Allan Milne Lees, Product Manager in Oxford UK, Andorra
Allan Milne Lees

Product Manager in Oxford UK, Andorra

Member since October 4, 2019
For the last 25 years, Allan has held various product manager roles in Fortune 500 companies and several startups. His domain knowledge includes financial services, health and pharmaceuticals, cybersecurity, telecommunications, smartphone apps, and biotech. He is highly experienced in total lifecycle product management and works effectively across all organizational functions to ensure objectives are promptly met.
Allan is now available for hire

Project Highlights

  • Identified a previously unserved large market segment and developed a minimum viable product.
  • Developed a market entry strategy for a big-company spin-out technology based on rapid early adoption with a limited budget.
  • I developed a concept and then raised venture capital to build and launch a product to serve a huge but previously unrecognized market segment, signing up more than 13 million users within three months of the initial launch.


  • Business Planning
  • Business Strategy
  • Entrepreneurship
  • New Product Development
  • Product Management
  • Product Strategy
  • Product Vision
  • SaaS



  • Product Manager

    2020 - PRESENT
    Toptal Clients
    • Worked with client personnel across multiple organizations and levels to guide multiple products through creation, design, development, validation, and deployment phases.
    • Mentored client personnel, assisted in team development and management.
    • Performed a wide range of roles including gathering user requirements, creating product feature documentation, technical architecture, and management of technical resources.
    • Ensured smooth transition of products to client managers at end of the project period, and picked up additional projects from a client that required significant skills in organization and turnaround in order to get back on track.
  • Consultant Product Manager

    2019 - PRESENT
    AML Worldwide
    • Drove market research, including third-party and in-person interviews with potential customers, partners, and competitors.
    • Developed MVP, including core feature specification, user stories, and the management of development teams.
    • Developed a realistic market entry strategy based on market conditions and internal operational constraints (resources, budgets, a window of opportunity).
    • Closed initial sales and enabled the sales organization to ramp up effectively.
    • Spearheaded the end-to-end product lifecycle management, including product feature enhancements, resiliency enhancements, and performance enhancements.
  • Co-founder and Product Manager

    2017 - 2019
    CPP, Inc.
    • Identified potential market opportunity to serve enormous untapped niche. Conducted over 100 in-person user interviews, carried out extensive online market research, and met with leaders and influencers within key prospect organizations.
    • Developed MVP definition and user stories to guide the development team. Utilized appropriate open-source technologies and modern methodologies to save time and money while delivering superior results capable of securely and reliably scaling to tens of millions of users.
    • Created financial models and operational budgets.
    • Raised venture capital to fund product development and initial marketing and sales activities.
    • Secured initial customers, obtained extensive feedback, and led product iteration to ensure a perfect fit with market needs.
    • Launched a full-capability product and secured multi-million user accounts within four months.
  • Product and Project Manager

    2016 - 2016
    Roche Genomics
    • Helped define requirements for real-time analysis software for next-generation DNA sequencing machines.
    • Co-led user group sessions to determine user requirements and technical scope.
    • Developed comprehensive user stories and feature and functionality definitions to guide the development team.
    • Planned all sprints, led daily standups, acted in role of Scrum Master as well as Product Owner.
    • Tracked all issues, led mitigation activities, ensured milestones were met on time.
  • Co-founder and Product Manager

    2012 - 2015
    Cognutria Foods, Inc.
    • Identified opportunity for cognitive nutrition products.
    • Developed relationships with key nutrition scientists around the world to ensure a full understanding of all current scientific knowledge in this domain.
    • Raised venture capital to fund product development and initial market testing.
    • Formulated product micro-nutrients baseline and worked with scientists to determine the easiest way to manufacture at a small scale within a highly constrained budget.
    • Led manufacturing of test product and secured initial 20 retail partnerships.
    • Conducted extensive in-person market testing, iterating key messages, analyzing quantitative and qualitative reactions, and enhancing message effectiveness.
    • Negotiated the sale of the core intellectual property to a large organization as the company was unable to secure a multi-million dollar expansion capital.
  • Consultant Product Manager

    2009 - 2012
    AML Worldwide
    • Acted as general manager for the Xerox PARC project to develop and commercialize Content centric networking (CCN).
    • Conducted market research, collaborated with key partner organizations to develop joint marketing and sales strategy—identified key allies in oil and gas, automotive, health services, and telecommunications infrastructure providers.
    • Created product development strategy based around the core PARC team as thought leaders and expert developers in Eastern Europe as implementers.
    • Acted as vice president of North American Operations for a European open-source ERP company.
    • Developed market entry strategy.
    • Led sales activities to secure key accounts in identified high-value market niches.
    • Specified additional product feature and functionality requirements to provide a better fit with US market needs.
    • Enhanced all collateral to remove translation infelicities and to better appeal to US target audiences.
    • Acted as the project manager and architecture consultant for a classified top secret joint US intelligence agency and department of defense project.
  • Co-founder and Product Manager

    2007 - 2009
    Prevarex, Inc.
    • Worked with leading scientists and physicians to develop a product concept for a health optimization company. Performed all research on legal issues, HIPAA compliance, required legal structures for entities employing physicians, and required legal structures for third-party relationships.
    • Created a business plan including financials, market entry strategy, and a product development roadmap.
    • Raised venture capital.
    • Secured initial key partnerships with medical provider organizations, blood analysis companies, physicians, and high-end health clubs.
    • Created specifications for an early artificial intelligence-based online health assessment system and led the offshore development team to create and deliver the product.
  • Chief Information Officer

    2005 - 2007
    Buck Institute for Age Research
    • Conducted an end-to-end analysis of IT systems and IT support capabilities. Performed extensive research into new requirements driven by new experimental areas and new scientific technologies such as mass spectrometry and DNA sequencing.
    • Worked closely with the institute's CEO to develop a plan to enhance and upgrade all scientific and operational support systems.
    • Conducted in-depth research to identify product and technology options, then conducted extensive vendor and technology assessments.
    • Led multiple cross-functional project teams, managed internal resources and external vendors, replacing old systems, and implementing new capabilities. These saved the organization $450,000 in unnecessary capital expenditures while simultaneously enhancing all areas of scientific and operational capability. Systems upgrades included: finance and reporting, grant management, donor management, bioinformatics, mass data storage, telecommunications and broadband Internet, journal repository and access, and remote services support.
  • Consultant Product Manager

    2002 - 2005
    AML Worldwide
    • Performed product manager role for UK fast-switching company spun out of IBM. Conducted market research, evaluated market opportunities, created market entry plans for each significant market segment and led the development of core value propositions for each segment.
    • Performed product management role for US-based cyber currency startup, including market evaluation and technology evaluation. Developed all financials. Developed MVP definition and user stories to drive development. Worked closely with the CEO to evaluate development options and then led the development team to first product release.
  • Co-founder and Product Manager

    1999 - 2002
    TransactPlus, Inc.
    • Performed initial due diligence on spinout technology from major US financial services organization.
    • Conducted in-person market research to identify and validate opportunities.
    • Created product specifications to meet core market needs.
    • Created a business plan with product strategy, market entry strategy, financials, and timelines.
    • Managed development of the product including local and remote resources.
    • Managed roll-out of physical supporting infrastructure in the USA and Western Europe.
    • Developed key marketing materials and led PR activities and industry analyst briefings.
    • Led sales team to secure first major industry customers, then developed scale-up plan to maximize sales effectiveness.
  • Co-founder and Product Manager

    1996 - 1999
    Kabira Technologies, Inc.
    • Conducted market research to identify and validate the opportunity.
    • Wrote the business plan with financials, market entry strategy, and product development strategy.
    • Assembled core team and raised venture capital.
    • Led company through product development and market development activities. Raised multiple rounds of venture capital.
    • Conducted industry analyst briefings to generate awareness.
    • Led sales team to secure initial high-profile multinational corporate accounts.
  • Director and Product Manager

    1993 - 1996
    Sybase, Inc.
    • Identified a significant market opportunity for mobile database products while working within the strategic planning group.
    • Conducted in-depth market research and created an opportunity briefing for Sybase executives.
    • Led acquisition of companies to acquire third-party technologies and became director of the new group within Sybase to develop and exploit mobile database opportunities.
    • Specified MVP and created detailed functional specifications to guide the development team.
    • Developed core marketing materials and led market development to secure initial customers.

Project History

  • Market Evaluation | Product Development | MVP
    Identified a previously unserved large market segment and developed a minimum viable product.

    After hearing directly from individuals in this market segment, I began detailed market research to understand segment composition, needs, influencers and decision-makers, and adoption patterns.

    After five months of deep research involving online data gathering and hundreds of individual conversations with key potential users, I developed a go-to-market plan, a detailed product design specification using feature and functionality definitions, and extensive user stories to guide development. I then oversaw all development activities.

    The product launch was followed by an extensive road trip in which all key early adopters were visited and their feedback solicited. This led to a rapid iteration to include new features and capabilities the key segments now understood they wanted as a result of adopting version one of the product (a smartphone app with enterprise-scale capabilities). Version 2 of the product was launched a few months later, during which additional marketing and sales activities were conducted. After launch, I went on a full-time three-month road trip to ensure rapid adoption by key user organizations. This led to several large accounts coming online well within our planned timeline.

  • Complex User Requirements Analysis
    Explored complex user requirements for understanding the output from next-generation DNA sequencing machines.

    I led a series of workshops in which DNA analysis experts and sequencer technicians were encouraged to think carefully about what data they needed as output from next-generation DNA sequencing machines and how this output could best be represented.

    We developed a wide range of graphical representations to display complex data in formats that were easily understood visually; heatmaps, graphs, and green-yellow-red alerts. These outputs were then mocked up for review, alterations were made based on feedback, and real data was used to generate a sample output. In this way, we arrived at methods to capture and display extremely complex outputs that made life much easier for those consuming the data.

  • Market Entry Strategy
    Developed a market entry strategy for a big-company spin-out technology based on rapid early adoption with a limited budget.

    Developed over several years as a concept, content-centric networking aimed to utilize cheap mass storage technologies in a novel way to reduce the latency of content delivery while increasing security. The next step was to ensure take-up in key early adopter segments, and the major constraint was a very limited budget and resources.

    I conducted extensive in-depth market research to identify segments where the core value propositions of CCN would outweigh the initial risk. I then established relationships with key influencers and decision-makers, leading to commitments to trial the technology within their domains.

    I developed a full business plan and financial model aimed at raising external venture capital to enable the technology to be spun out and become the core of an independent entity.

  • MVP Design and Market Entry Strategy
    Developed MVP for innovative health optimization company, led development team, secured high-value partners for market entry.

    Prevarex, Inc. was a health optimization company founded by one of the world's leading scientists. It utilized the most recent and comprehensive science relating to health to provide services to clients wishing to improve their current health and avoid future chronic ailments.

    We incorporated three types of diagnostics to enable a more comprehensive view of the client's health. In addition to full blood panel and in-person assessment by one of the company's MDs, I developed an early artificial intelligence online diagnostic system that was based on a large training set of common and extremely rare conditions.

    The AI diagnostic system scored better than a panel of regular physicians when comparison tests were run.

    I led the partner acquisition of high-end health clubs eager to enhance their range of wellness offerings. This afforded access to high net worth individuals willing to spend on health optimization; over time we planned to drive down the price to capture a larger market share and partner with a wider range of organizations. Client outcomes were excellent and word-of-mouth resulted in rapid expansion.

  • Fintech Product Development
    Provided consulting services to a fintech client to specify MVP, create a budget, market entry strategy, and technologies.

    A client who provided financial advisory services to young adults (16-25 years of age) in the San Francisco Bay area needed to create online product offerings. I was retained to conduct market research, develop the MVP, specify technology stack(s), create product specifications, recommend technical team roles and candidates, create market entry strategy including key partnerships, and create budgets for years one through three.

  • Pharmaceuticals Organization Process Re-engineering
    Re-engineered business processes and IT systems for a major pharmaceutical company, resulting in $100 million annual savings.

    The organization was using a range of poorly designed open-loop processes that were incurring huge annual costs. I analyzed workflows and IT systems to determine points of failure, then developed with key organizational personnel closed-loop streamlined processes to improve operational excellence. I also specified a range of small but critical changes to IT systems and logic to support the new processes. The result was annual savings of over $100 million for the organization, plus a significantly reduced load on operational personnel.

  • eCommerce Turn-around
    After a large software services company bought an eCommerce startup, I worked with internal teams to perform a turn-around.

    The acquired eCommerce platform had great potential but no market vision. I assessed the key value elements of the current technology stack and developed a viable business strategy. Then I developed the product vision that would turn the technology core into a full SaaS offering that was aimed at precise customer needs. I also developed the business plan including go-to-market strategy, key marketing messages, operational requirements, and a roadmap for essential future feature & technology development.

  • Social App for Smartphones
    I developed a concept and then raised venture capital to build and launch a product to serve a huge but previously unrecognized market segment, signing up more than 13 million users within three months of the initial launch.

    The smartphone application connected pastors to their congregations privately and intimately and enabled congregations to build interest-specific networks among family, friends, and co-worshippers. Inspiring messages, stories, pictures, and videos could be shared through the app, and pastors could broadcast both live and post-delivery to large numbers of worshippers in a personal and intimate manner and then receive feedback in a controlled and private way.


  • Master's Degree in Business Administration (Distance Learning, Part Time)
    1988 - 1992
    Warwick Business School - Coventry, UK
  • Master's Degree in Systems Engineering
    1987 - 1988
    Lancaster University - Lancaster, UK
  • Master's Degree in English Language & Literature
    1986 - 1987
    University of Oxford - Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Bachelor's Degree in English Language & Literature
    1984 - 1987
    University of Oxford - Oxford, United Kingdom

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