Michael Mihai Diaconescu
Michael is a senior program/project/change/transformation/delivery manager with 20+ years of directing full-lifecycle, cross-discipline programs within startups, tier-1 banks, and other global blue-chip companies. He has a track record of achievements, including optimizing content delivery time-to-market by 270% at CultureTrip, centralizing +3 million digital assets across 20+ legacy systems in nine countries at Kingfisher, and reaching +99% service availability to 1,500+ users at BNP Paribas.
ExpertiseDigital TransformationIT Service Management (ITSM)Operating ModelsProcess DesignProduct OwnershipProgram ManagementProject ManagementRequest for Proposal (RFP)
Sr. Program/Project Manager, Mergers & Acquisitions
Reward Gateway, Limited
- Helped streamline and manage the end-to-end acquisition and integration programme of a recent corporate acquisition across business, operations and technology (SalesForce, Oracle NetSuite, custom platforms).
- Implemented governance for program and project management, consulting and working with vendors to implement the necessary toolset, and structuring the work and roadmap across 10+ departments (sales, client success, product, ops, finance, tech).
- Created the foundations for a PMO with the necessary expertise, processes and tools to enable the company to successfully run programs and projects in the future, and created blueprints for anticipated future initiatives.
- Implemented procedures and tools for capturing lessons learnt and integrate those in the continual improvement process.
- Created training materials, trained and coached teams on project management best practices for Agile, Waterfall and Hybrid methodologies. Worked with vendors to implement JIRA Big Picture and Deep Clone and roll them out to the teams.
Transformation Program Manager
Portman Dental Care
- Drove 45% efficiency and expedited backlog delivery via digital transformation and a new operating model for business insights after a corporate merger, including E2E demand management, ITSM, Agile, and CI/CD.
- Managed the scope definition and vendor selection process for a new ERP system for finance and expense management, procurement and inventory, offices and associates, HR, payroll, workflow management, and systems integration.
- Drove the company-wide development of governance, procedures, and tools for data strategy and the single source of truth to enable fast and reliable access to information and reduce the risk of ill-informed decisions.
- Restructured and optimized a 2-year backlog and implemented a clear change process to plan effectively and prioritize according to demand and needs, ensuring best practices and secure deployments.
Head of Digital Transformation
- Created business opportunities and generated operational efficiencies via digital transformation and automation for clients in the financial, retail, manufacturing, construction, agriculture, and food industries.
- Consulted clients on cloud migration strategies focused on achieving higher scalability, versatility, security, and reliability levels. Devised transformation strategies by validating change ideas via POCs and MVPs.
- Led teams that developed and implemented infrastructure, process automation solutions, and applications based on Amazon AWS Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Power BI, Dynamics, Power Apps, and Office 365 as a program and project manager.
- Built foundations for reliable service delivery by implementing processes and systems for managing SLAs, high availability, backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity in public-private cloud architectures.
- Designed and helped clients implement and optimize SDLC, Agile, DevOps, and CI/CD, integrating on-prem, cloud, and hybrid operations, production support, and operating models.
Senior Digital Transformation Programme Manager | Content Delivery Director
- Boosted digital content delivery time-to-market by 270% by implementing a cloud-based digital asset management platform and process flow automation for the end-to-end digital content lifecycle (photos, videos, animations, and written content).
- Completed successfully the company-wide business discovery and defined the roadmap for digital transformation. Led the creation of the AWS cloud-based OpenText Media Management DAM and IPV Curator online video editing platform.
- Performed multi-vendor assessment, RFP, contract negotiation (secured a 48% discount), validation with stakeholders including business, operations, technology, legal, finance. Full initiation-to-closure vendor management.
- Achieved target efficiencies via the end-to-end process automation and application integration across DAM, video editing, stock photography websites, project management tools, voice recognition, artificial intelligence, CMS, social media, and IM tools.
- Delivered process and tool training to users across multiple departments and levels in the organization in the offices of London, New York, Tel Aviv, and Singapore.
- Coached successfully the user community and development team on Agile principles and methodology.
Senior Program Manager and Transformation Consultant
- Reduced operational costs by 30% and raised service availability to 99% by restructuring and optimizing ITIL, development, and other BAU and operations management processes. Designed a new operating model (TOM) and updated organization structures.
- Developed the strategy and executed plans for the digital transformation of the IT and operations process framework at the BNP Paribas risk management divisions in London, Paris, New York, Brussels, and Hong Kong.
- Enabled the digitalization of ITSM/production operations and support activities as a scrum master for developing and implementing ServiceNow. It brought cohesion to data-driven decisions while optimizing performance and UX/client experience.
- Directly involved in defining requirements for the artificial intelligence platform for ITSM automation that boosted service availability to expected thresholds.
- Managed cross-functional teams, vendors, and consultancies. Chaired executive meetings, troubleshot issues, and reported on progress. Reported to COO, SVP levels.
Senior Digital Project Manager
- Directed the £6.5million digital asset management (OpenText DAM), PIM (Riversand), and inventory management (SAP) program that centralized more than three million assets scattered across 20+ legacy systems in over 1,000 offices in nine countries.
- Managed the digital transformation of process workflows and the operating model (TOM) to support end-to-end integration of the new platform with all Kingfisher vendors, marketing agencies, and digital media agencies.
- Conducted business discovery. Performed multiple vendor assessment, bidding, selection, and contract negotiation (achieved a 35% discount on the largest deal), and managed end-to-end contract lifecycle.
- Created and managed agile/hybrid project plans for the various workstreams involved. Implemented and coached agile and DevOps frameworks across a global team in nine countries. Presented, influenced, and negotiated with stakeholders and CIO/COO/MD.
Senior Management Consultant
- Managed all activities leading to the launch of Elysee Wellness (startup), including the business model, management structure, financial, legal, HR and marketing plans, and online presence.
- Led the agile development of the responsive website and mobile application with complex booking and account management, coupons, loyalty tiers, API integration with SMS, address look-up, and geolocation.
- Performed vendor selection and managed contracts. Created business and operations strategy.
- Employed lean startup techniques like creating incremental MVPs, split-testing, and validated learning in order to expedite the process and minimize costs.
- Selected, hired, and managed local and off-shore IT providers, copywriters, legal and financial advisers, suppliers, and digital marketing agencies needed to launch the company.
Senior Program Manager and Transformation Consultant
- Headhunted to drive a global governance framework transformation program for corporate and investment banking (CIB), including the definition and deployment of policies, processes, technology, and organization structures across IT and operations.
- Achieved 12 percent budget savings in 2015 (£20million+) by creating and deploying the global process framework to a user base of over 1,500+ ITO employees in London, Paris, New York, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Mumbai.
- Helped manage the budget process creation of more than £100million Global Markets ITO for 2016, including headcount, effort, cost, outsourcing/offshoring, optimizations, and P&L forecasts at a global level.
- Chaired board meetings and influenced key stakeholders. Managed risks and troubleshoot complex cross-divisional problems.
- Monitored a portfolio of strategic multi-million programs for regulatory initiatives, FI, derivatives, P&L, credit, risk, F2B, and e-markets to pilot the adoption and early feedback of the processes.
Senior Program Manager
BMO Bank of Montreal
- Managed a portfolio of high visibility programs for capital markets, corporate lending, and risk management. Accountable for budgets in the US $10—$20million range, managing multiple vendors and over 30 internal stakeholder groups.
- Successfully turned around and delivered one month early a US $12million fixed income integration program for bond underwriting, after it missed the target twice and went over budget 110 percent before I took over.
- Delivered early and saved the bank US $150K on a multi-million program, enabling corporate lending to seize the opportunity and enter the automobile dealership financing business in the U.S. following the disarray in the automotive financing in 2009.
- Reduced operational risk by 27% and operational cost by 12% by automating the back-office processes for deal routing between bookings for FX options deals, monitored positions, P&L, and risk with bookings for FX hedge deals in the US and Canada.
- Decreased operational risk by 18 percent and drove 11 percent cost savings via digitization and automation of the straight-through-processing (STP) capabilities for back-office processes for wholesale banking product operations.
- Managed 17 project managers and functional managers responsible for teams of more than 60 internal resources, two consulting firms (including Big Four), and more than 10 vendors in New York, Chicago, and Toronto.
- Implemented and coached in the Agile methodology, ITSM best practices, and assisted in the definition of target operating models (TOM).
Senior Project Manager
- Rescued and delivered a struggling US $17M global asset management merger program by restructuring scope, adopting new development methodologies, reorganizing and integrating 10+ teams, seven vendors, and three consultancies (including Big Four).
- Boosted software delivery by 25 percent by implementing and optimizing agile and ITIL processes, project management, business analysis, QA, and change management. United a cross-divisional team across corporate cultures in Canada and Luxembourg.
- Created and negotiated strategic plans and chaired steering committees, including SVP/CIO/COO.
Senior Project and Delivery Manager
BMO Bank of Montreal
- Generated $240K savings for a $3.7M business intelligence ITSM platform for reporting, analysis, and dashboard capabilities on project and program management, ITIL processes, service desk, and ATM’s.
- Created a collaborative culture based on meritocracy principles across 11 cross-functional teams of 40+ people, six vendors, and two Big Four consultancies.
- Accelerated delivery time whilst reducing risk by coaching teams and deploying agile practices for solution development and software release in a CMMI level 4 framework (ISO9001).
- Planned and delivered on time on a budget of a US $12M highly complex, industry-first eCommerce platform allowing AMEX cardholders to claim loyalty reward points towards services from fashion, airline, and hotel partners.
- Met regulatory mandates and avoided major penalties for the bank by delivering on a very aggressive timeline for a $9M program that implemented user access management processes and technologies required by Sarbanes-Oxley regulations in 30+ countries.
- Saved $750K through the adoption of Agile SDLC. Managed 140+ internal resources, 15+ vendors, and three consulting firms in the US, Canada, UK, Italy, and France.
- Presented to, negotiated, and influenced stakeholders and executive committee members, including SVP/CIO/COO/MD.
Digital Transformation, Cloud-based DAM, Online Video Editing and Post Production Processinghttp://www.culturetrip.com
Accelerated content delivery time-to-market by 270% and significantly reduced operational, reputational and legal risks.
After I completed the business discovery and identified the objectives (OKRs) and gaps, I assembled a team. I defined the company-wide roadmap for digital transformation and process automation for end-to-end content delivery.
My work started with a multi-vendor assessment and selection, RFP, and contract negotiation. Once the platform was contracted, my team and I planned and executed the implementation of the top-class AWS cloud-based OpenText Media Management DAM (digital asset management) and the IPV Curator online video editing and post-production processing platform.
In parallel, I designed and managed the delivery of the end-to-end process automation and application integration across DAM, video editing, stock photography websites (Getty, Alamy), project management tools (Monday.com), voice recognition, and artificial intelligence (AWS, OpenText Magellan), CMS (WordPress), CDN (CloudFront, JW Player), social media (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube), and communication channels (Gmail, Slack).
New ERP System
Completed the process mapping and requirements documentation for a new ERP system at Portman Dental. Managed the RFP process and led vendor interviews and product demos with key stakeholders.
Client-focused Digital Operations Transformation | Agile and DevOps Implementationhttps://group.bnpparibas/en/
Achieved +30% IT and operations efficiencies via a global process framework transformation to a 1,500+ employee organization.
Digitized service management tickets and process flows, bringing cohesion to data-driven decisions, generating +30% efficiencies in IT and operations.
ITSM Artificial Intelligence Platformhttps://group.bnpparibas/en/
Improved corporate production operations efficiencies by more than 30%.
The artificial intelligence platform supported the ITSM automation that boosted service availability to 99% and reduced support efforts by 30%.
The tool monitored over 200 systems and data feeds from all bank divisions in London, Paris, New York, Brussels, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Mumbai.
ServiceNow Implementation and ITSM Digitalizationhttps://group.bnpparibas/en/
Successful restructuring and delivery of a troubled ServiceNow implementation project. Shifted focus to the user experience (UX).
Enabled the digitalization of development and operations activities through full integration with the Jira system, bringing cohesion to data-driven decisions while optimizing performance and the UX/client experience.
Digital Asset Management Platformhttps://www.kingfisher.com/
Delivered a cloud-based £6.5 million asset management platform and digitized 3+ million digital assets in nine countries.
Implemented Agile and DevOps, enabling SDLC and release speed and best-in-class application flows with a focus on UX-centric customer journeys.
Overhauled the TOM, integrating product management (SAP), product information (Riversand PIM), digital assets (OpenText DAM), and eCommerce (ATG).
Startup Wellness Business and Technology Platform
Delivered a state-of-the-art digital platform for a startup wellness business.
Effectively employed lean startup techniques like creating incremental MVPs, split-testing, and validated learning. Selected, hired, and managed local and offshore IT providers, copywriters, legal and financial advisers, suppliers, and digital marketing agencies required to launch the company.
Successfully delivered the UX design and agile development of a responsive digital application with complex booking and account management, coupons, rewards scheme, loyalty tiers, API integration with SMS, address lookup, and geolocation.
Digital Agile, DevOps and ITSM Transformationhttps://group.bnpparibas/en/
Achieved 12% budget savings in IT/Operations by rolling out a global process transformation and adoption of Agile and DevOps.
Successfully defined process and coordinated creation of a £150+ million Global Markets ITO budget. Implemented business intelligence for reporting and analyzing financial forecasts, effort, headcount, offshoring, vendors, and P&L.
Agile consultancy to a multi-million-pound project portfolio for FI, FX, P&L, and regulatory industries.
Agile Fixed-income Technology Platform Development and Integrationhttps://www.bmocm.com/
Rescued and delivered (a month early) a behind-schedule, over-budget fixed-income business and IT migration program.
Managed 60+ resources, two Big Four consultancies, and 10+ vendors in NY, Chicago, Toronto.
Implemented front-, mid-, and back-office STP integration in compliance with strict FINRA regulations.
Implemented a complex $1.8 million business intelligence suite for reporting and analytics on underwriting, client deals, P&L, and portfolios.
Digital Loan Management Platform for Car Dealership Financinghttps://www.bmo.com/main/business/loans-mortgages/overview
Delivered early and saved $150,000 via Agile and UX/CE tuning.
Financial Asset Management Platform Development and Integrationhttp://funds.rbcgam.com/
Revived, restructured, and delivered a troubled merger program and united a divided team from two corporate cultures.
Roadmapped and spearheaded the delivery of the end-to-end solution using Agile SDLC, integrating front-, mid-, and back-office.
Business Intelligence Reporting and Data Warehousinghttps://www.bmo.com/main/business/
Generated $240,000 savings via Agile and delivered three weeks ahead of schedule.
Managed 11 internal teams (40+ resources), six vendors, and two consulting firms (including Big Four) in a cross-functional/matrix environment in Toronto and Montreal.
Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Regulatory Compliance Process and Tech Platformhttps://www.americanexpress.com/
Successfully directed the timely delivery of a very aggressive schedule for rolling-out SOX regulations to in 40+ countries.
Developed and implemented security controls for access rights to 130+ American Express and Ameriprise Financial systems distributed in 40+ countries on five continents across the world.
Online Travel Booking and Cards (Client Membership and Loyalty Rewards)
Achieved $750,000 savings using Agile methodologies on a $12 million world-first credit card rewards and travel program.
Managed 11 project managers, 17 teams of 140+ people, 15+ vendors, three consulting firms, and seven external business partners in the US, Canada, UK, Italy, and France.
Saved the company $750,000 through the adoption of Agile methodology for SDLC.
Business Intelligence Reporting and Analytics Platform Developmenthttps://knowledge4you.com/solutions/business-intelligence-solutions/
Created an under $100,000 BI solution for small and medium enterprises to compete with major players like Cognos.
Played a key role in defining sales plans and marketing strategies specific to the company’s target niche market segment.
Prince2 Foundation in Project Management
Advantage Learning - Toronto, Canada
CMMI Fundamentals in Software Development Management
BMO Academy - Toronto, Canada
ITIL Foundation in IT Service Management
BMO Academy - Toronto, Canada
Project Management Professional Coursework in Project Management
Project Management Institute (PMI) - Toronto, Canada
Bachelor of Science with Honours in Computer Engineering
Polytechnic University of Timisoara - Timisoara, Romania
DA - Disciplined Agilist
Disciplined Agile Consortium
CSM - Certified Scrum Master
PMP - Project Management Professional
Project Management Institute (PMI)