Agile product developer
With a PhD in Electrical Engineering about permanent magnet electrical motors, I have always been involved in innovation.
My career has been a “multi” one: multi-technology, multi-cultural, multi-skill, multi-generation… always actively collaborating.
As a young engineer at Schneider Electric Grenoble, I faced complex issues in the design, cost reduction and manufacturing of Miniature Circuit Breakers (MCB), about 50 million produced per year.
The only way to solve these issues was with a close, cross-functional team, including vendors and led by demanding & caring managers.
During this period, I co-authored 8 patents, all in use by the company.
Team for customers
In 2000, I got closer to customers and became project manager of Duoline D'clic XE, the very first MCB without screws to connect the cables.
It was then a seemingly impossible innovation because electrical contractors, its target customers, are very conservative.
Numerous customer meetings and marketing tests helped us to better know the latent needs and to reorient the project.
Our development team, coming from 4 companies, 12 sites and 7 countries, succeeded in launching a new range with a turnover of around 100 M€ and production of 3 million units in 5 factories.
16 years after its introduction, these products remain a market reference.
I also led a project to adapt the Blokset global range of electrical switchboards to Indian specifications.
Most of the 20-person team was located in Bangalore.
Along with technical, economic & industrial challenges, this development also included setting up a sales channel through partners, new for this market.
Software as "multi" as hardware
More recently, I managed the development of Ecoreal XL, the first Software as a Service (SaaS) offer to configure electrical switchboards.
With this tool, a junior engineer without any prior knowledge of the range is operational to quote and configure in less than 1 hour.
Once again, cross-functional, cross-company and even cross-generation cooperation was key to the success of the project.
Leading young software geeks to efficiently work with seasoned hardware specialists is an exciting challenge.
To do so, I set up a strategy that was consistent with corporate financial targets and also meaningful for each and every team member.
Good products are delivered by smiling teams!
Author & youtuber
Step by step, innovation, agility, projects and management of “multi” teams became topics of interest and training subjects.
For 15 years, I have been teaching innovation & agile project management at the Grenoble Alpes University.
The final sequence of the course is a project game where the students, grouped in teams, develop and launch an innovative product in a couple of hours.
I also wrote a book “Development of an innovative product with agile methods” published by Éditions Eyrolles, detailing how agility, often practiced non-consciously by many people, fosters the success of an innovation.
On these topics, I post videos on YouTube (sorry in French!). My channel is called in French “Le Projet Fait Rage”, a pale translation in English is “The Project Is On Fire”.
I am also participating to conferences on innovation and project management.