- Application Integration
- Problem Solving
- Project Management
- IT & SDLC Project Lifecycles
- Multiple Technology Frameworks
- Create Innovate Pioneer
- Systematize and Getting Things Done
- Web Development
With deadlines looming, my team had to quickly find, replace and integrate with a new bill payment vendor system before our current bill payment vendor shut off its service, which would cost our bank millions of dollars in lost revenue. [read more…]
Two departments with two completely different priorities and agendas. I had to deliver two projects with competing schedules and priorities to meet and succeed departmental stakeholder expectations while also making sure I met the high standards and accountability of my direct manager! [read more…]
Rewriting a legacy mainframe system built in the 1960’s and convincing a change-averse user community that loves the status quo, all the while keeping project on track as federal grant funding deadlines loomed overhead, risking project’s delay if system was not delivered on time. [read more…]
While at a prestigious bank in L.A., serving as the Implementation Manager and “Build Master” for our development team, our current bill payment vendor we integrated with was sunsetting its bill pay service, essentially pulling the plug on its service. Our business and entertainment industry clients rely on our banking systems to pay their bills, so any current integrations with their accounting system would cease to function, which would cost our bank millions of lost dollars in revenue if we didn’t quickly find and integrate with a new bill payment vendor.
My mission, with no choice but to accept it: work with our project team to quickly find a new bill payment vendor system and integrate with it, where clients can continue to do business as usual, paying their bills through their accounting systems which integrated in our banking systems.
I had to develop and keep accurate and current documentation, a clean and consistent software code repository, functioning development and testing environments and lead our implementation team to perform a successful integration with the new bill payment vendor system we had chosen. This all had to happen before the plug was pulled on our existing bill pay system. We had to do a clean cut-over to the new system without any loss of current functionality or downtime for our clients.
The result was not only business as usual for our clients, after our successful implementation, but even a significant cost and time savings for the bank and our clients! The processing time was cut down significantly as it was now real-time processing. Reconciliation was done faster and more accurately, saving even more time and money for the bank. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in cost and thousands of hours were saved both at the bank and our clients. Millions of dollars continued to successfully flow through our system the first day after the new system was implemented. […back to top]
While in the public sector, I was responsible for serving two departments: the Fire Department and the Business License Department. Both had very different priorities, agendas and perspectives. The Fire Department was a very structured and paramilitary organization while the Business License Department was primarily focused on tax revenue and compliance. Both had competing and largely conflicting priorities and deadlines, and I had to manage the expectations of both departments. The Fire Department was facing potential fines from state and federal agencies and even risking firefighters’ lives due to growing staff hires in agency and only having a manual paper based process for inspecting and maintaining firefighter PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). Due to growth in new businesses, the Business License Department needed to give new and existing business owners a more efficient way to apply for and renew their business licenses. This would also lead to more tax revenue for the department and help sustain future growth.
I had to deliver both projects on time and within budget, even though there were many time, scheduling and resource constraints. I had a very small team that was responsible for serving both departments. We handled operational needs as well as project needs for both departments, so it was very important for me to ensure proper time management and resource allocation, which required innovative planning and developing a systematized way of getting things done. I was held to high accountability standards by my direct managers, who also had their own priorities and agendas, apart from the other two departments. Essentially, I had to juggle three competing stakeholder groups and ensure both projects were successfully delivered and met each different sets of expectations and priorities to all parties’ satisfaction. And I was the single point of contact and accountable for both projects.
From the very beginning of the projects, I had to be very intentional with setting and managing expectations for project scope and deliverables. I had to utilize problem solving, multiple technology frameworks, leadership and tact when dealing with the competing stakeholders of both projects. I also rolled up my sleeves to get in and work on system development efforts as we had a small team that served both departments. Since we also served the operational needs of the department, we still needed to “keep the lights on” while continuing to make progress on our project tasks and milestone deadlines. Because of this, I needed to establish a solid framework for juggling both project tasks and operational tasks. I took requirements from both projects, managed stakeholders expectations empathically, diplomatically and tactfully to keep projects at manageable ability to deliver on time. I had to pioneer new ways of doing things to effectively meet needs of all three stakeholder groups (specifically, my manager and the two departmental managers) with all three different viewpoints, perspectives, priorities and agendas. Because I had to utilize multiple tech frameworks and stacks, I needed to quickly switch gears between projects to make sure systems were being properly coded, tested and implemented.
Both projects were finally delivered on time and to the satisfaction of my direct manager and the mangers of both Fire and Business License Departments. The Fire Department saved potentially tens of thousands of dollars in fines, and not to mention potential injury of firefighters due to lack of properly maintained PPE! I built an automated inventory management system, with automated workflows and reporting to make sure all PPE was properly inspected and maintained. Business License had a new online license application and renewal website which gave them an increase in tax revenue close to millions of dollars a year. This new system increased license revenue and made workflows much more efficient for staff, saving many hours of labor. The Business License Department Director also gave me an award for being the “Stretchy Superhero” because I was able to effectively manage both departmental needs and priorities while still delivering and meeting stakeholder expectations. Because of this, I also received a promotion to senior level position because of my effective project management, team leadership, problem solving skills, efficiently getting things done on time and delivering on my promises. […back to top]
I was brought on as technical lead and co-project manager on a large-scale law enforcement project involving local, state and federal agencies of the Justice and Public Safety sector with a user community of over 20,000. The project was to rewrite and replace a legacy mainframe system built in the 1960’s from the ground up. There was one problem, however. The core group of developers from a consulting agency all left and there was a large turnover. This significantly set the project back due to training new staff, bringing them up to speed on the project where the previous developers left off. In addition, the user community was extremely resistant to change, wanting to keep the status quo. They were not concerned with underlying technology, not realizing that it was a ticking time bomb from an old technology and server infrastructure standpoint. All the expertise and knowledge of the technical aspects and coding of this system either moved on or retired. This created a huge knowledge and expertise gap that needed to be addressed immediately.
I was brought on to help get the project back on track as it was under tight federal grant funding deadlines. There were many strong personalities involved that needed to be diplomatically handled due to large user community and diverse stakeholder group with often times competing agendas and priorities. I needed to be a diplomatic, strategic and empathetic listener and leader. The grant funding deadlines also needed to be effectively managed, ensuring proper management of workload and vendor involvement. The scope of the project had to also be tactfully managed, ensuring core features and functions met diverse user community and multi-agency stakeholders needs.
My work was cut out for me! I had to engage the user community and strategically and tactically win over and gain support of key user community power-users to champion the new system and assist with training the rest of the user community. I also worked to effectively delegate training and distribution of materials to the power-users so they could work with their respective user community groups (train the trainer). One of the biggest challenges was that the user community needed to be convinced of benefits of new system and an effective training plan needed to be quickly developed to help them learn new system efficiently and painlessly as possible. So I worked with the stakeholders to come up with good training plan for their user community. I also had to help show end-result benefits of the new system as I tried to gain support of user community and their cooperation with testing and learning new system. I strategically partnered with the business side of the stakeholder group and developed good rapport and close working relationships to handle schedule, training, workloads, QA and issue resolutions. I also had to quickly come up to speed and learn new technologies (using SharePoint, BizTalk, Team Foundation Server and SQL Server) so I could roll up my sleeves and help with getting new developers up to speed, as well as getting features out quickly for testing. In addition, I had to be an empathetic listener and diplomatically handle conflicting stakeholder agendas and concerns while continuing to drive project forward and prevent scope creep.
All the hard work paid off when I was able to successfully deploy and implement all system components, working with our network and server infrastructure group to coordinate all go-live activities. The user community was very happy with the new system as much effort was spent winning them over and effectively training them, helping them feel comfortable ahead of time with new system before it went live. There was also better reporting and auditing capabilities so all agencies and user communities would be in compliance with federal Justice and Public Safety regulations and policies. The new system also had better security and user management, preventing potential theft of user data and fraud, saving departments and agencies millions of dollars in having to conduct security audits. The graphical user interface (GUI) instead of a “green screen” terminal increased user productivity ten-fold and prevented the potential for errors in data entry (this was especially important as this system was used for tracking felons and people with a criminal history record). The system was also easier to support as the technology stack is now relevant and within current staff skillsets. The technology is also future-proof as it is using Microsoft technology which will be in support for many years to come. Because of the success of the project, I received an award from our Chief Information Officer and was featured in the news about the successful implementation and better, more reliable system for enhanced public safety. In summary, the benefits and cost savings of new system saved the agencies $8 million a year. We also received the 2014 Best of NIEM (National Information Exchange Model) award (https://www.niem.gov/about-niem/success-stories/shared-computer-operations-protection-and-enforcement-ii) […back to top]