If you were to have a conversation with Joanna Durand about her career and her wealth of accomplishments, you would think that everything was perfectly planned and executed—just like an ideal project. However, Joanna more accurately ‘fell into’ project management as part of a career change from stockbroker to supporting a merger between two financial institutions. As part of that learning experience, she had the opportunity to gain knowledge from one of the Big 5 Consulting Firms, Accenture. Under their tutelage, Joanna began to learn the job of project manager, without knowing that it was an important profession—one that would soon define her fast-paced career.
Joanna spent a significant portion of her career at Wachovia bank, where she started a Project Management organization for the operations group. At the time, the organization was 40,000-individuals strong and she had the opportunity to work in every division of the bank—including pivotal functions such as emerging businesses and Internet development.She then left to work for global financial leader JPMorgan Chase & Co. where she set up their shared services technology eBusiness capability for consumer banking. Subsequently, she became the Chief Administration Officer (CAO) for the CIO of the retail division, and later the CAO for the CIO of the company. There, she supported the technology council, helping to drive crucial efficiency and effectiveness initiatives.
Next, Joanna moved to Citibank where she took on increasing levels of responsibility. She initially ran the application and investment portfolio for their institutional technology group. Later, she moved to corporate for a cost transformation effort. Less than a year after that, the regulators performed an exam on project and program management, and she was asked to help establish a global Program Management Office, with the responsibility of governing Project and Program Management across the enterprise, along with a team of senior delivery experts. Her charter was quite an ambitious one: tackle large-scale strategic and regulatory programs from the ground up and put in place end to end governance for portfolio and program management.
“I first learned about IIL and IPM Day while at Citibank. IIL was instrumental in helping to develop our training roadmap and provide courses for our Project Managers. IIL does a great job of facilitating a dialog across the entire spectrum of the project management discipline—for those who are certified and need to get their PDUs, as well as other functional areas in an organization. The online aspect and high end video does a great job of bringing case studies to life. The community aspect is also very cool—companies, groups, and PMI Chapters host local events to celebrate the day – it becomes very powerful. I look forward to bringing all benefits of IIL to the entire enterprise at TD Bank.”
- Joanna Durand Global Head EPMO & Enabling Services, TD Bank
At this year’s IPM Day, Joanna is a featured speaker. Her topic, Catch the Wave: Transforming Program and Project Funding to Deliver Business Value Sooner, focuses on the real shift to methodology agnostic funding and the imperative of many organizations to deliver projects with more agility. Joanna explains, “The 5-year traditional business case model no longer works; we need to work towards a flexible tranche based funding model. Those who attend my session will learn about how to fund projects differently, oversee their commitments to the organization, and continuously enable capital to investment in those organizations.”
She advises up and coming professionals:
“Project Management is a foundation for almost every job in a services industry. You won’t necessarily know if you want to be a Project Manager. It’s a way of thinking—a way of solving problems. Regardless of your career direction, the skill set is so transferrable, it’s worth taking the time to become proficient.”
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