ALLPLAN People: Prerna Jolly, Product Owner – Bimplus

March 27, 2024

Imagine a product professional who thrives on new challenges, adapts seamlessly to any environment, and rallies teams with quiet persuasion. That’s Prerna Jolly, the Product Owner for Bimplus at ALLPLAN. Yet Prerna’s story isn’t confined to lines of code or product roadmaps. Rather, it’s a tale of personal transformation, cultural bridges crossed, and a knack for turning challenges into stepping stones. From scaling mountains in her free time to scaling innovation at ALLPLAN, Prerna embodies the unwavering spirit of adventure and continuous growth that lies at the heart of the company. 

A Life Shaped by Change

Born and raised in India, Prerna’s life was marked by constant change. Her parents’ work demanded frequent relocations, with Prerna attending over 10 different schools during her early years. Yet this dynamic upbringing fostered in her an adaptability and resilience that would serve her well throughout her career. The diverse environments she was exposed to also instilled in her a love for exploration and a deep appreciation for new experiences.

Prerna’s journey into the world of technology began with a bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering from Kurukshetra University, India. She then transitioned to the software industry, drawn to the potential it offered. “There were more software jobs than electronics jobs back then, and it was a booming industry, so I thought, why not?” Prerna recalls. Throughout her career, she worked for various companies in both India and the USA, from startups to established players like IBM and EON Energy, gaining a breadth of experience in product management and software development.


Finding a Home at ALLPLAN

Driven by a thirst for knowledge and professional development, Prerna decided to embark on a transformative journey in 2018. “I wanted to grow more academically and professionally,” she explains. “So, I started thinking about pursuing a Master’s degree, and I was set on doing it outside of India.” After researching options in Germany, Switzerland, and Norway, Prerna set her sights on the Technical University of Munich, enrolling in a Master of Science in Management program. Working part-time during her studies, Prerna also had her first foray into the world of German corporate culture, which she enjoyed.

As her Master’s drew to a close, Prerna’s sights were set on the next step. “I started looking for various openings,” she says, “and an opportunity at ALLPLAN was really exciting. I was very much attracted to the position of product owner.” With her diverse experiences, her passion for growth, and her newfound appreciation for German efficiency, Prerna was ready to make her mark at ALLPLAN, a company that perfectly aligned with her values and aspirations.


Becoming the Voice of the Customer

As the Product Owner for Bimplus, Prerna plays a crucial role in bridging the gap between customer needs and product development. But how does she ensure that voice is heard loud and clear across the company?

“We have an open dialogue with our customers and they definitely let us know, what they want,” Prerna clarifies. This open communication channel allows for immediate feedback and a direct understanding of their needs. However, she recognizes the crucial role other ALLPLAN departments play in gathering insights: “Technical sales, customer support, and key account managers – all these people provide valuable feedback about our users’ needs.”

But Prerna goes beyond simply incorporating received information. Rather, she pro-actively seeks it out, as exemplified by her recent visit to a client’s construction site in Switzerland. “Being able to see in real-time as people are using my product is the ultimate test.” Witnessing the real-world application of her work provides invaluable insights that would be hard to obtain otherwise. This dedication to understanding customer needs, both through open communication and active observation, ensures that ALLPLAN’s products remain relevant and valuable.


Creating a Collaborative Hub

Perhaps it is this collaborative mindset that makes Prerna as perfectly suited as she is to her role on the Bimplus team. Imagine a central platform where architects, engineers, and contractors seamlessly collaborate on a building project, visualizing plans in both 2D and 3D. That’s the magic of Bimplus, aptly described as the “JIRA of the construction industry” by Prerna. Just like JIRA connects teams on development projects, Bimplus brings all AEC stakeholders together on a project no matter what software solutions are used.

It’s a product that Prerna clearly believes in, having played a pivotal role in implementing the Overlay Manager feature, a game-changer for workflows. “This feature bridges the gap between 2D drawings and 3D models,” she explains. “Imagine placing your 2D plans directly onto the 3D model, allowing everyone to instantly compare and identify any discrepancies. This feature was highly sought-after by users, and seeing their positive feedback is truly rewarding.”


Leading with Patience and Empathy in a Sea of Demands

Prerna’s role as a Product Owner demands both a keen eye for the future and the ability to manage shifting stakeholder expectations. “Balancing competing priorities isn’t always easy,” she admits, “and the sheer number of requirements can be vast. They’re also scattered across the product, so we have to be flexible with addressing multiple features and directions simultaneously.”

Tight deadlines and the need for constant innovation add another layer of complexity. But Prerna doesn’t shy away from these challenges. Instead, she meets them head-on with patience and empathy. “It could be easy to get overwhelmed,” she says, “but you have to take it one step at a time. Understand everyone’s perspective, even if everything needs to be done at the same time. There’s always a right path to navigate these demands.”

This approach, coupled with clear communication and collaborative decision-making, allows Prerna to build a strong team spirit. She brings everyone together, ensuring everyone understands the bigger picture and the reasoning behind each decision.


Fueling Passion Through Exploration

When not navigating the world of product ownership, Prerna draws inspiration from her diverse passions. From hiking in the Alps to exploring the depths of cultural landscapes during her travels across 18 European countries, she finds a sense of balance and rejuvenation. Stream hiking, white-water rafting, snorkeling, scuba diving, paragliding, parasailing – these are just a few of the activities that fuel her spirit. “The grit and determination I use for these sports translates directly to my work,” she explains. “They teach me to stay focused, overcome complexity, and push through challenges.”

This spirit of exploration also extends to her personal well-being, where she embraces practices like yoga and meditation, finding inner peace and focus through controlled breathing techniques learned in her childhood. “And, you don’t get much homemade food when you’re far from home, so that is my newly discovered hobby,” she says with a laugh.

Leaving a Lasting Mark

Just like she conquers mountain peaks and explores the depths of the ocean, Prerna navigates product ownership with unwavering determination and a smile. More than just a skilled product leader, Prerna is a bridge builder, connecting customer needs with innovative solutions through empathy, collaborative spirit, and a touch of adventurous zeal. As she continues to explore new horizons, one thing is certain: Prerna’s impact on ALLPLAN and the construction industry will continue to evolve, leaving a lasting mark on the future of building.

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