Verena Boll had already worked part-time at Bechtle as a student before joining as a process and project manager two years ago. This gave her the opportunity to gain work experience and test the waters with Bechtle as an employer. In this interview she gives us some insight into her daily work as a process manager and tells us how Bechtle really sets itself apart.
Verena Boll: After finishing my bachelor’s degree, I decided to do a master’s in business management. I was looking to join a company to work at alongside my degree and found a placement at Bechtle. The interview made a good impression on me, so I started working in process and project management. I got to try out many different departments and meet a wealth of people outside of uni while exploring new avenues—for example giving workshops, modelling processes or organising projects.
I can only recommend applying for an internship or working student position at Bechtle to gather work experience, make contacts and try out the different departments. It helped me immensely in finding out what I want to do and discovering my passion for process and project management.
After finishing my master’s thesis, I was hired as a full-time process manager. Since central process management undergoes constant optimisation due to its ever-changing and growing structures, there are plenty of options to contribute, assist others and realise your own ideas. The department has grown in importance over the past three years, and is beginning to become increasingly recognised within the company.
As an internal central unit, we’re responsible for defining consistent, modern and efficient methods and tools for supporting the individual companies of the Bechtle Group in their daily work, which makes us an internal service provider and consultant for process and project-related topics. Due to the fact that both areas are so closely related (processes arise out of projects and projects are often standardised with the help of processes) they are both handled by the same department.
My tasks cover both areas, but I place my focus on process management—process consulting and process modelling to be precise. In process consulting, I’m responsible for organising workshops and moderating them. I take on a neutral role and work with experts and leaders to define the topic that needs to be covered. While doing so, I moderate and structure all the information, ask questions and intervene when things get unclear.
Once the processes have been discussed and developed sufficiently in the different workshop phases, we translate them into the modelling language. This usually happens in parallel or in the second phase so that the process users can focus on the discussion.
The aim is for new employees to understand the processes without being briefed on them and to make the processes more transparent for all users. Recently a colleague told me, “Verena, you make process management exciting” and that’s what makes it all worthwhile. 😊
The workshops demand openness and flexibility. Some groups may have a great exchange and be very open and communicative. These won’t require much input from me, but force me to focus on grasping the key points and visualising them with graphics.
But you also get groups that are a lot more mellow, where I have to stand in as a moderator and take the initiative and ask questions. It’s important to be able to gauge the groups and address their needs correctly.
Generally you need good perception, self-reliance and people skills. I’m not always an expert on every topic we discuss, but I often have groups that will go into the very detail of a process. This makes it important for me not to lose my overview and to ask questions and check the process for plausibility. I also never shy away from making suggestions. It often changes the perspective and leads to new ideas!
For me it’s two things, respect towards the employees and the openness within the company. This is what I’ve witnessed time and time again over the past three years—whether as a student or an employee. I was involved in different departments from the very beginning and got to take on responsibility. Another huge plus is the extensive offering in sports and health-related services for employees. My personal favourite is yoga in the morning.
Although I came to Bechtle as a young graduate, I was shown a lot of trust from the get-go. Quite often, it even serves as an advantage that I’m still learning, as I’m less prejudiced and don’t see everything through “green-tinted glasses”. Something that is sought-after here and supported, as Bechtle thrives on colleagues that bring something new to the table. New ideas and topics are always welcome.
Verena, thank you so much for the interview. We wish you all the best in your job!