Interview with Michel Operto


30+ Years of Project Management

Interview with Michel Operto

Marketing PMO and Blogger
Co-founder of PMI France 25 years ago
South of France

Interviewed by Yasmina Khelifi
International Correspondent, PM World Journal
Paris, France

Introduction to the interviewee

Michel Operto has managed IT projects for the past three decades for computer manufacturers and telco companies. Coming from an IT background, he has worked for renowned international companies such as Thomson, Digital Equipment, NCR, Nortel Networks and Orange. Many of his projects involved extended periods working abroad: USA, England, Canada, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Japan, Switzerland, Poland… Michel currently runs an offer development Project Management Office (PMO) for Service Management Innovation using Agile approaches. He obtained the Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification in 1998 and cofounded PMI France-Sud which he leads for several years. Additionally, he has explored Prince2® and Agile approaches (Scrum, Kanban, Safe…). Professionally, his passion is project management and he runs a renowned francophone blog on project management best practices for 10 years: http://DantotsuPM.com

Michel Operto can be contacted at LinkedIn: http://fr.linkedin.com/in/micheloperto/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/moperto

Email: micheloperto@gmail.com


Q1:     First of all, thank you for accepting an interview request from PMWJ.  You are running a French-speaking blog about project management for 10 years. What changes did you notice in the project management world in the last years?

Michel Operto (Operto):   A dozen years ago, a lot of project managers (PMs) were already running projects with agility and following quite a lot of Agile principles as common-sense practice. However, the Agile Manifesto approaches like Scrum and Kanban were not mainstream. There were some “rolling waves” and prototyping methods but, most projects were predictive with a lot of controls on changes and, scope creep avoidance was one of the key issues for PMs. Nowadays, changes are more welcomed, the “tunnel effect” is caused by long project duration before the customers could see any results are gone. The PMs have become more “trust and verify” oriented than “Command and control”. They are more focused than ever on the business benefits that their project will bring to the business and how fast they can rip some of the main benefits without necessarily having all the “bells and whistles” requested by some stakeholders, the “nice to have” requirements that cost a lot but generate little concrete returns.

Q2:   What changes did you notice in the questions, the interest of your readers in the last few years?

Operto:          I have witnessed more and more interest from project managers and Agile leaders in Soft Skills, team facilitation, servant leadership and practical experience sharing that they can apply to their projects. They are also curious about the latest approaches and ideas in domains such as Artificial Intelligence, Emotional and Collaborative intelligence or cognitive biases.

Q3:     In the era of social media, videos, how can you explain that your blog (like project management journal) is popular and visited?


To read entire interview, click here

How to cite this interview: Khelifi, Y. (2021). 30+ Years of Project Management: Interview with Michel Operto; PM World Journal, Vol. X, Issue IX, September.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/pmwj109-Sep2021-Khalifi-Interview-with-Michel-Operto.pdf

About the Interviewer

Yasmina Khelifi

Paris, France


Yasmina Khelifi, PMP, PMI- ACP, PMI-PBA is an experienced project manager in the telecom industry. Along with her 20-year career at Orange S.A. (the large French multinational telecommunications corporation), she sharpened her global leadership skills, delivering projects with major manufacturers and SIM makers. Yasmina strives for building collaborative bridges between people to make international projects successful. She relies on three pillars: project management skills, the languages she speaks, and a passion for sharing knowledge.

She is a PMP certification holder since 2013, a PMI- ACP and PMI-PBA certification holder since 2020. She is an active volunteer member at PMI France and PMI UAE, and a member of PMI Germany Chapter. French-native, she can speak German, English, Spanish, Italian, Japanese and she is learning Arabic. Yasmina loves sharing her knowledge and experiences at work, in her volunteers’ activities at PMI, and in projectmanagement.com as a regular blogger. She is also the host and co-founder of the podcast Global Leaders Talk with Yasmina Khelifi to help people in becoming better international leaders.

Yasmina can be contacted at https://yasminakhelifi.com/ or LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/yasminakhelifi-pmp-telecom/

Visit her correspondent profile at https://pmworldlibrary.net/yasmina-khelifi/