July 2022 PM Update from Italy


Italian PM in wonderland:

A Risk Management Interview



By Alessandro Quagliarini

International Correspondent

Rome, Italy


For our second appointment of 2022 from Italy, I will present my interview about one of the fundamental topics of Project Management which I consider one of the key factors for a successful project: Risk Management.

With the collaboration of one of the most representative Risk Management Leaders in Leonardo SPA, a company which operates in several market areas in different countries, we will attempt to explore the efforts and challenges to be faced in order to build an effective Risk Management culture into a large organization following the discipline Project Management.

About Leonardo Fiocchetti

The career Leonardo Fiocchetti has lived up to now is a training path towards his current role. It is not only the outcome of a course of study, but it has been shaped through the acquisition of skills and responsibilities that have evolved in parallel with the technological and organizational progresses of the companies (Datamat[1], Finmeccanica[2] and Leonardo) in which he worked. “By becoming Chief Technology Officer (CTO) I went from a project leading role to a more strategic-oriented one. The next step as Risk Manager synthesized the set of my experiences over the years, representing the outcome of a path partly personal and partly determined by business changes”.

Graduated in Electronic Engineering with IT in Rome in 1991, Fiocchetti began his career as analyst programmer in Datamat, a dynamic enterprise that led him in a few years to take on the role of project manager in the Defense and Space sector. His expertise was consolidated with the participation in 1997 to an Anglo – French – Italian defense project, and the collaboration in France from 1998 to 2001 with Eads LV for the implementation of the ATV spacecraft software control system (Automated Transfer Vehicle), a cargo module intended for transporting utilized by the International Space Station. Back in Italy, he was charged Leader for the software development of the ATV program, and then head of the Modelling, Simulation & Space On Board line, and participated also in following military projects.

In 2005, with the acquisition of Datamat by Finmeccanica, a series of internal transformations conducted Fiocchetti to the role of head of Simulation programs for the Integrated Systems division of Selex, a Finmeccanica’s subsidiary. Here he dealt with cyber security projects and in 2013 he assumed the role of CTO in the Cyber Security lab.

Since 2014, Finmeccanica has launched guidelines for the Group’s new organizational and operational model with the purpose of aggregating its many subsidiaries in a single large company, a more cohesive and efficient group, with centralized and integrated processes.

The transformation process culminated, in 2016, with the operational launch of the new company, renamed Leonardo, in which the organizational structure is split into divisions corresponding to the different business segments.

One of the first innovations was the establishment of the risk management function at the first level in corporate, with Salvatore Lampone[3] as Chief Risk Officer. He was responsible for selecting and growing the professional family of risk management.

In this context, Fiocchetti takes on the role of first level risk manager of the Systems for Security and Information division. At the end of 2019 he becomes CRO of Leonardo International, the structure of all the group’s holdings outside the domestic business – represented by Italy, the United Kingdom, Poland and the USA, and in September 2021 takes over the RM function in the Business Unit Elettronica Italia.

Leonardo is one of the world’s leading companies in the Aerospace, Defense and Security sectors, and provides global solutions based on cutting-edge technologies, also aimed at the civilian market. Leonardo operates worldwide, through an industrial presence in four national markets (Italy, UK, Poland and USA) and a commercial network in about 40 countries, for a total of 49,500 employees of which more than half are in Italy. In 2019 it recorded revenues of €13.7 billion, of which 84% from international markets, and its products, solutions and services are used in more than 150 countries. With €1.5 billion spent on Research and Development in 2019 (11% of revenues), Leonardo is second in Europe and fourth in the world among all companies for investments in R&D.


Q1:      With regard to the discipline as we know it from the “holy writ” and manuals of the Good Risk Manager, what is your thought about the level of the maturity within the sector in which you work for in the application of the same?

Leonardo Fiocchetti (Fiocchetti):          Measuring the maturity of a discipline is a bit like verifying the possession of a certification. All companies, depending on the sector in which they operate, are required to comply with more or less strict standards and regulations. The stock Exchange listing adds further levels of standardization.

Therefore we could first analyze the collective maturity, that is in some way forced by the context in which we operate, and without a doubt this is very high.

We should take into consideration that, in Leonardo, the constitution of the central function of Risk Management dates back to 2014 and since that time many steps have been taken in order to uniform practices that, until then, had seen different levels of implementation in the various entities (legally distinct companies at the time).

Today processes and procedures are unified throughout the group; we utilize a single shared tool and centralized DB that enables the company to perform analysis and reporting at different levels of aggregation: from projects to programs, business lines, divisions, up to the entire Group. General and specialized training courses for the discipline are provided massively.

Although the effort has been enormous, we must not overlook aspects such as risk appetite, the various themes of different risk perception and the traps we can fall into due to different cognitive biases.

For those reasons, the aforementioned effort is meant to be constant and never-ending, since the work on the individuals is practically continuous: in other words, while the collective maturity is high, the maturity of the individual is very variable.

Q2:     What are the main indicators of progress in the application of the discipline and what are the major obstacles to achieving the best results?


To read entire report, click here

How to cite this work: Quagliarini, A. (2022). Italian PM in wonderland: A Risk Management Interview; Project Management Update from Italy, report, PM World Journal, Vol. XI, Issue VII, July. Available online at: https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/pmwj119-Jul2022-Quagliarini-Risk-Management-Interview-Italy-report.pdf

About the Author

Alessandro Quagliarini

Rome, Italy


Alessandro Quagliarini, MScEng, PMP, MBA, is an experienced Program Manager, with more than 18 years of experience in the ICT sector. He holds a Master’s Degree in Telecommunication Engineering from the University of Rome “Tor Vergata” and a Doctor’s degree in Business Administration from the Bologna University Business School. He got both PMP® and ISIPM-Av® advanced certifications in Project Management, and he is also certified as an Information Management Systems Lead Auditor. He is a Member of the Board of the “Italian Institute of Project Management” (ISIPM) for ten years, and he is an Accredited Teacher in Project Management.

Alessandro is currently engaged in the “Digital Transformation” engineering and industrialization programs of the new Italian “Open Fiber” telecommunications network, with particular focus on the engineering of delivery and assurance processes for the provision of retail, business and industries customers, on the operational management and procurement support for the definition of specifications and contracts, on the definition of operating rules/ instructions for maintenance and of requirements for systems development, on the support to the commercial and regulatory lines for the definition of services and processes for customers (Other Licensed Operators and Industries), and on the definition and management of operations compliance with ISO Standards and International Best Practices.

As a Member of the ISIPM Board, he focuses his volunteer activities mainly on the cultural diffusion of the project management to young people – specifically to high school students and also staff, including teachers. As an ISIPM accredited teacher, he has taught project management in public and private institutions, in schools and in universities. He has experience in the organization of events and as a speaker in conferences, and also in proposing and managing EU-funded projects.

Alessandro can be contacted at a.quagliarini@gmail.com

[1] https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datamat
[2] https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonardo_(azienda)
[3] https://www.leonardo.com/it/about/management/lampone
[4] https://www.leonardo.com/en/home