It was not on the cards that Jakob should become Project and Portfolio Manager at Solar when he graduated Business School back in 1988. With a trainee position in All Round Administration at Dansk Supermarked, he started his career as a finance and suppliers accountant. As the years went by, Jakob got more and more involved with IT and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). With the knowledge and experience he acquired, he moved on and became a certified project manager within Danisco, today known as Dupont. As he left after seven years for a job at Itelligence, he took his first step on the way to Solar.
When first entering the doors at Solar in 2015, Jakob knew little about the company he was about to be part of. “I knew Solar had something to do with electricity and plumbing. I entered as an external consultant from Itelligence and was only supposed to be here three days a week for a three-month period, but I never left. After the first month, I was at Solar fulltime and have been that ever since as new and exciting projects came along. So, after spending two years as an external consultant at Solar, it was not hard for me to take the job as project manager, when offered,” Jakob says with a smile.
We have the courage and act fast
According to Jakob, the best thing about working at Solar, besides having great colleagues, is the courage and fast way of working. “Solar sees the opportunities. We don’t wait around, but move fast to get ahead and provide the best service to our customers. We dare!” Jakob emphasises with great passion.
Those are the words of a true Solarian, whose favourite Solar value is courage. An exciting example of this value is Fastbox: “There is great courage behind the Fastbox service. Solar had the courage to seize the moment and is now leading in that part of the market. And at the same time, we focus on the customers and their needs by making their workday much easier,” he thinks.
Solar’s transformation into a sourcing and services company plays an important role in Jakob’s daily work as he has worked on several different projects connected to the transformation during his time as both external consultant and a Solarian. He explains that the best thing about the projects is that they all have some kind of touch point to our customer and that he gets to follow a project from beginning to end – and all the processes within this journey. “It’s exciting to follow a project from the very first thought over strategy meetings and all the way to the warehouses,“ Jakob describes.
There are always new and fascinating projects in line, so it’s no wonder that Jakob’s calendar has been full ever since he first entered Solar. Not only is Jakob busy working, he is also busy travelling. “I love to travel and need to travel at least twice a year. Where we go and what we do doesn’t matter as long as we just get away for a while. The only rule is, that one of the trips has to be without the kids,” Jakob says with a big smile explaining that he and his wife have five children of different marriages.
Some new titles along the way
Jakob has been project manager on different projects such as Fastbox and our digital customer experience project. He explains that there are three responsibilities for a project manager: budget, deadline, and scope. If the project is to succeed all three must come together.
When asked what a project manager does, he explains: “It’s like the Danish TV show Unit One (Rejseholdet). The head of the unit delegates the tasks to each of the superintendents and does the rest herself. That is what it is like to be a project manager. You have to delegate, coordinate, and clarify everything within the specific project”.
From the beginning of August, Jakob has assumed a new position in Solar as PMO Manager. One of his tasks is to help build up PMO skills within Group IT to support the business and IT’s delivery organisation. This means that he will not be a part of the daily project management, as he now must focus more on the teams and processes. “My attention will be centred on the processes and making sure that each department takes ownership of their processes. Ownership means a great deal to me,” Jakob clearly states.
With the change in position, new ways to work appears. “I will have to work in a different way as my focus changes. Before, I only had to concentrate on one project as project manager but now I have to look at the wider perspective as PMO Manager,” Jakob says, hoping that he can still dig his hands into some of the projects.
It’s not just at Solar Jakob has changed his title this year. Recently, on vacation with his family, he got married. “We hadn’t planned anything, so it was quite spontaneous. It happened on 4th of July in Las Vegas in a chapel with all that comes with a Las Vegas wedding. Afterwards, we went to a casino to celebrate,” Jakob explains. Well, that’s courage!