Judith Sol-Dyess, Project Manager in Banyoles, Spain
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Judith Sol-Dyess

Verified Expert  in Project Management

Project Manager

Banyoles, Spain
Toptal Member Since
November 1, 2019

Judith is a creative team leader who delivers value by helping people do their best work while enjoying it. She is an excellent agile project manager experienced in leading cross-functional software development teams. She is a strong advocate of user-centered design and facilitates design thinking workshops. Judith has worked with all types of industries, from small nonprofits to $40 billion enterprises.

Project Highlights

Development of a Management Consulting Firm's M&A Diligence and Benchmarking Tool
Built an M&A team that can capture proprietary benchmarking data across industries and diligence data on target companies.
Design Sprint with Tyson Foods Leads to a New Product in Weeks
Created a new food product that Tyson was able to launch to market within months of our design sprint.
Pivot into Healthcare with Nearly Triple the Revenue
Helped a wellness company pivot from working with SMB to healthcare plans with an average of 150,000 members.


Work Experience

Senior Delivery Lead

2015 - PRESENT
Table XI Partners, LLC
  • Worked with clients, developers, and designers to ensure successful projects.
  • Facilitated workshops and inceptions to help client teams identify the right problem to be solved.
  • Focused on enabling team members to do their best work and grow as professionals.
  • Partnered with clients to compare and contrast features, effort, and risk.
  • Worked with a number of clients including West Monroe Partners, Tyson Foods, Neil Patel’s Subscribers, Chicago Ideas (aka Chicago Ideas Week), Rice University, PUSH for Wellness, Chicago Cares, Keiser, Pecha Kucha, and IDC Financial Publishing.
  • Planned and facilitated ideation and discovery activities, such as design thinking workshops, agile Lego games, Google design sprints, product strategy workshops, and project inceptions.
  • Provided product management leadership through user research and collaboration with design and UX.
  • Served as a client product manager or collaborated with theirs.
  • Implemented MVP release planning and expertly managed projects using the agile methodology and confidently facilitated agile rituals.
  • Led cross-functional teams (UX, design, development, and QA).
  • Utilized my effective, adaptable communication skills.
  • Mentored team members.
  • Spearheaded the delivery assurance practice and helped Table XI focus on operational excellence across the organization.

Volunteer Instructor | Scrum Master

2016 - 2019
Code Platoon
  • Volunteered during Code Platoon's cohorts; Code Platoon is a code academy for veterans.
  • Delivered presentations about the roles that project managers serve on teams (with a focus on agile/scrum teams).
  • Conducted an agile Lego game workshops where teams learn about the agile methodology while having fun with Legos. Learning with Legos is so much more fun (and well-received) than talking through slide decks!

Member, Board of Directors

2016 - 2019
Black Diamond Charities
  • Served as a member of the board of directors for Black Diamond Charities which offers a free project management certificate course to veterans.
  • Focused on increasing their outreach to veterans through the improved use of technologies such as their website and CRM.
  • Contributed to curriculum changes, retrospectives, and strategic planning.
  • Volunteered also as an instructor and project sponsor for several years.

Volunteer Instructor, Project Management

2015 - 2019
Black Diamond Charities
  • Served as an instructor for five-week project management courses offered (free of charge) to wounded warriors and veterans. These courses are taught with other PMI Chicagoland Chapter volunteers to provide the required 35 contact hours needed to apply for the PMP certification exam.
  • Served as a project sponsor for a smaller student team, providing additional professional guidance as the teams work on individual projects between sessions. In the past, Judith also served as the lead for the mentorship program, which organized mentoring activities for the veterans after they completed the five-week course.
  • Served as a project sponsor for a smaller student team, providing additional professional guidance as the teams work on individual projects between sessions.
  • Acted as the lead in the mentorship program, which organized mentoring activities for the veterans after they completed the five-week course.

Senior Director of Information Systems

2004 - 2015
YMCA of Metro Chicago
  • Oversaw and was responsible for all information systems operations, implementations, and software development projects for a $100-million nonprofit with 50+locations.
  • Managed and was responsible for all phases of a $2.18 million ERP replacement project which was delivered on time and 44% under budget.
  • Incubated a new digital content services department for the continuous improvement of digital engagement through traditional web and social technologies.
  • Led the development of a new online program registration system which facilitated an $800,000+ increase in eCommerce transactions in the first eight months after launch.
  • Assumed leadership of a faltering business intelligence platform, partnered with finance, marketing, and operations to revive it, and delivered fully reconciled membership KPI reporting within three months.
  • Provided leadership as an IT project director in the due diligence and planning around the successful integration of a $10 million YMCA group. Resulted in functioning, integrated information systems (12 hours after the merge).

Project Manager, Information Technologies

2001 - 2004
YMCA of Metro Chicago
  • Implemented Kronos Workforce Central as the time and attendance system for 3,500 employees and 300 supervisors.
  • Transitioned from a decentralized, paper-based process to integrated biometric time clocks, telephone system, and a web client. The YMCA was awarded the international 2005 Kronos Best Practices Award for this implementation.
  • Scoped, designed and developed workflow applications and security for purchase orders, HR processes like job changes, separations, equipment tracking, certifications, training, and so on.
  • Implemented and administered Crystal Enterprise (now Business Object Enterprise) business intelligence tool.
  • Served as the lead developer for Crystal Reports for IT, benefits, risk management, and HR.
  • Acted as the system administrator for HRIS and payroll systems.
  • Managed security, data integrity, updates, client upgrades and web-enablement of applications.
  • Oversaw and was responsible for the rollout of Notes R6 product (timelines, site visits, remote upgrades, training, documentation, and so on).

Director of HRIS, Human Resources

2000 - 2001
YMCA of Metro Chicago
  • Led the conversion from Ceridian to ProBusiness HRIS and payroll systems.
  • Developed new payroll procedures for remote data entry and automated interfaces.
  • Designed Lotus Notes databases to provide better workflow and communication systems.

Manager of Employee Communications, Human Resources

1999 - 2000
YMCA of Metro Chicago
  • Led conversion from mainframe payroll system to a Windows-based, integrated HRIS and payroll system (Ceridian Source 500).
  • Monitored data integrity of HRIS and payroll databases and supervised HR data entry.

Development of a Management Consulting Firm's M&A Diligence and Benchmarking Tool

Built an M&A team that can capture proprietary benchmarking data across industries and diligence data on target companies.

The client provides professional consulting services to businesses across many industries including banking & credit unions, capital markets, private equity, insurance, healthcare, life sciences, energy & utilities, retail, manufacturing & distribution, and technology.

Their M&A division performs due diligence on target companies that may be acquired, merged, or broken off. The tool we build them during our dual-track agile project allows team members to capture thousands of data points. round-robin style, during site visits. The data is available for immediate reporting of specific benchmarks that signal possible risks to flag in reports. Exports allow final deliverables to be produced from a single source of truth, rather than everyone's individual laptops and tools. Ultimately, the data is aggregated into a central ETL and warehouse tool the client owns, for reporting across all levels in the organization.

The application supports some offline mode (in case of lost connectivity at the client site, or while on an airplane). It's a React front end that leverages Survey.js and a Rails back end.

Design Sprint with Tyson Foods Leads to a New Product in Weeks


Created a new food product that Tyson was able to launch to market within months of our design sprint.

We facilitated a multi-week design thinking workshop for Tyson Food's Innovation Lab. I participated in several ethnographic research sessions.

The team identified several new products across new and existing brands. We "prototyped" food (I actually got to make it with my own hands in the Tyson test kitchen!) and the product went to market just months after our design sprint - talk about getting our to market fast!

Pivot into Healthcare with Nearly Triple the Revenue


Helped a wellness company pivot from working with SMB to healthcare plans with an average of 150,000 members.

Project Contributions:
• Pivoted into the Medicaid market through an SMS-based rewards program.
• Laser-focused the MVP that got us to market within weeks, not months.
• Redesigned a customer portal that could be integrated with familiar services like Fitbit.
• Reduced the complexity while improving performance and transparency.
• Helped the client nearly triple its annualized revenue.
• Worked on an agile development project included user research and Google brand sprints.

Launch of Neil Patel's New Product: Subscribers


Built Neil Patel's Subscribers—a user subscription system—to handle over 500,000 browser notifications for a single client.

Project Contributions:
• Enabled publishers to send customized push notifications to their subscribers.
• Collaborated with their dedicated product owner to iterate through new features.
• Developed a highly flexible pricing model integrated with Stripe.
• Integrated notifications with the Drip API.
• Scaled the infrastructure to support a rapidly growing subscriber base.
• Allowed custom scheduling by time zone, campaign, and product.
• Separated the WordPress marketing site from the application.

Chatbot Matches Students to Leadership Opportunities at Rice University


We built a chatbot for Rice University to match incoming students to relevant leadership programs across its colleges.

I delivered various wins for the wonderful folks at the Doerr Institute for New Leaders.

Project Contributions:
• Facilitated a five-day Google design sprint with their team and our designers.
• Planned and facilitated a joint project kick-off with Doerr Institute leadership, the Rice University IT department, and our team.
• Coached members of the Rice IT team on agile practices.
• Fully immersed their developers into our team to ensure minimal disruption at launch.
• Managed the project from inception to launch, on time and on budget.
• Successfully managed a considerable reduction in budget mid-project.
• Ensured successful launch and transition to their IT department.

Design of a Salary-sourcing System for a Large University's Department of Medicine

Improved the sourcing efficiencies of 1,500 medical employees' salaries from multiple funders.

The university employs around 1,500 faculty, fellows, staff, and temps, all of who are funded differently. A faculty member can be paid from six different sources, for example. Our system allows payroll staff to split salaries accurately across monthly and bi-weekly pay periods, for fiscal and academic years, and across grants with changing requirements, such as NIH caps. Users see discrepancies right away, and we also support prorating for changes mid pay period and for multiple salaries across jobs and fiscal years.

This was a 14-year-old Pearl application we redesigned and redeveloped from the ground up, though user interviews and design sprints. it was a dual-track agile project. We used React and Rails and integrated it with the university's Shibboleth single sign-on.

Idea Sharing and Event Management Platform with Chicago Ideas Week


Enabled the client to manage all content and integrated with their back end—events, videos, speakers, memberships, payments.

The primary challenge was helping Chicago Ideas pivot its user experience to match its transformation. It was shifting from a week-long idea festival—with a site meant to showcase events and sell tickets—to an organization that finds and spreads the brightest ideas year-round via its content, videos, and other programs. The new site still lets users browse speakers and attend events. Yet, now, it also presents clear and concise information about CI’s initiatives and highlights its incredible library of videos from past events.

We developed a custom Ruby on Rails CMS that allows them to construct pages out of reusable design elements quickly, so they can create responsive content without having to rely on a designer to build each new page.

We created 38 reusable pre-designed blocks. The blocks can contain videos, images, and text and can even pull data from other parts of the system (such as a list of events or speakers). When the content team needs to create a new landing page, they can drag and drop a header block, newsletter signup block, text block, and image block into the order they need them. The pieces are designed to work in any combination, so CI can build the functionality that works for them.

Unifying a Brand and Building a Sales Tool for Keiser


Created a full digital strategy and tools to support the world's leading fitness equipment maker and their sales teams.

Project Contributions:
• Coached the client's leadership and design agency about working in agile which allowed us to make continuous, visible progress.
• Built a new site from scratch by customizing an off-the-shelf CMS tool (Craft) that could be managed without developers going forward.
• Saved considerable budget by finding a commercial solution instead of customizing one.
• Iterated from providing dynamic product pages to offering e-commerce options.

Design and Development of Pecha Kucha’s First iOS App Across Continents


Built their first mobile app, Pecha Kucha of the Day, to leverage existing content from their CMS.

Pecha Kucha’s unique presentation structure caught on quickly in the creative community. Each speaker gets 20 images and 20 seconds per image. The slides automatically advance. Pecha Kucha is not expected to be as polished as TED, it’s real people telling authentic stories in local environments. That, plus a visually rich and engagingly fast format, has helped it grow to just about every major city on earth.

In the app we built, the most popular presentations are pushed to users every day without additional burden on a limited team.

Project Contributions:
• Collaborated directly with founders.
• Managed a small team of designers, mobile developers, and Rails developers.
• Managed project scope, budget, and timeline.
• Facilitated regular client showcases for the broader PK team.

First Technology Project for a Financial Ratings Firm


Built a custom subscription service integrated with Stripe to deliver financial ratings digitally, replacing print materials.

IDC uses its unique CAMEL rankings of financial ratios to determine the safety ratings of more than 12,000 banks, bank holding companies, savings institutions, and credit unions in the US. Prior to my work with them, these ratings were printed and shipped to customers each quarter. In 2015, IDC engaged my employer to develop an online portal where customers could subscribe to various digital options. As one of my first clients, I worked with IDC to implement an initial solution that evolved over several years and annual releases.

Project Contributions:
• Designed a custom online portal offering various subscription options.
• Conducted various user research sprints to inform key features and pricing levels.
• Designed a robust ETL process to move data between their proprietary back-end to the portal.
• Streamlined a fast online purchase experience.
• Integrated one-off purchases and recurring subscriptions with Stripe.
• Offered more advanced "team" account management.
• Provided simple administrative tools for their staff to review and publish quarterly data.
• Implemented multiple-factor authentication and a device management tracking system.

A Nonprofit Matching Professional Women with Volunteer Opportunities


Advised, as a small nonprofit, a WomenOnCall with their digital strategy by serving as their product owner and PM.

WomenOnCall (now Chicago Cares' program Skills for Good) connects professional women with nonprofits looking for volunteers with specific skills and industry experience.

In 2014, my employer built them a platform that matched nonprofits with volunteers best-suited for their projects, powered by an algorithm crunching location, skills, and interest.

I began working with them in 2015 when their project strategist was on maternity leave and loved working with them so much that I kept them! They remained my client through their merger with Chicago Cares.

Project Contributions:
• Conducted a lean user research sprint focused on specific personas.
• Updated the user flows to improve conversion goals.
• Refreshed their website branding.
• Improved analytics tracking using Google Analytics and Mixpanel.
• Continued improving their back-end administrative tools.
• After their merger, we collaborated with their vendor to help them build a similar user experience.
• Performed QA for their new application.
• Retained key administrative functions in place while the public-facing site was migrated.
• Migrated content after their merger.
2006 - 2006

Information Systems Project Management Certificate in Project Management

DePaul University - Chicago, IL, USA

1993 - 1997

Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago - Chicago, IL, USA


SAFe 4 Certified Practitioner

Scaled Agile, Inc.

JUNE 2012 - JUNE 2021

Project Management Professional (PMP)

Project Management Insititute