Verified Expert in Project Management
Tara Garrison is a success-driven project manager, offering 15+ years of experience developing and leading long-term state, federal and commercial projects. A certified project management professional, Tara excels at implementing program management methodology, stakeholder communication, and leading teams. Tara is consistently recognized for people leadership, continuous improvement, knowledge management skills, and bringing best practices to her projects.
Agile Project Management Consultant
- Provided project and operations management consultation to startup companies in the healthcare IT, education, nonprofit, and engineering sectors. The total portfolio exceeds $3 million.
- Created full-fledged project management implementation plans, accounting for ROI, cost-benefit, and other analyses.
- Integrated Atlassian tools for requirements and Agile project management.
- Resolved conflicts and negotiated agreements between parties to reach win-win solutions and clarify misunderstandings during the project.
- Implemented reporting and onboarding operational project improvements that resulted in significant savings and improved profit margins.
- Provided and maintained accurate and timely project management information in all project plans, communications, status reporting, and SharePoint sites.
- Performed detailed assessments of project management risks to determine constraints and develop mitigation strategies.
- Utilized bottom-up and top-down cost estimating to establish project budgets.
- Created budgeting templates and executed estimate vs. actual analysis—accounting for project variances on a phase, deliverable, or resource level. Worked with internal teams and clients to resolve budget variances.
- Worked with clients, business analysts, and developers during the project discovery phase to build mind maps, user experience workflows, and wireframes.
Mid/Senior Digital Project Manager
Publicis Groupe EMEA - LePub Netherlands
- Joined the team as support for the project manager, then became the direct project manager for the project. Created and managed project budget.
- Delivered a project that developed a prototype for the client based on market analysis. This required management of product managers, designers, and translators.
- Created and executed a communications plan to ensure international stakeholder and leadership alignment on project progress.
- Led the project management office standup from the inception of professional services and solutions delivery within Philips.
- Orchestrated process and tool development centered around standard work that resulted in streamlined efficiencies, automated metric reporting, and standardized stakeholder communication.
- Designed and developed an enterprise initiative project framework, program governance systems, and knowledge management processes to facilitate successful project manager onboarding.
- Built stakeholder relationships within a highly matrixed organization to design and execute a communications strategy for programs sponsored by the executive committee.
- Successfully delivered an education program worth 1.5 million euros to build a digital learning framework across different business units.
Technical Project Manager | Presales
- Collaborated with the sales team to identify new opportunities worth over $1 million within retail markets.
- Engaged with the sales team and potential clients to deliver product demonstrations.
- Developed sales demonstrations using IBM Watson Analytics.
- Worked with the sales team to build project estimates for project proposals.
Senior Project Manager
- Managed the development lifecycle of the State of Pennsylvania Department of Transportation projects targeting reimbursement agreements and pavement asset management systems exceeding $3 million.
- Led the project team through the requirements validation process and mentored junior staff in requirements gathering and project management best practices.
- Tracked and reported the project management scope and project results to external customers and other stakeholders.
- Developed project management templates to create consistency in reporting.
- Led the quarterly executive reporting effort as a project manager to the project management office.
Agile Project Manager
- Joined the company as a business analyst and progressed to project manager for a series of federal government business intelligence implementations.
- Worked within a highly matrixed environment to implement a budgeting system for the US Department of the Navy in one of the largest operations software implementations in the agency's history, exceeding $2 billion.
- Monitored contracts and service-level agreements to identify potential risks and implement mitigation actions to protect the development process from unforeseen delays and costs.
- Planned and executed functional requirements gathering via interviews, document analysis, storyboards, use cases, and business process mapping.
- Worked with stakeholders to prioritize requirements and plan for a phased release schedule.
- Designed and implemented a change control process for requirements.
- Coordinated biweekly stakeholder meetings for project actions and risk-information sharing.
- Drove Cognos BI projects to completion by utilizing a Waterfall project management methodology.
- Mentored 25 junior consultants and business analysts through the PMP certification process.
- Worked with senior leadership to identify areas of potential sales within existing clients.
System for the Department of Navy
Planned, launched, and executed a proof of concept to build the federal budget system for the US Department of the Navy.
• Served as a project manager.
• Led a team of business analysts, developers, testers, federal stakeholders, and other government contracting teams.
• Gathered system requirements.
• Developed the solution in the Cognos Enterprise Planner.
• Trained federal staff on usage.
Launched and managed several updates to the Adaptive Telehealth platform.
• Managed an international team of ten consultants to plan, execute and maintain an HIPPA-secure telehealth platform.
• Performed regular sprint demonstrations with the product owner and client stakeholders.
• Attended industry conferences to demonstrate the platform with the internal sales team.
• Regularly held platform training sessions for rural healthcare providers.
Auditing Software for Healthcare and Education Industries
Worked with product management to plan backlog, led the delivery of several releases of cloud-based, HIPAA-compliant software, and engaged with end users to solicit product feedback for continuous improvement.
• Managed over ten international contractors through the discovery, planning, execution, and testing phases of several product releases.
• Served as a scrum master and regularly met with the product owner for backlog grooming and sprint planning.
• Led monthly client calls to review development efforts and collect feedback.
Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree in Information Systems and Accounting
The George Washington University - Washington, DC, USA
Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics, Strategic Management
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania - Philadelphia, PA, USA
Project Management Professional (PMP)
Project Management Institute (PMI)
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