CELEBRATING WOMEN IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT 2020 SERIES
Location: Fremont, USA
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Alakananda Iyengar, Senior Program Manager.
Lean Six Sigma, PMP, CSM.
Program Management leader directing cross functional teams to deliver high quality programs. Alakananda aka Alaka Iyengar is Senior Program Manager, Strategic Initiatives at Syapse. She oversees daily program management of a portfolio of data related programs, leading Interoperability, Data Strategy and Quality.
Over a decade of experience in retail consulting and healthcare program, project and product management, Alaka joined Syapse as Program Manager. She has been instrumental in delivering several data related programs such as migration to interop, acquisition and ingestion of Clinical and Molecular data as well as Third Party data into Syapse applications. She has been working across a wide range of cross functional group leads to deliver a new data platform.
Prior to Syapse, Alaka joined Privis Health as Program Manager and subsequently held the role of Program Management Lead. She was promoted to General Manager, Product Operations within a year and half of joining the company. She led Client Implementation, Support and Program Management teams to ensure quality product releases and successful client implementations. She chaired the Product Committee, working with the C-Suite team on defining Product Initiatives, Roadmap Planning & Prioritization and with the cross-functional group leads from Program Management, Product Development, Quality Assurance, Design, Implementation and Clinical to define detailed product requirements and continuous improvements to company wide processes. In this role, she streamlined the administration and daily operations processes working closely with the CFO.
Prior to Privis Health, Alaka worked at McKesson – RelayHealth, where she led a cross functional team and delivered on schedule & budget multi-million dollar programs such as Enterprise Patient Engagement Portal and Meaningful Use Stage 2 Certification. She led the client implementation and support teams through Root Cause Analysis and Failure Modes & Effects Analysis, to reduce interface promotions error rate from 69% to 8.2% and production issues by 70%. She led continuous improvements to Product Development Life Cycle, resulting in speed to market and meeting delivery timelines 100% and to Deployment processes, resulting in reduction in rollbacks by 98%. She was a Key player in CMMI Level 2 audit. She strategized and rolled out a Lean UX Design Driven Development Process.
Alaka’s educational background includes a M.S. in Software Engineering from Golden Gate University, San Francisco and Masters in Business Administration and Management from Bombay University. She has a Green Belt in Lean Six Sigma in addition to being Project Management Professional and Agile Scrum certified.
What is your project management super power?
There are quite a few, the gift foresight, the ability to lead, organization, exceptional communication skills, empathy.
How can gender diversity be improved in the project management profession?
I believe gender diversity could be improved by support of women’s networks and similar forums, flexible working arrangements, leadership programs, listening to and respecting diverse perspective.
As the profession evolves, what skills do you think will be key for future success?
I believe leadership, risk management, adaptability and communication to name a few will be key for future success.
How do you recover from difficult situations?
These are steps I take to recover from difficult situations:
1) Stop and evaluate
2) Assess the problem
3) Brainstorm solutions with team
4) Set the solutions in motion
What are your tips and techniques for conflict resolution?
These are some of my tips and techniques for conflict resolution:
1) Facilitate open communication
2) Stay calm and be specific
3) Be patient and listen
4) Agree on disagreements
5) Focus on the future
Which 3 words best describe why you enjoy being a project manager?
Problem solving and leading.
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