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Testimony of Hichem Houissa, Project Director at Talan Solutions

In this employee testimonial, Hichem Houissa looks back on his career, his daily life as a Project Director and his missions at Talan.

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Can you present your course in a few lines?  

After graduating as an engineering school and a doctorate in image analysis, I began my career at a digital services company to carary out design missions in the energy sector. I have continued with projects on mobility and data security in the banking sector. This is how I discovered the agile method that I really liked. After a few years in the industry (non-intrusive cargo controls), I joined Talan Solutions to carry out innovative challenges. I have been a project director at the DIS division since March 2019.


What are your current tasks?  

I was fortunate enough to be entrusted with large-scale projects from the outset, namely an SAfe (scale agility) system to develop an offer configurator at a major energy supplier. I led these teams that I tried to coach for the acculturation of the Safe framework. Then I ran a full cloud Azure project (Agile Scrum! Sic!) for a rail operator, followed by other challenges as exciting as each other.

I never limit myself to my role of monitoring Talan's commitments to my customers, I am very involved with the technical teams, I feed on the exchanges but also on the difficulties encountered.  Sometimes I find myself taking on the role of project manager and supporting the teams in order to improve their working methods/tools and propose appropriate communications to the people involved. 

I am regularly asked to coordinate technical and financial responses (bid manager), as such I have a reputation at Talan Solutions!


3 words to introduce Talan?  

  • Conviviality: Everything was clear and unambiguous to me since the interview. I felt that Talan was a big family and that people were at the heart of the business. I can talk to everyone, it's certainly due to the culture of humility and kindness I've felt since I arrived.
  • Confidence: Managers or bid managers recognise the qualities of employees. Being myself very sensitive to the human aspect in professional relations, I link up with project teams where I see myself as an integral part and not as a leader. We can count on the teams that make it good for us. 
  • Innovation: Whether expressly requested by our customers, imagined by our employees, or strategically desired by Talan, I have met people who are eager to learn, to test new technical approaches, to produce POCs (Proof of Concept), to demonstrate the added value of tools... in short, to constantly renew themselves, to self-train to evolve! 


At Talan, what is your playground?  

Because of my background, I have always been interested in machine learning techniques. I constantly seek to challenge subjects with employees who have a little time to devote to me outside their activities. I would say that the first field of play is the use of data: methodology, processing, inferences and predictions to end up with exposure to end users.

Agility (particularly at scale) is, in my view, very important for the success of projects. I try to infuse it for ad-hoc subjects without pouring into the dogma of all-out agility. Because if you want to be agile, you end up losing meaning. Convinced by the strength of team work, I use agility (or sometimes incremental approaches) so that teams do not settle into a harmful routine, that customers have visibility on the progress of their projects, and that Talan can adjust and manage its Delivery commitments.

One final playground, which I hope will appeal to others, is the Cloud and more particularly that of Microsoft (Azure). The current trend is towards dematerialisation and management of (very) large volumes. As customers' infra capacity has become costly for operation and maintenance, Talan offers full cloud solutions - at least hybrid - to improve operability and computing power. I am convinced that even the most reluctant companies will quickly join the movement once they are convinced that their data will be secure and their customers protected.


A strong memory at Talan?

Between my recent arrival at Talan Solutions and the health crisis that has considerably reduced collaboration and team building events, I am building a souvenir box at Talan. I will certainly have some notable anecdotes and memories to share later.


Which person inspires you the most?  

It is the most resilient people, who ignore difficulties, who never abdicate who inspire me the most. I like to compare good managers to the musicians of the Titanic: never give up, even in the most difficult moments. The life of a company is punctuated by excellent achievements but also sometimes failures and disappointments. Staying calm in the face of adversity and protecting your teams is, in my view, the archetype of the inspiring person.