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• 5-10 years' experience facilitating and guiding business leads and subject matter experts in defining and documenting comprehensive, but high level business requirements
For example, business SMEs may never have implemented a new system working in collaboration with IT; or they may not understand the documentation and project due diligence required for an enterprise organization.
• Experience with requirements development for SaaS solutions as well as custom "in-house” developed solutions or enhancements
Understanding when and how to distinguish between design requirements (largely not applicable for SaaS solutions) vs. more typical specification level details needed for custom solutions
• Experience with Waterfall and Agile methodologies – blended or hybrid methodologies preferred and the relevant types and level of documentation required.
Chevron is largely Waterfall, but is moving to Agile and blended / other methodologies as pressure is mounting to be flexible - "fail fast” is a new motto emerging under direction of new CEO
• Demonstrable knowledge of System Development Lifecycles and standardized IT support models; ticketing, prioritization, etc. especially with defining, documenting, and facilitating the setup of help desk/L1/L2/L3 support for go-live and post-go live operations
From client's perspective, the documentation required to transition to Operations is one of the weakest points for the IT team. They end up stuck supporting things long after they should have to, because they don't have things documented at all, or not well enough to hand off to a Level 1 or 2 support team.
• Workable / conceptual understanding of Authentication (Single Sign On) / Authorization, system architectural components and relationships
i.e. the differences between methods for authenticating a user vs. what permissions that person has; fundamental concepts around firewalls, on-premise vs cloud, identity management systems, database (including graph databases, document databases, and more traditional relational), data storage/data lakes/data warehouses, security controls, monitoring / eDiscovery, mobility, etc.
Laylah has had drive internal Architecture, Security, Privacy reviews (and this is really laborious at Chevron). Technically this is a Tech Lead (IT team) responsibility, but it requires a lot of documentation; and frequently, the business is underrepresented and the tech lead isn't as strong in advocating for/communicating the business's objectives.
• Experience working in large enterprise level companies, including navigating enterprise IT compliance, procurement, and communications processes
including: request for proposal, solution assessments
The business SMEs may or may not have experience going through the quantifiable assessment that procurement typically requires. At an enterprise level, there are also a lot of defined channels for communicating and it's helpful to know and have experience with having to funnel through centralized departments to communicate to different departments/user bases etc.
• Demonstrated ability to work with senior-level stakeholders and manage conflicting priorities, goals, and views.
• Experience with test planning, documentation, execution, bug/issue triage/tracking
This is particularly under-done and muddled at Chevron. Especially with SaaS systems, where the nature of the testing isn't to find bugs, but to plan for and understand how that system will work with the processes and functions the company is buying it for.
• Excellent communications, presentation, and facilitation skills
The group Laylah supports are communications professionals who work in managing high stakes political stakeholders, they will not take anyone seriously who can't be somewhat polished, articulate, and clear in their communications – must be able to talk to the business. On the IT side, must be able to be clear about what is actionable vs. speculative.
• Ability to translate from business-speak to IT-speak and back again, with excellent negotiation and escalation skills
Communications breakdowns, spinning, and time-wasted happen all the time because the business doesn't understand what the IT team is saying, the IT team can't tell the difference between a speculative question and a hard requirement, etc.
• Support change management activities – system training, communications plans etc.
This is something they do pretty well, considering that it's solidly in familiar communications territory. But they don't always have the resources. When they do have the resources, they tend to only provide explanations/clarification for how the system works and what configuration decisions mean etc.
• Demonstrated ability to direct/lead cross-functional team in an influencer role without direct authority
This soft-skill is 100% necessity. The role doesn't have any direct authority – diminished even more because of contract status – however, they have to guide, facilitate, and help bridge the gaps between mandated PMO process activities, and business needs. Has to know when and to whom to escalate, what's important to put boundaries around and what's ok to just let go, etc. The role is largely self-directed, and sometimes needs to be able to be direct about what's needed – in the right way. Able to support IT Manager interests and positions/limitations (don't overcommit, etc.) without appearing to put up roadblocks or seem to say IT is the roadblock, etc.
• Project management experience (schedules, budgeting, task management, reporting and stakeholder communications, risk planning/mitigation)
If the project doesn't have a dedicated project manager, this role may need to do some of this for PMO reporting purposes if nothing else. But for the most part the business SMEs don't have this skill set, so even if they have a business PM on the project, unless it's a professional PM (like Alice) this role supports and bolsters the business lead here.
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