Stefaan Van dhelsen, Project Manager
As Project Manager D365, Stefaan is responsible for the implementation of ERP projects at our customers. He focuses on communication and facilitation. 'As a project manager, you have to give the team the freedom to do their work within the framework that you have set out for the project. When obstacles cross their path, I am there as a project manager to (help) clear them.'
What does your position within Cegeka entail and where exactly is it located?
"As a Project Manager within Business Solutions, you take charge of projects at one or more customers. You manage the project from start to finish. You provide the daily management of the project, monitor the progress and budget and report on this within Cegeka and to the client. You facilitate the collaboration within the project team and the collaboration with the client, and integrate all information flows in order to adjust the project and take decisions based on this.
You are supported by a Delivery Manager who has final responsibility for the project and you work closely with the Solution Architect who makes decisions about the content of the solution to be implemented. "
Which projects are you working on?
"Within Business Solutions, we have three units, each of which has its own type of projects.
Unified Operations, the unit in which I am mainly active, provides for the implementation of medium to very large ERP projects. This is always based on Microsoft D365 Finance & Operations. The scope of such projects can be very broad. Within D365 FO this can be about purchasing and sales processes, logistics, finance, production, planning, product life cycle management, project and service delivery, etc.
Such projects often also include the implementation of a CRM package, D365 Customer Engagement, where colleagues from the relevant unit connect to the project with their specific knowledge and skills. In addition, there is also often collaboration with colleagues from Data Solutions when a Business Intelligence solution is also implemented on the new ERP. "
What tools do you come into contact with?
"The software we implement at customers are Microsoft products such as D356 for Finance & Operations, D365 Customer Enagement, Power Platform. A background in this software package is a nice bonus but certainly not a requirement. The job related tools concern a number of project management related tools such as JIRA (work progress tool), MS Project, ..."
Could you outline a "day in the life" of a Project Manager?
"As a Project Manager, roughly 80% of your activities consist of communication. A typical project day starts with a project meeting or stand-up meeting with the project team to know the progress of the activities and to bring up problems the project team is experiencing. This is followed by meetings with the customer scheduled at the project management level and meetings with a number of specialists or architects on the project to align the various workflows within the project.
Then it's time to dive into the emails. Every day there is also some project administration on the menu (checking time sheets and invoices, making project reports, ...). Other frequent activities include 1 on 1 conversations with the project members, preparing and holding steering committees, informal chats with the project team, .... "
What key skills & attitude are essential for this role?
"As a Project Manager, you are primarily a facilitator and integrator. Good (people) management skills are necessary. Most importantly, a team must be able to work independently and not have to rely on one or more individuals to get their work done.
A team needs to communicate well, collaborate and report proactively to project management. As a Project Manager, you must be able to give the team that freedom to do their work within the outlines you have set on the project. The team must be able to operate and when obstacles come their way you as Project Manager must (help) clear them. "
Furthermore, good communication skills are essential. As Project Manager, you should not be afraid to roll up your sleeves and take on the administration of your project, for example."
What makes you consider a day or a project successful?
"A project go-live with a smooth start-up and a satisfied customer... but also that the project team found it a nice and challenging project, they are proud to be part of this accomplishment and have a real" team feeling" about it."
What are Cegeka's USPs for you, why do you like working here?
"There are very competent people working at Cegeka and it is very nice to be able to put together a project team with these people in order to carry out projects successfully. The beautiful and challenging projects at various companies in various sectors also contribute to my enthusiasm. There is great collegiality and respect for people. And a very accessible management.
Cegeka also offers the possibility of various training courses, career opportunities, and a lot of (atypical) extra benefits such as great staff parties, family days, etc. I am proud to be able to work for Cegeka!"