Interview with the IT project manager: new goals and projects for the future

Strong women on board. Fink & Partner introduces the new IT project manager

October, 1st 2020 – by Anna Freddi

In an interview with Chantal Baumann, the new IT project manager at Fink & Partner, we will discuss the LIMS and quality management sectors’ upcoming standards from her perspective.

A.F.: Ms. Baumann, what brought you to start a career in the IT industry?

C.B.: I have always been enthusiastic about technology and software that make my life easier. Not just in my professional life but also in my private life, whether it’s the smartphone, smart home, or the car – all things that, for me, are allowed to include a little more automation than they actually should.

We are already aware of the fact that the IT industry is an industry of the future. Through constant digitalization in all areas, the importance and development of this sector increase continuously. For almost all companies, the question arises of how processes can be optimized, resources better utilized, and costs reduced. An essential part of the solution can be suitable software, which is used to optimize operations.

A.F.: You started working as an IT project manager at Fink & Partner GmbH in Goch on October 1st. Before that, you used to work in the field of quality management. What made you decide to join Fink & Partner GmbH as IT project manager?

C.B.: In my previous position as Quality Manager, I was already working closely with the in-house IT department and the project managers of the respective software company as a customer and as a user at the same time. Therefore, I experienced myself which questions and needs the customer might have. I also understand the importance of a fast and uncomplicated implementation to realize all project goals in time.

At Fink & Partner, I now had the chance to change perspective from user to project management and to gain a foothold in the IT industry – exciting and challenging at the same time: the project management acts as a link between customer, sales, support, and development. I’m involved in all topics and processes.  I have to keep track of which tasks involve which colleagues and at what time. The lively exchange with the customer is also the focus of my work.

I am looking forward to living and implementing exactly these things every day.

A.F.: How do you balance your experience in quality management and the “new” LIMS software field? How does your knowledge of quality management support you in tackling the LIMS area?

C.B.: Quality management is all about organization, planning, risk assessment, and continuous improvement. These concepts are also crucial for project management. Starting with the consideration of internal processes, the further development of the [FP]-LIMS software – including the various modules – and the implementation of customer projects. In my previous position, I had the opportunity to visit different production sites, audit suppliers of other products, and thus developed an excellent manufacturing industry feeling. Collecting, evaluating, and analyzing data is extremely important for manufacturing and processing companies. Therefore, I would say that quality and LIMS have always been closely connected and, in my case, complement each other entirely professionally.

A.F.: How do you see your cooperation with the software engineers responsible for developing [FP]-LIMS?

C.B.: Software engineers must work undisturbed – once you are in “tunnel” or “hack mode”, you should not be torn out by unnecessary disturbances. The basic requirements for such an atmosphere are excellent and target-oriented planning, which takes delivery dates and development goals into account. However, besides the pursuit of deadlines and purposes, there should still be room and time for creativity. On the other hand, there are those aspects of software development that deal with the task’s solution from a direct end-customer perspective.

Therefore, in summary, I would say that software development requires a high level of discipline and a strong sense of creativity. The combination of both skills is necessary to create the right and, above all, customer-oriented software. My job is to make the right framework for this and take over the organizational part to steer the development direction.

A.F.: What role does the development team play?

C.B.: I want to continue the last sentence of my previous answer because the developers are the experts for the [FP]-LIMS and fill the given framework. They know the basic structure of the program as well as every little detail. They consider and agree on how customer wishes can be implemented and what effort this work involves. They are the essential core of our company and therefore play a significant role in our success.

A.F.: Ms. Baumann, think again about your career start. You have been on board at Fink & Partner since October 2020. A start during the corona pandemic is anything but easy – would you still consider it a success?

C.B.: In a modern and flexible company such as Fink & Partner, we react quickly and straightforwardly to external influences: working from home, video calls, etc., and you probably have called them on the phone more often than you would have talked to them in person.

Of course, I know that the Corona pandemic is not leaving some customers unaffected. In economic terms, the year 2020 hit many companies hard. For me, the fact that the company is hiring new employees, despite this situation, is a clear and positive sign for the future. In conclusion, I can say that thanks to open communication and the support of all colleagues, we managed to have a good time in 2020.

In conclusion, I can say that thanks to open communication and the support of all colleagues, we managed to have a good start despite the pandemic.