Quick Hits: Chathurika Prabodani Gunathilaka

On the power of effective communication, taking ownership of deliverables and the influence of Lee Kuan Yew.

Chathurika Prabodani Gunathilaka, PMP
Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka
Title: Project manager
Organization: Camms
Industry: IT

What three adjectives best describe you?
Clear, focused and tenacious.

What’s the best project management advice you’ve received?
Instead of trying to control everything all the time, focus on delegating the right tasks to the right team members. The team will get the maximum output from a collective effort.

What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on?
In a previous role at iTelasoft, I worked with a team to release a QR code generation application for M-Pesa, which is the most-used digital payment application in Africa.

What’s your project management mantra?
Communication and focus are the keys to managing stakeholders effectively.

How has volunteering helped you build skills or become a better leader?
I’ve become more responsible for my own tasks since there is no one to monitor my progress when I volunteer. I also need to meet the quality expectations of the community. That, in turn, improves my leadership skills, communication skills, stakeholder management skills, negotiation skills and team-building skills on a deeper level.

What’s the secret for effective communication?
Identifying the stakeholders and understanding their direct interest and potential impact on a project. You need to focus on the requirements of stakeholders and adapt communication styles for each stakeholder.

If you could shadow one person for a day, who would it be?
Lee Kuan Yew, former prime minister of Singapore and respected lawyer. I would want to learn exactly how to use limited resources for a maximum output, like he did when he transformed the nation’s economy and forged a highly effective government.

How do you relieve stress?
Spending time in nature and watching the surrounding wildlife. I also listen to music when I’m stressed because it helps me stay calm until I feel prepared enough to tackle whatever I’m working on.

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Image credit: Arantha Sirimanne


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