Michael gives us an overview on his career evolution within Quanteam

October 27th, 2017

How to move from development to project management?

 

Consultant Manager at Quanteam for 9 years, Michael has developed his career according to his own expectations on diversified projects within the firm: he moved from development to project management and finally to team management.

Our consultants within Quanteam are accompanied throughout their career by a dedicated HR team within the framework of our “Management of the Employment and Skills” policy. Proximity and listening towards our contributors are our priority and Managers regularly exchange with each consultant in order to remain attentive to their needs, especially in terms of evolution.

We have a constant desire to support and develop our consultants’ career according to their personal aspirations. Many means are implemented in order to achieve this objective: trainings (internal or external), coaching by other consultants, connecting junior consultants with the expert ones, and of course, the proposal of new projects in order to bring them directly or indirectly to the aims that they wish to reach.

Look back on Michael career development:

 

Why did you wish to move from developer to project owner?

During my first mission with Quanteam, I spent one third of my time in contact with the functional departments in order to understand their needs, to formalize them and to challenge them. This enriching experience in both human and functional aspects inspired me to open up to other perspectives in terms of knowledge, interventions and therefore career development.

I also found that project management provided me with a complementary vision of what a project as a whole is. I put my subjects into perspective by being focused on the context and the need, instead of seeing only the technical solution.

Finally, creating links, understanding my interlocutors, having the satisfaction to bring them a result fitting the needs that they expressed, were aspects which I liked very much.
I like to communicate and to get in contact with others. So, it was logical to move to a project owner position because it relies above all on contact and communication.

Michael Hadjadj

…and then from project owner to project management?

After 3 years on different missions as a project owner, I had through a former client an opportunity to hold a position of MOA and Project Manager. At that time, it was unusual for a consultant to be given this dual role, including both needs analysis and resource management or budget management.

This project was a stepping stone, because it enabled me to continue on other missions as a project manager and to manage independently new subjects.

Moving from project owner to project manager was again a logical step. Indeed, I widened my field of vision in order to pilot, orchestrate and give a rhythm to all the works. Interpersonal skills and communication were also essential as well as for the product owner position.

 

How did you manage to move from the technical to the functional side?

I have mainly worked on 3 aspects:

  • First of all, I reviewed my way to formalize and present my portfolio of competences. I had to prove the client that, beyond technique, I had acquired, through my past experiences a functional varnish allowing me to discuss with a business interlocutor.
  • Then, I did some researches (Wikipedia, client website, books) before each qualifying interview to understand the context and the client’s position. When I arrived on a new project, I also questioned my interlocutors as soon as I did not understand or did not know a financial product or an aspect of the job. Thus, I reinforced my functional polish.
  • Finally, I had to “put the code behind”. My role was no longer to produce but to specify and test a solution related to a need. I had to try hard not to interfere in the developers’ work and sometimes it was extremely frustrating.

 

How does Quanteam supported you in these evolutions? Have you been able to take training internally?

Quanteam helped me first by targeting the mission that could best match my wishes to move to a project management position. I also benefit from trainings in finance or in project management during my various missions.

At that time, I would have liked to be supported by a referent consultant or a personalized coaching, but that did not exist yet within the firm. I think that it could have benefited me, especially to anticipate or better manage my daily issues. That’s why today I am involved in training, follow-up and coaching of consultants.

 

Therefore, you are involved in consultants’ coaching within Quanteam. Are there other projects in which you are involved?

I am indeed very invested in my role of referent coach / consultant. I try to help the best consultants in solving problems of methodology and organization in everyday life. I also train consultants at project management. I share my experience with those who wish to evolve towards these areas.

Simultaneously, I am working on the organization of the community of Consultants Managers around initiatives or projects with internal vocation.

I am also interested in how Quanteam could improve the management of the knowledge and skills of consultants.

 

What is your academic background and on what types of projects did you start working at Quanteam?

I come from a university course since I obtained in 2001 my master’s degree in Mathematics and Computer Science at Paris Dauphine. Then, I started my professional experience within a software firm as developer on various fields (polling institutes, press, public organizations) and then exclusively in market finance from 2004.

When I joined Quanteam in 2008, my first mission was to develop new features for a Front Office tool. As the team didn’t have any project owner, the client also asked me to take on this role in parallel. I was thus in direct contact with the trade, traded with traders… After 2 years spent in this dual role, I wanted to abandon the technique and begin a transition to pure project management.

 

Some words to conclude?

I like to think that a career is never a straight line where you progress linearly and regularly towards a goal. Our path depends above all on the opportunities that come our way, the meetings we make and our ability to show that, through our work, it is always possible to acquire the skills that we lack.

I will also add that there is no obstacle for me that a consultant cannot cross, since he knows how to be curious, attentive and willing.

 

Michaël, Manager Consultant in Quanteam