Vishak Shankar, Project Manager in London, United Kingdom
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Vishak Shankar

Verified Expert  in Project Management

Project Manager

Location
London, United Kingdom
Toptal Member Since
July 22, 2020

Vishak is a program manager, product owner, and consultant who navigates enterprise landscapes and manages complex stakeholder environments. He has worked for client service consulting firms, such as McKinsey & Company and PwC, and digital agencies, including AKQA, Huge Inc., and Bakken & Bæck, to build B2B and B2C applications. Vishak leads front- and back-end development teams, product designers, product managers, and data engineers in creating solutions for enterprise clients and startups.

Project Highlights

Pharmaceutical Adobe Experience Manager Development
Led development teams and managed client stakeholder groups while launching pages on the Adobe Experience Manager platform across over 60 countries, covering seven therapeutic areas.
Flexible Leasing Platform
Launched a brand new product for a major auto manufacturer, allowing for increased revenues and product differentiation among competitors.
Innovation for Software in Warehouse Automation
Launched a best-in-class software product with hardware (robots) to automate warehouse operations for small to medium-sized companies globally. Led the user research, product design, front- and back-end implementation, and operations workstreams.

Expertise

Work Experience

Lead Product Owner

2021 - PRESENT
Bakken & Bæck
  • Managed a team of product designers to create innovative designs for an early-stage industry.
  • Led the redesign of services, operations, and technology of a software application paired with the hardware to improve warehouse supply chain automation.
  • Conducted user research with pilot customers to create measurable KPIs by creating prototypes and hypotheses with product designers and engineers.
  • Led the agency and stakeholders by managing the product planning, overall scope, and delivery of features through Kanban and quarterly road mapping.
  • Headed a team of product designers, front-end developers, brand designers, and copywriters in creating Pio's company website.
  • Mentored and managed team members in the agency and planned their progression.
  • Analyzed industry problems to create a roadmap of user experience enhancements, integrations, and product development initiatives for a robotics supply chain startup.

Project Manager

2021 - 2022
Brookfield Properties
  • Joined the engagement as a project manager and ended up working on user experience solutions, project management, content authoring, content strategy, and stakeholder management.
  • Created the Figma boards for managing designs and client stakeholders to create a templated approach in structuring pages in Adobe Experience Manager.
  • Designed and authored over 100 corporate property pages, including landing, city-specific, and corporate information pages.
  • Automated and managed the process for quality assurance and content gathering from stakeholders across the environment.
  • Edited and optimized thousands of photos for websites using Figma frames and various online tools.
  • Built a backlog of improvements to APIs, integrations, and components for front- and back-end teams to prioritize in sprint development.
  • Acted as the representative for my main client across the Brookfield Properties enterprise while creating marketing pages in Adobe Experience Manager.

Lead Product Owner

2020 - 2021
McKinsey & Company
  • Led and managed the execution of digital innovation product development and transformation initiatives for a multi-industry client services firm.
  • Translated abstract visions into reality by creating product visions, strategic designs, and service blueprints through partnering with service design, data scientists, operations SME teams, and the organization's senior stakeholders.
  • Conducted problem-solving sessions through customized frameworks and methods with senior stakeholders and SMEs.
  • Oversaw the rollout of a software proof of concept to validate hypotheses, interpret data findings, and analyze KPI results.

Senior Project Manager

2019 - 2020
AKQA
  • Established a vision and managed the product roadmap for an auto manufacturer's B2C MVP release, targeting customers in four countries to boost revenues of a new lease product offering and reduce unused car inventory.
  • Translated feature requirements into a product backlog by applying agile and scrum frameworks to determine priorities and efforts required, collaborating with architects to navigate API integrations, and enhancing the overall customer experience.
  • Defined, implemented, and orchestrated the rollout of a collaboration model between the client strategy team, AKQA design, UX, and technology teams to launch a go-to-market product in under four months successfully.
  • Managed and planned the implementation, data intake, processing, and use cases of a CDP with a data analyst, back-end engineer, and data strategist to properly plan the sales process of a new service offering for an automotive client.

Project Manager

2017 - 2019
HUGE, Inc.
  • Directed multiple agile development teams, made up of 25+ individuals, in the design, development, and product strategy of an Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) platform for a major European pharmaceutical client.
  • Executed technical tasks, including the management of Jenkins code package deployments, integration architectures of WeChat and identity management APIs (Janrain and DocCheck), and Akamai CDN root cause troubleshooting.
  • Configured AEM tree-hierarchy instances, authored components and content, and rolled-out websites for seven healthcare specialties pages across more than 60 countries.
  • Facilitated communication, workshops, and reviews between executive client stakeholders from technology, marketing, business technology, and legal groups.
  • Communicated product and program requirements using Jira and Confluence.
  • Coordinated the creation of deliverables, including application design, content/copy, and user experiences with globally distributed client groups and legal, marketing/brand, design, business technology, and information technology groups.
  • Authored and edited assets for web pages using components in Adobe Experience Manager, oversaw content strategist workstream, and managed the technical launch of websites.

Consultant

2015 - 2017
Strategy& — The Global Strategy Consulting Team at PwC
  • Set up the workflow design workshops, Agile methodology, and product backlog/MVP and supported the development team in implementing a B2B tool for a major entertainment studio.
  • Managed and planned the implementation of an MVP B2B pricing tool for a top-3 telecommunications industry client. Tasks included MVP roadmap workshops with client stakeholders and preparing the development team with an agile backlog.
  • Conducted technology due diligence for private equity firms looking to acquire companies to add to their portfolios. Provided recommendations after analyzing cost/revenue models, technology architectures, and product market viability.
  • Conducted client interviews, designed future-state flows, performed gap analyses, and identified reporting methods to improve the effectiveness of the client technology.
  • Developed epics, user stories, and technical requirements; managed an agile development project with offshore teams for multiple implementations, including Salesforce.com and custom-built Java applications.

Pharmaceutical Adobe Experience Manager Development

Led development teams and managed client stakeholder groups while launching pages on the Adobe Experience Manager platform across over 60 countries, covering seven therapeutic areas.

I led the design, development, content authoring, and rolling out of global web pages for a European pharmaceutical company. I also worked closely with the technical development teams to troubleshoot across the platform. The stakeholder groups I managed included legal, marketing, business technology, and pharmaceutical groups within the client company, along with various agencies and consulting firms. My client's stakeholders were based in Germany, and the development team was in Colombia.

Flexible Leasing Platform

Launched a brand new product for a major auto manufacturer, allowing for increased revenues and product differentiation among competitors.

I planned and managed the program, including service design, application user experience, user interfaces, and business case analysis. I prepared the MVP and long-release roadmap for the development team to implement across multiple European markets. I led stakeholder workshops to build the long-term strategy while also signing off on the day-to-day decisions. My client was based in Germany and Italy.

Note: This application was designed for mobile browsers.

Entertainment Studio Salesforce Process Redesign and Implementation

Redesigned and implemented the operations and software of a top media and entertainment studio's B2B process for creating materials through a Salesforce implementation that required a complete overhaul of their existing workstreams.

I evaluated the technology and process gaps to create a backlog of user stories and epics for Salesforce development, improving the B2B processing time for digital and physical materials of a major entertainment studio by 65%. This was an internal project that the studio and its studio partners used. My development team was in India, and my client stakeholders were in the US and the UK.

Telecommunications Custom Deal Platform

Overhauled a major telecommunication provider process and technology in regards to the processing of large (over US$5 million) B2B deals.

For a client's internal tool, I defined the product vision. I created a release backlog for a large telecommunication company, moving manual Excel workbook functionality to a custom Java application, which resulted in a 70% reduction in time spent on tasks. I also led the stakeholder planning workshops to build out the product MVP while managing the scrum development team in India.

Innovation for Software in Warehouse Automation

Launched a best-in-class software product with hardware (robots) to automate warehouse operations for small to medium-sized companies globally. Led the user research, product design, front- and back-end implementation, and operations workstreams.

I managed the program team of three product designers, eight engineers, SMEs, and researchers in various workstreams to take a concept from an MVP to a global launch. Starting with pilot users, followed by further integrations, functionality development, and operations planning.

Along with this, I managed the team that developed the brand for the digital marketing material and the product identity within the application itself.

One significant accomplishment was the creation of a standalone API that allowed external software providers (shipping logistics, eCommerce platforms, etc.) to integrate directly with our platform, allowing for a plug-and-play approach.

AEM-built Page Launch | Real Estate Organization

Quickly onboarded into a large real estate organization and owned the product experience for their AEM implementation. I content-authored hundreds of pages, edited thousands of assets, managed numerous stakeholders, and provided UX consultations.

Joined the engagement as a project manager and worked on user experience solutions, project management, content authoring, content strategy, and stakeholder management.

Designed and authored over 100 corporate property pages, including landing, city-specific, and corporate information pages.

Created Figma boards to manage designs and client stakeholders, creating a templated approach in structuring pages in Adobe Experience Manager.
2013 - 2015

Master of Science Degree in Management Information Systems

University of Arizona - Tucson, AZ, United States

2010 - 2014

Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Management Information Systems and Accounting

University of Arizona - Tucson, AZ, United States

OCTOBER 2016 - PRESENT

Certified Scrum Product Owner

Scrum Alliance

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