• Bernd Siewert

Connecting the dots:

Updated: Jan 28


Exactly 1 year ago I changed my job. This is not something very common to me, this is actually my first department change, but let me explain....

In 2005 directly after university I started my first job here in Regensburg. At that time working in automotive R&D was perfect for me. I focused very much on the technical details and it was a lot of fun. Over the years I got more and more in contact with Project Management tasks, but I never thought that this could be something I would want to do. Around that time I got the offer from my boss to go to the US and of cause this would have been reasonable career step. I refused because of my private situation at that time, but I am still very thankful that he believed in me. 


After several years working in R&D I was at a point where there was not much new things to learn. I was ASIC PM and the next months would have been developing the next generation of sensors or leaving my department. This decision was very hard for me, because I really liked my job, but I knew I had to do a change. I already had an offer from another department and I almost took it, but then I got the offer to stay in my department as Project Manager. This was something very strange to me. Going away from the technical stuff and more to the organizational nightmare of PM tasks. I had a long discussion with my boss at that time about it and he convinced me that this would be the right thing for me. ​I accepted and never doubted again. 


"I really never wanted to leave my pure technical work, but something made me change"


Fast forward 4 years. I am somehow a little experienced in project management. It was about that time I noticed that traditional Project Management was sometimes very difficult. The main reason was not technical but organizational problems. This was the time I decided to become a social media GUIDE and learn everything about social collaboration and try to improve Project Management with the new tools. I had every support from my boss again to do all the trainings I wanted (GUIDE training, Working Out Loud) and I am more than thankful I got this opportunity from him, especially because I know that this is not always that easy. 


"My boss allways said: We need someone in the department that knows all that new tools and methods so go and do it"


Two years later I was part of the Office 365 New Work Style team for the Office 365 implementation. The reason I ended up in that team was the Social Project Management community I have build in my first two Working Out Loud Circles. My work in this community caught the attention of Harald Schirmer and he asked me to work with him in the NWS Team. At the beginning of the project I was focusing most of my time in understanding the different tools and quickly realized the possible improvements this tools bring to project management.


"The GUIDE Training and Working Out Loud changed my carrere completely"


Within this project by coincidence my business unit was selected as one of the Business Pilots for the Office 365 implementation. As I was very experienced already in all of this topics I was asked to take over the role as responsible project manager. Within a short periode of time I changed from 100% Customer Project Manager to 30% NWS Core Team 30%, Pilot Project Manager and 40% still Customer PM. Basically I had 3 Jobs with 3 different „Bosses“.

The pilot was quite big. We had 3800 users in more than 30 locations worldwide that were migrated. At the migration date we had all our change agents, we call them GUIDES (90) trained and ready to help at all locations and all worked out very good. We almost had no IT tickets at the migration day.


"We organize that project with a network setup. Small core team and 90 GUIDES worldwide"


After the project ended I decided to change my job completely. I got the offer from our management to create a completely new group within our organization that will take care about all the digital transformation topics. January 2019 I started this new job as Digital Transformation Manager. I am very excited about this new challenge.


When I look at my story I often ask myself. How did that happen. What made me change? Was I bored? Maybe, but I could have moved to another technical topic. What is the reason I am now working in a completely different field. To be hones:


I got no idea


What is your story? What made you change? I still have hope that one day I will understand it like Steve Jobs in his famous "Connecting the dots" video.





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©2019 by Bernd Siewert