Hi, I’m Félix Alvarado. I’m Mexican and very proud of my country. I was born on September 28 in 1983 in the city of San Luis Potosi. I have lived all my life in this city, which is known by the beauty of its downtown full of gardens and churches.
My professional career has given me the opportunity to travel abroad, this really has changed my world view. Meeting different cultures is inspiring and motivational.
I have joined the Continental family in September last year. I’m the Project Management Coach in the ContiTech Air Spring Systems Business Unit and am responsible of all locations, that includes plants in Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, Turkey, India, China, South Korea and Mexico.
Now, working in Continental I found trust, actually one of our values. I would say because of the worldwide locations, as you must be able to trust people even if they are not close to you. One of the things I like most in my position is the opportunity to work with people from different countries and cultures, you always learn something new!
I originally studied mechanical engineering, went into research and development along the way and have now landed in project management. To be precise, I was at Valeo Electrical Systems for over 11 years and worked in several positions there. For the last three years, I’ve been the project manager of a cross-functional team. And since September, I’ve been a project management coach at Air Spring Systems with the goal of increasing efficiency within the projects and achieving the set objectives on schedule.
My biggest challenge is convincing colleagues that project management is a help, not a hindrance. It’s a tool to work more efficiently, this can be learned. However, establishing a working culture in which project management is well embedded and put into practice automatically, is a long-term process. It’s not that project management wasn’t existing before, but every team had its own methods. Standards are defined, but aren’t yet put into practice and internalized uniformly. In addition, the steps and results should be documented at the same time. This simultaneously creates transparency and monitors progress.
For a successful project we need a realistic schedule, obligations and proactive risk management. But, above all, we need committed people who know what needs to be done. They therefore need to be trained, supported and motivated, that’s my job.
I’ve already held training sessions at several locations, taken on the role of a facilitator in a few projects and made the internal community more attractive. I’m also building up a global network of project management coaches at all AS locations. They will act as on-site communicators and can be brought into projects as experts, anytime. My advice to my colleagues: Don’t miss this opportunity!