Testimony of Etienne Roger

Étienne Roger, Managing Director specialized in companies in difficulty and Transition Manager at FIT in NETWORK®. He shares his experience within a company in the public works sector, more precisely in telecom networks.

🗣️ His testimony

At the beginning of my 1-year mission, I had to integrate in a particular context. Indeed, I had to take over the management of a 12,500 Ftth (fibre optic) socket deployment project and €18M in a context of very poor customer relations and demotivated teams. The objective was to ensure that delivery schedules were respected.

In summary, the results obtained are:

  • A restored customer relationship based on dialogue and transparency in order to find solutions together to the difficulties encountered.
  • Delivery delays are gradually being eliminated.
  • An improvement in the quality of deliveries. The creation of a real project team with subcontractors and co-contractors.

When I arrived at the management of this project (public works contract of 18 M€) I found a very degraded situation due to the non-respect of the planning, proven defects and difficult relations with the co-contractor (another subsidiary of the group). All of this led to a loss of confidence on the part of the client and the threat of high penalties.

A very delicate context: civil engineering works in an ultra-touristy region and a city classified as a Unesco World Heritage Site. We made the project owner accept a new schedule with commitments to results and resources. Faced with the failure of the very formalized relationship, I proposed a more flexible and direct relationship, in a reactive and transparent way, which allowed us to restore trust. I developed the project team with a strategic recruitment and redefined the relationships with the other agencies and subsidiaries of the group, which had a tendency to pull the rug out from under them without a global and strategic vision of the project at the group level; my monthly participation in the CODIR made this functional (and not hierarchical) internal management more efficient.

My knowledge of local authorities enabled me to establish very direct and effective relations with local elected officials (mayors, communities of communes) to optimise the deployment of the network with minimal inconvenience to local residents. After one year of the mission, the results were in line with the commitments:

  • delivery of 50% of the zones (15 out of 29), representing 2/3 of the outlets to be built (8,000)
  • penalties not applied in the end
  • additional resources mobilised (up to 5 underground civil engineering teams simultaneously) to carry out the impacting work before the tourist season
  • As a bonus, the schedule and the end of the project were shortened by 4 months (8 months instead of 12 to build and deliver the remaining 50%) in order to secure the project owner’s external financing linked to the deadlines.

In total, the mission was very much appreciated by the client, the project owner and the local actors, both at the level of the General Management and the field teams, who have regained motivation and efficiency.

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