Andre Gholam

Current Job/ Role: Managing Director - Logica

Academic and Professional Credentials: PhD in Information Systems, Engineer, CISA, CISM, CRISC, CDPSE, ISO27002, ITIL

PMI LC member since: February 2018

Domain / Industry Knowledge/Sector expertise: IT Consulting, Auditing, and Security

  1. How do you describe the role of project manager to your friends and family?

    As ‘le chef d’orchestre’. He / she does not play himself / herself an instrument but makes the others musicians play well, correctly, in a coordinated and timely manner. If one musician plays wrong, the whole performance is at risk.

    A project manager is not the boss of the project team. He / she may not have the power to take decisions but has the duty to make those decisions taken by the persons in charge.

  2. How do you apply and benefit from your management skills in your life?

    In my professional life: clear objectives, adequate planning, risk management and good communication. In my personal life :same concepts to be applied, but with much more flexibility.

  3. How did project management credentials help in advancing your career and knowledge?

    It’s a highly appreciated ‘carte de visite’ as an entry point. It provides confidence in your skills to your contacts.

    By giving you the tools to succeed in managing projects, it will definitely be a major asset in your professional success.

    By applying project management principles in every day engagements, you cannot but succeed.

  4. Can you share with us a successful project you have worked on and its lessons learned?

    ‘Successful’ project may have different meanings: within the time frame, or the estimated budget, or reached its objectives regardless of other criteria.

    Many projects were closed after major delays or over budget or unreached objectives and still  considered as successful. So ‘successful’ is very relative

    I will mention a successful project based on its complexity. It is about the implementation of a core banking application in a big bank. The whole bank was involved.

    The main challenges faced: resistance to change; multiple interfaces to be developed; business processes to be reviewed; data migration; several players with different backgrounds, objectives, culture and countries; technical incompatibility between systems; irregular management support; high unrealistic hopes; total revamp of the infrastructure. However, it was completed within acceptable time and budget variances with almost all objectives reached due to 2 persons. A high management member who took full sponsorship of the project and the excellent relation and communication with the project manager.

  5. Any advice and recommendation you can give to other project managers

    Some of the most important recommendations are:

    Never stop learning, developing and improving yourself.

    Communication skills are essential for PMs: know how to listen, talk and write.

    Have a high convincing power.

    Necessity of detailed planning and follow-up.

    Have clearly defined and validated objectives. 

    Avoid moving-targets projects. Accept to deliver the projects in phases, go by version, never wait for a perfect solution that will never come.

    Share information and keep all the project team and stakeholders on the same level of understanding and information about the project.

    Assess risks in all its aspects.

    Implement proper governance and quality control.

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