Nicolas Gonfroy, project management specialist
At 30, Nicolas Gonfroy is about to manage a team of fifteen people dedicated to project management assistance for Safran Nacelles. How did this Industrial Engineer with a degree from Arts et Métiers end up taking on this new challenge? Here is his profile.
Work-study. Safran first hired Nicolas Gonfroy under a work-study contract. “I worked at Safran Nacelles, at the Composite Methods department, in charge of manufacturing methods. At the end of my contract, I was hired by Safran Engineering Services to provide the same type of service on the same site.” Nicolas joined Safran Engineering Services in September 2010.
Career progression from project manager to program supervisor. He quickly moved up. Two years later, he became project manager, still with Safran Nacelles, in the Composite sector. Then, he climbed up the ladder again and became an industrial project manager for the same client: “I took care of the Silvercrest program under development, more specifically the industrialization of composite parts for the nacelle of this future Safran engine.” This project on a new dimension fully immersed Nicolas in the client’s environment. He worked in collaboration with the technical, quality, and production departments: about ten people total. In April 2015, he became the front office manager for the A330neo design office. He was the dedicated Safran Nacelles contact person for thrust reverser dimensioning activities led by Safran Engineering Services and implemented by the teams at Le Havre and Toulouse. Finally, in June 2016, he went back to working directly at Safran Nacelles, where he manages a module in the Silvercrest program. “It is the Fan Cowl Door, for which I collaborate with 100% of the company’s business lines,” he explains.
New challenge. To properly carry out these tasks, Nicolas followed an internal specialized training course in project management at Safran Engineering Services, PM+. This course turned him into an experienced employee ready to take on other challenges. Recently, Safran Engineering Services won a new call for tenders, and will create a management support team for all project management departments at Safran Nacelles. Today, the entity calls on various service providers to assist its PMOs, help with planning and provide industrial and technological product support. To this end, Nicolas will oversee a group of 15 people. “For now, the aim is to synthesize client needs to integrate all business lines into this project, commit the resources, and be operational in December.”
Skills. What must be the profile of a good project manager assigned to a client? “You must be pragmatic and adaptable, and fully understand your partners’ needs. You have to take client satisfaction into account; in fact, it must come before all else. This means understanding the clients’ needs, earning their trust and reframing the scope of your tasks if necessary. You must also be able to manage priorities and identify what is urgent.” Today, these qualities give Nicolas the opportunity to take on a new challenge.