5 Best Inspiring Leaders of 2024

Jennifer McShane Bary: Breaking New Ground in Project Management -Expertise, Leadership, and Success: A Leader of Innovation.

Jennifer’s dedication to fostering a culture of diversity, inclusion, and continuous learning has empowered her team to deliver exceptional results consistently.

By Business Outstanders
Jennifer McShane Bary: Breaking New Ground in Project Management -Expertise, Leadership, and Success: A Leader of Innovation.

Jennifer McShane Bary is the Founder and CEO of JMB Project Management. With over two decades of experience in strategic business management and technology integration, Jennifer has propelled JMB to the forefront of the project management industry. Her dynamic leadership and commitment to innovation have been instrumental in transforming complex projects into achievable milestones.

Jennifer’s dedication to fostering a culture of diversity, inclusion, and continuous learning has empowered her team to deliver exceptional results consistently. Under her guidance, JMB has grown into a global leader known for its client-centric approach and cutting-edge solutions.

Business Outstanders has reached out to Jennifer McShane Bary to learn about her journey as an inspiring leader and the CEO of JMB Project Management Co. LLC.

In Conversation with Jennifer McShane Bary:

Tell us about your professional experience. What were the series of events that led to the founding of JMB Project Management?

My career started on the Gold Coast in Australia, working as a part-time legal secretary while studying for my Bachelor of Business. This role ingrained in me the importance of attention to detail and clear communication. In 2006, I took a bold step and applied for the CIO position at The O2 in London. Surrounded by inspiring entrepreneurs, I secured the job and thrived in this dynamic environment, managing IT infrastructure and leading an exceptional team. This experience sharpened my leadership, strategic planning, and collaboration skills.

After London, I returned to Australia, taking on senior leadership roles at Queensland Health and eHealth NSW, where I spearheaded major digital transformations and infrastructure projects. In 2021, I moved to Saudi Arabia to work on the NEOM project, aiming to build the world's first cognitive city. These experiences highlighted the need for a more integrated approach to managing complex projects, leading me to found JMB Project Management. My vision was to create a company that not only managed projects efficiently but also provided tailored solutions to meet the unique needs of clients across various industries.

You have accumulated a vast wealth of experience in several business roles under your belt. In what ways has it helped JMB Project Management so far?

My diverse experience has been instrumental in shaping JMB Project Management. Having worked across different sectors, I bring a comprehensive understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities each industry presents. This allows us to tailor our project management services to meet specific client needs effectively. Additionally, my background in strategic planning and technology integration ensures that we leverage the latest innovations to deliver exceptional results. Our advisory board, composed of industry experts, further enhances our ability to provide specialized expertise and insights, ensuring our clients receive the best possible solutions.

How have your past experiences influenced your current work and contributed to your expertise?

Strategic IT Leadership: My tenure at organizations like, NEOM, British Airways, The O2 (Anschutz Entertainment Group), and LGC Limited, where I served in strategic IT leadership roles, has honed my ability to envision and execute technology strategies that align with organizational goals. These roles have ingrained a deep understanding of how technology can serve as a lever for business transformation.

Program and Project Management: My experience managing high-value, complex projects across different industries, including healthcare with eHealth NSW and eHealth Queensland, has endowed you with a robust framework for managing multimillion-dollar projects. The ability to oversee these initiatives from conception through to delivery, ensuring they meet scope, budget, and time constraints, directly informed and created a successful outcome in my current role's responsibilities, especially in steering NEOM’s Service Delivery and Operations.

Digital Transformation in Healthcare: In leading the digital transformation at eHealth Queensland and contributing to the healthcare sector's technological advancement in Australia has provided me with an in-depth understanding of digital health strategies and more importantly the needs of patients in a patient centric healthcare application. This experience is invaluable in my current work, where leveraging technology for operational excellence and service delivery is paramount.

Operational Excellence and Efficiency: My track record of improving operational efficiencies, evidenced by your work at British Airways and Honeywell Asia Pacific, has equipped me with the skills to enhance operational frameworks for my customers. The strategic procurement frameworks and vendor contract negotiations I spearheaded have contributed to my ability to manage and optimize budgets effectively, achieving a budget variance of only 2% in FY 2023 at NEOM.

Building High-Performing Teams: My leadership roles have consistently emphasized team building and leadership. From managing diverse teams at Nuffield Health and eHealth NSW to my very loved team and leadership of a 187-strong team at NEOM, my capacity to inspire, mentor, and lead high-performing teams has been a cornerstone of my professional ethos.

Innovation and Customer Service: My initiatives, such as the development of a high performing team at NEOM and leading the delivery of Australia's first fully digital public hospital, highlight my innovative approach to problem-solving and commitment to excellence in customer service. My NEOM team had the highest customer satisfaction scores of any IT department that I have seen globally. Most IT teams attract poor feedback, but not my team 

To sum up, my past experiences have not only equipped me with a comprehensive skill set spanning strategic planning, project management, digital transformation, and operational efficiency but have also imbued you with a leadership style that values innovation, team dynamics, and customer satisfaction. This places me in a very good position for my next challenge as CEO with JMB which will utilize all these skills and more.

How have your years of expertise translated to meeting client expectations in a better way?

My extensive experience has enabled me to anticipate and address client needs more effectively. By understanding the intricacies of various industries, I can offer tailored solutions that drive success. Additionally, my leadership in digital transformations ensures that we stay at the forefront of technological advancements, providing innovative solutions to our clients. This expertise, combined with our client-centric approach, allows us to exceed expectations consistently.

How important has recruiting the right people been for the incredible growth of the company?

Recruiting the right people has been crucial to our success. Our reputation for employee care and diversity attracts top talent, who bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to the table. By fostering a culture of inclusivity and continuous learning, we empower our team to excel in their roles. This dedication to building a strong, diverse team has been instrumental in driving JMB’s growth and delivering outstanding results for our clients.

What would you like to say to the many future women entrepreneurs who might be reading this?

Believe in your vision and stay resilient. Entrepreneurship is a challenging journey filled with ups and downs, but perseverance and adaptability are key. Surround yourself with a supportive network of mentors and peers who can provide guidance and encouragement. Don’t be afraid to take risks and learn from your mistakes. Embrace innovation and continuously seek opportunities for growth and improvement. Most importantly, stay true to your values and build a business that not only achieves financial success but also makes a positive impact on society.

What are your plans for the future? Short term and long term.

In the short term, we aim to expand our footprint in the GCC region, focusing on delivering innovative project management solutions. Long term, our goal is to become a global leader in project management, driving positive change and setting new standards in the industry. We plan to integrate sustainable practices, leverage advanced technologies, and support diverse talent. Ultimately, we envision JMB making a significant impact on the project management industry and beyond.

Can you provide a detailed overview of your background, upbringing, education, and any significant life experiences that have shaped you?

Born in Australia, I spent my early years in school and learning as much as I could about life.  I worked three jobs to pay for a pilot’s license, put myself through university and lived the life that most young people do. My upbringing laid a foundation of flexibility, determination and adaptability in me, qualities that I'd come to rely on heavily in the years to come.

In 2015, driven by a desire to broaden my horizons and further my career, I made a decision to move to the United Kingdom. This wasn't just a professional leap; it was a deeply personal one. As a sole parent, relocating with my four children was as challenging as it was exciting. Our years in the UK were transformative, filled with growth, learning, and adaptation. My children benefited from global travel in that time period which set them with a great foundation for life. It was here that I truly began to grow in my career, gaining invaluable experience and insights.

In 2010, I made the decision to return to Australia. At the time I was pregnant with my 5th child, a daughter who continues to live with me now as the others are grown and living their own lives.  I stepped into several senior leadership roles, each presenting new challenges and opportunities for growth. This period was instrumental in shaping my professional identity, honing my leadership skills, and reinforcing my belief in the power of innovation and adaptability.

Enter COVID-19 and Australia effectively closed but that didn’t quell my desire to work abroad again. The itch for a new challenge took me to Saudi Arabia in 2021. It was a move driven by the desire to learn from a different culture, and to inject fresh perspectives into my work. My time there was a lesson in adaptation, resilience, and the importance of cultural sensitivity in global business.

Now, I've settled in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where I've embarked on perhaps my most ambitious project yet: founding a company with a fresh focus in Project Management. This venture isn't just a business; it's the culmination of every lesson learned, every challenge overcome, and every success celebrated throughout my journey. From Australia to the UK, back again, and now in the Middle East, my life has been a testament to the power of perseverance, adaptability, and the relentless pursuit of excellence.

What does a day in your life look like? Walk us through it.

A typical day starts early with a workout to keep my mind and body sharp. I then review my schedule with my EA, setting priorities for the day. Mornings usually involve team meetings to align objectives and discuss ongoing projects. Mid-morning to early afternoon is dedicated to client meetings and strategic planning sessions. I also make time for mentoring team members, ensuring their growth and development. Afternoons are reserved for business development and exploring new opportunities. Evenings are for winding down, often spent with family or catching up on industry trends. This structured approach helps me stay focused and productive throughout the day.

Is there something that you would like to tell us that we may have missed asking you?

One area we are particularly passionate about is social responsibility, especially in the realm of smart mobility. We are actively working on pioneering hydrogen-powered autonomous vehicles in Dubai. Our vision is to be the first in the world to successfully implement this technology, creating environmentally sustainable transport solutions that benefit both the community and the planet.

About: Jennifer McShane-Bary

Jennifer McShane-Bary is the visionary founder and CEO of JMB Project Management. With over two decades of experience in strategic business management and technology integration, Jennifer has propelled JMB to the forefront of the project management industry. 

“Boundaries are for people without imagination”

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