Michael Mihai Diaconescu, Project Manager in London, United Kingdom
Michael Mihai Diaconescu

Project Manager in London, United Kingdom

Member since February 1, 2019
Michael is a transformation project/program manager with more than 20 years of experience 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 3M+ digital assets across 20+ legacy systems in nine countries at Kingfisher, and reaching 99%+ service availability to 1,500+ users at BNP Paribas Bank.
Michael is now available for hire

Project Highlights

Expertise

Education

Select Certifications

Employment

  • Head of Digital Transformation

    2020 - PRESENT
    Asygma Consulting
    • 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 levels of scalability, versatility, security, and reliability. Devised transformation strategies by validating change ideas via POCs and MVPs.
    • Developed and implemented infrastructure, process automation solutions, and applications based on Amazon AWS Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Power Automate, Power BI, Dynamics, PowerApps, and Office365.
    • Built foundations for reliable service delivery by implementing processes and systems for managing SLAs, high availability, back-up, 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.
  • Sr. Digital Transformation Programme Manager | Content Delivery Director

    2019 - 2020
    Culture Trip
    • 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

    2017 - 2018
    BNP Paribas
    • 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

    2017 - 2017
    Kingfisher
    • 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

    2016 - 2016
    MKDC Consulting
    • 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

    2012 - 2015
    BNP Paribas
    • 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

    2010 - 2012
    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

    2008 - 2009
    RBC
    • 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

    2007 - 2008
    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).
  • Program Manager

    2004 - 2007
    American Express
    • 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.

Project History

  • Digital Transformation, Cloud-based DAM, Online Video Editing and Post Production Processing
    Accelerated content delivery time-to-market by 270% and significantly reduced operational, reputational and legal risks.

    In early 2019 was invited to take on this exceptional assignment to help the fast-growing startup streamline and accelerate the content research, production, and publishing capabilities.

    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).

  • Client-focused Digital Operations Transformation, Agile and DevOps Implementation
    Achieved 30%+ IT and operations efficiencies via global process framework transformation to a 1,500+ employee organization.

    Remodeled and optimized development, BAU, and ITIL service management processes through global agile, DevOps, and ITSM/ITIL process transformation and a new operating model (TOM) rolled out to 500+ users in the risk management division of BNP Paribas Bank in London, Paris, New York, Brussels, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Mumbai.

    Digitized service management tickets and process flows bringing cohesion to data-driven decisions, generating 30%+ efficiencies in IT and operations.

  • ITSM Artificial Intelligence Platform
    Improved corporate production operations efficiencies by more than 30%.

    Successful implementation of an artificial intelligence platform to monitor, learn, and take corrective action on production support processes and applications as part of the service management transformation program at BNP Paribas Bank.

    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 Digitalization
    Successful restructuring and delivery of a troubled ServiceNow implementation project. Shifted focus to user experience (UX).

    Coordinated and deployed a UX-driven cloud-based ServiceNow platform to 500+ users in five countries as part of the service management transformation program at BNP Paribas Bank.

    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 UX/client experience.

  • Digital Asset Management Platform
    Delivered a cloud-based £6.5 million asset management platform and digitized 3+ million digital assets in nine countries.

    Initiated and directed a cloud-based £6.5 million digital asset management (DAM) platform and digitized 3+ million media assets at Kingfisher Plc. that were scattered across 20+ legacy systems, now used in 1,000+ offices in nine countries.

    Implemented Agile and DevOps enabling SDLC and release speed as well as 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 asset (OpenText DAM) and eCommerce (ATG).

  • Startup Wellness Business and Technology Platform
    Delivered a state-of-the-art digital platform for a startup wellness business.

    Engaged to create the business plan, target operating model, financial, legal, and HR for a wellness startup.

    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 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 Transformation
    Achieved 12% budget savings in IT/Operations by rolling out a global process transformation and adoption of Agile and DevOps.

    Deployed new policies, procedures, tools, and organizational structures for a global IT and operations process framework transformation to 1,500+ corporate and investment banking users at BNP Paribas Bank in London, Paris, Brussels, New York, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Mumbai.

    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 Integration
    Rescued and delivered (a month early) a behind-schedule, over-budget fixed-income business and IT migration program.

    Restructured and executed a $22 million Agile model fixed-income acquisition program at BMO Financial Group, developing and delivering a platform that integrated 20+ systems.

    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 Financing
    Delivered early and saved $150,000 via Agile and UX/CE tuning.

    Delivered six weeks early and saved $150,000 by adopting Agile methodology and employing user experience optimizations (UX/CE tuning) on a $1.5 million digital project enabling BMO Financial Corporate Lending to provide automobile dealership financing to 20+ car manufacturers in the US after the 2008 market crash.

  • Financial Asset Management Platform Development and Integration
    Revived, restructured, and delivered a troubled merger program and united a divided team from two corporate cultures.

    Revived a struggling $17 million merger program for a client-facing global asset management portal at Royal Bank Capital Markets by restructuring scope, development, and QA processes, reorganizing 10+ teams of 40+ resources, seven vendors, and three consultancies (including Big Four) in Toronto, Montreal, and Luxembourg.

    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 Warehousing
    Generated $240,000 savings via Agile and delivered three weeks ahead of schedule.

    Managed a $3.7 million program that delivered a business intelligence platform (business objects) for reporting, analysis, and dashboard capabilities on project management, software development, ITIL/operational support processes, call center/service desk, and automated banking machines (ATM) across all BMO Financial Services Bank offices and branches in Canada.

    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 Platform
    Successfully directed the timely delivery of a very aggressive schedule for rolling-out SOX regulations to in 40+ countries.

    Met regulatory mandates and avoided significant penalties for the bank by delivering on a very aggressive timeline a $9 million program that implemented user access management processes and supporting technologies required by Sarbanes-Oxley regulatory legislation at American Express.

    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.

    Successfully delivered a complex $12 million industry-first loyalty program enabling AMEX card holders to claim reward points towards services from eligible fashion, airline, and hotel partners.

    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 Development
    Created an under $100,000 BI solution for small and medium enterprises to compete with major players like Cognos.

    Successfully delivered a flagship business intelligence suite for Knowledge4You Corporation and positioned it as a niche market leader against competitive platforms like Cognos, Business Objects, Informatica, and Microstrategy.

    Played a key role in defining sales plans and marketing strategies specific to the company’s target niche market segment.

Education

  • Prince2 Foundation in Project Management
    2012 - 2012
    Advantage Learning - Toronto, Canada
  • CMMI Fundamentals in Software Development Management
    2008 - 2008
    BMO Academy - Toronto, Canada
  • ITIL Foundation in IT Service Management
    2007 - 2007
    BMO Academy - Toronto, Canada
  • Project Management Professional Coursework in Project Management
    2004 - 2005
    Project Management Institute (PMI) - Toronto, Canada
  • Bachelor of Science with Honours in Computer Engineering
    1991 - 1997
    Polytechnic University of Timisoara - Timisoara, Romania

Certifications

  • DA - Disciplined Agilist
    SEPTEMBER 2016 - SEPTEMBER 2021
    Disciplined Agile Consortium
  • CSM - Certified Scrum Master
    SEPTEMBER 2016 - SEPTEMBER 2020
    Scrum Alliance
  • PMP - Project Management Professional
    JULY 2005 - JULY 2021
    Project Management Institute (PMI)

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