Erita Skendaj, Project Manager in Tirana, Tirana County, Albania
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Erita Skendaj

Verified Expert  in Project Management

Project Manager

Location
Tirana, Tirana County, Albania
Toptal Member Since
January 14, 2021

Erita is a certified project manager with 17 years of experience managing technical projects from initiation to deployment, following agile or predictive approaches. She has expertise in software engineering and a strong interest in cloud, big data, and machine learning. Erita has considerable experience in product and solution development, implementations, and migrations. Customers admire her remarkable business acumen and her passion for innovation. She was previously employed by AWS.

Project Highlights

CRM for a Real Estate Investment Firm
As a product/project manager, I guided the client into a step-by-step journey from an idea to a fully operational v1 of the product in several months.
Forecast of Customers’ Spend Using Machine Learning
Led the development of a tool capable of forecasting the customers' spend under a specific migration program based on three years of collected data.
Migration of Key Data Workloads to Databricks for a Large Chip Manufacturer
Managed the design and implementation of a large data warehouse project from several vendors to Databricks.

Expertise

Work Experience

Customer Solution Manager | Migrations

2022 - 2023
Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Helped hundreds of customers in EMEA streamline their migration to AWS.
  • Implemented an Agile methodology for managing team-wide initiatives based on Asana.
  • Automated team reporting by leveraging AWS Lambda, Amazon RDS, and Amazon Quicksight.
  • Leveraged machine learning to predict customers' spend on specific services/programs.

Technical Project Manager

2021 - 2023
Integrity Home Buyers LLC
  • Led the discovery phase, established the product vision, and helped the customer hire a cross-functional and self-sufficient team.
  • Applied Scrum as the chosen working methodology, with clear planning, demonstration, and retrospective frequency, insisted on delivering at the end of each sprint.
  • Played the role of a product owner and proxy to facilitate decision-making on the customer side.
  • Coordinated the launch of the POC and the first commercial version of the web application.

Technical Project Manager | Technical Expert

2021 - 2022
Techno Miam LLC
  • Set up the project management infrastructure, consisting of Jira, Slack, and Google Drive. Scheduled and ran team meetings.
  • Advised the owner on the product vision and translated it into a roadmap, serving as a blueprint for product development and launch.
  • Redesigned the business model by pushing for a "per use" feature, one of the product's key differentiators, often mentioned in investor pitches.

Agile Project Manager

2020 - 2022
Atos
  • Hired to lead the deployment of a SmartCity project for a large city in the South of France.
  • Chose to adopt and adapt an approach based on Agile at scale and found a way to align 100+ stakeholders, namely executives, vendors, subject matter experts, and a technical team, around my approach.
  • Achieved success by building an MVP in the domain and leveraging it to get the buy-in of new sponsors.

Implementation Project Manager

2017 - 2020
Amadeus
  • Led first commercial implementation of one of the newest company products, merchandising web-based solution, for the third-largest airline in PACA, by serving as the main point-of-contact for the customer.
  • Adopted an Agile approach to planning and conducting several cutover events for airlines launching in production multi-channel business-critical solutions, directly affecting their pricing strategy.
  • Navigated a global organization to provide fast resolution to technical and organizational-related problems impacting the projects and customers for which I was accountable.
  • Collaborated with all feature development and technical teams to standardize and streamline as much as possible the implementation process of merchandising web solutions.

Software Development Manager

2015 - 2017
Communication Progress
  • Managed the daily operations of 20+ software professionals organized in four teams.
  • Held directly accountable for the success of software development projects for the financial and the public sector, with a total annual project budget overpassing EUR 1 million.
  • Piloted ten first implementations of the company's flagship product (ERP package) in the role of product manager, in charge of designing and managing the product roadmap and market penetration strategy.
  • Led the department's continuous improvement efforts; piloted and then streamlined Kanban and Scrum as principal software development methodologies.
  • Led the team responsible for marketing the company at the largest international IT trade fair, CeBit, in Hannover, Germany, 2014 ad 2015.
  • Investigated local market needs, opined to select Microsoft as a strategic partner, and guided the team towards Gold competencies in .NET development and CMS (SharePoint) in 1.5 years.

Project Manager

2015 - 2016
Scopic Software
  • Led the design, developement, and launch of a portfolio of cross-platform mobile apps and websites.
  • Managed and went beyond expectations of US-based customers by coordinating a globally distributed team of freelancers.
  • Initiated, circulated, and issued a procedure of managing mobile application development, from graphics design to quality assurance, to their publishing in stores.

IT Project Manager

2013 - 2015
Albanian Deposit Insurance Agency
  • Managed the design and implementing of the institution’s core software system, used to guarantee the national financial system's stability and potentially impacting 2,000+ users.
  • Achieved buy-in from key actors of the financial sector in the country, such as the National Bank and all 15 commercial banks, for the launch of the institution's core system. This was achieved Through communication and engagement strategies.
  • Initiated the digitalization of the organization's internal workflows and the update of legacy systems and IT-related procedures.
  • Managed the annual budget of the IT department by defining strategic goals, identifying and prioritizing needs, doing market research, running and controlling procurements, and completing variance analysis.

Project Manager

2011 - 2013
Communication Progress
  • Hired as the first software expert in the company. Increased the size of the team to ten in only two years.
  • Guided the company in localizing, customizing, and white labelling an open-source ERP package (Odoo), as the flagship product of the company.
  • Opined to select Microsoft as a strategic partner considering local market needs and guided the team towards the highest levels of competencies in 1.5 years.
  • Initiated methodologies and tools to handle software projects throughout their lifecycle, from initiation to maintenance.

Software Integration Specialist

2010 - 2011
Plus Communication
  • Programmed a custom middleware in Java to synchronize the billing/CRM system with SIM card registry (HLR), which the company used for six years before substituting it with a commercial one.
  • Built a Java-based library to identify vanity (beautiful) mobile numbers and associate them to a pricing list, according to the requirements of the marketing team.
  • Elicited the requirements, participated in partner selection, and followed implementation and delivery of a software system implementing complex workflows related to mobile number portability.

Software Developer

2007 - 2010
PrintecGroup
  • Developed, tested, and launched the first terminal chip processing solution (EMV) for the two largest banks in Albania.
  • Optimized embedded software solutions for multi-threading by making use of the latest libraries issued by payment terminal producers.
  • Implemented and enhanced a centralized system for the remote management of payment terminals (remote software update and configuration).

Migration of City IoT Data Platform Towards Cloud

Coordinated the customer technical team and AWS expert by using an Agile approach enabling a piece-by-piece migration towards the cloud, while increasing the customer confidence in the cloud and reusing as much as possible the existing customer code.

Led the successful migration of an IoT data platform built on Node.js. Gathered the data of more than 1,000 devices towards AWS. Designed a master plan defining high-level objectives while allowing for agility in the migration strategy. Assisted the customer in designing and running a set of test cases to accept delivery.

National Deposit Insurance Agency Central System

By applying Agile principles in a project whose beneficiary was a national financial regulator, I managed to get the buy-in of all national commercial banks, who strongly contributed to the successful building and launch of the system.

Performed needs analysis and benchmarking with relevant agencies in other countries to identify detailed functionalities of a web based system that collects data related to 2+ million citizens and helps the organization quickly respond to a financial crisis.

Managed and coordinated executive management of the public entity, several contracted providers, project donors, and all national commercial banks towards the successful launch of the system, built on Microsoft .NET and SQL Server.

OneStopShop Municipality

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_P59f3ifmw

Led a team of SMEs, designers, and developers to re-engineer, digitalize, and deploy online a set of critical services offered by the local municipality for their citizens.

Engaged stakeholders at central and local government levels to work together towards digitalization of public services. Modeled the workflows of services and suggested optimization by merging or integrating with existing services. Produced functional and technical system requirements for several audiences. Spearheaded the project from conception to piloting in several municipalities, to massive roll-out.

Migrating One of the Largest Airlines in North America: Digital Merchandising Solution

Using management by influence, led a cross-functional team of product managers and developers towards a one-night cutover event for the airline's migration towards its digital merchandising solution.

Carried out a GAP analysis between customer needs and existing features. Prepared functional and technical system requirements. Designed a highly detailed list of activities necessary for the migration and organized rehearsals to ensure they function well. Coordinated a cross-functional global team towards the successful delivery of the solution.

Banking Web Application for Custody of Securities

Under a very tight deadline, I redesigned and launched into production a custom-developed software that replaced a legacy system and greatly enhanced the productivity of the security custody department.

Led a team of two business analysts, three developers, and one tester to perform needs analysis, system design, development, testing, and deployment in production. I convinced the customer to experiment with an agile approach within the limits of a fixed-price contract. I maintained communication with the customer at both a technical and executive level.

Technical Project Management for a Social Video Conferencing System

http://beeyou.tv

Launched the 1st commercial version of the videoconferencing social platform built by a remotely distributed team.

Managed a team of 10+ developers spread over four different time zones. I set up Jira, Slack, and Google Drive for project management. I also managed the product roadmap and coordinated development cycles, eliciting requirements for each new product feature and breaking them into user stories (billing engine, statistics, analytics module, etc.). I validated each developed feature before the final release. I also organized and coordinated platform stress testing, analyzed the platform's costs, and devised a sustainable business model.

CRM for a Real Estate Investment Firm

As a product/project manager, I guided the client into a step-by-step journey from an idea to a fully operational v1 of the product in several months.

Ran an initial discovery phase, defined the scope, approach, plan, stack, and resources needed, built up the team, and executed the project in Scrum cycles. I owned the roadmap and the product backlog. I also facilitated team meetings and validated/tested the implemented functionalities.

Forecast of Customers’ Spend Using Machine Learning

Led the development of a tool capable of forecasting the customers' spend under a specific migration program based on three years of collected data.

Developed the business case for the forecasting tool and got leadership buy-in. Also, I initiated and implemented the forecasting tool by leading a team of a data scientist, a DevOps engineer, and a business analyst. Furthermore, I advocated for the adoption of MLOps best practices.

Migration of Key Data Workloads to Databricks for a Large Chip Manufacturer

Managed the design and implementation of a large data warehouse project from several vendors to Databricks.

WORK DONE
• Scoped and phased the project
• Participated in high-level architecture definition
• Prioritized jobs/workloads for migration
• Prepared and validated cutover plans
• Managed timeline and schedule
• Handled general project governance
2014 - 2017

Master's Degree in Economics and Management

Universita Aldo Moro di Bari - Italy

2009 - 2011

Master's Degree in Computer Science

University of Greenwich - United Kingdom

2005 - 2009

Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science

University of New York - Albania

OCTOBER 2023 - PRESENT

Databricks Certified Machine Learning Associate

Databricks

SEPTEMBER 2023 - PRESENT

Databricks Certified Data Engineer Associate

Databricks

JULY 2023 - PRESENT

AWS Certified Data Analytics

AWS

AUGUST 2022 - PRESENT

AWS Certified Solutions Architect

AWS

AUGUST 2021 - PRESENT

AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

AWS

JUNE 2021 - PRESENT

SAFe 5 Agilist

Scaled Agile

MAY 2020 - PRESENT

Certified Scrum Master

Scrum.org

APRIL 2019 - PRESENT

Project Management Professional (PMP)

Project Management Institute (PMI)

MAY 2012 - PRESENT

Microsoft Project 2010: Managing Projects

Microsoft

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