Monique Klein, Project Manager in San Diego, CA, United States
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Monique Klein

Verified Expert  in Project Management

Project Manager

San Diego, CA, United States
Toptal Member Since
March 13, 2020

Monique is an accomplished project/program management consultant, leading technology initiatives across many industries, for clients including Amgen, Ameriquest, Deutsche Bank, IBM, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, and Zovio. She successfully manages matrix teams (domestic/international) and collaborates across tech, business, executive stakeholders and vendors. Her projects have used methodologies such as gate, waterfall, and agile/scrum. Monique excels at ensuring timely projects and client success.

Project Highlights

Automation Machinery for Life Science Manufacturers
Successfully project managed and delivered machines that met regulations and validation requirements to assemble and/or test medical devices.
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery for an NYC Bank (Prior to 9/11)
NYC 9/11 disaster—the bank was prepared for this disaster from a technology perspective as well as providing an alternate location for people to work.
Financial Aid Production Upgrades
Successfully led the replacement of a financial aid system as well as implementing several production upgrades.


Work Experience

Project and Program Manager

2020 - PRESENT
Finance Tech Firm Serving Higher Education Clients (Toptal Client)
  • Managed varied complex payment, billing, and e-market products requiring ERP integration, working with third-party banking, configuration, and implementation which typically require years of experience to be successful and I was productive on day 1.
  • Worked across industries with engineers, consultants, clients, vendors, senior/executive management while adapting and honing in on key aspects which were qualities that the company had not seen before.
  • Jumped in, with zero company-specific or project knowledge transfer/training, and successfully managed all client-facing projects immediately that had been the responsibility of a seasoned employee who left on unexpected medical leave.
  • Managed over 15 client projects (with an average of 3-to-4 months each) over the course of six months and all came in either on time or early—enabling client revenue to come in sooner and as a result, the company requested I stay on longer.
  • Proactively raised an innovative idea to help the company improve project management and demoed a solution to management which has been approved and is currently being piloted.
  • Spearheaded the improvement to existing standard operating processes by providing updates to ensure that the SOPs were current and accurate; these were referenced by all.

Program Manager

2016 - 2020
  • Directed up to eight concurrent projects through the entire development lifecycles by leading remote cross-functional matrix teams using agile and waterfall methodologies to drive successful and timely completion of critical initiatives.
  • Controlled the total lifecycles including customized development, vendor/supply chain management, risk management, process transformations, change management, and UAT while communicating progress with key stakeholders for continued support.
  • Served as the PM for the highest priority and most visible corporate initiatives. Charged with replacing a financial aid app, as well as replacing a manually cumbersome system with a financial system integrated with a new CRM system.
  • Collaborated with senior leadership to secure buy-in and resources for key initiatives; facilitated executive steering committee meetings; and monitored budget, schedule, and risk against KPIs to guarantee delivery of scope-aligned project outcome.
  • Transitioned leadership processes from waterfall to agile using Jira and Confluence as a scrum master and project/program manager to unify cross-departmental groups in completing essential projects.
  • Orchestrated all logistics, cross-functional team management, and client-facing operations for CRM foundation, regulatory projects, and university accreditation visits with the successful execution of projects leading to corporate advancements.
  • Spearheaded technical projects including user-facing AI chat system replacement, system production upgrades, course refund policy implementation, student portal UI/UX transformations, DoD audit/compliance system, and data center remediation.
  • Developed project-status PowerPoint slides for quarterly board presentations.

Senior Project Manager | Operations Leader

2011 - 2016
Automation GT
  • Comprehensively restructured an engineering automation company by developing a sustainable business plan, value statement, mission statement, strategic plans, and implementation roadmap.
  • Managed all personnel and business operations for manufacturing, IT, project management, engineering, purchasing, finance, and HR departments by adding continuous process enhancements that improving project accountability and employee productivity.
  • Analyzed operations and drafted a resource capacity plan, standard operating procedures, change control processes, and procedure modifications to bolster operational efficiency, timely order fulfillment, vendor tracking, and engineering quality.
  • Led 209 projects as a PM—doubling revenue to $16 million during a consecutive three-year period.
  • Catalyzed advancements to in-house machine shop capabilities, which reduced project schedule by weeks, captured 30% cost savings from vendor expenses, and bolstered client satisfaction rates.
  • Transformed inventory management practices to a just-in-time process and renegotiated vendor contracts to secure up to 20% savings through a preferred vendor system.
  • Originated recruitment process to attract high-performing associates, designed onboarding practices, revised employee handbook, and implemented functions to ensure OSHA compliance while increasing staff by 300%.
  • Authored a recovery plan and creative sustainable growth plan while overseeing corporate location move, which expanded capacity to support 200% revenue growth within four years.
  • Innovated and established a customer service department with a service advisory program to manage SLAs and warranties; concurrently launched a QA process that communicated project quality metrics to clients which reduced on-site repairs by 30%.
  • Ideated an inventory numbering system including floor stock SOPs, audit processes, and current asset listings, which reduced asset losses by 8%.

Senior Project Manager PMO | Solutions Delivery COE (Consultant)

2006 - 2011
  • Project managed critical initiatives that were over-budget or under-performing through total lifecycle leadership and implementation of best practices.
  • Connected with the CIO and key stakeholders to communicate project status, implement change requests, and promote timely project completion.
  • Interfaced with Microsoft and third-party vendors to monitor SOWs, drive increased accountability, and foster the attainment of crucial milestones.
  • Served as a transitioning project manager for two technical projects, including backup process standardization and business continuity infrastructure enhancements for POQ Tier 1 applicant.
  • Championed a $200million upgrade of 167 global conference rooms as well as galvanizing the project to implement global telephony solutions that provided 37,000 end-users with PC voicemail access.
  • Advanced internal business units by redesigning the SharePoint site and ensured global systems prepared for XP/Vista operating systems.
  • Successfully managed project teams in a matrix environment that was located in the US as well as various international sites.

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Manager

2004 - 2006
  • Established measurement and reporting guidelines that are presented, on a periodic basis, to the audit board committee, CFOs, CIOs, business EVPs, and co-chairmen of the company.
  • Developed, budgeted, and implemented a proprietary solution for business continuity and disaster recovery to ensure continuous operations of an $8.9 billion/month revenue company with more than 18,000 associates nationwide.
  • Managed the mitigation efforts for the company and its affiliates through Hurricane Katrina and Rita.
  • Managed the development and implementation of a consistent methodology for conducting and assessing business impact analyses to establish disaster recovery requirements.
  • Developed and implemented an enterprise-wide incident response crisis management plan.

Automation Machinery for Life Science Manufacturers

Successfully project managed and delivered machines that met regulations and validation requirements to assemble and/or test medical devices.

• Oversaw projects in the design, manufacture, and integration of automated machines that required exceptional precision and reliability.
• Managed resources that consisted of mechanical/electrical/software engineers, machinists, production operator, and quality assurance testers. The majority of our custom automation machines were for the biotech, life science, pharmaceutical, and medical device industries.
• Implemented PMO practices and methodology that the company adhered to.

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery for an NYC Bank (Prior to 9/11)

NYC 9/11 disaster—the bank was prepared for this disaster from a technology perspective as well as providing an alternate location for people to work.

• Led the initiative for the bank in determining the critical applications, processes, and people.
• Configured and regularly tested the back-end infrastructure as well as desktops/laptops to ensure preparedness in the event of an outage or disaster.

Financial Aid Production Upgrades

Successfully led the replacement of a financial aid system as well as implementing several production upgrades.

• Successfully managed the project team from a waterfall to an agile methodology mid-stream to completion.
• Acted as a project manager as well as a scrum master.
• Socialized the agile process to stakeholders.
• Held team-building exercises to strengthen the morale of the team through this change.
1986 - 1989

Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science

SUNY New Paltz - New Paltz, NY, USA


Six Sigma Yellow Belt

Management and Strategy Institute (MSI)

JUNE 2018 - JUNE 2020

Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)

Scrum Alliance

APRIL 2018 - JUNE 2020

Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO)

Scrum Alliance


Project Management Professional (PMP)

Project Management Institute


Microsoft Project, Confluence, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, Visio, Jira, Zoom, Skype


Implementation Project Management, Agile, Waterfall Delivery, Business Continuity Planning (BCP), Management, Six Sigma, Change Management



Industry Expertise

Banking & Finance, Higher Education, Pharmaceuticals


Project Management, Program Management, PMO Development, Project Management Office (PMO), IT Project Management, IT Projects, IT Program Management, Agile Program Management, Internal Communications, Vendor Management, Communication, Conflict Resolution, Teamwork, Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Customer Service, Organization, Leadership, Cross-cultural Management, Scope Management, Project Lifecycle, Disaster Recovery Plans (DRP), Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery (BCDR), Business Continuity, Stakeholder Management, Risk Management, Collaboration, Cross-departmental Collaboration, Cross-functional Collaboration, Cross-functional Team Leadership, Executive Reporting, Executive Presentations, Client Presentations, Status Updates, Data-driven Decision-making, Waterfall Methodology, Six Sigma Yellow Belt, Microsoft Teams, Smartsheet, Computer Science, Scrum Master, Creative Problem Solving, Mortgages, Biotechnology, Life Science, Automation, Requirement Traceability Matrices, Standardization, Payroll & Benefits, Project Finance, Software Development

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