Meet Laetitia, a curious and enthusiastic Project Manager
A Project Manager and Scrum Master, coding and Excel enthusiast, with a Bio-engineering background, who also enjoys a good and challenging Toastmasters session. Meet Laetitia, one of the latest addition to the Near Partner family, proudly representing Belgium in this busting melting pot of a team. When she’s not busy learning a new language or scavenging excel files for hidden data gems, she’s happy to indulge in a (not so) guilty pleasure.
Let us introduce her.
Laetitia’s career path is far from straightforward. Before moving to Portugal, she studied Bioengineering in Brussels; worked as a Project Manager for two large Belgian multinationals and, already in Portugal, for a French startup; learned Portuguese and English fluently; tried her hand in the Food Industry, and more recently IT.
Despite the packed CV, she keeps her cool about what drives her to challenge herself.
“I guess I am just curious. All these unique experiences and cultures gave me valuable insights, tools and work methods I can apply in my new work challenges and projects and enable me to adapt myself better to different work contexts. They led me to various changes that enabled me to grow professionally and personally.”
Project Management, in a nutshell
So what does an IT Project Manager do, exactly?
The main objectives are to lead both the teams and projects to success, facilitating progress by removing obstacles and supplying resources. Project Managers keep things running smoothly by focusing on the deliverables and being mindful of risks and constraints. This can lead to a reduction of costs and lead-time, improved efficiency and higher value to the customer. No matter the size of the company, the end goal is always the same: deliver on-time, on-budget and on-quality.
If it sounds difficult, Laetitia clarifies.
“A Project Manager is like a maestro, coordinating musicians playing various instruments, each with a specific purpose. Together, they deliver a product with quality and value to the public: a symphony. A Project Manager is both a facilitator and communicator, translating a partition into music, ensuring everyone shares the same vision.”
In Laetitia’s current role, that means “conducting” different projects, customers and teams at the same time. Crucially, a Project Manager requires the ability to cope with changes, and adapt to different cultures, tools, methodologies and work environments – something Laetitia’s background shaped her to do.
It also helps to be a good listener – even when the music is not playing. “It is essential to understand customer’s needs, analyze the feedback, and transform it into a final product with value; as well as to listen to team members, understand their motivation, and detect early warning signs.” A Project Manager can understand the end game, but also the roadblocks to get there. It requires the perfect blend of attention to detail, time management skills, and priority setting.
Where is Project Management headed?
According to Laetitia, there are 2 fundamental trends currently driving Project Management.
The first is Agility. “Agility is a recent concept, towards which many companies are heading. This transition from a Waterfall mindset to an Agile one, can be challenging and time-consuming, as every company will have its own interpretation and implementation.”
The second is remote work. The generalization of remote work created more freedom and new ways of working and living, but also challenges in collaboration. Also, more and more projects are Nearshore, meaning that team members can be spread around a continent or the globe. As a leader, a Project Manager can encounter some difficulties in managing relationships and creating effective teams.
Managing the cultural shifts of agility and remote work can be challenging, but if done correctly, can unlock extensive value. It is all in a day’s work of a Project Manager.
Our approach to Project Management
For us at Near Partner, starting a new project is always an exciting experience. And we get the same feeling of braving into something new, no matter how many times we have done it before. “We begin by understanding the client’s needs and requirements, in order to define the scope, budget and cost. Then, we gather and analyze all this information, propose a plan, discuss solutions and alternatives with the client.” This is where a skillet such as Laetitia’s is so relevant – it helps that a Project Manager can take part in the various stages of the project, even before it really kicks off.
In our fast-moving world, new trends and technologies are emerging every day. Project Management brings value to companies willing to adapt, by enhancing processes while keeping in mind the overarching company’s vision.
Working at Near Partner
Looking for a place to enhance your Project Management skills? Laetitia came to Near Partner to chase the thrill of doing something new everyday. And there is time for more than just work. Despite managing large projects for many different companies, that impact thousands of people in several countries, Laetitia still finds time for pilates and yoga, walking, listening to podcasts or reading a good book in a park or at the beach.
Oh, she also takes pride in her plants, is a regular at art exhibits and enjoys the wonderful weather we have in Portugal. She also indulges in a guilty pleasure… of sorts: learning about Data Analysis/Visualization. That’s right, she can spend several hours analyzing data and designing dashboards. But hey, who are we to judge? Afterall, we each have our own drives.
Filipe came to Near Partner looking “to learn, for new challenges, and to meet an exciting team”. Nuno Dias breaks down our company culture: “We believe that good people, left at ease to work within the frame of the company’s culture, will do good things for customers, colleagues, and the company. That’s the Near Partner way.”
What drives you? If you’d like to know what it feels to work with an expert team in laid-back environment, reach out. We have a spot for you.