Senior project manager at the Federal Office of Information Technology, Systems and Telecommunication (FOITT)

Meet Adrian Zürcher

Before Adrian Zürcher got to know the ghrgroup, he worked in a telecommunications company for several years. As a consultant, he was responsible, among other things, for the introduction of the UCC (Unified Communication and Collaboration) strategy. As dealing with widely differing means of communication (smartphone, desktop PCs, video conferencing systems, etc.) is part of the everyday work of staff members, the UCC strategy was designed to enable unrestricted access to equipment, communication partners, and information at any time and from any location.
Unfortunately, Adrian's permanent post was disbanded in June 2013 due to reorganization: but there was no cause for concern. His former boss gave him a valuable tip. If the job search proved to be problematic, a project-oriented solution might be just the right thing for him. No sooner said than done! On the website of ghrgroup Adrian discovered exciting projects that met his needs and requirements exactly. Since Adrian had nothing to lose, he applied for several projects at the same time. As a result he received numerous offers over the following months. One of them is now his current project with FOITT. "Even today I am still very happy to have received this tip from my former boss."

His first project
Adrian is working as a project manager at the Federal Office for Information Technology and Telecommunications (FOITT) in Berne. Since March of this year he has taken on the responsibility for several sub-projects at FOITT. The project, which is incorporated in the "Project Integration (Pl1)" department, was launched as long ago as March 2013 with the migration of existing server systems and is therefore part of the implementation of a decision of the Federal Council. His responsibilities include the preparation of weekly team meetings and the creation of presentations and reports for management. As a result, Adrian's daily work was always geared to a specific task.

The next milestone in the project contract is coming up. Once the GL contract is approved, the project will be handled by HERMES. HERMES is a simple and supportive management system for projects in the fields of information technology, services provision, servicing, and business organizations. Adrian describes his current project as a very exciting and challenging. Among his work activities, he takes particular pleasure in the coordination of resources and cooperative activities. According to Adrian something is always going on, but he sees many positive aspects, such as, among others, the wide variability of his work.

His strengths:
As in other projects, difficulties can arise. "It's not always easy to find the way to the right person as there are more than 1000 employees at FOITT." As a project manager Adrian comes into contact with different people and cultures every day. It takes a high degree of social competence to observe and manage communication within a team. As an open and very communicative personality Adrian is constantly striving to optimize the work within his team. If conflicts occur, he tries to talk to the people concerned and helps to mediate tense situations. He believes it is very important to understand people. During the interview it was striking how well Adrian had developed his leadership skills during his career development. Anyone who wants to motivate his team must be able to assess themselves from a healthy distance, be able to recognize their own mistakes and constantly improve their weaknesses.

The biggest challenge
When Adrian was working in an international technology company as a project manager a few years ago, it was his job to integrate companies that have been bought. Adrian faced the challenge bringing all the employees together into a single cohesive force. Here, the outlook of the individual countries played a significant role. When a company is bought, all sorts of tensions arise. Decisions are often taken which give rise to uncertainty among the employees. Under these circumstances it is important to minimize the anxiety felt by the affected employees, to provide assurance and to identify other avenues. However, vision alone is usually not enough. Successful integration involves targeted measures which take account of integration-compliant behaviour.

"A company purchase does not have to lead to job losses; I tried to convey to this to the employees", says Adrian.

Adrian on the ghrgroup
Adrian will soon have spent a whole year with the ghrgroup and he looks back on this time as a positive experience. "I feel that I have well taken care of and I very much appreciate the fact that the ghrgroup has always had an open ear for my concerns.” He finds the cooperation particularly attractive because it offers him an extremely wide variety of challenges. Also, the fact that the ghrgroup sets a high value on continuing professional development, so that members can benefit from it, is seen as a big plus by Adrian.


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