Nancy Buntfuß is part of the Professional Services team and was, until recently, project manager of the POSSIBLE project. She is currently on sabbatical.
Hello Nancy! What do you do on a day-to-day basis? What are your responsibilities as a project manager?
I am currently responsible for the POSSIBLE project, a Gaia-X research project. My job is to plan and control the steps to achieve the goals, to ensure that each project member can perform the necessary tasks and that we stay on time, on budget, and quality.
In my day-to-day work, I deal with classic project management tasks such as planning, steering, and project controlling. At the same time, it is important to communicate regularly with all parties involved, make important decisions for the success of the project, and keep track of complex projects.
Do you manage a team?
As a project manager, I am not the disciplinary supervisor, but I do have technical responsibility within the project team.
As a woman, are there any particularities about working in the rather male-dominated IT industry?
I consider myself very emancipated and have never given much thought to the role my gender plays in my skills and work. However, in my previous positions prior to joining Univention, I occasionally encountered people who thought that my gender made me less qualified to work in the IT industry. In such moments, it is important not to take it personally and to remain professional.
Since I have been working at Univention and have become more involved in the Open Source world, I have not had to deal with this. I truly believe that the open source community is a very respectful and appreciative place where more women should definitely find their place.
What brought you into contact with open source software, and what kind of experience did you have with it before you started working at Univention?
If you live in today’s world and have some understanding of IT, you will quickly become aware of the pitfalls of our digitalization and what is happening in the market. And if you work in the IT industry, you have to decide which way you want to go. Before working at Univention, I had no contact with open source software. But the culture and values associated with it, and thus the goal of digital sovereignty, are exactly the path I would like to help shape.
What are your experiences working at Univention?
At Univention, we are convinced that our vision of digital sovereignty requires a special culture and certain rules for daily interaction. There are hardly any hierarchies. Everyone carries a great deal of responsibility, is trusted in his or her daily work and abilities, and can make important decisions independently. On the one hand, this creates a wonderful, respectful working atmosphere that puts “being open” into practice. On the other hand, of course, it also poses challenges for each individual on a daily basis. You have to be willing to take responsibility, master self-organization, and be open as a person.
Please tell us about your extracurricular activities and interests.
I love to travel, and Univention allows me to work from abroad from time to time. That is why I like to spend months at a time in different places throughout the year, getting to know the culture and language. My favorite place is the beach and my yoga mat is a must. Yoga is a great way to balance the mental work I do in the office and it clears my head. Now I am on sabbatical in South America.