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Daily Inspiration: Meet Milan Dordevic

Today we’d like to introduce you to Milan Dordevic.

Hi Milan, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
Sure, let me share my story quickly. At the beginning of the 2000s, during my business and IT college studies, back in Serbia, I faced for the first time the organizational science and project management disciplines. It intrigued me why and how some organizations have success and can repeat it, but others can’t. Since then, I have been obsessed with it. For almost 20 years, I have been helping organizations worldwide to repeat the success over and over again and flourish. From year to year, my career excelled, and I’m glad that I reached a point where I can share my experience and expertise with others in this area and influence the industry as well.

Now I work as Director of Product Development at Proctorio, headquartered in Scottsdale, where I joined in 2020. In 2021 Proctorio became a leader in online assessments by proctoring more than 25 million exams in that year only, supporting the USA and worldwide online education. The innovative solution and approach enormously helped the USA education to overcome the Covid-19 outbreak and support students to continue on their career path and obtain desired knowledge and degrees.

Due to the international impact, I made so far in a few industries, from the perspective of product innovation and project management, in May 2022, I was selected as the official Forbes Technology Council member. That is an invitation-only community for world-class CIOs, CTO, and technology executives based on the depth and diversity of their experience; not only that, I have become a part of a well-known professional network. I also became a part of the professional editorial team where I can share my expert insights in original business articles on forbes.com and a part of the experts’ panel where I can contribute by publishing my view on the future of various industries.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been fairly smooth?
It was more bumpy and rocky than the smooth road. It is not easy when you are trying to make a change and innovate either in products or processes because people, in general, are reluctant to change, hesitant to move away from their known way of working. But things can start moving forward by building awareness, using the right approach, small steps, and creating an environment that embraces change.

When I succeeded with a couple of companies in the Internet of Things and Game development areas, I thought that repeating the same steps and actions could be applied in other industries, but it was not. Success in creating the most productive HOPA game development studio in the world gave me certain knowledge, experience, and confidence bust. Still, it could not completely apply to the Automotive industry, which was my next step. My role was to create teams, structure, define processes, and manage all of them to develop software for the first-ever autonomous BMW. The automotive industry is one of the oldest industries that has not been changed for almost 100 years, with an old-fashioned way of working, rigid processes, and a lot of manual activities. So I continued investing in myself and my knowledge to become top-notch in project management. Training, courses, advanced degrees, and certifications from all world know Project management organizations and institutes during the years, combined with the practical daily implementation of it, made a result. I have learned about various methodologies, frameworks, perspectives, and best practices that can apply. Still, the best of it, I have learned how to understand a company, its needs, and how to create and implement the perfect fit solution. When I succeeded there, I moved forward to the next milestone, which brought me here. I jumped into a more challenging industry, which hadn’t changed for hundreds of years. And that is how my new cycle started.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
My expertise is in complex & remote project and product management, organizational development, transformation & change. Through dynamic leadership and vision, I am driving business and product innovation, automation, digitalization, program efficiency, and scaling agility in the organization.

So what does that mean? That means I’m focused on creating an environment in the organization that will enhance productivity and organizational thriving. That can be triggered using the appropriate resources, structure and infrastructure, methodologies, frameworks, and processes to increase productivity, delivery, and desired company outcomes.

After years in Serbia and Germany, working on many international projects for well-known worldwide companies, in 2019, I moved with my family to the USA, in Scottsdale. We instantly fell in love with the city, Arizona’s nature, and the incredible community.

I am proud to have had the opportunity to build my team and department here, where I hired more than 20 highly skilled Arizonians and supported their families and households. I am so grateful that this community accepted us so well, so my wife and I are trying to give it back to the community. By volunteering in the various organizations that make an economic impact on the community, organizations for professional and personal development, the Phoenix start-up and entrepreneurs scene, and the Serbian Orthodox church. Since my learning never ends, I succeeded in obtaining an MBA degree from Grand Canyon University a few months ago, where I met incredible colleagues. From that journey, my previous European education and international experience were enhanced by the Christian values, Conscious capitalism, and Servant leadership that GCU propagates. I am striving to become a leader who serves people so that they can reach their full potential, the community, and its needs because that is the only way to progress further. My motto is: we rise by lifting others.

Can you talk to us a bit about the role of luck?
Each role and situation in my life and business career taught me something. Either how to do it or how not, but never stop trying. Repeat good examples, and use wrong ones as lessons learned in the next attempt. I would say that luck is when preparation meets the opportunity because obtained knowledge is the only thing no one can take from you. You should maintain it and scale it constantly, and certainly, at some point, the opportunity will appear, and you will be ready to apply it and be grateful for it.

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Image Credits
pictures: Milan Dordevic

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