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Mariyem Choukrad

Mariyem Choukrad

After two years on the Moroccan high-speed railway project, this young Moroccan engineer moved to France to take up the role of Project Management Officer (PMO) at Mobility. She tells us about this multidisciplinary role, which offers a global and strategic view of all specialist areas within the company.

Tell us about your university studies and career path to date?

Following two years of preparatory classes, I studied industrial engineering at the Mohammadia School of Engineering in Rabat, specialising in project engineering. I graduated in 2015.
I then worked for two years as a planning and quality engineer (generally referred to in French as OPC, for scheduling, planning and coordination) for Mobility on the Tangier-Kenitra high-speed railway line project. I was responsible for the general scheduling of the project, quality management, monitoring progress, and reports for the management and the customer. This in-the-field experience was excellent training for my current role.

You are now a Project Management Officer. What does your job entail?

I moved to Mobility's head office in February 2018. My role consists of two parts. The first aspect of my role is very operational: I assist the teams from the proposal stage through to capitalisation (help with calculations, planning, quality, staffing, budget management, audits, feedback, etc.).
In parallel, the PMO has a strategic role to play to uphold Mobility's multi-project philosophy and contribute to the company's performance. In my role, I have an overview of all of the company's projects and can pass on reliable information to those involved in a project, including, in particular, the Project Manager.
Thus, when I arrived, I took part in all project reviews so as to become familiar with all of our projects. I helped to develop feedback systems and to prepare qualification files.
Our aim is to create a “toolbox” to assist with effective project management. Taking inspiration from the measures implemented on the Moroccan high-speed railway project, I am trying to develop an adaptable resource that will meet the needs of the various specialist areas. The scheduling, planning and coordination functions are essential on major projects. We are therefore making tools available to project managers so that these functions can be incorporated in cases where there are no dedicated resources.

What projects are you working on in particular?

I have been involved in several proposals to support teams with regard to planning and quality.
Since June, I have been working on the Fréjus tunnel renovation project, wearing both an OPC and a PMO hat. Mobility is the representative for a consortium, so we are working with four other French and Italian companies. Aside from coordinating the schedule, I am also responsible for preparing the project management plan, i.e. resources required, job descriptions, implementation process, quality control, and identification of communication channels. Mobility's “project mode” is very effective. My objective is therefore to ensure that our partners understand and adhere to this methodology, by means of a precise roadmap.

What are the specific features of Mobility's “project mode”?

It allows for a flexible organisational structure and optimal configuration of resources.
I think that Mobility stands out in terms of traceability, quality control, and computer security. These tools and processes serve to ensure effective implementation within the defined budget and lead times.
I adopted Mobility's working methods very quickly, and I am convinced of their value. I enjoy the role of PMO as it enables me to promote this way of working.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I would like to take my career in an international direction. When Mobility offered me the opportunity to come and work in France, I didn't hesitate to accept, as I knew that the company is involved in various international projects. At the moment, I live in France and am working with Italians. I enjoy the multidisciplinary aspect of my role, as this enables me to rapidly gain a global view of all of the specialist activities within the company.