Profileimage by Michael Sowa Lead/Senior Product- und Project Manager, Product Owner und (Technischer) Projektleiter from Berlin

Michael Sowa

not available until 12/01/2021
Contact

Last update: 24.09.2021

Product- and Project Manager, Product Owner and (technical) Projectlead

Graduation: not provided
Hourly-/Daily rates: show
Je nach Auftragsort, Remote-Anteil und Projektlänge VB
Languages: German (Native or Bilingual) | English (Full Professional)

Attachments

Profile_Michael_Sowa_06-2020_Deutsch.pdf
Profile_Michael_Sowa_06-2020_English.pdf

Skills

Very structured, detail-oriented product and project manager with over 12 years of professional experience in agile start-ups as well as DAX companies. Due to my analytical competence I am able to pick up strategic and business-relevant topics quickly, translate them into (technical) work packages and priorize them for implementation.

Thanks to my extensive expertise as a (technical) product owner I also count the management of tasks and resources, continuous monitoring of KPIs and ensuring a smooth a always prioritized development as my key skills.

My way of working is very customer-oriented while still considering the set business goals and stakeholder feedbacks. A high standard of the quality of my own work as well as the result is self-explanatory to me. A high level of stress resistance as well as the effort to always create a positive, satisfying and productive work atmosphere allows me to be a good team member and team leader who loves to solve problems in advance.

I OFFER
  • IT project management from idea to operating business
  • Project planning and controlling (budgeting, resource management, risk management)
  • Evaluation of product vision and strategy based on stakeholder and customer input
  • Product management in close cooperation with stakeholders and management of UX / UI designers, developers (FE, BE, DBE, OPS, full stack), quality assurance & product owner
  • Leading the development as product owner (SCRUM, Kanban, waterfall)
  • Analysis and improvement of existing processes
  • Creation of company-wide or IT-relevant roadmaps
  • Building product & project teams from scratch
  • Training of product & project managers
  • Management of teams onsite & offsite in agile projects
  • Presentation of status reports and results (customers, management level)
  • Comprehensive IT knowledge
  • Mobile development
  • Experience in both B2C, B2B and B2B2C

KNOWLEDGE / TOOLS / SOFTWARE
  • Product development (web, mobile, SaaS, eCommerce, FinTech)
  • API integrations
  • Responsive design
  • Continuous integration
  • Feature driven development
  • Shop solutions (Magento, Shopware)
  • Customer Experience / UX design / UI design
  • Quality assurance (QA) - hands-on as well as a test lead
  • User tests, A / B tests, data driven development
  • Online marketing tech
  • JIRA, Trello, Mantis, Redmine
  • Confluence
  • GSuite
  • MS Office
  • Moqups (wireframing / prototypes)
  • Slack, Google Chats
  • Mind mapping tools
  • MS Project
  • XML, JSON, SQL

Project history

03/2019 - 04/2020
External Project & Product Manager, Product Owner
Sevenval Technologies GmbH / Finance Gate GmbH (250-500 employees)
Internet and Information Technology

Multiple projects for the IT agency Sevenval / Avenga

  1. Evaluation project of a big local cutlery company in need of an international online store including larger infrastructure. Assessment of current situation, workshops on customer side and presentation of developed vision including international roadmap of a roughly million euro scoped solution
  2. Evaluation and execution of a customized online shop for prepaid cards as whitelabel solution. Including customer kick-off workshops, onboarding of a newly formed remote team, acting as project manager and product manager
  3. Project and product management of a multiple million euro project in the space of traditional insurances. Building a multi-client, customer facing platform to create, manage and reassessment of contracts.
  • Responsible for budget und ressources management, invoicing, offerings, data protection, third party vendors, leading internal and external workshops, concepts of new features, quality assurance.
  • Leading the communication of large clients as well as board updates & presentations while leading the development and design team and managing the backlog.

01/2018 - 02/2019
Freelance Product & Project Manager
Multiple Customers and Projects
Internet and Information Technology

Served as temporary product and project manager as well as QA lead for different companies and projects:

  1. A fanshop of a well-known German football club including various community features and social integration. Overseeing project management as well as planning QA as Test Lead including various stakeholder meetings on-side
     
  2. An international erotic online store. Planning future development in close collaboration with the customers business manager and external IT department. Ensuring smooth sprints by planning ahead, overseeing current sprint progress and managing external QA
     
  3. A drone racing simulation game. Acting as project and QA lead to ensure development is meeting deadlines and ensuring the quality need of customer is met.
     
  4. Project management for a Berlin based external QA company. Managing multiple projects at the same time, acting as QA lead and educating and overseeing QA engineers work. Reviewing current processes and improving them in close collaboration with stakeholders, ensuring satisfaction of business customer is met.

05/2017 - 11/2017
Head of Product – Marketing Technology
DP – Digital Performance GmbH (50-250 employees)
Internet and Information Technology
  • Part of the senior management reporting into the COO as sole responsible person for all product related marketing activities, roadmap and vision creation
  • Leading a product team of two and their respective project teams, further educating each individual while overlooking the daily progress of all projects.
  • Creating a companywide framework for business value and case-based development, presenting it to C-Level management and getting it signed off for introducing
  • Creation of a long-term vision and roadmap for the planned “marketing machine” including several milestones and subprojects, planning ahead roughly 2 years in development time
  • Traveled to the different company locations in Kiel, Bremen and Hamburg to learn about all related business models and products and introducing the planned vision
  • Held multiple companywide workshops about Project Management and educated 11 individuals in basic and advanced project management, including use cases and 1on1 workshops as follow-up
  • Left the company in good terms as the Berlin tech / product department was closed and moved into a different location responsibility

07/2016 - 02/2017
Head of Operations
ASQA – Ausborn Software Quality Assurance (10-50 employees)
Internet and Information Technology
  • Joined the ranks of a good friend to help accelerate his running business on the business and operations side
  • Taking over recruiting for the company including paid advertisements, all interviews and onboarding
  • Responsible for new projects and customers for each new employee (project based on-side QA at customer office) as well as new business opportunities (signed partnership with Asian QA company and their software as new service for ASQA)
  • Project management and consultancy for second division of the company in the field of marketing, online marketing and general business opportunities (e.g. full concept for office-share and conference-room renting within an existing office complex including go-to-market strategy)
Position was planned for a 6-month period to boost the operational success and analyze new business opportunities, and going back into product management afterwards

02/2016 - 07/2016
Head of Operations (Head of Product)
Dojo Madness GmbH (10-50 employees)
Internet and Information Technology
  • Planned to be and signed as Head of Product however this was changed right after joining due to an urge to fill the operational part
  • Responsible for all employees (at time 24 FTE) in terms of current performance, needs and long-term development
  • Review of all internal processes to ensure smoother workflows and better, more transparent development progress
  • Taking over HR and recruiting for the company
  • Working closely with product and IT to enhance communication and long-term vision, replacing not suitable human resources to ensure better results
  • Helped onboarding the new CTO, who also took over core responsibilities on the product and development side, which in the end lead to parting ways with the company

08/2015 - 03/2016
Head of Product & Development
Delivery Hero Austria GmbH (50-250 employees)
Internet and Information Technology
  • Core responsibility was to build up a product and full stack development team after the transition of the company from Vienna to Berlin
  • Main long-term responsibility was to be the head of product and development, ensuring the further development and enhancement of the product and its KPIs
  • Part of the 4-person management team as well as leading 5 developers, 1 UI designer, 1 QA lead and 1 PO while recruiting for additional 4 FTEs
  • Major achievements: Analyzed the product to introduce new processes and structures (such as IT gatekeeping) and launching a re-design of the website (introducing responsive design) as well as iOS and Android apps which are used by hundreds of thousands of users per month.
  • Build up a product roadmap including all department needs, introduced SCRUM, point of contact for all Austrian departments plus the Holding in Berlin including BI, branding, HR and finance

10/2012 - 12/2014
Senior Product Manager
GameGenetics GmbH (50-250 employees)
Internet and Information Technology
  • Building up a product management team from scratch to a current size of 4 and educating hired trainees and juniors
  • Developing and successfully releasing new B2C products as marketing channels (iOS, Win8, WM8, Android and Web Apps) and optimizing existing B2C products on KPIs
  • Taking care of the internal product development: Creating business cases with every department, calculating business impacts to decide on next roadmap developments, specifying each project in detail and close monitoring/leading development of each project with daily IT stand ups
  • Leading up to 2 project teams at a time (consisting of 3 developers and 1 QA) and   monitoring further 2 project teams with their responsible PM while acting as bridge between business and IT including outsourcing staff, design and content management
  • Directly reporting to the CEO and COO and being part of the senior management team  driving forward the strategic process of the company
  • Successfully launching and managing white label solutions and apps with brands such as MSN.de, web.de, gmx.de, bild.de, Dell, Lenovo and Intel and acting as direct contact for further development and optimization

03/2012 - 12/2012
Product Manager Germany
Gamania Digital Entertainment [Europe] (1000-5000 employees)
Internet and Information Technology
  • Responsible for the launch of self-developed and licensed games of the corporation on the German speaking market (D-A-CH)
  • From evaluation of products on compatibility for the aimed market over the release and beyond with data analysis to enhance performance
  • Overall project management including development, localization, QA, website development, payment, customer support and community management
  • Leading a smaller team for CS and CM, assigning and planning their work schedule and reporting performance to the director
  • Close coordination of developers, QA, online marketing and GFX working from offices in Amsterdam, Taipei, Japan and USA
  • Attended quarterly regional manager meetings in EU HQ with all country heads and COO to further discuss and drive strategic process
  • Unfortunately leaving the company after just 7 month due to the Asian headquarter decision on seizing all European and most US operations and closing the offices

05/2010 - 03/2012
International Sales & Project Manager
Games Quality GbR (10-50 employees)
Internet and Information Technology
  • Expanding the international appearance and client base
  • On-boarding of new clients and introduction in all fields of quality assurance, evaluate the best possible services matching the client needs
  • Internal project management, marketing, sales, business development in direct cooperation with the executive board
  • Attendance of all major national and international conferences and exhibitions of the games and iGaming industry
  • Started and managed co-operations with companies to enhance the product portfolio (Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, Endemol, Gamania, Kalydo, ...

05/2008 - 03/2010
Project and Product Manager
ROCCAT GmbH (50-250 employees)
Internet and Information Technology
  • Responsible for the design, development and release of 8 high-quality and high-price gaming peripheral products (mice, headsets, keyboards, …) as only German PM
  • Coordination and assessment of resources, budgets, shipping, human resources
  • Communication interface between offices in Germany, Taipei and the executive board
  • Frequent on-site negotiations with suppliers, vendors and producers in Asia. Overall 1 year on-site in China, Taipei, Hong Kong and Malaysia
  • Presentation to press, journalists and visitors of the products on all major game exhibitions

01/2002 - 12/2008
Professional Gamer (eSports athlete)
Multiple companies & organisations (< 10 employees)
Internet and Information Technology
  • Professional gamer over a period of around 6 years
  • Revenue based on salary and price money of competitions around the world
  • Captain and player of the German national team in four different games
  • Multiple awards as best european player, won the European championships multiple times
  • Leading the Call of Duty community consisting of several million players, creating rulesets fort he biggest European leagues and creating communities for all level of play
  • Over 10 appearances on German television as host for eSports titles
  • Consulatant for multiple teams and organisations (PlayAll, Speedlink, mTw, Aliengaming)
  • Part of the management of company owned teams: calculating budgets, events and travel
  • Role model for sponsors on several German exhibitions (e.g. AMD, ROCCAT, Speedlink at events such as Cebit, GamesCom and Games Convention)

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