Nino Melikidze, Project Manager in Toronto, ON, Canada
Nino is available for hire
Hire Nino

Nino Melikidze

Verified Expert  in Project Management

Project Manager

Location
Toronto, ON, Canada
Toptal Member Since
April 12, 2021

Nino is a Certified Scrum Master, project manager, and operations lead with over seven years of experience in the IT industry. Working with both large corporate clients and startups, she has established multi-year contracts to continuously improve existing software and build new, innovative platforms from scratch. Nino speaks English, Spanish, Russian, and Georgian fluently and has managed teams of over ten members across several time zones.

Project Highlights

Operations Lead and PM for a Creator Economy Blockchain Startup
Ran the internal operations of a blockchain startup, from the MVP conception stage to the migration from the Ethereum blockchain network to the Binance Smart Chain. Worked with the CEO directly to help manage a 10-person team.
Project Manager | Product Owner for a Blockchain and Video Streaming Social App
Guided, streamlined, and supported the MVP development process for a blockchain and video streaming social app, starting from the early scope definition workshops to the product launch.
Project Manager for a Financial Analyst Research Platform
Established all required interview transcription operations, launched the platform, and managed all subsequent product sprints for a new financial analyst research platform.

Expertise

Work Experience

Co-Founder & CEO

2022 - PRESENT
Immitracker
  • Co-Founder and CEO of Immitracker, the Waze of Immigration. Immitracker is the largest immigration application tracking platform in Canada and Australia.
  • Launched and managed an immigrant WhatsApp community that attracted over 2.5K new members and created 15 different discussion groups over 6 months.
  • Grew new user registration and new case submissions from 2022 to 2023 by 18%, resulting in over 11K new users registered and 4K new cases added last year.
  • Conducted an audience survey and developed a strategic product plan for improving the user experience, simplifying the product, and directing traffic and attention to the key features of the application (leading to higher conversion).

Technical Project Manager

2022 - PRESENT
World Education Services
  • Joined the team as the first official project manager in over a year and conducted an Agile transformation that improved the team's project item delivery success rate by 50%.
  • Ran the project delivery component of the Digital Operations (Tech Ops) team by managing up to 10 team members, all regular Scrum meetings and 2-3 large projects simultaneously.
  • Introduced an async stand-up process through Geekbot, backlog grooming, and bi-weekly sprints into an ITSM environment for successfully executing high-impact projects (including software and hardware decommissions and migrations).
  • Implemented a project management process for adjacent Digital Operations teams (data management and service management) by introducing a Kanban process, Jira board, and Confluence space for project documentation.

Founder

2021 - 2022
VisaWire
  • Founded an immigration, employment, and settlement startup to help skilled workers relocate to Canada.
  • Built out a no-code MVP based on many customer discovery interviews and continuously iterated on the product to address the newly identified needs displayed by the VisaWire immigrant community.
  • Collaborated with a head of business development to create a plan to survey multiple Canadian tech startups to understand their recruitment needs and interests in international talent.

Software Project Manager and Scrum Master

2019 - 2021
Productera
  • Assisted in establishing and scaling operations processes for transcribing transcripts for a financial analyst research platform product. This included hiring the transcribers and building the full tech ecosystem for the process to move flawlessly.
  • Managed the development team and communicated with the client across multiple time zones while ensuring timely delivery and quick product support.
  • Implemented a wide variety of processes for delivery based on client recommendations, transitioned from a Scrumban to Scrum methodology, and consistently delivered sprint demos and scope summary reports.
  • Conducted product roadmap planning meetings with the client, documented and managed all customer feature requests through backlog grooming, and ensured that the top priority items were delivered on time according to customer expectations.

Web Project Manager

2019 - 2020
SmartNextStudio
  • Joined the team as a web project manager and took over multiple projects in various stages, from early-stage customer discovery through product iterations. Projects ranged from building WordPress websites to custom CRMs.
  • Gathered requirements for the websites and CRMs and worked with the relevant team members at each stage of the project to create deliverables and receive client approvals. The projects were primarily small-business-focused (e.g., matchmakers).
  • Implemented a Waterfall delivery methodology for the website-building projects and ensured that all design and creative aspects were agreed upon prior to handing projects over to development. Personally supported the website QA and set-up process.
  • Communicated with team members in three different time zones (PST, Ukraine, and Russia) while working with primarily US and Canada-based clients. Led all client meetings for gathering requirements and receiving approvals. Demoed the final product.
  • Supported the company founder with the project estimation process by gathering and documenting all relevant project information in one place and soliciting work-day input from the whole team.

Project Manager

2017 - 2019
Netcracker
  • Comanaged a team of over 30 people by conducting regular status updates, monitoring the timeliness of project deliverables, and ensuring that all risks and issues were raised and mitigated promptly.
  • Collaborated with the primary client's project manager to intake and approve the scope for each release.
  • Oversaw the progress of each scope item, from requirements documentation in request tickets to delivery and final approval from stakeholders.
  • Facilitated technical workshops and ensured that all deliverables were completed and approved on time.

Business Analyst

2016 - 2018
Netcracker
  • Collaborated with other BAs, development leads, technical managers, solution architects, and designers to create comprehensive solution design documentation. The documents contained all the technical functionality (based on requirements) and designs.
  • Led client meetings (with the support of a technical manager and solution architect) to gather requirements for features, present completed requirements documentation, and solicit approval at each stage of the project.
  • Worked in a Waterfall (and modified Agile/Waterfall) methodology. Led the analysis and design phases of the projects. Once all requirements and designs were approved, facilitated the documentation handover with the development team.
  • Created traceability matrices and ensured that all requirements were covered in the system design documentation. Supported the development team throughout the development process and QA during the final product walkthroughs (pre-deployment).

Operations Lead and PM for a Creator Economy Blockchain Startup

https://thepopnetwork.org/

Ran the internal operations of a blockchain startup, from the MVP conception stage to the migration from the Ethereum blockchain network to the Binance Smart Chain. Worked with the CEO directly to help manage a 10-person team.

Key Activities
• Conducted an Agile transformation within the organization to streamline the development processes, starting with the MVP launch.
• Established a new talent acquisition/evaluation and interviewing process for bringing on new hires.
• Supported the CEO and created new team member onboarding and employee termination processes.
• Managed all team software tools and accounts by initially setting them up for the project and ensuring that all were consolidated in one place.
• Worked closely with the product team to provide community and development team feedback when planning future features.
• Helped manage the startup community by conducting weekly community calls and taking end-user feedback into consideration for the startup operations, marketing, and development.
• Wrote up the initial processes for almost every single key function of the organization (development, product, marketing, HR, and community management).
• Documented the key product and company information and FAQs while maintaining an external knowledge base.
• Managed the community-reported bugs and issues through HubSpot by supporting the development team.

Project Manager | Product Owner for a Blockchain and Video Streaming Social App

https://orsy.io/

Guided, streamlined, and supported the MVP development process for a blockchain and video streaming social app, starting from the early scope definition workshops to the product launch.

I managed and supported a team of up to ten members, including over five developers, QA, the design lead, and the product manager, throughout the product scope definition, prototyping, development, and launch stages.

Key Activities:
• Collaborated closely with the main product manager in the capacity of a product owner to define the product vision, create detailed user stories for feature development, clarify functionality during QA and UAT, and document technical and business requirements.
• Established an Agile development process and supported the team by leading and managing all related meetings, including async team stand-ups, sprint planning, backlog refinement, and sprint retrospectives.
• Supported the Toptal Projects delivery manager in stakeholder management, ensuring all of the main stakeholders were on the same page at all times regarding MVP delivery timeline, scope, and resources required.
• Maintained the project and its human resources in the majority of the tools required (e.g., Jira, Slack, Confluence), ensuring all team members and documentation remained up to date.

Project Manager for a Financial Analyst Research Platform

https://mosaicrm.com/

Established all required interview transcription operations, launched the platform, and managed all subsequent product sprints for a new financial analyst research platform.

I managed a team of eight across three time zones (EST, PST, and Eastern Europe) and regularly supported the client during the platform launch and all subsequent releases for 1.5 years.

Key Activities
• Documented, scoped out, and supported the implementation of the top feature requests from the client.
• Supported the client with technical issues and bug reports in a timely manner and involved relevant team members when immediate fixes were required.
• Managed the design process and brought the impact of all key functionality changes to the client's attention for approval.
• Conducted product roadmap planning meetings, sprint planning, and sprint demos every two weeks prior to releases.
• Managed the feature estimation process and sprint capacity.
• Groomed the product backlog and prioritized features based on epics and the priority of the functionality.

Technical Delivery Management for Pharma Tech

https://www.payersciences.com/

Streamlined and simplified the product development and delivery process by initiating and guiding an Agile transformation.

Worked with the product manager and 9-person development team to completely revamp the product development process, resulting in a faster, better-defined, and streamlined process.

Key Activities
• Conducted an Agile transformation within the development organization to consolidate the product work across various projects and tools.
• Reduced misunderstandings and friction between team members by clearly defining communication, feature documentation, development, and testing rules.
• Collaborated with the product manager and lead stakeholder to create one Scrum board and establish a Scrum process for the main product.
• Established a Kanban approach for smaller, ad hoc projects and worked out a process for more accurate time and resource allocation among projects.

The result was a clearly organized Confluence space with guidelines and process documentation for each aspect of the project, reduced ambiguity about the next steps, and simplified onboarding experiences for new members. The project is now running on pure Scrum and improving every month with each retrospective.

Web Project Management for Various Projects

https://www.smartnextstudio.com/

Gathered requirements and managed, launched, and supported multiple custom WordPress websites for clients across the United States.

I managed a team of 5-7 developers, designers, CRM experts, and product managers while working on various web projects. The clients ranged from startups to small businesses that were mainly US-based matchmakers.

Key Activities
• Gathered requirements for custom WordPress websites.
• Assisted the UX expert and UI designer with soliciting, receiving, and effectively implementing customer feedback.
• Supported websites post-launch, ensuring that all issues were resolved promptly.
• Adjusted WordPress settings and resolved non-development-related support requests.
• Participated in the project and new feature estimation processes, providing accurate feature descriptions and gathering team feedback to ensure a full understanding of estimates.
• Gathered and approved custom CRM-related requirements.

Project Manager for a Platform to Connect Students to Preceptors

https://www.preceptorlink.com/

Built out the initial software delivery processes and implemented the required tools for a custom CRM project. The platform connects medical school students with preceptors (clinical teachers and mentors).

I managed a team of eight (in Russian) across three time zones to deliver a large, custom CRM project for a US-based client from scratch. I used the Agile methodology and Scrum to co-create a two-week sprint-based delivery schedule.

Key Activities
• Ensured that deliverables in each sprint were scheduled so that the requirements and designs for all features that had to be developed sooner were completed in earlier sprints.
• Provided sprint report summaries to the client at the end of each sprint.
• Regularly reviewed and groomed the backlog to ensure that Jira tickets for all relevant, upcoming features were created and properly described the work to be done.

Launch of Delfy App (Personal Startup)

Conceptualized, designed, managed, and launched an app for a personal startup in 2018. Delfy was an app for helping people make friends based on similar interests.

I managed a team of two developers (front and back end) and collaborated with the CTO over across three time zones to build an MVP for an app in three months.

Key Activities
• Designed and conceptualized the product functionality.
• Wrote the product technical specifications.
• Broke down the delivery process into two-week sprints.
• Collaborated with the developers to continuously test the implemented features, document bugs, and ensure that the bugs that most impacted functionality were fixed pre-launch.
• Managed and prioritized a small feature backlog and bug list.
• Conducted product demos and solicited feedback from potential customers.

Although the project was eventually shut down due to insufficient funding, it was a great experience in product and project management.
2012 - 2016

Bachelor's Degree in Management Information Systems

Worcester Polytechnic Institute - Worcester, MA, USA

SEPTEMBER 2021 - PRESENT

10x360 Program

Cardone Ventures

NOVEMBER 2020 - PRESENT

Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)

Scrum Alliance

DECEMBER 2018 - PRESENT

Y Combinator Startup School

Y Combinator

Collaboration That Works

How to Work with Toptal

Toptal matches you directly with global industry experts from our network in hours—not weeks or months.

1

Share your needs

Discuss your requirements and refine your scope in a call with a Toptal domain expert.
2

Choose your talent

Get a short list of expertly matched talent within 24 hours to review, interview, and choose from.
3

Start your risk-free talent trial

Work with your chosen talent on a trial basis for up to two weeks. Pay only if you decide to hire them.

Top talent is in high demand.

Start hiring