Jonathan Donado, Project Manager in Chicago, IL, United States
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Jonathan Donado

Verified Expert  in Project Management

Project Manager

Chicago, IL, United States
Toptal Member Since
June 9, 2020

Jonathan has an MBA from a top-tier European school and is a project management expert with 15+ years of experience in managing complex, E2E global technology, and SOX projects. He is a bilingual (Spanish) results-driven and hands-on professional who excels in cross-functional projects with distributed and virtual teams. Proficient in both Agile and Waterfall frameworks, he has brought success to clients in the technology, IoT, legal & accounting, BPO, and auto industries.

Project Highlights

Enterprise Web Application Developmen (Fortune 100 client)
Released a multi-million dollar 8-month project under budget.
Back-end Solution Development (Fortune 100 client)
Led a $1 million agile framework project to connect a SaaS application to microservices using APIs.
Customer-facing SaaS App Development (Fortune 100 client)
Led the transformation of a legacy software system to a SaaS application for over 300,000 customers. Delivered the 5-month project three weeks ahead of schedule and on budget.


Work Experience

Founder and Principal

2016 - PRESENT
Cambridge Partners & Associates Corp.
  • Founded a consulting firm providing program/project management to enterprise accounts and government agencies. Provided end-to-end SaaS project management for large-scale, high priority projects including technology and business process redesign.
  • Oversaw the Software Life Development Cycle (SLDC) responsibilities including IT project oversight including planning, validation, testing, and product releases.
  • Managed cross-functional distributed teams of up to 30 individuals (technical & non-technical resources) and managed budgets of up to $2 million per project.
  • Worked through a leading food multinational's most critical project in 2020. Developed a new internal web-based sales facing application to integrate teams from a recently acquired competitor. Finished the 8-month project on-time and under budget.
  • Program managed a customized solution for the US Department State, integrating multiple vendors to create a market survey solution deployed in over 30 passport offices throughout the USA.
  • Managed a cross-functional team in a large multinational consumer product through an agile framework to develop a customer-facing SaaS application with microservices. Deployed the application ahead of schedule and under budget.

Head of Operations

2016 - 2018
Blue Marble Global Payroll
  • Headed up operations at Blue Marble Global Payroll, which is the US leading international SaaS payroll services firm. It provides payroll services in 130+ countries for over 500 clients.
  • Coordinated with a team of eight direct reports to secure payroll processing services for 500 clients in over 30 countries. Managed the firm’s daily operations of infrastructure components and its applications—used agile development practices.
  • Expanded operations in Brazil, Peru, Italy, Norway, Hungary, Poland, and Turkey within six months while reducing implementation timelines from four to 2.5 months and associated costs.
  • Outsourced payroll to 23 strategic international partners reducing the company’s variable costs by over 25%.
  • Increased data availability from external partners increasing operational productivity from 60% to 95% in three months.
  • Introduced guidelines and procedures to meet System & Organization Controls (SOC) Reporting Type 1 & 2 compliance.
  • Saw results in the bottom line and financial improvement: Increased customer retention rate from 78% to 99% with customer-centric strategies.
  • Introduced IT best practices such as key performance indicators (KPI) and balance scorecards.

Head of Operations and Program Management

2010 - 2016
  • Oversaw Greenplus; a medium-sized contractor that specializes in large-scale green real estate projects. Responsible for leading a team of 50+ technical and non-technical resources focused on construction project initiatives.
  • Used the waterfall framework and best practices to manage a portfolio of cross-functional programs with budgets over $5 million.
  • Spearheaded a leading medium-sized enterprise contractor specializing in the execution of large-scale commercial and residential green construction projects in Michigan. Managed successful programs with over 50 team members.
  • Renegotiated current contracts and obtained new contracts resulting in transforming a P&L with $300,000 losses into a $250,000 profit within 14 months.
  • Increased customer retention rate from 66% to 98% by customizing account management processes.
  • Introduced (KPIs) and balance scorecards, increasing operational productivity by over 25% in only one year.
  • Renegotiated current contracts and obtained new contracts resulting in transforming a P&L with $300,000 losses into a $250,000 profit within 14 months.
  • Achieved earnings before Interest, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of 15%, well above market levels.

Managing Director and Portfolio Manager

2004 - 2010
Applus USA
  • Managed Applus USA, which specializes in automotive emissions and safety inspections for seven US state governments. Responsible for leading the US subsidiary with annual sales of $60 million.
  • Managed the implementation of numerous complex IT programs with hardware and software interdependencies and budgets of $3-16 million and 100+ individuals in cross-function technical teams.
  • Led the go-to-market strategy for new contracts resulting in annual profitability of 20%, outperforming market competitors.
  • Increased revenues from $47 million to $60 million from 2008 to 2010.
  • Responsible for leading the acquisition of a leading US manufacturing auto components company to become a one-stop-shop in the marketplace.
  • Managed an emissions-testing technical project with a budget of $12 million. Completed on-time and under budget.
  • Managed a network of 2,300 vehicle emissions inspection stations yielding over ten million tests per year.
  • Created and led the development of company-wide operational efficiencies and overhead cost savings initiatives resulting in $600,000 per year savings with Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and Service Level Agreements (SLA).

Enterprise Web Application Developmen (Fortune 100 client)

Released a multi-million dollar 8-month project under budget.

Managed a top priority program for a consumer products company to integrate enterprise-wide sales-facing mobile and desktop applications as a result of an acquisition. This included managing a project budget of $2 million using the agile framework. The program included UX/UI design, back-end development, and interconnection with other applications through APIs and Mulesoft (Salesforce) for over 10,000 end users. Led cross-functional, distributed teams with 28 members. This included developers, testers, business analysts, and consultants. Successfully delivered the program on-time (in eight months) and 18% under budget. Technologies used: Angular, Java, Mulesoft, Salesforce, AWS.

Back-end Solution Development (Fortune 100 client)

Led a $1 million agile framework project to connect a SaaS application to microservices using APIs.

Developed a back-end solution for a consumer products company through a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). Led a $1 million agile project to connect a SaaS application using APIs to create new pricing and product information databases and self-containing services. This included the application migration to the Amazon AWS Cloud. I managed a team of ten professionals, including Java developers and business analysts. Successfully delivered the project on-time and on budget. Technologies used: Java, APIs, microservices, AWS.

Customer-facing SaaS App Development (Fortune 100 client)

Led the transformation of a legacy software system to a SaaS application for over 300,000 customers. Delivered the 5-month project three weeks ahead of schedule and on budget.

Led the transformation of a legacy software system to a SaaS application to manage shopping lists and inventory management for over 300,000 customers. Managed a $2 million agile project budget with a team of 11 individuals, including consultants, Full-stack programmers, UX/UI developers, testers, and business analysts. Successfully delivered the project ahead of schedule and on budget. Technologies used: Angular, Java, APIs, AWS.

Customized Technology Solution Deployment (Client: US Department of State)

New customized solution created for all US passport offices throughout the USA.

Currently managing a waterfall project for 28 US passport offices. Responsible for the customized design and development of a $550,000 technology solution to capture customer sentiment results by integrating hardware and SaaS software components. Technologies used: CRM, APIs, Microservices, QuicktapSurvey.

ADA Compliance Communication Initiative (Client: FEMA)

Successfully delivered project on-time and under budget.

Currently managing a $200,000 waterfall project with a multidisciplinary approach for unifying nomenclature, numbering systems, and communication placement at the FEMA Midwest head office. Successfully delivered project on-time and under budget.

Website Design and Deployment (Client: US ARMY)

Successfully designed, created, validated, tested and deployed a new website for the US Army on time and on budget.

Website design and deployment: Currently managing a $100,000 project to create a customized website for the elite forces of the Army (75th Ranger) to scale its brand and recruiting engagement. This project includes an IT solution with UX/UI, WordPress, and cloud hosting.

Agile Trainer

Trained over 300+ individuals on various project management methodologies (Agile, Scrum, and Waterfall) with a passing rate of 97%.

Trained and coached 300+ individuals in project management frameworks with value-driven enterprise best practices. Developed and delivered courses of various project management disciplines with a customized learning curriculum. Received continuously outstanding performance ratings from participants in all class offerings.
2015 - 2015

Senior Executive Fellow in Public Administration

Harvard University - Cambridge, Massachusetts

1997 - 1999

Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree in Management

IESE Business School - Barcelona, Spain

1987 - 1990

Bachelor of Science Degree in Management

Slippery Rock University - Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania


Professional Scrum Product Owner I (PSPO I)

MARCH 2017 - MARCH 2023



JANUARY 2017 - JUNE 2023

Six Sigma Black Belt


JUNE 2016 - JUNE 2022

PMI-ACP (Agile)



Trello, Google Docs, Slack, Jira, Office 365, Microsoft Project, WP eCommerce, Confluence, Asana, Salesforce

Industry Expertise

International Trade, Construction, Global Economics, Automotive, Supply Chain Management (SCM), Logistics, Software


Agile, Change Management, Lean, Six Sigma, Scrum, Requirements Analysis, Agile Project Management, Agile Delivery, Agile Workflow, Agile Leadership, B2B, B2C, Waterfall Development, Waterfall Delivery, Design for Six Sigma, Implementation Project Management, Kanban, Continuous Integration (CI), Business Continuity Planning (BCP)


WordPress, Amazon Web Services (AWS)


Project Management, Project Delivery, Project Scheduling, Presentations, Budget Management, Time Management, Communication, Leadership, Turnaround, Waterfall Methodology, Microsoft, Finance, Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), Product Delivery, Project Discovery, Scrum Master, Program Design, Portfolio Management, Certified Trainer, Project Management Professional (PMP), PMI, Project Management Office (PMO), Six Sigma Black Belt Certified, Lean Six Sigma, Processing, Value Analysis, Business Cases, SLA Management, Vendor Management, Vendor Selection, Valuation, Spain, PMO, Procurement, Integration, Global Operations, Operations, Internationalization, International Expansion, International Commerce, Global Business, Global Delivery Strategy, Global Team Management, SaaS, Web, Google SEO, Data Processing, Data Reporting, Sass, Discovery Workshops, Discovery Management, Customer Success, Customer Discovery, Financials, Project Planning, Project Timelines, Agile Sprints, Agile Coaching, Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP), Certified Scrum Professional, Economics, eCommerce Analysis, Staff Management & Development, Staffing, Business to Business (B2B), Business to Consumer (B2C), Business Advisory, Small Business, Business Strategy, Business Research, Acquisitions, Customer Acquisition, Planning, Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC), Operations & Business Support Systems (OSS/BSS), Project Management Operations, Business Operations, Operations Management, Operations Tools, Sales Operations, Waterfall Modeling, Program Management, Agile Program Management, Complex Problem Solving, Complex Program Management, Business Transformation Program Management, Integrated Program Management , Technical Program Management, IT Program Management, Portfolios, Lean Portfolio Management, Lean Development, Sales, Sales Management, Sales Planning, Operational Excellence, Integrated Sales & Operational Planning, Continuous Development (CD), Business Continuity, Value Proposition Canvas, Earned Value Management (EVM), IASSC Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (ICBB), Spanish-English Translation, NPV, ROI, Roadmaps, Product Roadmaps, Lean Canvas, Sales Training, Team Building, SOP Development, Process Design, Startups, Market Research & Analysis, Documentation, Business Planning, Competitor Analysis & Profiling, Business Models, Pitch Decks, Scrum Coaching, Product Discovery, Minimum Viable Product (MVP), Executive Support, Estimations, Requirements, Discovery, PSM-1, Cost Estimation, IT Project Management, IT Projects, Scheduling, Technical Project Management, Stakeholder Management, Stakeholder Analysis, Stakeholder Engagement, Team Leadership, Hardware Integration, Request for Proposal (RFP), Project Finance, Vendors & Suppliers, Operating Models, Pricing Models, WordPress Themes, Market Research, SOX, eCommerce, Project Analysis, WordPress eCommerce, Post-merger Integration, Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP), Salesforce Sales Cloud, Tech Sales, Kaizen, Value Stream Mapping, PayPal, Failure Mode Effects Analysis (FMEA), Net Promoter Score (NPS), Feature Roadmaps, Product Management, Scrum Product Owner, Backlog Management, Digital Project Management, Digital Product Management, Digital Transformation Program Management, APIs, Product Ownership, Agile CRM, Scope, Scope Management, Project Scoping, Schedule Optimization, Web Design, Payroll & Benefits, Client Management, Client Delivery Management, Client Services, Client Relationship Management, User Onboarding, Onboarding, Customer Retention, Client Presentations, PowerPoint Design, Invitation to Tender (ITT), Requirement Traceability Matrices, Requirements & Specifications, Business Requirements, Functional Requirements, Contract, Service-level Agreements (SLA), Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO), BPO, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Internet of Things (IoT), Product Owner, Storyboarding, Project Estimation, Financial Reporting, Process Improvement, Custom APIs, Digital Kiosks, Design

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