At Babtec, over 30 project managers ensure that customers quality management function perfectly and that the users can constantly optimize their processes using QM software. So what exactly do project managers do, and what do you need to perform this role? We asked a new colleague and saw the first hundred days of work through his eyes.
For a project manager, one of the most important qualities is flexibility. Often, you can be caught in totally new situations at the drop of a hat, and you need to be able to understand these quickly in order to react professionally. Having a new job is essentially just dealing with an unknown situation, but on a massive scale. Despite many years of experience in project management, a new job is always a challenge. A new town, new colleagues, new tasks. The usual routines and structures of your previous years at work change completely. Just before my first day at a new job, I feel excited and I’m keen to find out what’s in store for me. Have I made the right decision? This thought disappears quickly when you have new experiences, find new expectations and have fun at work.
My name is Sebastien Golatta and I’ve been a Project Manager at Babtec Informationssysteme GmbH, one of the leading providers of QM software with many international customers and over 140 employees, since August 1, 2017. Right from the start, this was my most thought-through job change. I chose Babtec because quality isn’t just developed here, it’s truly lived. Everything is ordered, the processes are transparent. The devil, however, really is in the detail: After I signed my contract, I received a little black book in the post. The company’s own diamond emblem was embedded in its dust jacket. It was a little guide book on quality management. The most important terms in quality management are named and explained in the book; I would see these incredibly often in my first few weeks at Babtec.
The Adventure Begins
A new office, a new cellphone, a new company car. On my very first day at my new job, I spent most of my time getting to know my new colleagues in the Branch North and received my first briefing on the BabtecQ software. Detail made a difference here too: In my induction folder, I find answers to the most important questions on corporate culture, processes and other internal information. My work station is impressive: The entire branch has just been redeveloped. An open and modern office provides many opportunities to spontaneously come together for a meeting.
Over the next few weeks, my job is to go through a detailed induction plan – what should I expect? I quickly realized that this is because of the broad range of functions of the Babtec software, which requires extensive induction. As this software is going to be my business day-in day-out, I need to master it – and this is also really important to my personal mentor. Therefore, I acquire in-depth knowledge of all the modules. In order to achieve specialist knowledge in BabtecQ, I go through a lot of training sessions over the following weeks. Implementation of the software is an everyday activity here, and therefore I take part in all of the standard training sessions as a starter activity, like thousands of Babtec users before me.
On Doubts and Successes…
Unexpectedly, I find that I spend the majority of my day as a student rather than as a teacher. This change in perspective feels odd, particularly at the beginning. As a project manager, the fact that I am not supervising any projects makes me wonder: Don’t they trust me? Driven by this question, I find out that the induction phase lasts several months for a project manager at Babtec, and includes quality training as well as various other training sessions and certificates, such as the PRINCE 2 certificate for project management methods. Customers’ projects have to wait until I’ve completed this qualification. However, a short time later, I get the opportunity to become involved in an internal project. My task is to find out whether it would be advantageous to introduce training certificates for our in-house training center, the Babtec Academy, and if it is, then I need to initiate and supervise the project. It’s a challenging task that I’m delighted to do. I get the opportunity to speak to a lot of colleagues and to understand the company even better. Cooperative work with colleagues is done with the highest level of professionalism and is also fun.
This is also certainly due to the fact that there is a lot on offer for team building and ensuring employee satisfaction: Creative events happen regularly, organized under the motto “Babtec and Life”. I should also mention the big bike ride in summer, and the barbecue that is held after it, along with the health day in fall, which is an entire day dedicated to the topic “Staying healthy in your day-to-day working environment”. All of this actively contributes to a trusting and relaxed working atmosphere.
After around one and a half months, I started out in an assistant role for a big customer project. Implementing CAQ software in an international manufacturing company involves quite a bit of work – finally, I can get off the starting blocks. Since then, quite some time has passed, but learning never stops, as the software is consistently developing further and further. After almost 100 days, I am now looking after my own customers, really feel that I have settled in and am enjoying the variety in life at Babtec.
Sebastian Golatta has been a Project Manager at Babtec since August 2017. The 38-year-old studied Business Psychology, Consumer Psychology and Market Research. He already has experience in project management, having latterly worked as a Senior Project Consultant and a Data Protection Officer.
The post was first published in 2018 and updated in 2020.