Project Managers understand the importance of having extensive knowledge and the ability to think quickly in challenging situations to successfully deliver complex projects for large communication services providers. Mark, a Project Manager at LotusFlare, stepped out of his comfort zone to take on new challenges while working on the re:do, a new all-digital service provider created by the A1 Group. To learn more about Mark's professional journey and other valuable experiences, we encourage you to explore this blog.
Mark, thanks for doing this interview with us although we know you have a tight schedule. What’s the project that you’ve been working on?
I have been working on a project called "re:do”, an innovative fully-digital brand developed by a significant communication services provider (CSP) in Europe, A1 Group. re:do aims to provide a seamless and user-friendly experience to all Slovenian mobile phone customers, offering various features and functionalities compared to what exists already on the market. Besides the standard things that are offered - like checking your data usage and paying your bill, etc. -the user is enabled to be fully onboarded without ever needing on-site support. This means the user can register, complete the eKYC process, order and activate a SIM card (either a physical SIM or an eSIM) from a mobile phone, all in under a few minutes.
As a Technical Project Manager in LotusFlare, what are your key responsibilities?
As a Technical Project Manager at LotusFlare, my key responsibilities include overseeing the planning, execution and delivery of projects. This includes collaborating with cross-functional teams, such as developers, designers, and solution architects, to ensure successful project outcomes. With the guidance of the Project Director, I manage project timelines, identify and mitigate risks and communicate project progress to stakeholders. In addition, I facilitate effective communication and foster a collaborative work environment to maximize team productivity and project success.
What were the challenges in delivering a project for such a large enterprise like A1, and what guiding principles did you try to apply while delivering re:do?
Delivering a project for a large enterprise like A1 brought several new challenges for me. Some of the major challenges included managing the scale and complexity of the project, coordinating with multiple stakeholders and adhering to strict timelines and requirements. With these aspects being new in my professional experience, I tried to apply two guiding principles while delivering re:do.
Always Make Communication As Clear Possible: Maintaining open and transparent communication with re:do's stakeholders was crucial. Regular meetings, sprint demos, progress reports, and status updates ensured everyone was on the same page regarding project objectives, milestones and any potential roadblocks.
Try and Adapt Agile Methodologies As Needed: Based on the phases of the project, certain Agile methodologies were tailored to meet delivery cadences but more importantly, to meet client and delivery expectations. I wanted to stick with classic Agile methods but I knew I should do so with the element of flexibility.
As an all-digital and mobile-based experience becomes more important to CSPs, can you tell us more about the delivery path of a mobile self-service app?
During the initial phase, LotusFlare conducts a comprehensive analysis of requirements in partnership with the CSP, where we identify project objectives and key deliverables. This phase also involved assembling a delivery team while establishing effective methodologies and protocols, including project timelines.
During the execution phase, the LotusFlare development team followed an iterative and incremental approach, employing agile methodologies. Regular sprints, daily stand-up meetings and continuous deployments allowed us to track progress, address challenges promptly, and incorporate feedback from our CSP partner. We emphasize collaboration and maintain close communication with partner stakeholders to ensure their requirements are met.
Is there anything that you learned while working on re:do, that you are going to keep carrying in your work?
My favorite part is learning how the technology LotusFlare has developed is applied in local markets because behind every requirement is a thought process that only local experts may understand.
From the opportunity I had to meet and work with our partners in person in Slovenia, the key takeaway would be that our partner team worked in a unique style that featured an exciting combination of efficiency while having a clear idea of enjoyment of life. Having witnessed this first, I now believe that this is something I should try to apply in my life.
Looking over your career so far, what’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“You will naturally gravitate towards tasks that you enjoy and are skilled at so find a career that compliments them as much as possible.”
From my experience, discovering the right career fit is an ongoing process of self-discovery and adaptation. It requires striking a balance between passion and skill, remaining open to new opportunities, and nurturing a growth mindset, of which I am constantly reminded through projects I work on. Overall, aligning your career with your interests and skills is crucial for a fulfilling and successful professional journey.
How would you describe LotusFlare to someone considering joining our team and which advice would you have for them?
LotusFlare is an innovative software company that specializes in establishing digital brands for CSPs as well as digitalizing existing brands. As mentioned, I believe LotusFlare to be at the forefront of digitalizing the customer experience offered by CSPs, which means you would be working with an experienced technical team that collaborates with leading enterprises to deliver cutting-edge solutions that enhance the mobile experience for the end-users.
For me, joining LotusFlare provided a unique opportunity to collaborate with a very talented and diverse team of professionals who are passionate about creating simple yet impactful solutions to complex problems. My advice for someone considering joining LotusFlare would be to be open to learning, embracing challenges, and feeling open to giving ideas that would contribute to the team's success. LotusFlare provides a supportive environment where you can develop your skills, grow your career and significantly impact the telco industry.