Last week, we welcomed Leslie Vlerick into our team. As Project Manager he will act as the link between the customer and the development team. Leslie holds a Master degree in Biomedical Sciences, and has worked in medical research for 4 years at Ghent University.
As soon as I heard the story of Sentiance, I was intrigued by the huge possibilities of the technology, both in healthcare and other domains. Automatically “labeling” individuals based on their sensor data has unlimited opportunities, the challenge is to find the right ones to invest time and effort in.
What is your approach to managing a new project?
The first step is to fully understand the needs and wishes of the client. I think it’s important to dig deeper to identify the underlying ‘problem’ the client wants to get resolved. Based on this information, a solution should be formulated, which is typically an iterative process between us and the client. When a consensus is achieved, the solution should be translated and communicated to the development teams by correct documentation and knowledge transfer. Finally, a good follow-up is needed to make sure the project evolves in the correct direction, and meets the customers needs.
Any creative problem solving techniques you use?
In a high-tech environment I don’t think extra complexity in processes is needed. The KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid) is one of my mantras, and has helped me a lot in previous work. My work should be facilitating the development teams to work as smoothly as possible, without administrative overhead, so they can focus on the technology and solutions for our clients. Of course this should happen in correct timings and deliverables.
How are you going to make sure the team will stay on track to meet project deadlines?
First of all, a good planning is half the work. After making a macroplanning based on internal/external deadlines, a detailed microplanning has to be made for every development team, in consultation with the team leads. By arranging frequent feedback moments, potential problems or pitfalls can be identified early and adjustments can be made if needed. I think this is a rolling process, where continuous improvements are the goal.
As project manager you look at the product from a client point-of-view. Do you think we’ve achieved a product/market fit?
The technology has unlimited possibilities, there’s no doubt about that. Translating this technology in relevant solutions for end users, in collaboration with our clients, is the main challenge. This is the case in every high-tech environment. I believe a good product/technology is the most important thing, which is definitely the case at Sentiance. It’s just a matter of time this technology finds it’s full breakthrough to the market.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
I love to spend time with my family and friends. Having a young daughter, currently a lot of time goes to her of course. Besides that I’m a big football fan (KAA Gent) and try to run at least 3 times a week.
Perhaps you could give us a word of advice on time management?