Solaiman Afzal

Specialties: Program and Project Management

As Synergy’s Project Management Lead, Solaiman strategically leverages his 14 years of experience and industry best practices from Project Management Institute (PMI), Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), and Defense Acquisition University (DAU) to solve the most complex project management challenges. Very recently, Solaiman provided leadership in creating a detailed plan for a major project for US Air Force involving multiple organizations which earned a lot of praise from the customer. Before that, Solaiman was involved in leading a number of mission critical projects at Defense Health Services System (DHSS) program office. Solaiman is a Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Scrum Master, and has a M.A. in International Commerce and Public Policy.

What do you like about your role?

I am able to work with very different project teams in different types of organizations forcing me to always learn something new. I find this process extremely exciting and humbling.

How do you help your customers and solve their problems?

I strive to provide customers with answers to things that they need to know but they don’t know. I attempt to achieve this approach by understanding the root cause of their problem, and trying to provide them with a direct and measurable solution. Sometimes, I think it is okay to say “I don’t know” instead of providing customers with a long and confusing answer.

What is your idea of how to make project management more efficient in future?

Most projects are managed with the same tools and practices as decades ago and do not take advantage of recent capabilities in large data computing. With cheap fast storage availability through cloud computing and user friendly applications, much more project data beyond project schedule, risk log, and basic plans can be stored and analyzed with minimal additional cost. This data can later be parsed for improving future project estimation and fine tuning risk management. Unfortunately, this paradigm shift will take time, because it involves cultural change.

What other interests do you have?

Beyond project management, I enjoy analyzing international policy issues. Here is a link to one of my published papers on this topic:

Fun Fact

Solaiman is a certified yoga instructor and an avid runner. Project Management, running, or yoga– Solaiman likes to push himself to the limit to achieve his personal goal of excellence. He’s known to follow a 10 mile run with a 90 minute yoga class. As Bikram Choudhury mentions, “If you can, then you must.”




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