Program Manager is a key function in our organisation. We co-ordinate the development and launch of new product with the project team. A Program Manager is more than a planner or someone who looks at a road map. I have a background in mechanical engineering and specialise in industrial design. The combination of technical work, design, and creativity is perfect for me. In my role I benefit from my background as I am able to discuss the technical challenges of a product, but I can also relate to the marketing and design perspective during development.
I’ve now worked at Dorel Juvenile for ten years, but before this job I was an engineer in the automotive business. I used to make particular parts of car seats. When I joined I started as a Product Engineer and I developed a complete product for the first time. I find this more interesting as it requires more creativity from an engineer.
The next step for me was the role of Program Manager, in which I work more from a high level perspective. Whilst I miss the creativity as a daily concern, I still need to be able to visualise what our products should look like how they should function. I believe it’s important to give the innovation process a good rhythm, so that we can continue to develop products, which are ahead of the game.
I see it as a challenge in Program Management to make sure we unite the different functions (Marketing, Design, and R&D) early in the process. This helps us to co-ordinate the advanced development process and make sure that our ideas correspond to market needs. This cross-functional collaboration makes the job interesting. A Program Manager streamlines the communication between all those different people. Since Dorel Juvenile has grown so rapidly, this role is essential. When I started, we all sat in the same building and communication lines were short.
Eventually, I see myself returning to work in an area requiring a little more creativity, possibly a role in which you overlook projects specifically in the early stage of development. Thankfully, you don’t need to leave the company to continue to develop. You can grow at Dorel Juvenile.