“I like the sense of unity” –
An interview with IT project manager Asita Shoai

Helping companies to cope with the demands of digitalization – this is an everyday challenge for Asita Shoai. She works for Lufthansa Industry Solutions as an IT project manager, focusing on IT process management and optimization, and has been lending customers support by sharing her knowledge and expertise for around 20 years.

When did you start working for Lufthansa Industry Solutions?

I started working for Lufthansa Industry Solutions back in 1999. From the very beginning, I’ve been working in different places throughout Germany, such as Frankfurt, Munich and Berlin, and I’ve also spent some time abroad, above all in England and Hungary. I’ve gained plenty of experience on the way and got to know a lot of different people and cultures. For over a year now, I’ve had the privilege of working in Hamburg again, which I really enjoy, because Hamburg is both my home and the most beautiful city in the world.

What are your areas of responsibility as an IT project manager?

It's not easy to narrow down my areas of responsibility. First and foremost, I’m an IT consultant and project manager who focuses on IT process management and optimization. Moreover, I’ve managed a range of different IT projects, implementing strategy, infrastructure and outsourcing projects, for example, as well as audits and risk assessments. As IT project managers, we provide customers with the support they need to meet the challenges of digitalization and to implement their business requirements. We help them to set up IT structures that will make their companies fit for the future. I share my knowledge and expertise in projects for different industrial sectors, from the automotive and aviation industries to logistics and telecommunications. But, as an IT consultant, it’s also about making the experience you’ve gained in a diverse range of industries available to the customer and being able to pass it on to them.

Digitalization is the key issue of our time. In companies, IT structures are a fixed component of this change. The times we currently live in will determine whether companies can stay competitive, and the tasks that IT is facing are tremendous. New challenges require new tools and a fundamental change in mindset. We’ll have to bid farewell to the traditional belief that everything can be planned in advance right down to the last detail. Factors such as agility play a very important role in digitalization for various reasons, including the fact that numerous different projects have to be launched at the same time. As a project portfolio manager, I analyze the best way to manage ongoing projects in order to achieve the goal the company has set for itself in the most efficient way.

“At Lufthansa Industry Solutions, we don’t offer customers standard solutions. Instead, we’re constantly responding to their individual requirements. You’re always having to face new challenges.”

Asita Shoai, IT project manager

What did you do before coming to Lufthansa Industry Solutions?

In 1989, I started studying business informatics at Essen University. Back then, we were some of the first to be trained in this area. After graduating, I spent almost three years here in Hamburg working as an IT manager at a publishing house before switching to Lufthansa Industry Solutions.

What do you find exciting about working as an IT project manager?

At Lufthansa Industry Solutions, we don’t offer customers standard solutions. Instead, we’re constantly responding to their individual requirements. You’re always having to face new challenges. That includes continuously coming up with new solutions and working out what other people are thinking. What I like is interacting with different people and the fact that I’m always getting to learn about new corporate cultures. I’m delighted every time that I successfully conclude a project and then see from the results how we’ve mastered a challenge and helped the company to move forward.

What are the most important skills you need to work as an IT project manager?

It’s crucial to have a good command of the appropriate planning and management tools for project management. But they are not enough to manage projects. You also need strong, highly developed social skills. However, as a project manager, above all you have to be very familiar with your team and the customer’s team, and you need to be able to foster their individual strengths. A project manager needs to have a lot of empathy in order to reach out to people who might be scared of change. In order to acquire all of these skills over time, you start with small projects, gain some experience, and learn from your mistakes. Because the history of evolution has already shown us that mistakes always present an opportunity to improve.

In your eyes, what is Lufthansa Industry Solutions like as an employer?

At Lufthansa Industry Solutions, the way we work is very team-focused and we support one other. I like the sense of unity here. There is no pushing or shoving at Lufthansa Industry Solutions – on the contrary, as colleagues, we’re there for each other. If something good happens, it’s not down to a single person, it’s down to the team as a whole. I think that’s just great.

About Asita Shoai

Asita Shoai has been working at Lufthansa Industry Solutions since 1999. After starting out as an IT consultant, she worked her way up to the position of project manager with a focus on IT process management and optimization. She currently works at the Hamburg office and has a degree in business informatics.