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Balancing act between family and leadership position

At thyssenkrupp, Dorotea Agoston’s role is to coordinate the extensive and varied requirements of complex customer projects.

As a young working mum, the Hungarian manages the balancing act between her family and a demanding job. Her motto is  “There is always a solution” for a reason.

Today’s large-scale projects always involve an aspect of so-called “requirement management”. As an elementary component of project management, this is intended to ensure that all requirements are gathered in the description of a project, structured and understood by all parties involved. However, this is not a one-off task: requirement management accompanies projects across their entire duration.

At the forefront from day one

“The biggest challenge is to make all the necessary information available at the right time, in the right place and in the right format,” explains Dorotea. In her part-time position as Group Leader Requirement Management, she coordinates the implementation and integration of all project requirements and the changes, which regularly arise.

During this process, every project begins with a request/requirement package from the customer, which includes all technical, general and legal requirements, which must be fulfilled by the steering systems and components. Steering systems are safety-relevant components, which are technically extremely complex. “Our task is then to check this package, organize the requirements and distribute them to the departments involved,” reports the 37-year-old. “In the second step, we ensure that all those responsible submit their feedback before the specified deadline.” This is the most challenging aspect of her work, she says, and can only be accomplished with a large quantity of creativity.

When all feedback has been submitted, it is compiled and put into a common format, which is checked by the customer. Dorotea explains: “After all outstanding issues have been clarified and all requirements have been agreed on with the customer, we have to ensure that the project is developed on the basis of these requirements. Additionally, we need to structure the (technical) documentation for the product.”

Group Leader Requirement Management - Dorotea Agoston

Group Leader Requirement Management Dorotea Agoston does not only tackle the dynamic challenges in her job but also in her family life.

Dorotea took up her position in requirements management over eight years ago

“In 2013, I moved from Hungary to Eschen in the Principality of Liechtenstein and began working at thyssenkrupp Presta AG, the headquarters of thyssenkrupp Steering, as a requirements and configuration engineer,” reveals Dorotea. Over time, the Hungarian focused increasingly on process management. Today, she is responsible for all aspects of requirement management for customer projects.

Life often has other plans for us: At the Faculty of Technical Sciences at the University of Novi Sad in Serbia, the young manager studied for her master’s degree as a printing engineer and graphic designer. After five years in the printing industry, Dorotea made a career change: “In 2012, my journey to the automobile industry began in Budapest as an engineer for functional safety,” says Dorotea. “This was a completely new environment for me, with new topics and new people. It was very interesting, but also extremely challenging. I had to learn a lot of new things.”

Modern corporate culture at thyssenkrupp

In requirement management, she found her calling. A task that comes with exciting challenges. “The management of the vast amount of information in the various phases of a project, between different locations and departments, in different languages, requires numerous discussions and agreements, generally plenty of creativity, and always patience.”

The modern corporate culture at thyssenkrupp suits the young mother perfectly in this aspect. “For me, it’s very important,” highlights Dorotea, “to find the right balance between family and work life. It’s great that thyssenkrupp promotes and supports part-time work. At the moment, I would not be able to find this balance with a full-time position.”

Without teamwork, however, nothing would work. “Requirement management is a job with a lot of surprises and dynamic deadlines. Facing these challenges is only possible with a good team, good planning, and not least with the support of my family.” As Dorotea says, there is always a solution.