Having spent most of his working life in the consulting world with PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte, Praveen Avala is accustomed to the often hectic pace and demands of project management. Now, as a Senior Project Management Lead for Information Services and Technology (IST), Praveen is managing multiple IT and Business Transformation projects that have university-wide impact. Some of his projects include enabling IST’s Project Management Office with best-practice tools, templates, processes and procedures, establishing the Learning Assessment Centre (LAC), standardizing HR processes across faculties and departments, and substituting physical HR forms with electronic forms. Although Praveen and the other members of the Project Management Office have “a lot to do on our plate,” he finds the work very rewarding and satisfying.
Praveen’s education includes a Bachelor of Technology, an MBA and Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. His 12 years as a senior technology consultant, “mostly in technology consulting, business transformation, business processes improvement and engineering,” have prepared him well for his current role in IST. Before joining IST, Praveen worked for the Office of Advancement, which gave him a good understanding of the University of Alberta and its culture. He is very happy to be working at IST and greatly admires the IST team and its leadership.
Prior to coming to the university—and Canada—Praveen lived and worked in many countries, including the United States, Thailand, India, China and New Zealand. Such broad cultural experience gave him “a new perspective in dealing with different kinds of people [as] different people come with different backgrounds, different mindsets, so when you understand their culture and behaviour, you tend to respect it and it becomes much easier to interact with them.” What a great attitude to bring to his work with IST and the university!