I am known for refining processes to reduce cost, eliminating inefficiencies, and automating work functions.
Managed assessment development projects for Florida FCAT, Mississippi, Florida Interim, Virginia Modified Achievement Assessment, and Nursing Program Solutions exams for Pearson Assessments.
• Met budget, schedule and financial deliveries on time by successfully managing multimillion dollar test development projects for Departments of Education in Florida, Virginia and Mississippi, and Pearson Education.
• Rehabilitated failing project by managing test question writing, reviews, and metric tracking with 8 vendors under extreme schedule compression, avoiding $2M penalty.
• Implemented and managed technical solution for external item writing meetings by incorporating processes, including resource analysis of prospective locations, creation of onsite network, and IT troubleshooting.
• Reduced team workload and increased productivity, using Lean Sigma principles, by identifying efficiency opportunities, implementing better task tracking, and streamlining team meetings and communication throughout project lifecycle.
• Streamlined metric tracking across all Pearson projects by coding Access VBA database, inputting and track vendor performance.
• Reduced 8 hour manual process to 1 minute by automating department metric calculations, using Excel VBA solution.
Co-founded and managed The Dinner Garden, a 501(c)3 high impact, social service organization that provided fruit and vegetable seeds to families in US during recession. Managed seed inventories valued at $150K and annual donations of over $100K.
• Provided seeds to 100K families by continuously analyzing and reducing costs of seed distribution to best utilize capital donations.
• Implemented continual cost cutting measures by analyzing product costs, seed germination rates, shipping options, and education delivery methods.
• Reduced costs by leveraging website and MS SQL to educate clients, track clients and donors, and streamline distribution.
• Reduced seed packaging process from 10 to 2 minutes by implementing LEAN process efficiencies.
Oversaw project to train 56K state employees for statewide implementation of Kronos Timekeeper system.
• Determined most efficient and cost effect method for training employees by creating detailed training plan, covering all aspects of compiling materials, managing and scheduling training, and methods and processes.
• Pressed need for statewide change management and gathered employee and infrastructure data by engaging stakeholders to build acceptance of training tasks.
Designed and developed multiple Access based solutions using VBA and MS SQL for new performance measurement team for Stanford Financial Group, a global private financial services company.
• Reduced account valuation process from 10 days to 8 hours by creating custom Access VBA tool to semi-automate process.
• Cut costs, increased employee efficiency and productivity, and reduced employee error rates by creating and refining processes and eliminating need for larger staff.
• Reduced error rates 100% by transferring several daily processes from Excel to automated GUI Access tools, removing employee calculations and data manipulations from processes.
Implemented centralized service center for Wachovia. Separated customer service functions from processing functions. Developed metrics and analyzed costs for new service center. Mapped job tasks, analyzed service center data, implemented plan design, performed employee capacity analysis, and computed call volume and content metrics.
I love working with Microsoft Access. It can automate a large amount of processing, move manual work out of Excel, and generate clean, usable data managers can use to drive decisions. By automating that work, I can free up staff time for more productive work and reduce manual calculation error rates to zero.
Starting The Dinner Garden with my wife, Holly. We were in the middle of the Recession, and like most families in the US, we were hit pretty hard. We had a large garden we were using to feed our family, and we thought if everyone who was struggling had gardens, they could drastically reduce their food costs. The Dinner Garden focused on getting seeds and education to those families. Of course, the hard part was the implementation, which is where experience in business analysis and project management really paid off. By the time we ended our work, we had helped over 100k families and were nationally recognized as a pioneer organization.
I am continuing my career path, but focusing on business analysis work. I have found that business analyst and project manager jobs tend to have a lot of crossover, so my career experience has been beneficial to the growth of my skillset. However, business analysis tends to be a little more hands-on and in the trenches when it comes to data gathering, calculating results, reengineering processes, and offering solutions. I enjoy that kind of work because first and foremost, I'm a problem solver.
I find it's important to deal with traditional waste in daily activities first. Remove extraneous steps, clean up processing, and remove duplication of effort. I ask a lot of questions and solicit input from teams because it's important to have a human element to these decisions. While I often hear, "We've always done it this way," I also find team members who do these steps everyday, so they've worked out 20 different ways to do it better. Finally, I take the revised process and find ways where data processing steps can be automated with macros or VBA programs. Someone may have a report that requires manual calculations that takes hours. I can use Excel or Access to reduce that time to seconds. This is especially useful in companies that are trying to use metrics to drive decisions and improve efficiency, but the process to gather and process those metrics just creates another layer of inefficiency. I streamline that work, so managers can get to the heart of the issues quickly.
As a foster parent for dachshunds with special needs, I spend a lot of time taking care of them. My wife, Holly, and I focus on the traumatized, paralyzed, and injured fosters because they have a special place in our hearts, and very few foster parents take on these dogs. That means, though, we're at the vet often, sometimes once or twice a week. We also rehab at home, which might be exercising doxie legs, doing water therapy, or, with traumatized dogs, teaching them how to trust and live in a family. It's a lot of work but incredibly rewarding to see one of our dachshunds walk again, play for the first time, and get adopted by an amazing forever family.
I've had a few conversations with contract firms about current trends in business systems analysis. They're saying Agile is the big thing in software development now. I'm familiar with the methodology, but I felt like I should read up on it, since the standardized testing world is definitely all about Waterfall.
The short version of Agile is that development focuses on continuous improvement through regular conversations with the client and frequent delivery of usable software.