Adam Zachary Wasserman
Verified Expert in Project Management
Adam is a fractional IT executive with 30 years of experience in all aspects of IT, from development to operations, from enterprise to startup. He coaches and supports teams to improve outcomes in even the most difficult situations and empowers them to come out stronger and able to tackle future challenges. He has a long track record of high customer satisfaction and many references. Adam is the author of The Chaos Factory, a book on methods for improving and scaling enterprise app development.
- Recruited to lead a large-scale project involving the merger of two companies in a private equity portfolio, a BPI effort to create an optimal unified process, and the subsequent automation of that process with an ERP rollout.
- Led as-is process mapping sessions, creating the first-ever documentation of low-level process steps suitable for SOP creation.
- Led to-be process mapping sessions, achieving consensus on the re-engineered process in days.
- Performed gap analysis and implementation plan to roll out standard process to all operating divisions.
- Joined the team to create business content, including white papers, blog posts, one-pagers, and landing pages.
- Wrote up to 1,000 words daily as a very fast writer; delivered an average of three pieces a week in just five hours of work.
- Researched unique value propositions for the company services in distinct verticals such as legal, health care, manufacturing, and others.
- Published a book on the Software Development Life Cycle.
- Explained the history of the evolution of industrial techniques.
- Explained how industrial techniques can be applied to software development to improve the success rates of software development projects.
- Wrote articles on AI: Is Automation Going to Eat Your Job?; AI and the Consciousness Gap.
- Wrote articles on SDLC and computer science: Agile: the greatest struggle that never existed; Framework or language?; The Story of Me; Interpreted, compiled. what. ever.
- Started as a customer of the company for one year. I was so impressed that I joined as a backer and partner.
- Set the product development strategy and participated in product design and evolution with the founder.
- Designed innovative solutions for pixel-perfect preview and PaaS architecture.
- Established an OEM partnership with a top social media platform.
- Designed solutions for iOS, Android, React, Angular, Tizen, and Alexa Skills.
Technical Project Manager
- Joined the team as interim CTO doing systems design for core AI technology for a startup. Designed an innovative system for credit portfolio evaluation using MLMC.
- Recruited top AI specialists from Google and Rio Tinto to serve on the startup board.
- Recruited a top team of front-end and back-end engineers and data scientists. Managed the team to success.
Red Steel Marketing, LLC
- Joined the team to manage a 3rd party that was producing video assets.
- Set up tracking for complex production schedules, making it easier to know if platform coverage was complete.
- Ensured that platform coverage—namely on Facebook and Instagram—was complete.
Technical Project Manager
Ricoh USA, Inc
- Recruited to lead the team building solution and business case for cloud migration of software supporting high volume, 24/7, multi-site print production facilities.
- Led discovery and collaborated with solution architect on defining and drafting solution design.
- Led the discovery and collaborated with the security architect on defining and drafting compliance regimes and audit guidance.
- Completed the mandate in a very short time frame, compressing an estimated ten weeks into six to eight.
Technical Project Manager
Metric Creative, LLC
- Assisted the founder of a startup in building a Flutter-based product for archiving digital media used in commercial film production, as the project was missing deadlines.
- Joined the team as the founder needed a talent with an unusual skillset who could evaluate the project from many different perspectives: project management, code quality, scope and requirements, etc.
- Led debugging efforts to isolate the root cause; the volumes of data were so large that it pushed Flutter to its limits, revealing edge case behavior that even experienced developers had not seen before and did not know how to address.
- Provided the solution design of inline C++ code to optimize memory layout and processing speed for key processes, allowing the rest of the Flutter codebase to operate within comfortable limits and restoring expected behavior.
- Turned the project around at that point through the above-mentioned solution, returning to meeting deadlines and progressing on schedule.
Lincoln Financial Group
- Joined a strategy team to assist in the kickoff of strategic cloud migration. Guided three teams through Forming, Storming, and Norming phases.
- Assisted VPs in establishing top-line priorities to focus teams.
- Defined a work plan for the data governance team for the next two quarters.
- Mentored a scum master in gaining more technical mastery over project architecture.
Director of IT Transformation
Food and Beverage Warehousing and Distribution Company
- Defined architecture, strategy, and roadmap for cloud migration and digital transformation. Part of the overall initiative for continuous improvement and operational excellence for a $100 million private company.
- Completed the replacement of an online ordering system (B2B eCommerce) within the first 60 days on the job. The cutover was transparent, without a single customer complaint.
- Selected, contracted, and implemented unconfigured production instances of ERP, WMS, and TMS in 90 days.
- Migrated data, completed configuration, and started training end users to drive adoption within 180 days.
- Managed the build-out and move to new warehouse facilities.
Senior Director, Customer Success
- Hired to assist the company in entering the enterprise market. Built a team responsible for end-to-end customer success. Built the enterprise market to 20 million ARR. Substantially improved customer satisfaction.
- Articulated a new vision to improve enterprise delivery and built consensus with all stakeholders.
- Mapped a customer journey by touchpoint and drove buy-in from all stakeholders.
- Taught customer success directors enterprise land-and-expand strategies.
- Taught sales team to support clients in the creation of gate 3 business cases during proposal development.
- Worked closely with channel partners to drive inbound leads.
- Landed the largest sale of 2019 in a single phone call by identifying the real decision maker and demonstrating deep understanding and commitment.
- Recruited and hired remote workers in two countries. Directly managed six CS directors, matrix managed 35 teams in six clusters in two countries, using 100% Agile and SaFE.
Welcome to the Jungle
- Worked as a staff writer, authoring articles for software programmer career development.
- Authored a very popular series on the philosophies of software languages.
- Interviewed members of the Rust core development team.
- Authored articles on untold stories of software development: The Land of Forgotten Software, The Story of the Great Code Giveaway, and From Cold War Weapon to Industry Standard.
Silicon Valley tech giant (confidential employer)
- Worked with a small team of security researchers for one of the largest providers of free email accounts in the world on fraud prevention measures related to identity theft through phishing.
- Wrote a Python program to automate very high-volume integration with VirusTotal, which required the use of concurrency to achieve the necessary throughput.
- Wrote Python to automate non-destructive anonymization of email addresses in unstructured data (referrer logs) prior to the submission to public fraud prevention databases such as VirusTotal.
- Anonymizer achieved 5 9's reliability (as measured by false negatives) on data sets of trillions of lines. Performance achieved allowed processing of 1 million lines per minute on a laptop.
- Wrote a Python program to reduce URLs and hostnames to a registered domain with de-duping.
- Wrote a Python program to look up new certs from crt.sh database and used supervised machine learning to identify domain names infringing upon trademarks and x-index referrer logs from the legitimate domains for early identification of phishing activity.
- Adapted a unique paper-based publishing business model to an equally unique digital publishing business model. Created a software factory to 10x scale development of mobile apps for federal markets ($10 million, small team).
- Drove the innovation strategy to rebrand and reposition the product and service offering.
- Reduced onboarding from five days to one day through process improvements and pre-built code modules.
- Developed a new pitch focus for sales around the “your app is already built” motto.
Director, Consulting Services
- Owned P&L for $10 million and led seven managers and 100 engineers in two countries. Tripled consulting revenue of my practice area by significantly increasing the value delivered. Embraced the corporate culture of entrepreneurial spirit.
- Built strong executive relationships with the client CIO, VPs, and directors.
- Deployed over 300 application development projects per year from multiple vendors to a single production environment.
- Architected, sold, and delivered the first CI/CD pilot for Bell Canada.
- Managed 100 team members in Montreal, Toronto, Bangalore, and Chennai using many technology stacks.
Technical Program Manager
- Worked as a technical program manager for Bombardier Aviation. Managed 50 team members in Montreal, Toronto, Wichita, and Hyderabad.
- Rescued a mission-critical program for Electronic Type Certification and delivered it on time and within budget after taking over the project when it was 50% behind.
- Managed a complex treasury approval process to launch three additional $2 million projects.
- Acted as a program and project manager for the Yellow Pages Group.
- Created a strategy for the redevelopment of a flagship SaaS product Canada 411.
- Created architecture for a single sign-on solution and maintained 100% uptime during a one-year progressive cut-over.
- Delivered Yellow Pages' first customer portal for self-service analytics.
- Led 40 team members in four cities using many technology stacks.
Nstein Technologies (an Open Text Company)
- Joined the team to assist the CEO in preparing the company for acquisition. The company was acquired by Open Text. The company delivered software for digital asset management, newspaper, magazine publishing, and text sentiment analysis.
- Managed all creatives, websites, email campaigns, presentations, flyers, etc.
- Oversaw investor relations; managed a successful retail investor campaign.
- Handled analyst relations and succeeded in promoting the company as a top-tier solution.
- Created a customer advisory board to provide insight into the product roadmap and provide references to analysts.
Partner - Management Consulting
- Created product strategy practice and taught tech entrepreneurs to go to market with strong value statements. Worked for a boutique consulting firm with four principles and partners.
- Authored the business opportunity assessment methodology that remains the standard with Quebec VCs.
- Conducted business opportunity assessments for over 50 portfolio companies, most succeeding in additional funding.
- Pivoted company to specialize in startup-related events.
Software Development Manager
Concordia University - Montreal
- Managed the creation of the second version of Abracadara, a highly interactive, early literacy web-based tool that supports beginning readers through dozens of engaging activities and digital stories. Wrote documentation.
- Managed the creation of the second version of EPEARL. This free, bilingual, web-based electronic portfolio supports literacy by encouraging students to set goals, develop, and monitor strategies for accomplishing their work.
- Familiarized myself with the literature on self-regulated learning and group incentives to be able to write documentation supporting professional development activities based on Abracadabra and ePEARL.
- Wrote successful grant applications for funding to continue Learning ToolKit development activities. Wrote progress reports for granting agency.
- Wrote a website and pamphlet copy for Learning ToolKit+.
International Air Transport Association
- Acted as an intrapreneur co-leading the product management, architecture, development, and operation of all customer-facing e-product offerings from 1998 to 2004.
- Negotiated contracts up to $100 million in business value and managed an operating budget of $10 million.
- Consolidated 75 independent offices worldwide into one centralized administration.
- Produced, presented, and passed C-Level business cases for six successful online businesses—iiNet, CargoIS, PaxIS, CargoMF, CargoLink, and Sales-Aid. Architected, developed, and delivered them.
- Produced, passed, and delivered over a dozen C-level business cases for internal projects.
- Managed 100 team members located in Montreal, Miami, Geneva, Frankfurt, and Singapore using many technology stacks.
Programmer | Analyst
- Left my previous career as a commercial film production manager to work as a software developer. My first contract was with a Toronto advertising agency.
- Wrote an application to distribute unsold advertising blocks to preferential customers according to business rules.
- Reduced time required from 40 hours per month (four people were working as a group for 2.5 hours per week each) to 40 seconds (automated).
Engaging with Difficult Clientshttp://bell.ca
Took over and turned around a difficult customer relationship, resulting in tripled revenue.
First, I analyzed the root causes:
• Power imbalance—the customer was responsible for at least ten times more budget and scope than our equivalent position.
• Misaligned delivery—we served a customer with two teams with two financial models; the customer would play both sides against each other.
• Unplanned work—emergency requests regularly derail a team working on a fixed budget and capacity.
• Source code management policies led to regularly occurring emergencies.
• Deployment policies led to regularly occurring emergencies.
Then I remediated:
• Pushed back while maintaining a productive, mutually respectful relationship.
• Merged the two teams and aligned their incentives.
• Moved key team members to the customer's site with a very large kanban board to make the impact of emergency requests visible.
• Influenced the customer to switch to early merge and deployment from trunk.
• Influenced the customer to start moving to daytime deployments.
• A mutually respectful relationship built on trust.
• Improved mutual respect and trust at the level of managers and team members.
• Improved value delivered.
Software Factory Mobile App
Created tooling and a delivery pipeline that accelerated the native mobile app production by 10x.
This was achieved by rationalizing the codebase and improving the source-code strategy, creating two in-house no-code platforms, one for mobile apps and one for content authoring.
Achieved the ability to dynamically reconfigure (while the app was running, without additional push-to-store) most aspects of native mobile apps (content, styles, branding, navigation, localization, accessibility, and activation and deactivation) without violating Apple App Store guidelines.
Entering the Enterprise Market for a Rapidly Growing Company
Built the enterprise market to 20 million ARR. Substantially improved customer satisfaction.
• Articulated a new vision to improve enterprise delivery and successfully built consensus with all stakeholders.
• Mapped customer journey by touchpoint and drove buy-in from all stakeholders.
• Selected and implemented HubSpot CRM system.
• Taught customer success directors enterprise land-and-expand strategies.
• Taught the sales team to support clients in the creation of Gate 3 business cases during proposal development.
• Worked closely with channel partners to drive inbound leads.
• Landed the largest sale of 2019 in a single phone call by identifying the key decision maker and demonstrating deep understanding and commitment.
• Recruited, hired, and fired remote workers in two countries. Directly managed six CS directors and matrix-managed 35 teams in six clusters in two countries, using 100% Agile and SAFe methodologies.
Mission-critical SSO Project Rescue
Pulled mission-critical project out of the red and led it to success.
I paused development for one sprint to do an analysis and engineer solution. I implemented a facade pattern (abstraction layer) to decouple dependent systems and allow progressive cutover over one year. Achieved additional benefit of business flexibility in selecting and replacing partners without severe business impact.
Complete Rip and Replace of eCommerce Systemhttps://pbordering.com
Conducted a complete replacement of the online ordering system (B2B eCommerce) within the first 60 days. Cutover was transparent, with not a single customer complaint.
I mapped the business process and determined that it was not that the business wanted more; they needed less. The optimal scenario for the company was: no change, no disruptions of any sort, and business as usual. The business' dissatisfaction with the selected new platform was due to features that existed out-of-the-box that they found either unnecessary and confusing to the users or implemented in an overly complicated fashion.
With 12 weeks before the termination of the project, an immediate decision was essential. I assessed that the integrator was having difficulty simplifying the out-of-the-box workflow.
I found a reasonably priced, well-designed, B2B eCommerce SaaS that had pivoted its business to rescuing former Handshake customers. Because of their focus on this niche, they could commit to a fixed fee implementation in just days. The project was delivered under budget and on time.
Managed complex projects delivered by large teams distributed around the world.
The project involved re-platforming to a Java-based framework and integration to legacy back-end OSS/BSS systems.
Financial Services Product Developmenthttps://www.iata.org/en/services/finance/clearinghouse/
Architected and delivered several financial services apps for the International Air Transport Association (IATA)
Redesigned, redeveloped, and operated ICH (IATA Clearing House) platform.
Designed, delivered, and operated iiNET: Electronic Data Exchange System
for transmitting settlement/banking instructions in the airline industry.
Designed, delivered, and operated CargoIS: Business intelligence reporting volumes and market share on O/D pairs for air cargo.
BI for a Financial Services Companyhttp://lfg.com
Participated in strategic planning of enterprise BI for a financial services company.
Fraud Prevention Softwarehttps://github.com/adamzwasserman
Worked with a small team of security researchers for one of the world's largest providers of free email accounts on fraud prevention measures related to identity theft through phishing.
Microsoft Dynamics 360
Architected and delivered Microsoft Dynamics 360-based strategy for cloud migration for a vertically integrated food and beverage company.
Build Out and Move to New Warehouse Facilities
Relied on prior experience (was an HVAC contractor, managed IT facilities build-outs in 1986 and 2011) to manage the complex move of busy warehousing operations while maintaining business continuity. Unusual underground environment (SubTropolis).
The project included a challenging underground environment for warm failover contingencies, including a 20,000 generator, redundant fiber, and multi-homed Internet.
Software to Manage Media Buys
Eliminated a very time consuming manual task that was taking 40 hours per month (four people working as a group for 2.5 hours a week).
The process took 40 hours a week per month, with four people working as a group for 2.5 hours a week when it was manual. The software completed the process in 40 seconds, freeing up a significant amount of resource time.
Technical Project Management for a Japanese Electronics Company
Aligned different internal teams to agree on standard data dictionaries for product data management project.
The acquired company fully integrated and switched over to new systems on schedule and without event. Customer satisfaction is very high.
Scrum Product Owner Certified (SPOC)
Certified Scrum Master
ITIL Foundation Certification