Roxana-Maria Grigore, Project Manager in Galați, Romania
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Roxana-Maria Grigore

Verified Expert  in Project Management

Project Manager

Location
Galați, Romania
Toptal Member Since
June 25, 2018

Roxana has extensive experience with founders and new software product kick-off initiatives. She has 17 years of expertise in the software development industry, including technical leadership and management roles, leading new product initiatives, and programming. In a previous Toptal engagement, Roxana supported a startup founder to launch a new product, assess the business viability, minimize risk, build the team, get excellent customer feedback, and secure a significant investment budget.

Project Highlights

Leading a Company Transformation Initiative
The initiative raised the net promoter score from 16 to 25 (target 20) with a volunteered cross-functional involvement of the staff.
Agile Coach for an Aspiring Product Owner
The client felt competent and excited to continue in the new role, with few successes regarding the clients' engagement, product delivery, team collaboration, and stakeholders' management.
Scrum Master of a High-performing Team
As the scrum master of the team, I coached the team to become high-performing and rewarded at the company level.

Expertise

Work Experience

Remote Startup Management Consultant

2018 - PRESENT
Toptal Client
  • Helped startup founders and managers build their teams, engage their staff, achieve business results, delight customers, deliver innovative tech solutions, and shape culture.
  • Consulted tech startup founders on strategic staffing decisions: hiring, outsourcing, building partnerships, offshore, developing internal competencies, vendors analysis, and comparison.
  • Supported founders in creating business proposals and business cases for strategic MVPs and calculating ROI.
  • Coached on prioritizing requirements, validating customer needs hypotheses, discovering customer value, and launching MVP.
  • Consulted management decisions regarding technology and business initiatives aligned with the startup's growth strategy.
  • Defined the screening process for recruiting Agile coaches, product owners, scrum masters, and other team roles.
  • Suggested creative solutions to reduce and mitigate risk and handle uncertainty by applying empirical models.

Freelance Agile Coach and Consultant

2017 - PRESENT
Toptal Clients
  • Trained scrum masters, and technology and business managers on people skills and transformation leadership, building high-performing teams.
  • Coached scrum masters. product owners, transitioning project managers, and other IT, business leaders, and teams towards the mindset of a learning organization, able to adapt fast to market changes.
  • Guided on how to increase the customers' delight and optimize the end-to-end value chain.
  • Suggested creative solutions to mitigate risk and reduce uncertainty by applying empirical models.
  • Consulted top management decisions regarding agile adoption and transformation, technology strategy, and outsourcing/insourcing approaches.
  • Developed frameworks for HR and technology management regarding performance reviews, career tracks, OKRs, and other target systems, recruitment, and job descriptions.
  • Partnered on creativity and innovation tools to build the environment for safe experimentation.
  • Facilitated problem-solving cross-silos, cross-cultural, and cross-hierarchy for win-win solutions leading to a high-performing system.

Director of Agile Coaching

2017 - 2017
Adidas | Digital Brand Commerce
  • Consulted executive stakeholders regarding agile initiatives in digital brand commerce, a department with more than 500 business and IT experts responsible for all consumer-facing Adidas software products.
  • Served as the line manager of two agile coaches, collaborating with five other external coaches in 45 development teams.
  • Supported the agile transformation core team and the volunteered working teams focused on delivering transformation key enablers.
  • Developed the agile coaching strategy in collaboration with business and IT stakeholders to be applied cross-teams, cross-hierarchy, and cross-location.
  • Advised management on the outsourcing strategy in line with Agile considerations and the transition of Waterfall projects to Agile, including timing, prerequisites, risks, budget impact, and team composition impact.
  • Consulted key executive stakeholders, including the VP of digital IT, in his agile transformation executive sponsor role.
  • Guided the agile transformation initiative on the executive level for the software department across Germany, Netherlands, and Spain.
  • Initiated the scrum masters’ community of practice and the Agile coaching forum.

Technology Agile Line Manager as Country Manager

2013 - 2017
NAPA Romania
  • Increased staff performance each year (79.8 in 2016), beyond the global expert norm of 65.8 by applying agile values, principles, and practices. Reported directly to the CTO.
  • Facilitated the bottom-up creation of the technology unit strategy.
  • Led the global customer experience (CX) team to raise the net promoter score from 16 to 25 (target 20) with a volunteered cross-functional involvement of the staff.
  • Consulted the development of IT's agile career tracks and job descriptions in harmony with cross-cultural expectations between Finland, Romania, and India. Career tracks were seen as beneficial by 41.2% and very beneficial by 11.8% of the staff.
  • Defined the agile performance evaluation process by distributing self-assessment forms, resulting in feedback that people feel more engaged with their work (47.1%) and equally highly engaged (52.9%).
  • Collaborated with the HR manager and financial manager to adapt the target setting practices and competencies development and the salary system to Agile.
  • Contributed to the company's label as the first employer of choice in IT in the city, after building a referral-based recruitment system, universities' collaboration, and conferences' participation (brain spotting public report available on request).
  • Accomplished excellent staff survey results each year, measured by an external partner survey: commitment index 2015–78; leadership index 2015–73.9; engagement index 2015–84.6. The global expert norm is 72.8, 70.5, and 75.8, respectively.
  • Supported competency development by introducing a competency analysis framework, one-on-one development discussions, and mentorship and soft skills programs. Index raised from 0.01 (2013) to 0.13 (2014) and 0.23 (2015) measured by an external survey.
  • Started as the first employee in Romania, growing the team from 18 to 32 experts as the line manager.

Scrum Master

2012 - 2013
NAPA Romania
  • Introduced Scrum practices and Agile values, principles, and practices while serving as a scrum master selected through team voting.
  • Received company reward as a high-performance team for delivering significant new development while continuously improving code quality.
  • Coached the team and stimulated it to find its own agile flavor according to its unique context and membership.
  • Initiated the scrum masters' community of practice.
  • Removed impediments and aggressively supported improvement initiatives, completing a total of 103 improvements.
  • Supported the collaboration with other teams by initiating the scrum of scrums.

Technical Team Leader | Lead Software Developer

2008 - 2013
NAPA Romania
  • Led the automated migration from Java to C# of two NAPA projects, using the open-source project 2 CSharp Translator for Eclipse.
  • Initiated and facilitated the cross-teams implementation of NAPA Bus, the communication tool between all NAPA products implemented with ActiveMQ.
  • Developed NAPA Real-Time Monitoring, an application for monitoring the sensors onboard the ships using the .NET platform.
  • Contributed to the development of a web business intelligence tool for fleet management implemented in JAVA, Microsoft database, and Pentaho platforms.
  • Introduced code quality practices, including refactoring, automated testing, and increased code coverage, leading to fewer customer-reported bugs.
  • Trained and offered technical onboarding to junior team members joining the company as trainees.
  • Maintained and improved the Joint Bulkcarrier Project software used by the American Bureau of Shipping.

Senior Software Developer and Backup Component Leader

2007 - 2008
SIVECO Romania
  • Implemented a component for the Romanian health integrated system in Java with Oracle databases following the Waterfall methodology and practices.
  • Developed overrides for the source code automatically generated by the MDA framework (Java sources, JSP sources, and Oracle scripts).
  • Documented specific software requirements based on the legal constraints regarding contracts made between the National Health Insurance Found and the private providers of medical services.
  • Verified the test cases elaborated by the testing team.
  • Tested the integrated version of the software and discovered more than 100 bugs that were fixed until the scheduled release date.

Software Developer

2005 - 2006
Pentalog iNet
  • Maintained a proactive communication between the clients located in France and the local outsourced team.
  • Developed the evolution of a generic synchronization engine used for synchronizing XML files, CSV files, and Oracle databases.
  • Developed a module for the automatic scheduling of the synchronization processes with an evolved system of processes dependency.
  • Integrated Kettle as an open-source ETL (Extract/Transform/Load) in the Java client application.
  • Delivered multiple PL/SQL scripts for the maintenance of the Oracle databases and solving fatal bugs.
  • Analyzed and proposed different technical solutions based on open-source tools to the clients.
  • Elaborated functional, installation, technical and user guides in French.

Leading a Company Transformation Initiative

The initiative raised the net promoter score from 16 to 25 (target 20) with a volunteered cross-functional involvement of the staff.

I led the global team responsible to increase the company's ability to listen to customers and align the company's products and offering to the customers' needs. I successfully engaged team members from different locations who volunteered to contribute actively to the cultural initiative. Each team member became an active agent of change, engaging multiple colleagues. Various technology tools were used to increase the opportunity to participate and contribute: surveys, facilitated meetings, interviews, and more.

Agile Coach for an Aspiring Product Owner

The client felt competent and excited to continue in the new role, with few successes regarding the clients' engagement, product delivery, team collaboration, and stakeholders' management.

The client stepped into a new role and was facing challenges regarding product ownership hard skills (product backlog management, value delivery, and business decisions) and soft skills (how to engage the team constructively, how to handle conflicting requirements from stakeholders, effective time management, and more).
Her feedback stated that what she appreciated the most were concrete real-life examples from my own experience that opened her thinking into finding her own approach.
She has requested and received very positive feedback regarding her progress from her team members and manager while getting a new enthusiasm for the role.

Scrum Master of a High-performing Team

https://youtu.be/jVjb1Z37EUg

As the scrum master of the team, I coached the team to become high-performing and rewarded at the company level.

The team has adopted the Agile methodology while struggling with low code quality, slow delivery, slow reaction to customer-reported bugs, plenty of fatal and urgent customer-reported bugs, low collaboration with other teams, lack of focus, and almost zero understanding of the user's environment and needs, and lack of strategic decisions. The team aggressively implemented improvements leading to successful deliveries while greatly increasing the morale. I supported different team members to take initiatives at the company level—clean code academia, strategy clarifications, and agile testing community of practice—once the context of the team also needed to change.

Agile Coach for a Growing Startup

As an agile coach, I supported the creation of a solid foundation for a growing startup by coaching, consulting, and facilitating.

I coached a startup founder and the existing staff on agile values and principles, scrum, and agile leadership, inspiring them to challenge the status quo and choose the practices that fit better into their context and culture. I mentored high-performance self-organized teams, increasing psychological safety, collaboration, and intrinsic motivation. I also guided on adopting the necessary formalities and structures for sustainable company growth while maintaining an open and innovative culture, learning and improving all the time.

Agile Coach for a Transitioning Project Manager

I coached the transitioning project manager to create a new career path and experiment with different agile practices.

The formal project manager of a small team was willing to experiment with agile in order to improve team collaboration, morale, and performance.

Cross-teams Agreement on a New Communication Tool Between All Applications

As a technical leader, I facilitated the collaboration of 12 development teams on the adoption of a common communication tool.

As a technical leader of the team working on a ship monitoring application, I had to collaborate with several other development teams who would provide the sensors data for the application. Doing that, I noticed that each team had a different technical solution to provide or receive data from other teams, leading to a "spaghetti" architecture. I initiated the discussions on creating a common communication tool, proposed a technical solution, and made a business case on why this standardized communication would reduce development complexity and cost and even bring customer benefits. The project was approved by the management. The technical solution was improved by collaborating with the technical leaders of other teams, considering that applications were using different technologies (Java/C++/.NET). The solution is used until today without major modifications.
2011 - 2015

Master of Business Administration (MBA) Awarded with Merit in Strategic Transformations

Warwick Business School, University of Warwick - Warwick, United Kingdom

2014 - 2014

Executive MBA Module in Cross-cultural Management

Mannheim Business School - Mannheim, Germany

2014 - 2014

Executive MBA Module in Entrepreneurship and Design Thinking

Mannheim Business School - Mannheim, Germany

2005 - 2006

Master of Science Degree in Algorithms and Software Products

Faculty of Mathematics and Computers Science, Transylvania University - Braşov, Romania

2005 - 2005

Erasmus Scholarship Recipient in Computer Science

Faculty of Sciences of Luminy - Marseille, France

2001 - 2005

Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science

Faculty of Mathematics and Computers Science, Transylvania University - Braşov, Romania

AUGUST 2019 - PRESENT

ICAgile Certified Professional in Agility in the Enterprise (ICP-ENT)

ICAgile

AUGUST 2019 - PRESENT

ICAgile Certified Professional in Coaching Agile Transitions (ICP-CAT)

ICAgile

JULY 2019 - PRESENT

Professional Scrum Master Level II (PSM II)

Scrum.org

JULY 2019 - PRESENT

Professional Scrum with Kanban I (PSK I)

Scrum.org

MAY 2019 - PRESENT

ICAgile Certified Professional in Agile Coaching (ICP-ACC)

ICAgile

APRIL 2019 - PRESENT

Professional Agile Leadership I (PAL I)

Scrum.org

NOVEMBER 2018 - PRESENT

Design Strategy: Design Thinking for Business Strategy and Entrepreneurship

Coursera

NOVEMBER 2018 - PRESENT

Professional Scrum Product Owner I (PSPO I)

Scrum.org

MARCH 2012 - PRESENT

Professional Scrum Master Level I (PSM I)

Scrum.org

JANUARY 2010 - PRESENT

TOEFL

ETS

SEPTEMBER 2007 - PRESENT

Sun Certified Programmer for Java Platform

Sun Microsystems

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