Skills & Responsibilities

Executive 

Product & Service Delivery

As a project sponsor, on-time delivery of products & services with high quality and within budget was one of the key responsibilities which I undertook for many years. 

Product Ownership

As the product owners of the next generation product suite responsibilities were defining the product roadmap, planning for quarterly releases, engaging customers and design decisions 

Chairing Steering Committees

Setting up steering committees for both projects and products and charing these committees to give visibility to all stakeholders and  make decisions is also an important executive responsibility

Topline & Bottomline

Revenue of a project and managing its costs so that the projects are profitable will ensure continuous growth of a company. This require regular reviews and corrective measures

Production Systems SLAs

Any product used in production has a very strict SLAs defined to ensure that there is no downtime for the customers. I was ultimately responsible for a very strict SLA for multiple sites.

Project Matrices & KPIs

The progress of a project can be measure using its Matrices and KPIs. I have set up many projects and product matrices & KPIs and used them as quantitative indicators along with qualitative indicators to maintain and course correct a project deliveries

Regular Customer Engagements

As an executive, it's my responsibility to have a continuous dialog with our customer's leadership teams. This is achieved through continuous periodic meeting through both on-site and remote engagements

Manage Escalations

No project will always run according to the initial plan. There would be many roadblocks along the way. This will raise escalations to me which I quickly engage and put in corrective measure to so we can be back on track

New Business

Bidding for New Projects

Bring in new business is a responsibility which I enjoyed. Prior to engaging with new customers I always analyzed their business and how our products could help with real-life scenarios so they understand our systems with their context.

Trade Shows

One way to attract new customers is to participate in trade shows. I have represented the company in multiple World Travel Markets(WTM) and Travel Technology Europe(TTE) trade shows in London. I was able to establish any links through these participations

RFP & RFI Engagements

RFP and RFI are the first phases of new business engagement. I was responsible for completing these documents both business and technical aspects. There were multiple successful submissions.

Product Demostrations

The successful RFP phase usually follows up with product demonstrations. Conducting a convincing demonstration is a challenge but one I enjoyed. Many hours of preparation with customer data definitely helped in a successful product demonstration.

Contract Negotiation

Contract Negotiation is undoubtedly one of the most challenging activities. I have engaged in multiple contract negotiations some spanning weeks but other spanning several months. The longest I was engaged in was a seven  month negotiation phase for a multi million dollar project

Review & Revise SOW/Change Orders

Statement of work clearly defined the body of work for a phase of the project. The final review for the SOW always came to me for the project I have been leading. I had to ensure compliance with the contract and no terms were introduced which would be disadvantageous to the company

Conduct Workshops

The onsite workshops are always a good opportunity to engage with new or existing customers. This allowed me to get an understanding of the most critical challenges that they face, showcase the new product features and most importantly identify adjust the roadmap so get the best value

Technical

Technology Decision

A technology leadership role will always consist of making technical decisions. This is a responsibility which I enjoy to this day. Being engaged in this always help me to keep in touch with the new technology trends and define the technical direction for the products

Solution Architecture Reviews

Architects of my team create new solution architectures for the new requirements and system optimizations. One of my main responsibilities is to review these and give feedback while maintaining governance the product evolution and alignment with the roadmap.

Cloud Architecture & Migration 

Migrating the existing systems to the cloud is one of the main priorities of many enterprises. I was responsible for migrating multiple systems to the cloud with the "Life and Shift" approach as the first phase. Now, new architecture are crafted to use the advantages of cloud services

REST & SOAP API Reviews

We create many API for systems to communicate with each other. While SOAP APIs were initially created, they have been migrated to REST APIs. I have been engaged in designing these APIs in my development days and now review them as an executive member of the API governance

Caching & Database Designs

Cache and database designs do tend to be overlooked which results in many performance issues after a system is in production. I was responsible for ensuring that this does not happen by with constant reviews and feedback on these designes.

System NFR & Optimization Reviews 

Any poorly performing system will be a bad user experience regardless of the many features and UX designs. Thus, non-functional requirements (NFRs) were given an equal stake with functional requirements for all projects under me. This is critical for project success

User Experience Design

As I was responsible for the transformation of the product user interface after multiple itineration material design system by Google were selected as the standard design language. This was one of the best decisions on the UX design for a clean interface and faster development

People

Interviews & Selection

In technology, people are the most important asset. While every person has a unique skillset, selecting the right group of people with the right skills to get the best of everyone is the most important decision for a project. This was definitely my most challenging tasks assigned to me

Team Mentoring 

Having the right team is not necessarily a formula for success. Continuous engagement with the teams, mentor them to get the best out of them and continuos communication, both formal and informal, is one of my most important duties. Its amazing to see the diverse skills of individuals

Increase Efficiency & Productivity

Although an individual may often work efficiently and productively this may not mean that the team would have the same output. Thus, a continuous review of team outputs and outcomes & help the teams work better is an important activity which I guided my project manages to engaged in.

Mitigate People Concerns

It's natural that as people we all face many challenges both professional and personal. It's always important to that we help the team members overcome these challenges. 

Performance Appraisal & Promotion Reviews

Performance feedback and help the team grow is one of the most important aspects of my responsibilities

Policy & Process

Agile Methodology - Scrum of Scrum

The size of the project team increased from an average of twenty-five members to more than a hundred in 2014. The Scrum process was expanded to a scrum of scrum model to accommodate this increase in complexity and new changes. These changes are still in practice today in multiple teams

Create, Review & Revise Processes

With continuous change in team dynamics, it was inevitable that we could not have just one static process. The introduction of new processes, review, and revision of existing processes was also one aspects which required my attention. 

Review & Revise On Boarding Process

As the team expanded, we needed new members joining the team. The goal was to make them productive as soon as possible. Onboarding processes were created where each new member was assigned a "mentor" to look up and get advice and a "buddy" to work with on a daily basis. 

Quality Processes

Any project multi-year project may face some quality challenges. The projects I was responsible for was no exception. I engaged with the quality assurance teams to Increase the quality of delivery with new quality gates and adding new safety nets with heavy increase in automation test coverage.  

Policy & Process Compliance

Any policy or process required acceptance and adaptation. Thus, matrices and gates were introduced to ensure compliance with the policies and processes.

Release Process

A two-week sprint cycle where a production-ready release was packaged initially had its own set of challenges. A lean release process was set up to ensure continuous delivery. Six years since this process was set up, the team has not missed a single delivery todate.

General

Company Decision Making

I was also a member of the company senior management committee which was responsible for the operational decision. This management team meets every week for two hours to review the company functions and take the required decision on its operational matters.

Resource Planning

Planning capacity for future expansion was an important activity. The best talents to be recruited were only available when then-new graduates pass out of the universities which required precise planning for resource needs.

Budgeting  

Annual budgets were an important responsibility of the senior management team which I actively participated in. These were done in the month of December in preparation for the next year

Board Presentation

For decisions that required board approval presentations had to be made for a successful proposal. The senior members shared this responsibility. It required concise presentations and a compelling argument for a positive outcome.

External Engagement

The company needed to be presented in external forums. This included universities, clubs, and societies, and interactions with other companies in the industry. I did participate in many these engagements.

© 2020 - Dasun Athukorala