A graduate of New York University with a bachelor of science in engineering, Rao Chalasani of New Jersey most recently served as the director of trading risk management and business chief technology officer at Bank of America – Merrill Lynch in New York, NY. In this role, Rao Chalasani created a US patent-pending enterprise risk management system.
Enterprise risk management systems go beyond traditional risk assessment approaches by taking a comprehensive look at all risk areas, from finance and operations to compliance and governance. With a systems approach to risk management, an organization takes into account that risks in one area can spread to other areas.
By understanding the interrelation of risks across departments, an organization can mitigate the damage that otherwise could ripple through the company. In addition to hedging against potential damage, effective risk management systems allow organizations to take calculated risks and capitalize on growth opportunities through smarter utilization of both human and capital resources.
An engineering graduate of Polytechnic Institute of New York University, Rao Chalasani most recently served as the director of trading risk management and the business CTO at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch. Currently based in Livingston, New Jersey, Rao Chalasani also has held the role of project manager of global derivatives technology at JP Morgan Chase, where he led the design and implementation of new vendor systems.
Effective project management starts with effective project planning. Many information technology project managers do not allocate enough time in project planning, opting to jump straight into the execution phase. This approach is partly responsible for high project-failure numbers. Time spent on planning the project leads to reduced implementation time and cost.
Project planning begins with defining the project. Start with an overview of the project, detailing what the project aims to achieve, why it is being implemented, and how it will benefit the organization. Clarify the scope of the project, such as the departments involved and how phase-to-phase transitions will be affected. Assign clearly defined roles to the implementing team, making sure there is a clear line of command and a response framework for complications that may arise. Estimate a timeframe and cost for the project implementation.
After defining the project, create a planning horizon. This is the work plan for the project. Estimate the work as far as possible, outlining the assumptions made and uncertainties prevalent. Once the project implementation starts, the planning horizon will be a reference point. Activities that were vaguely outlined can be reassessed and better defined when they come up.
Finally, outline the project management procedures, including best communication practices, risks involved, quality required, and management of obstacles. Only after such planning should implementation begin.
Rao Chalasani, Livingston, New Jersey, resident, has served as the chief technology officer/risk strategist at Merrill Lynch, New York. Borrowing from his diverse background in technology and finance, Rao Chalasani has implemented innovative enterprise risk management strategies to foster company growth.
In the competitive financial services market, developing and implementing unique corporate strategies is essential to remaining relevant. While strategies are effectively developed in boardrooms, they often fail at the implementation stage for various reasons, one being staff reluctance or poor reception. This creates a gap between where the company is and where the company would like to go.
To help close this gap, corporate executives can use three tools at the strategy implementation phase. The first is clarifying strategy. If people don’t understand it, they won’t connect with it. Clarify the strategy so people can rally behind it.
The second is communication. Powerfully communicate strategy to all levels of the organization. Use numerous mediums such as internal blogs, message boards, podcasts, and even luncheons.
Finally, cascade the strategy. This means shifting from ‘what to do’ to ‘how to do it.’ Work the strategy into the practical components of peoples’ jobs. Managers will also help translate elements of strategy into peoples’ daily lives.