Introduction

I was born on October 12th 1973, in Strasbourg, France. I am divorced and I have a fantastic boy aged eight. I am an entrepreneur, fond of Internet & new technologies, gadgets of all sort, games, books, movies, music, cigars, food, good beers & wines, and fine spirits. I enjoy cracking jokes, especially in tense situations, and I don't like people who don't respect people, unfair situations, lack of commitment and attention to the detail.

I started blogging in 2003, way before my choice made me move my blog to Typepad in June 2004. I change the look'n'feel of my blog roughly once a year, but the general idea is always evolving around Project Management and related disciplines. In 2009, the blog changes name from "Digital Addictions" to "Lost in Chaos", as I'm starting to work on my PhD thesis subject, and in March 2010, another shift to "Controlling Chaos", as it better reflects the fact that you manage your project, and not the other way around.

Studies

I graduated in 1992 in mathematics & physics. I attended university for a couple of years (English & American civilization, musicology, mathematics & computer science), and discovered the fantastic universe of students societies. I was President of the Musicology Students Society for two years, Vice-President of the General Students Society of Strasbourg for two years, and Students Representative at the University Council for two years.

EM Strasbourg

Then, I entered the Strasbourg Graduate School of Management where I got my M. Sc. in Management, Marketing & International Business, majored in e-business. My thesis project was to setup a virtual art auction for underprivileged children, and the website went live and raised several thousands euros by involving regional artists and original artwork. After my diploma, I entered the Alumni Board in charge of online networking, before becoming Vice-President for several years until the merger of all Universities in Strasbourg.

Career

Rond Point COOP

I started working when I was 18, as soon as I graduated. I loved this first encounter with the professional world, people I was meeting, and the challenge of having a full-time job, while attending university just made it more exciting. My first job was as a Computer Salesman in a large hypermarket, where I was rapidly promoted to be in charge of the video-games area.

PC Solutech

I then found a job as a Sales Engineer in a small high-tech subsidiary of the SBEI group, where I participated to the French launch of the first CD writers (Pinnacle Micro RDC1000) before launching their musical software & hardware department.

Gehol

In 1995, I worked in the startup phase of Gehol (Generation Holography) with a friend of mine, passionate about the subject. The company built the first holographic table eastern France, created original holographic works, and sold a vast variety of licensed holographic products. This was my first experience in Business Development, and I developed the positioning of the brand with the large retail chains in the region.

Leroy Merlin

In 1996, I joined a large DIY brand, Leroy Merlin, as logistics manager in charge of three of the major areas for the Strasbourg shop. Although I was looking to pursue a career in the retail industry at that time, the job quickly becomes boring and repetitive, and the perspectives of climbing up the ladder are in fact close to none, so I started to prepare my first major career move.

Morpheus

On the 12th of May 1997, aged 23, I jumped into the water to learn to swim. I quit to create my first startup company, and one of the first web agencies in France. After a difficult first year due to lack of preparation, I finally found the perfect strategic realignment and subcontracted for those who were my competition before. I work on some of the major web projects North-Eastern France (up to one thousand pages, and electronic commerce features).

COLT

In June 2000, through a friend of mine, I was hired by a major telecommunications provider in Switzerland, COLT, to support their move from pure voice to IP services. During this three years project within the Research & Development department, I was in charge of developing the IP service management portal enabling customers to monitor and manage their services. I was responsible for user interface design, front-end coding and project management.

Brainware

In 2003, I created my second company, a small consultancy specialized in the management of high tech projects, and in recovery of troubled projects. During this experience, I worked for various government agency and I have been selected by the Chamber of Commerce as Intuitu Personae consultant on new technologies.

Interoute

In September 2005, I was hired to join PSINet Europe in Geneva, 9 days before its acquisition by Interoute, a major pan-European telecommunications provider operating 60'000 km of lit fiber network. Starting as a Senior Project Manager in the international implementation, I was rapidly promoted as Customer Service Manager to manage projects for the Top 10 customers in Switzerland (2M € annual project portfolio value).

In September 2006, I was promoted to standardize and head the Service Management function accross the board, based in Prague, Czech Republic. I was responsible for Service Management in 17 countries, managing key accounts for the group (50M € annual project portfolio value), until I proposed the creation of a Project Management Office and was offered to set it up and became Director of the PMO in June 2007, creating standard operating processes for the program management function enterprise-wide.

Universal Studios Dubailand

In July 2008, I moved to Dubai to setup the PMO for the future Universal Studios Dubailand theme park to be launched in 2011. I was in charge of creating the IT project portfolio built from the strategic roadmap, representing more than 100 distinct projects, and 10'000 days of Project Management effort.

AMER Group

In June 2009, I moved to Egypt to join AMER Group as Senior Project Director, to work on their special projects portfolio (mainly business development & strategic planning) on several large scale properties in the country and in Middle-East. Key projects included Porto Marina, Porto Sokhna and Golf Porto Marina.

Abu Dhabi Airports Company

In July 2010, I moved back to U.A.E. to join the Abu Dhabi Airports Company. There, I'm responsible for establishing IT standards, cost management, suppliers management, contracts negotiations, and more... In December 2010, I have been honoured with the "Team Member of the Year" award, voted by my peers after less than six months in the company.

Emiraje Systems

After a very successful year, I have been offered to join Emiraje Systems, a joint venture between Emirates Advanced Investments, and Cassidian (EADS Defense & Security), as their Head of PMO. Emiraje delivers C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) systems and solutions in the UAE and the wider MENA market.

Project Management

Project Management Professional

I did put a name on my job very late in my career, when I discovered the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) in 2005 and joined the Project Management Institute in 2006. I pursued my Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification that I successfully passed in 2007. I joined the Program Management Office Community of Practice (PMO CoP, formerly known as PMOSIG) in 2008, became Director of Members Management in 2009, Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors in 2010, and am now serving as their Vice President for Technology & Communications. I am frequently asked to speak at conferences and seminars, and do occasionally enjoy it, when time permits. I have also been Program Chair for the PMO Symposium in 2011 (Orlando) and 2012 (Las Vegas).

Gaming

Ordre des Corsaires de la Liberté

I can't remember when I started to role-play (Cthulhu, AD&D, Warhammer, etc), but I discovered online gaming in 1998 on Mankind, the first massively multiplayer real time strategy game. I launched my first online community, OCL, which quickly became the major force in the universe, thank to a strong leadership team, professionally developed tools, and a unique management style in online gaming at that time. Real life players gatherings, trademarked logo and branded merchandising, we even get prime time coverage on TV. OCL also became a top league in various other games (Half-Life, Starcraft & Broodwar, Unreal Tournament & Quake 3, Shogun Total War, Star Wars Galaxies, etc).

Le Clan Mac Datho

In 2000, I discover Everquest, where OCL shifts to a more tribal image and becomes the Clan Mac Datho, which will later become Heritage, when we move on to other games. Today, the Clan Mac Datho is present in the Lord of the Rings Online, but as more casual players.

I'm also a fair poker player, played quite a bit of Magic player (was certified tournament organized and rules advisor). Today, when time permits, I'm doing wargaming, painting and modelling.

Short Bio

Frederic Casagrande started his career in 1992 in the retail industry, progressively moving from sales into management and project management. Founder of one of the first web agencies in France in 1997, he joined a major European telecommunications provider in Switzerland in 2000 to manage all aspects of software development and user experience for their next generation IP services. In 2003, he founded a new consulting venture focusing on the recovery of troubled projects. In 2005, he joined the most innovative internet service provider in Europe right after a major merger. Rapidly identified as a key player, he set up the Service Management function at the group level in Czech Republic, before being promoted Director of the newly created enterprise PMO (Program Management Office) to manage their strategic projects portfolio. He then spent one year in Dubai to setup the PMO of the future Universal Studios theme park, before joining AMER Group in June 2009, where he led strategic transformation initiatives on key leisure development. After having set the IT Standards & Sourcing functions up for the Abu Dhabi Airports Company, he finally joined Emiraje Systems, as their Head of PMO.

Frederic holds a Masters Degree in Management & e-business and is PMP® certified (Project Management Professional). He is serving as a PMI® volunteer as the Vice President for Technology & Communications of the Program Management Office Community of Practice (the largest PMO focused global community worldwide), and is recognized as a subject matter expert and frequently asked to speak at conferences.

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