Giving project failure a U-turn opportunity

February 2, 2017 Katy Roberts

Didier Varlot describes himself as having over 25 years of troubled-project recovery and complex project management experience. And when you spend a few minutes with him hearing how he has completely transformed organisations and pulled projects back from the brink of collapse, it’s no wonder that this Talmix consultant has, over the course of his career, been in major demand. 

Having obtained his PhD in Engineering from L’Ecole Nationale Superieure de Techniques Avancees, Didier was immediately snatched up by Thomson CSF where he, and a team of 4, commissioned and started up a radar site in Brazil. Since then, Didier has been involved in a number of projects within the railway service industry and citing a meeting with Sir Richard Branson himself as one of the more memorable business meetings of his career. But it was during his time with ALSTOM Transport where Didier demonstrated his true commercial aptitude and project management skills where, as the President and CEO of a Romanian subsidiary of ALSTOM, managed the growth from a 3-person organisation to a 1500-person strong one, across 5 sites, with an annual turnover of 40 million Euros. 

“I love the challenge of going into a troubled project, getting involved and bringing it back in line with the business vision. Yes, there are challenges to overcome – and very often it involves existing employees who may feel threatened by my presence being required to rectify the situation, but for me, it is important to help them understand that you’re not taking their plans away from them – but rather that I’ve been brought in to walk alongside them to help get things back on track. Most of the time, I ask that the existing project managers remain in place, in order for them to learn with me and develop. I am there to salvage, and fortunately, most of the time, I’ve been able to recover a situation with a great success rate,” he tells me. 

Clients who choose to work with Didier appreciate that he brings a candid and honest view to solving a business challenge. “By the time they recognise that they need my help, then usually, they’ve recognised that there’s a problem to solve. And most of the time, the answer is pure common sense. So with me, they get an external, brand new view on a problem, with a workable solution”. 

When Didier approaches a project, he rolls his sleeves up and gets stuck in. Not being scared of hard work, he believes that it’s important to be approachable and available to all involved in the project, regardless of who they are. “I walk the talk and stand by what I say – and I think that the people I have worked with over the years, appreciate that. They know that I’m always fair. I may be harsh – because I choose to tell the truth, but they respect me because I actively encourage engagement and transparency”.  

Didier’s approach to project management is different. A straight-talking, transparent consultant who gets involved from the start. And whether he’s working within the renewable energies sector, or negotiating with unions, whether he’s bringing a project back from the brink of failure, or getting involved with an industrial start-up, there’s one truth that holds firm for Didier – with him, you get 100% dedication to deliver business success, a stalwart in the industrial and oil and gas sector and a project manager who works to build and grow through transparency, honesty and hard work. 

If you’re looking for someone like Didier to manage your project which appears to be headed for failure, then speak to Talmix today – and get your business goal back on track. 

About the Author

Katy Roberts

Katy is an independent marketing consultant and founded Fresh Brew Marketing out of her love for the cuppa. A seasoned marketer, Katy writes for several global publications and provides outsourced marketing services to businesses throughout the UK. She is a keen geocacher and rates running around in city centres dressed in Christmas lights as one of her most successful Social Media campaigns to date.

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