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Dirk – Product Owner

One of our key figures in agile project management who has our Java developers' backs

Same industry, new focus

I have been familiar with the mobile communications industry for decades, but software development was completely new territory for me. That's exactly why the position of Product Owner sounded like an exciting challenge that appealed to me. I was looking for a career change when PreHCM approached me. As I already knew some of my colleagues and the boss had previously been my line manager, I didn't have to think twice about joining PreHCM.

It creates freedom on both sides to develop ideas for our customers to make the product even more successful.

In the beginning, it was a completely new world that I had to familiarize myself with as a Product Owner in order to be able to map the interface between our customers and our Java developers. My job is to make everyday life easier for our customers by working out the requirements in detail according to their wishes and, on the other hand, to keep the Java developers' backs free so that they can concentrate fully on developing the solutions. And, of course, the focus is on economic project management - so that the result is a success for both sides and the software can be successfully integrated into our customers' system landscape.

The basis for this is that I understand how software development works so that I can take on board and process the requirements in a meaningful way. Our scrum dailies help me to do this, where I get an insight from the developers into where the challenges and opportunities lie.

For me, having fun at work is part of it. The work has to challenge me and the end result has to be a good product.

Because the topic of software development was new to me, I still enjoy a learning curve and find it personally very exciting. The constant changes in the world and the IT landscape also mean that I am constantly being asked to familiarize myself with specialist topics. For example, we are all currently undergoing intensive training in the area of cyber security.

As a mentor, I help new colleagues get started

The switch to almost completely remote working has completely changed onboarding in recent years. While this used to take place face-to-face in the office, this area has also shifted to the digital world. This has made it all the more important for us to offer new colleagues a structured and comprehensive induction, which I support as a mentor at PreHCM. While we see one or two new recruits in person for the first time in months at our summer party, others come to Niedernberg for the first week to get a first-hand impression.

The time I invest in onboarding is worthwhile for both sides.

No one is thrown in at the deep end and we have placed a lot of emphasis on ensuring that the induction process does justice to the physical distance we all work at.

In addition to a comprehensive onboarding folder in which each individual employee and the teams introduce themselves, I take my colleagues to digital meetings, our scrum dailies and also to customer meetings, depending on their area of responsibility, so that they get a comprehensive overview of how we work here. And as soon as the new structures have settled in, I slowly withdraw, because the mentoring is intended to make it easier to get started, while we want to leave as much freedom as possible in the job and work independently is very important to us.

Flexibility for a good work-life balance

I joined PreHCM remotely straight away. My own induction took place in Niedernberg in the first few days and since then I've only been in Niedernberg every two months or so. I like to come there when there is an occasion for my personal presence, such as the onboarding of new colleagues or a visit from a customer. Thanks to my additional role as a mentor, I have the great advantage of getting to know new colleagues a little better straight away and therefore also enjoy meeting up with colleagues in the evenings when I'm at the company headquarters in Niedernberg.

Being able to work mainly from home and structure my own work allows me to balance my family and my professional commitments.

As a Product Owner in particular, I have to be available for our customers during our core hours. There's no reason why I shouldn't be reachable via my smartphone when I'm out and about, so that I can also be more flexible with appointments in my private life. It makes my everyday life much easier and allows me to have lunch with my children on a regular basis.

Despite all this freedom, it is also important to look after yourself and manage your time well in order to draw a line between work and private life. Blocked appointments or the offline mode in our chats are accepted, you just have to think about it yourself and set yourself times for the end of the working day. Because how I organize or structure my work is up to me and regeneration phases are simply important.

I always enjoy being part of the team offsite, as there is plenty of scope to get to know my colleagues.

As far as I can, I am also happy to accept invitations to social events, which have taken on a new meaning due to physical distance. At our annual team offsite, which runs from Friday to Sunday lunchtime, the invitation is also extended to the whole family. While the first day focuses on business topics, the leisure part begins with dinner together. Activities such as canoeing on the River Lahn offer good opportunities to get to know colleagues and their families better in a relaxed atmosphere.

As we work almost exclusively from home, there are also new opportunities for socializing at home. Like me, some of my colleagues come from the Rhineland, so you can also meet up on your doorstep, for example at the Christmas market.

I look forward to your onboarding!

Apply to us if you would like to help us shape digitalization. We are looking for Java developers and product managers who are communicative and have a lot of initiative. Because we are working in a growth area that is becoming increasingly relevant, we need new team players who are curious and willing to break new ground with us. Just take a look at the projects for which we are currently looking for reinforcement.

See you soon – in Niedernberg or online!