Berit Hillmer

Senior Product Owner in the Development unit

Berit works in a very dynamic and international environment where she never gets bored. Interacting extensively with customers and colleagues across many different departments, she is perfectly placed to understand all aspects of the business in a constantly changing environment. In the Digital Workplace unit, the opportunity to experiment and develop new products makes her part of Konica Minolta’s success.
 

I am 33 years oldwith a  with a degree in economics and business psychology. I started at Konica Minolta 10 years ago in the Global Business Services division, a very international environment. The way I was welcomed as a new colleague gave me an instant sense of belonging to the company. My various tasks, such as project and customer relationship management, gave me the opportunity after a few years to move to the Digital Workplace Business Unit as a Senior Portfolio Evangelist. In other words, I'm now part of the product management team in the development department. My job is to establish a network to bring us closer to customers. My direct colleagues are spread across Europe, mainly in Brno, Czech Republic and Langenhagen, Germany. However, I work with many other departments across the world of a completely different nature to mine.
 
What I really enjoy in my job is the ability to make an impact both for myself and for Konica Minolta. With such a diverse range of tasks I'm able to support the organization in growing and developing, which makes my work very meaningful. I also like the work-life balance at Konica Minolta because I have time and space to develop on a personal level, for example doing yoga and going hiking while still being successful at my job. I like this trust and flexibility.
 

quotation marks

"We're an international company with a lot of different people, tasks and departments. Moreover, we are very well connected, so the possibilities to work outside silos and learn from others are great."

Berit Hillmer

Senior Portfolio Evangelist, Konica Minolta Digital Workplace

I work with very loyal and supportive colleagues


In my experience, Konica Minolta people are highly committed; they're always seeking out development and improvement.
 
We're an international company with a lot of different people, tasks and departments. Moreover, we are very well connected, so the possibilities to work outside silos and learn from others are great. Diversity is about not only the difference in people, but also their different opinions, ideas and ways of going about things. We can't all agree on everything all the time, and without all the details, it's difficult to come up with the best solutions. So we need to be inclusive, and at Konica Minolta, being different is not an issue - on the contrary, we see it as an opportunity.
 
At Konica Minolta, we're eager to share knowledge not necessarily connected to our usual work and this gives me the chance to learn and experience new things.
For example, we have our so-called "Agile Thursdays" where everyone can test and experience agile methodologies no matter what area we're from. We can also take part in initiatives like the Technology Innovation Programme, which is seminal at Konica Minolta and lets you spend six months working quietly in small teams on innovative challenges. Everyone at Konica Minolta genuinely has the chance to try new things.
 
However, without recognition, our efforts will not achieve the desired goals. This is an important part of corporate culture. It means noticing what colleagues are doing on a daily base, giving feedback, appreciating other people's achievements. In my department for example, we started working with Kudos.

 

quotation marks

"Diversity is about not only the difference in people, but also their different opinions, ideas and ways of going about things. So we need to be inclusive, and at Konica Minolta, being different is not an issue on the contrary, we see it as an opportunity."

Berit Hillmer

Senior Portfolio Evangelist, Konica Minolta Digital Workplace

Our customers see us as a complete portfolio provider


Originally, we are a manufacturer. We are not a software company at heart. Therefore we are adapting, using different methods of working and always learning to improve. We've already evolved tremendously and no longer separate hardware, print services and new IT services. And we're getting faster and more agile in terms of product launch, improvement and development. Not all those steps are pre-planned any more. Of course, in the midst of all this transformation, we don't always have all the answers we need regarding new strategies, but overall communication is good and moves in the right direction.
 

We involve both our internal and external customers in the development process


As our stakeholders, managers and colleagues are in other locations, it's normal for us to work digitally.  Of course, we sometimes have issues with the huge amount of information, which is kept where it's generated. Nevertheless, we're now able to reduce miscommunication, misunderstandings and varying expectations.
 
As we're developing software, we're also undertaking many UX activities and involving internal and external customers in the development process. We ask about their experience so we can check it out and then incorporate their feedback as part of subsequent stages.
 
In my job, we need to be keen to learn and open to feedback. We always ask ourselves:
 

  • Is the goal still the right one?
  • Do we still have the right people on board to complete the required tasks?
  • Can we still achieve the project?

It's a very challenging role as it sometimes feels like you're only taking baby steps forward. In this job you also need a degree of autonomy to be able to react quickly to possible changes. To achieve this, we place particular emphasis on the use of tools such as "SAFe" (scaled agile framework), "lessons learned" and "retrospectives" in our day to day work. As part of our regular Programme Increment events, a large panel offers continuous reviews: What was the plan? What have we done? What have we learned? What can we improve for next time? This is how you become creative, by thinking of innovative routes, trying them out and learning from any failures along the way. You also have to take smaller steps and be prepared to adapt and change as things evolve. Along this creative journey, business stakeholders vote on ideas and are constantly informed of the progress being made.
 
We consult and exchange the whole time. We invite colleagues from other departments such as sales & marketing and servicing to provide input on their experience of clients and products. This allows us to increase our overall understanding of the business and keep the whole company involved. Everyone is up to date, not necessarily about behind-the-scenes things, but about the objectives and values we hold.
 

quotes

"I have time and space to develop on a personal level while still being successful at my job. I like this trust and flexibility."

Berit Hillmer

Senior Portfolio Evangelist, Konica Minolta Digital Workplace

quotes

"Konica Minolta people are highly committed; They're always seeking out development and improvement."

Berit Hillmer

Senior Portfolio Evangelist, Konica Minolta Digital Workplace

My main message to you

At Konica Minolta you have the chance to grow, learn and exchange ideas with other people in an international atmosphere. This is a company that's constantly redefining and reinventing itself.  It is a very enriching environment.
 

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