HR and CSR issues

A career in project management: Bosch certifies its 500th project manager

  • Project management: climbing the career ladder without personnel responsibility
  • Career opportunities in a connected work environment
  • Kübel, director of industrial relations: “Highly-qualified project managers are essential”
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  • February 26, 2014
  • HR and CSR issues
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press release

Stuttgart – Is it possible to have a career without being someone's boss? Following twelve months of further training, Oliver Maus has proven that it is. The 51-year-old Bosch associate is the 500th certified project manager at the global supplier of technology and services. Maus is now one of a group of specialists at the company who have acquired the expertise and skills required to manage major or very complex projects. He has already applied this know-how to successfully managing a major IT project that involved more than 100 people. The former software developer and sales manager passed the “Bosch Certified Project Manager” examination at Robert Bosch Kolleg. The Bosch Group is one of only a handful of employ¬ers that have such a high number of self-certified project managers around the world.

“As project manager, I especially enjoy managing associates, even if they aren't reporting to me,” Maus said at the certification ceremony. Maus works for the Drive and Control Technology division in Ketsch, in southern Germany. “Project managers often go off the beaten path, mainly because each project is so unique that the approach to reaching specific goals is never clearly laid out. Since there is no routine in project work, I can take a creative approach to tasks I've never dealt with before.”

Project management as a career path
At Bosch, a career without personnel responsibility is also possible. The company offers three career paths that are similar both in financial and organizational terms. The executive, specialist, and project management paths offer associates a range of career development opportunities that allow them to pursue their preferences and develop their skills. Moreover, not only is it possible to switch paths if desired, it is also encouraged. Project management experience is also considered an important career building block for senior executives.

A connected work environment calls for project managers
The world is increasingly connected, and companies must be able to share and pool their expertise across international and interdisciplinary bounda-ries. This is why a growing number of Bosch specialists work on a range of tasks in virtual teams for limited periods of time alongside their usual jobs. “Many project teams work with customers and other partners all over the world. A high standard of project management is indispensable for this,” said Christoph Kübel, member of the board of management and director of industrial relations at Robert Bosch GmbH: “For this reason, we place a great deal of importance on ensuring that our project managers are highly qualified. Their work enhances our innovative strength and illustrates the many career paths that are possible at our company.”

At Bosch, there are many examples of complex projects: the company is currently testing automated driving technologies in Germany and California (1). The bi-national project team combines expertise from the realms of artificial intelligence and IT with traditional automotive know-how. The research center for advance engineering in Renningen is the biggest construction project in Bosch history. Under the site manager Petra Kinkartz's leadership, there are up to 800 tradespeople working on the building site (2). The winners of the German Future Prize also developed their ultrashort pulse laser, a tool for precise material processing, over the course of a multi-year project with partners outside the company (3).

Training that combines theory and practice
Bosch has offered a training program for project managers since 2006. It combines the training standards of the renowned U.S. Project Management Institute with Bosch requirements. Participants complete the training program at Robert Bosch Kolleg, the company's university for specialists and senior executives. In addition to 100 hours of classes, students are required to commit an additional 50 hours for assignments and research papers. Another 100 hours are required to prepare for the final exam. To be admitted to the program, participants must already have some project management experience, for instance at the departmental or divisional level.

(1)   See press release: "Automated driving: Bosch carries out tests on
        German roads"
from May 5, 2013
(2)   See press release "Topping-out ceremony at new Bosch center for research
        and advance engineering"
from September 20, 2013
(3)   See press release: "Bosch, Trumpf, and the University of Jena win the
        German Future Prize"
from October 4, 2013

Bosch as an employer:
Career paths at Bosch:
Robert Bosch Kolleg:

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 375,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2015). The company generated sales of 70.6 billion euros in 2015. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing and sales network covers some 150 countries. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. Bosch employs 55,800 associates in research and development at 118 locations across the globe. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.”

The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.” The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.

Additional information is available online at and,

PI8473 - February 26, 2014

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