Arkadin is now operating as the Cloud Communications division of NTT Ltd. Together we do great things

Virginie Cluzel, the collaborative ‘Go the Extra Mile’ winner for May

Virginie Cluzel, Head of Program Management, has been in the company for 14 years now. She currently works helping our Technology & Infrastructures teams. Her role is to ensure they deliver projects on time, to the highest possible standard, and to ensure they have everything they need to do their work without any issues. In parallel, she also helps to find solutions if projects run the risk of delays. All this, and while working entirely from home, means she is always ‘going the extra mile’!

It is no surprise then that she has been nominated as our May ‘Go the Extra Mile’ winner (in our ‘collaboration’ category), especially when you hear how her colleagues talk about her work: “The discipline she brings, the passion she demonstrates and the ability to deal with difficult and confrontational situations are best in class!”

We caught up with her to talk about her nomination as our ‘Go the Extra Mile’ winner.

Q. Can you tell us more about your role and day-to-day work as Head of Program Management?

Usually, my day starts by going through emails received during the night and opening my projects dashboards. Working from home constantly, I try to keep up with people & my team by having a virtual morning coffee call with one of my early bird colleagues. Then the day will mostly be meetings and meetings, connecting with all stakeholders making sure projects & roadmaps are moving towards and under control. I really see my role, and my team’s role as:

  • Conductors: help TI teams engage and deliver their commitments with the appropriate level of quality. Give them the visibility, make sure they have everything they need to work without roadblocks.
  • Facilitators: help find solutions when projects are at risk or blocked.

Q. Your colleagues praise several of your qualities: your professionalism, your positivity, and your dedication. Which do you think is the most important in your role?

They are all important, but the one that drives the rest is the positivity! This is part of me, in my personal life as well. It’s in my DNA. So, even when things are difficult, I always try to keep positive. As I like to say, we provide our clients with tools and value added services to make their lives easier, but we’re not performing open heart surgery. The stress we put on our shoulders must take that into account – though of course, our primary focus should always be for total customer satisfaction. Technology evolution is amazing, and we should reflect it by enjoying our day-to-day work and make it visible in our deliveries to customers. Happy employees make happy customers in the end, I strongly believe in that!

Q. You coordinate very complex activities across multiple departments – and succeed with excellence. What’s your secret?

Well, excellence is a very strong word. I don’t think I can take it for granted, but it is certainly something I’m always aiming for. I would say the following is the foundation to it:

  • First, I have a great team! They all excel in what they do, so if there is any secret to my success, then they are a big part of it. But to a certain extent, I’d say it’s a joint effort shared across all teams. We are surrounded by people that are strongly committed to what they do, and that is the key to things being executed so well!  
  • Second, I guess I have a lot of compartments in my brain, so I tend to store an amazing amount of information, which is a great asset when you are involved in so many topics! Sometimes I am amazed by everything I can remember, but of course, the human brain is the most amazing technology on earth!
  • At last, and maybe most importantly, it’s down to being close to people. Being interested and understanding what and why they do things. I’d say interaction is the secret. It’s more than just following what’s written in the individual lines in a project plan, it’s about seeing what’s behind the lines: what is involved in terms of technology, resources, benefits, outcomes, etc…

Q. You have been with the company for 14 years! You must have a lot of interesting stories. Can you share some with us?

14 years… crazy!  When I joined the company in February 2006, we were 180 employees. We almost all knew each other personally. At first, I found moving from the hotel industry to a new company, selling audioconference minutes was quite difficult. I had a really hard time initially, just understanding the technology. Now though, I’m so grateful for having come across that job advertisement all those years ago. It’s been 14 years of challenges, achievements – and errors as well, of course – and a great deal of enjoyment! I don’t really have anything specific to share – in fact too many things come to mind – but when I look where we are now and where we are going, I think what I’m the proudest of is simply being part of this amazing journey.

About the author

Margot Legars joined the Cloud Communications division of NTT Ltd. at the end of 2019 as Junior Internal & Employer Community Manager. After finishing a degree in communications and product management at Paul Valéry University (Montpellier, France) she spent six months in Dublin (Ireland) to expand her professional experience beyond France. She currently works in the Internal Communications team, led by Magali Dos Santos, which creates, organizes and runs international programs and communications, and develops the employer brand.

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