Claus Spruch
Senior Manager, Project Management
Göttingen, Germany

What is the first thing you do when you get started with work for the day?  

The first thing to do is to grab a cup of coffee, check my agenda for changes, see what emails and Teams’ messages came in and which can be responded to immediately. Some may require more time or effort so  I include them into my agenda for follow-up, based on urgency and importance. 

What are your main areas of focus in your work as a Senior Manager, Project Management? 

My main focus for sure is customer satisfaction. Therefore, I am very much focused on keeping all NPI projects running in my group and delivering project goals as promised. Project reviews and customer discussions are important tools for communication, which is key for customer satisfaction. 

Furthermore, I support my project managers in challenging situations, evaluate new project requests and drive the resource management process for staffing all projects with the right experts. An additional area of focus is aligning the collaboration across different sites which has became more and more important over the last few years. 

How do you organize/structure your work day with tasks/projects?   

My working day is structured around several fixed appointments like customer project reviews or internal alignments. I have a structured to-do list in a Kanban-board style and collect all open topics there. I try to assign timeslots in my agenda for every larger task on that list to finish the tasks on time. Moving the task then from “open” to “done” in the Kanban-board makes me happy and visualize what has been achieved. I also reserve a timeslot for unexpected tasks, which usually arise every day. 

As a Senior Manager, Project Management, do you collaborate with a team or mainly work autonomously? Which do you prefer?  

The nature of my job is to work in a team. As a Project Manager, I am in daily contact with many departments, customers and often all levels within the organization. Mostly, this takes place in team meetings, but some may be  in person. Collaboration and communication is key to successfully deliver project results, so I very much prefer teamwork. 

Despite this, there are also phases where I work autonomously, for example, when it comes to process improvements or topics on structuring a new project. 

Which part of your work do you enjoy the most, and why? 

I like to be involved in many different projects and support my team in realizing results that help to push out the technical limits of our customer’s application. We are working on projects, which are included in the most sophisticated machines in the semiconductor industry. Being part of that heartbeat of innovation is thrilling. 

The other most valuable part is to work together with many people spread across the globe. It´s fascinating what can be achieved, when everyone brings in their expertise and point of view. Also experiencing and reacting on intercultural specialties makes my job interesting. 

If you had more hours in the day to focus on new skills related to your job or projects for your work, what would you focus on?  

I would like to spend more time on exploring other project management methods. I see a big benefit in transferring agile methods from  software development to our NPI organization. Therefore, I would focus on such agile methods and also on software tools to optimize global collaboration. 

What is your special skill/ magic power/ hobby you’re proud of?  

I am a Firefighter. On the one hand, in my profession I often have to deal with urgent and difficult situations, which need a quick and reliable solution. 

On the other hand, I am a volunteer Firefighter, helping other people get out of dangerous situations. This much more direct activity is a good balance and requires other skills, including leading a completely different type of team. 

For sure, both activities are only possible with strong team work. 

Another hobby of mine is to make my home “smart” by building and programming devices like a weather station, smart watering systems for the garden and so on.