Oana Ciherean, Project Manager in Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Oana Ciherean

Project Manager in Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Member since September 6, 2018
Oana has over ten years of experience in managing software projects on multiple platforms, delivering successfully a wide range of applications, from award-winning mobile games to large enterprise systems. She can easily learn a business domain, having worked in finance, healthcare, gaming, and education. The mix of her managerial, technical, and people skills allow her to adapt easily to different cultures, contexts, and teams.
Oana is now available for hire

Project Highlights

Education

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Employment

  • Technical Consultant | Project, Product Manager

    2018 - PRESENT
    Earthlinktele
    • Managed software development projects in different stages for Toptal clients, overseeing project roadmap, architecture, and engineering practices.
    • Created custom agile development processes for enterprise and startup clients from real estate, legal, healthcare, education, and telecom.
    • Coached client teams in implementing agile practices in their companies.
    • Identified quality attributes of the systems to be built and coordinated quality assurance activities.
    • Consulted clients on and created documentation for product and technical requirements.
    • Coordinated project discovery phases and estimations; created plans, resource allocations, budgets, and project roadmaps.
    • Designed software and solution architectures for web-based and mobile systems.
    • Performed management and technical quality audits of existing projects, identified root causes of problems and created project recovery or improvement plans.
  • CEO/CTO

    2014 - PRESENT
    Dalia's Book
    • Designed the technical solution of the company's education platform as an integration between WordPress web technologies and G Suite apps.
    • Built the organization from the ground up, defining business and go-to-market strategies and managing daily operations. The company was a finalist twice for "Best Social Impact Startup" at the Central European Startup Awards.
    • Managed the company's product release plan, testing technical solutions through prototypes and MVPs.
    • Defined a new model of a hybrid nonprofit and for-profit organizational structure, customizing Porter's Value chain—team, roles, and responsibilities. Hired a diverse team: tech, marketing, fundraising, and programs.
    • Created a framework for tracking impact based on the OKR framework.
  • Game Producer

    2016 - 2017
    Evozon Game Studio
    • Managed the game roadmap across the entire software lifecycle: prototyping, production, alpha, and beta testing, and update releases, setting market-relevant milestones.
    • Released two award-winning casual mobile games featured by Apple.
    • Designed a new agile process as a mix of Scrum, Kanban, and the classic Game Production Process and shortened the production cycle from two and a half years to 10 months.
    • Created internal processes for product documentation, demos, reviews, and alpha and beta testing.
    • Performed marketing benchmark analysis for mobile games strategy to define a go-to-market plan for new games.
    • Coordinated two teams of ten members each: developers, 2D and 3D artists, and marketers.
  • Engineering Manager

    2010 - 2016
    Nagarro (former iQuest Technologies)
    • Designed the architecture of multiple 3-tier enterprise systems powered by search and business rules engines with the .NET Framework, ASP.NET, Solr, SQL Server, REST API, and Azure Service Bus. The systems were deployed in more than 40 countries.
    • Coordinated three teams ranging from eight to 12 people of software engineers, QA testers, UI/UX designers, and third-level support.
    • Created and coordinated processes to enforce deliverable quality: code reviews, audits, architecture reviews, source control, deployments, and environments.
    • Designed the automated testing architecture for back-end services.
    • Constructed a development process as a mix of a V-model waterfall process and agile Scrum methods.
    • Created processes for product and technical documentation following high regulatory standards needed in healthcare. The documentation included product requirements, software architecture, quality, and traceability.
    • Decreased system infrastructure and maintenance costs by a factor of five by designing the software architecture of web systems deployed in more than 40 countries worldwide.
    • Coordinated estimation activities, and managed the budget, project release roadmap, and development.
    • Mentored seven software engineers, created development plans, and performed annual performance evaluations.
    • Conducted technical interviews and improved the interview process.
  • Career Management Lead

    2014 - 2015
    Nagarro (former iQuest Technologies)
    • Defined career tracks, role descriptions, and KPIs for software and third-level support engineers in a department of 130 people.
    • Defined performance KPIs and metrics and drove the bi-annual assessment review sessions.
    • Identified root causes for client problems due to missing critical engineering skills and created a framework for learning and development that was implemented in the entire department.
    • Created and implemented a department-wide professional development strategy that increased employee satisfaction and decreased turnover.
    • Mentored a group of 30 technical career managers to align to the needs of the employees and improve performance.
    • Drove the department-level change of performance management processes and alignment with other departments.
    • Created interview guidelines, promotion criteria, and onboarding and offboarding processes.
    • Took ownership of performance management KPIs and metrics as part of a leadership team for the Microsoft solutions department, of 130 engineers.
    • Reviewed and contributed to career tracks and role descriptions of management and quality assurance departments.
  • .NET Engineering Lead

    2008 - 2010
    UMT CG Software
    • Coordinated eight software developers for the first release of UMT 360 (​UMT 360​ Enterprise Portfolio Management system was previously part of Microsoft Project Portfolio Management (PPM) Solutions).
    • Created processes for source control, unit testing, issue tracking, code reviews, and deployments.
    • Created development schedules, tracked progress, and created reports.
    • Validated and provided information for test cases and plans.
    • Designed and developed SharePoint, Workflow Foundation, and OLAP components.

Project History

  • Engineering Restructuring for a Telecommunications Enterprise
    Designed the team structure, career tracks, and role descriptions to enable the software engineering department of an enterprise company to scale its operations.

    As a restructuring consultant, I had to design a new team structure and engineering management processes for the software engineering department of the company, to enable scaling up their technical operations.

    I created new career tracks, role descriptions, technical KPIs, and a performance assessment framework for individual contributors and people managers: software engineers, test engineers, DevOps, engineering managers, and project managers.

    My role also involved analyzing and improving the company's software delivery processes and creating a new agile SDLC.

  • Technical Program Manager for a Telecom's New Line of Business and Migration
    Planned and coordinated the delivery of an enterprise program to launch the software infrastructure for a new line of business and migrate 2 million customers from a legacy system.

    I managed a program of 15 interconnected software systems to develop the software infrastructure of a new line of business for fiber internet. The wireless LOB was migrated from a legacy system to this new infrastructure in the next year. The infrastructure was developed by eight remote cross-functional teams across Europe, Middle East, and Asia.

  • Enterprise Document Search Platform for Healthcare | Roche Gmbh
    Delivered five releases of a web enterprise product over four years for healthcare users in over 40 countries worldwide.

    PROJECT DELIVERABLES
    • Designed a web platform architecture for users in 40 countries that decreased the infrastructure and maintenance costs by 5x.
    • Coordinated a team of software engineers, software testers, and UI/UX designers in activities like wireframing, prototyping, engineering, unit, system, and automated testing.
    • Customized the client's V-model waterfall process with Agile methods for engineering flexibility. Organized Scrum demos and daily standup meetings.
    • Created product release map and time and material contracts and monitored the costs.
    • Coordinated the product releases involving technical and user acceptance testing activities; made sure the process required documentation was in place (traceability matrixes and testing reports), and created final release reports.
    • Made and monitored technical processes for code reviews, unit testing, continuous integration, and delivery.
    • Established the manual and automated testing strategy.
    • Mentored team members and performed yearly performance evaluations, establishing the following steps according to the project's needs.

    Technologies used: .NET Framework, C#, ASP.NET MVC, JavaScript, HTML 5, Solr, REST APIs, Windows Service Bus, SQL Server, Windows Services, ETL

  • Enterprise On-Demand Software Update Platform (Roche Gmbh)
    Delivered a web-based enterprise platform for offline clients in 10+ countries in North America, South America, and Africa.

    Coordinated a team of 5-10 software engineers and testers to release a 3-tier enterprise web platform.

    Customized the client's V-Model waterfall process with Agile methods for engineering flexibility. Organized Scrum demos and daily standup meetings.

    Coordinated the product releases involving technical and user acceptance testing activities, made sure the process required documentation was in place (traceability matrixes and testing reports), and created final release reports.

    Created and monitored technical processes for code reviews, unit testing, continuous integration, and delivery.

    Mentored team members and performed yearly performance evaluations, establishing the following steps according to the project's needs.

    Technologies used: .NET Framework, C#, ASP.NET MVC, JavaScript, HTML5, SQL Server, Windows Services, ETL

  • Enterprise Portal Front-end Migration
    Created the technical migration plan and structure for a portal front end from Ruby on Rails to React.

    I managed the first phase of the migration of an enterprise web portal from legacy Ruby on Rails architecture and implementation to React and GraphQL microservices. I created the structure and managed the remote team of 10 contractor engineers around the world.

  • E-Learning Platform Extension (edraak.org)
    Delivered a new component for the edraak.org MOOC platform that adds language learning support to the online courses.

    Coordinated the discovery lightning start phase; created the product backlog, project timeline, and deployment milestones; and decided on the team structure and allocation plan.

    Supervised the development team of UI/UX designers and engineers that delivered a new component for language learning support, written in React and Node.js on the platform.

    Edraak is a massive open online course platform supported by the Queen Rania Foundation in Jordan.

  • Internal Document Management Tool on Atlassian
    Created Agile processes, managed the front-end engineering team, and provided technical guidance on architecture.

    I managed a team of front-end engineers for an internal tool that provided document management and approval automation; the system was built as an extension of Atlassian Confluence and was written in React and Node.js.

    The project started from scratch, and I was tasked with creating the initial timeline, budget, recruiting the team, and documenting the product and technical requirements. I also provided technical guidance to the team on architecting the system and finding solutions to complex issues that appear when developing web applications.

  • UMT 360 Version 1
    Led software engineering for the first version of UMT 360, previously a part of Microsoft Project and Portfolio Server.

    Coordinated eight software developers for the first release of UMT 360. UMT 360​ Enterprise Portfolio Management Web system was previously part of Microsoft Project Portfolio Management (PPM) Solutions.

    Designed the architecture of software components, workflows, and data analysis modules for a financial management web platform.

    Documented and analyzed requirements, transformed them into technical tasks, and performed backlog grooming and prioritization.

    Created development processes for code review, source control, and bug and issue tracking.

    Technologies used: Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Server, JavaScript, C#, .NET Framework, SQL Server, SQL Analysis Services, OLAP Cubes, Workflow Foundation

  • JIRA Migration
    Consulted the Toptal core team in implementing their product and engineering processes using JIRA and Confluence.

    Toptal is an exclusive network of top freelance talent.

    In my role as a JIRA subject matter expert, I helped the Toptal core team implement their internal product and engineering processes using JIRA and Confluence from the Atlassian suite. I acted as an SME and JIRA/Confluence administrator and consulted the teams on how to migrate their data from old tools.

  • Agile Coach for Medical/Legal Startup
    Coached the project manager of medlex.ai in how to organize the development of their product using agile practices.

    As an Agile coach and advisor for Medlex.AI, I helped the project manager to plan and organize the startup's engineering efforts of building an MVP and manage a remote team by using Agile Scrum.

  • Disco Dave
    Contributed to the creation of Disco Dave, which was featured by Apple and received the "Best Kids and Family Game" award at Casual Connect, TelAviv, 2016.

    Managed a team of 10 software developers, 2D and 3D artists, game designers, testers, and marketers for 10 months to release Disco Dave, a mobile game produced under the AmusedSloth brand.

    Disco Dave was featured by Apple and received the "Best Kids and Family Game" award at Casual Connect, TelAviv, 2016.

    Created the entire game roadmap, decided on the major milestones, and coordinated the production activities, from the prototype, alpha, and beta testing sessions to the main release and then subsequent update releases.

    Established KPIs, defined art and game development processes as a mix of Kanban and Scrum, and created project documentation templates, reducing, as a result, the production process in the studio from 2.5 years to 10 months. The game was the studio's first that broke even, reducing the loss that the studio had had with the previous titles.

    The game was developed in Unity 3D and released worldwide on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Fire OS, and in local stores in China and Japan.

  • Super Pet Hero
    Oversaw the creation of Super Pet Hero, a mobile game that received the "Best Mobile Game" award at Casual Connect in 2017, Berlin.

    Managed a team of 10 software developers, 2D and 3D artists, game designers, testers, and marketers to release Super Pet Hero, a mobile game produced under the AmusedSloth brand.

    Super Pet Hero is a mobile game that received the "Best Mobile Game" award at Casual Connect in 2017, Berlin.

    Created the entire game roadmap, decided on the major milestones, and coordinated the production activities, from the prototype, alpha, and beta testing sessions to the main release and the subsequent update releases.

    Established KPIs, defined art and game development processes as a mix of Kanban and Scrum, and created project documentation templates, reducing, as a result, the production process in the studio from 2.5 years to 1 year.

    The game was developed in Unity 3D and released worldwide on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and in local stores from China.

  • Dalia's Book
    Founded a technology non-profit named the Best Social Impact Startup in Romania at the Central European Startup Awards, 2018.

    I created an edtech nonprofit organization from the ground up, establishing the digital product strategy and roadmap, operational processes, building digital marketing and fundraising strategies, and setting and measuring KPIs.

    I also created concepts, benchmarks, roadmaps and managed the planning and implementation of digital projects and prototypes such as mobile educational games and educational web platforms, in diverse and versatile teams of two to ten members with different backgrounds like marketers, UI/UX designers, software developers, educators, and business developers.

    I built two nationwide education programs implemented in over 30 schools in urban and rural Romania in just three years.

    Finally, I coordinated a remote team of five to ten people and over 50 volunteers in six cities in Romania to implement both software projects and educational programs.

  • Senior Software Engineer for MicroLoan Platform
    Designed and developed APIs and back end for a microloan platform owned by AMPCreditTech in Southeast Asia.

    Provided technical leadership to the team of five engineers (one front-end, two back-end, and two database developers) to develop a web-based microloan platform for a startup in Southeast Asia. Designed and developed APIs and back-end infrastructure on the .NET technology stack.

  • Project Manager/Consultant for EdTech Startup
    Scoped an MVP and created a delivery roadmap for a graph database Word Engine.

    I consulted the company CEO on software development and management best practices. I advised on MVP features to build the IP Word Engine for proprietary mobile games and apps. I created an MVP roadmap and documented it. I created a team plan and consulted the startup team on recruitment needs. I audited internal Jira configuration, set up a new format, and advised the development team on best practices. I coordinated two teams of generalist software developers and pedagogy experts. I was the point of contact for back-end and game development teams, synchronizing on cross-system dependencies.

  • Project Rescue for a Real Estate Startup
    Audited a failed software project and created a rescue plan.

    I audited engineering processes for a project suffering delays of over six months. I reverse-engineered the feature implementation status and created a rescue plan to bring the project back on track in three months. I also coached the startup founders on product and engineering best practices.

  • Consultant for a Failing Land Management Project
    Supported the company founders in replacing a software development agency for a failing project.

    I audited the feature completeness of a web platform for land management. I also analyzed project and engineering management practices, consulted the company founders in new vendor selection, and supported them through the transition phase. In addition, I advised the company team on the legal aspects of engineering contracts and coached the client's team member in using Agile Scrum to manage software projects.

Education

  • MBA in Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Strategy
    2022 - 2022
    NYU Stern - New York, NY, USA
  • Master's Degree in Computer Science
    2010 - 2012
    Technical University of Cluj Napoca - Cluj Napoca, Romania
  • Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science
    2005 - 2010
    Technical University of Cluj Napoca - Cluj Napoca, Romania

Certifications

  • PMP Certification Training
    JANUARY 2017 - PRESENT
    PM Access
  • Design of Serious Games
    JANUARY 2016 - PRESENT
    University of Tallinn
  • Evolutionary Project Management
    JANUARY 2013 - PRESENT
    Gilb Academy
  • Certified Scrum Master
    NOVEMBER 2012 - PRESENT
    Scrum Alliance

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