Onshore/Offshore model providing end to end testing services. My role is to improve the delivery of testing services into National Grid both in terms of the quality and capability of the testing team.

    • Took the account from 50% of the resource not having ISTQB qualifications, to 80% having gained the certification and the remaining 20% in a training programme to achieve certification without impacting client billed time
    • Improved the resource. forward forecast, skills retention and demand management, by providing a three month ‘degrees of confidence‘ view of client demand and Zensar supply capability
    • Improved Client/Supplier relationship by leading an ‘warts and all’ approach to delivery


Apr 18 – Oct 18:                Roque Consulting            Test Consultant

Undertook three, short, high profile, high impact assignments to review testing practice and deliver Test Improvement Plans for the following organisations:

      • Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales

Undertook a review of issues impacting time critical UAT, recommending specific action to ‘unblock’ the process and provided worked example templates to enable the business to create UAT test cases. Provided thought leadership and mentoring on a risk-based approach to UAT.

      • Passport Office

Identified points of single failure within the existing teams and instigated a programme of recruitment and knowledge transfer to mitigate the risk.

      • SSE

Engaged directly with the CIO and Programme Director of SSE’s Smart Metering Programme to review current test supplier performance and to make recommendations to enable improved testing delivery across the program.  These included an improved automation approach, specific changes to the test organisation structure and personnel and the need for greater test automation, particularly with regards to physical smart mentoring equipment.


Aug 17- Mar 18:               QA Consulting/Met Office                           Test Consultant

Development of a ‘Quality Engineering’ approach for multi skilled agile development teams.

    • Provided test consultancy to identify areas of ‘agile friendly’ test and QA practices to further improve the performance of high performing delivery teams
    • Reviewed current practices of the agile development teams to identify several areas of improvement, including more focus on UAT
    • Introduced a road map for taking met office from a developer/tester model to a Quality Engineer model as a first step towards building DevOPs capability.Instigated a QA Guild, dojo sessions, and shared learning workshops, allowing best practice or innovative solutions that existed in a single team to be propagated to a wider audienceCreated a master test strategy, covering agile development QA and testing, that lead on to more waterfall approach to, OAT, Non-functional testing and UAT
    • Recruited a team of 10 test analysts and 2 test managers
    • Introduce and used Gamification techniques to invigorate a ‘jaded’ business user community to become re-engaged with the testing process and to identify common understanding around areas of weakness within individual sprint teams
    • Developed a set of KPI’s to measure the journey towards test function maturity.


Mar 16 – Jul 17                  Advance 365                                                      Programme Test Manager

Advanced 365 were converting legacy HMRC and DWP systems including ‘VAT’, ‘Self-Assessment’, ‘Imports’, ‘Social Fund’, ‘Job Seekers’, ‘Winter Fuels’ and ‘War Pension’ systems to run under modern operating systems and infrastructure. The systems involved are critical government systems.

    • Represented Advanced and its partners at all HMRC and DWP test related meetings and forums, ensuring that HMRC and DWP delivered on key dependencies.
    • Devise the Advance approach to testing converted applications, including a ‘Ready to Test’ stage to enable rapid transfer of converted components into DWP and HMRC test phases.
    • Produce test and QA sections for contracts, proposals, and Statement of Work documents.
    • Manage all remediation activities on behalf of Advanced.


Feb 15 – Mar 16                nFocus                                                                  Senior Test Manager     

I provided Senior Test Management and consultancy services 

    • Recruited specialist technical test and QA engineers
    • Reviewed existing teams and processes and identified weaknesses and necessary actions to improve quality across all teams and departments
    • Functioned as a member of the Technology Leadership Team, reporting directly to the CTO
    • Created a master test strategy
    • Developed a set of KPI’s to measure the journey towards test function maturity


Feb 14 – Dec 15                 Steria                                                                    Programme Test Manager

I provided Programme Test Management services across all suppliers and bank departments on a £multi-million re-platforming of the bank’s two main consumer facing brands (smile bank and COOP Bank). 

    • Day to day management responsible for ensuring all test plans and activity supported the demanding delivery schedules
    • Managed on shore and off shore Test Managers and ensured each testing workstream remained on target despite regularly late delivery of infrastructure and code into test.
    • Responsible for system, system integration and UAT testing
    • Introduced formal infrastructure delivery acceptance gates
    • Refocused’ and brought back on course the testing work stream.
    • Responsible for the resource and budget forecasting and financial management reporting.

Excellent reference can be provided upon request and client testimonials are included on my LinkedIn Page