東京オフィス立ち上げ時から会社の成長を支える PMOコンサルタント – Crina Bunescu
Crina Bunescu has always had a hungry mind, even as a child growing up in Romania. It was at summer camp when she was 14 that she discovered an interest in Japanese history, and rather than shy away from it, she embraced it. That passion would eventually shape her career and carry her across cultures, through time zones, and to the other side of the planet itself.
Today, that curious girl from Romania is one of SYSCOM GLOBAL SOLUTIONS’ original Tokyo team members, having started when the office sat less than half a dozen people and watched it flourish to a current (and growing) team of a little over 20. Her path here took her to Japan for university, home to Romania for her masters, and finally back to Tokyo on a research visa. Here in Tokyo, she works alongside a team both multicultural and multidisciplinary. They come from around the world, hailing from places like Russia, Vietnam, and Italy, and feature engineers, project managers, data scientists, and more.
As a project manager, she’s a vital, foundational member of the team—not despite her nontraditional path to IT work, but because of it.
In the IT world, it’s easy to find workers with engineering or technical backgrounds. What’s harder is to find someone with the ability to connect, relate, and empathize the way Crina does. It’s pretty much a requirement for being so moved by another culture to spend one’s life pursuing knowing it better, and, as it turns out, makes for an excellent project manager.
“Before this, I was in socio-linguistics and foreign languages, not IT,” she says. “It required a different kind of flexibility and thinking. I bring a fresh point of view and think of different solutions than my colleagues might.”
Crina’s fresh perspective leads her to consider more than the tech stack, the solution, or the business goals on any given project. She’s always aware that at the end of the day, she’ll have a real human being on the other side of her work considering its merit. “My academic background has helped me with communicating within the world of IT.” Crina knows how to write with an audience in mind. “Learning how to talk to people and teach them really helps.”
It isn’t about making a perfect plan,
it’s about making one that can adapt.
Global PMO Consultant
While her time in SYSCOM’s Tokyo PMO started out as a natural shift in her career, “today my previous experience has helped me be who I am and connect with my team members.” Where more technically-minded people on her team might be focused on managing data, servers, and specs, Crina focuses on managing the people. When she approaches a new project, she’s all about getting the lay of the land. “What are our challenges? What are our problems? I look at the issues and what needs to be done, then move forward by solving them one by one.”
For her, it isn’t about making the perfect plan. “When a project doesn’t go according to plan—and they never do—I first make sure the team doesn’t get stressed out, or worry too much about how we need to adjust.” She figures out what needs to be done, lays out a new process, and makes sure everything continues to stay on track. “It isn’t about making a perfect plan, it’s about making one that can adapt.”
Managing to keep a team moving forward when a plan changes is a balancing act. “Nothing will ever go perfectly. I try to think of what might come up and make sure the team is ready for it—without them knowing in the first place.” Worse than a project not going according to plan is a team getting paralyzed from stress or indecision, so Crina’s job is making sure the team stays productive without realizing the potential pitfalls they’re avoiding. “I make sure everything is working like clockwork, and if they know what they have to do, they don’t get stressed.”
Being able to see what obstacles are coming and make sure her team is ready for them is an incredibly valuable skill, which is why Crina is such an integral part of our Project Management Office. It’s a key ingredient in SYSCOM’s ability to work with smaller firms to find efficient ways to be as effective as larger ones. “We work well with smaller companies. We relate to them and create relationships that last over years, which helps grow the business.”
And that approach—establishing partnerships that grow into relationships—is part of her day-to-day in the office, as well. “It’s very important that company values are reflected internally. As an employee, if you’re not in an environment you can relate to or feel comfortable in, it’s hard to be your best.” Crina appreciates that she can connect with her clients and her coworkers, and it leads her and her team to do even better work.
“Friendliness drives us as a team. We support each other to be our best and come up with better ideas.”
Turns out, partnership doesn’t just make better teams. It makes for a better bottom line, too.
If you’d like to find out more about our Project Management Office, please drop us a line.