Anne Kahlisch is a project manager. She studied philosophy, but now she only focuses on “best practice“. She reports on the implementation of projects, for example, in IT.
"Until recently, BAM had an internet portal for all scientific publications that was pretty outdated. The server had aged more than 20 years. It was certainly good at the beginning, but has now become overpowered. Meanwhile, the new Publica server has been launched online, with more than 35,000 entries. Many articles, books, lectures can be downloaded even in full text. These publications are a flagship for a scientific institution, it’s how we’re evaluated. Therefore, the project for the renewal of the server had a high priority, and we executed it with great effectiveness.
Of course, you’re now wondering if we are rather self-centered? Well, this position requires it. It is precisely because Publica provided such a prime example of good work practice that we now increasingly use modern project management techniques. We at the Project Management Office offer assistance, methods and templates for project planning, risk management and stakeholder analysis. The execution of a project is up to the individuals themselves, so in the case of the Publica server we provided advice and support for our colleagues from the library and IT. Together we agreed on all the steps: Who does what and when, what kind of information flows?
This process must be seen quite prototypically. There are already many other projects for change, especially in the IT organisation of BAM, which will keep us busy for a long time. The idea is to make the work transparent and to clearly introduce defined business processes in many places. Together we designed such business processes that are based on a best practice solution, but are specially adapted to BAM. That is my philosophy for solidly based project work: always find the most pragmatic way and don’t alienate anyone. Sometimes there's a fine line between the two. Promoting change is sometimes connected with the fact that employees will receive more reporting and information responsibilities in the future, which can come across as controlling and loss of autonomy. There are always challenges.
Another thing demonstrates itself in my work as a communicator: I am never allowed to overwhelm anyone with project management language and technical terms. I have to break everything down into facts associated with daily practice. Then one can easily find a common language."