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ERP Project Manager

Munich | Garching

  • Organization: ESO - European Southern Observatory
  • Location: Munich | Garching
  • Grade: Mid level - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Logistics
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
    • Supply Chain
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: Closed

As one of the organisational change management projects hosted within ESO's Quality and Information Systems (QIS) Programme, the mission of the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) project manager is to ensure the successful planning, execution, and completion of the ERP implementation project for ESO's next generation system. The project manager is responsible for aligning the ERP project with ESO's overall strategic goals and ensuring that the implemented system meets the current and future requirements of the organisation.

The ERP project manager is to lead the project through its lifecycle, ensuring that it delivers the expected business value, meets user requirements, and is completed within the defined scope, schedule, and budget constraints. The ultimate goal is to contribute to the organisation's cross-directorate alignment, operational efficiency, productivity, and strategic success through the successful implementation and optimal utilisation of the ERP system. The role demands a combination of technical expertise, leadership skills, and a deep understanding of both business processes and organisational dynamics.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

To lead the project for the successful implementation of the future ESO ERP System to deliver business value and achieve the desired outcomes for the organisation.

  • The successful candidate will be a member of the Project Management Department (PMD) who has delegated authority from the QIS Programme Manager for the delivery of ESO 's next generation ERP System representing an organisational change project within the defined scope, cost and schedule and working within the ESO project management framework and matrix organisation.
  • Manages and follows-up the industrial contracts for the ERP, organises the work packages execution throughout all development phases: procurement, design, deployment, tests, and roll-out.
  • Responsible for the active day-to-day project management covering all relevant disciplines such as stakeholder, risk and change management and for adequate project documentation, reporting and working with the quality management functions of ESO.
  • Organises the staff working in the project team as agreed with the QIS Programme Manager and the ESO Functional Managers as part of ESO's matrix organisation.
  • Ensures that the Project/Work Package execution respects ESO procedures, standards, and values.
  • Where applicable, sets objectives and provides performance evaluation to the functional managers for the staff working as part of the ERP project team.
  • Manages the project team and communication to encourage project ownership and engagement and bring out the best performance in its members through discussion, negotiation, and delegation.
  • Seeks to resolve conflicts in the project team, following ESO escalation procedures if required.
  • Stays abreast of industry best practices and emerging trends to enhance delivery capabilities and operational efficiency.
  • Coordinate the go-live process(es), including data migration and system activation, ensuring that end-users are successfully trained.
  • Provide support during the post-implementation phase to address and manage issues and ensure user adoption during the period of stabilisation.
  • Work closely with the QIS Programme and Quality and Process Managers on aspects related to organisational change management.

Reports to:

Head of PMD (fully matrixed to QIS Programme Manager).

Key Competences and Experience:

Essential Competences and Experience

  • A minimum of 8 years experience in project management, including leading at least two complex ERP projects from initiation to completion.
  • Substantial hands-on experience specifically related to the full lifecycle of ERP implementation projects.
  • Demonstrated experience with the standard Project Management tasks of scope, schedule and resource planning, stakeholder, change and risk management, as well as a demonstrated ability to build, develop and lead project teams, culminating in smooth transitions to new ERP systems with optimal utilisation.
  • Excellent leadership and communication skills with the ability to effectively collaborate with cross-functional teams and stakeholders.
  • Knowledge of business processes such as hire-to-retire, procure-to-pay, record-to-report, project management and resource management.
  • Familiarity with tier one and two ERP systems and technologies with in-depth knowledge of ERP concepts, modules, and functionalities.
  • Demonstrated technical proficiency for integration management, data migration and system testing.
  • Understanding of the technical aspects of ERP implementations; configuration, extension, and integration.

  • Ability to build strong collaborative working relationships with people from diverse cultural backgrounds and disciplines.
  • Diplomatic skills and ability to facilitate the management, collaboration and negotiation of ERP and IT vendors/consultants/partners.
  • Provide clear, concise, and timely oral and written communication identifying key issues, examining options, and proposing steps ahead.
  • Ability to monitor progress of your own work and that of the project team, deliver to agreed deadlines and standards, plan activities, contribute to system design and be able to work under pressure.
  • Desire to learn and to further develop technical and interpersonal skills.
  • Demonstrates critical thinking and problem-solving skills in relation to project management and ERP implementations.
  • Customer focussed to prioritise the needs and experiences of end-users in the ERP system design and implementation.
  • Able to find comfort with ambiguous objectives, where the end-state may not always be apparent.
  • Maintaining a high-level of integrity and ethical conduct throughout the ERP project, ensuring alignment with the ESO Values.
  • Prepared to make duty trips to ESO sites in Chile.


Essential educational level

  • Advanced University degree in business administration, information technology, or a related field.
  • A First-level University degree in combination with relevant working experience and/or additional technical qualifications may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree.

Qualifications which would be an asset

  • Formal certifications in project management will be deemed advantageous.
  • ERP-specific certifications from vendors like SAP, Oracle, or Microsoft are beneficial.

Language skills:

A very good command of the English language - oral, reading and writing is essential, and a working knowledge of German or Spanish would be an advantage.

Remuneration and Contract:

We offer an attractive remuneration package including a competitive salary, comprehensive pension scheme and medical, educational, and other social benefits, as well as financial help in relocating your family and support to place your child/children in daycare.

Our Salary Structure

ESO's salary structure is based upon a range of career paths which reflect the nature and level of our jobs. Each career path is made up of two or three grades which are used to further reflect experience.

Please follow this attached link for more details

ESO aims to support members of personnel in maintaining a good work-life balance ( between their professional and private life. ESO is also committed to offering family-friendly support (, creating a work environment and policies which allow staff to balance their professional and private responsibilities through flexible and mobile working arrangements and financial support for families.

This contract is for a fixed term duration initially of three years subject to successful completion of the probation period. Any extension will be directly related to the lifecycle of the ERP project and a second and final contract may be issued for a maximum period of 3 years, making 6 years in total.

For any further information, please visit ESO's conditions of employment ( Please note that the contract policy and in particular the regulations concerning fixed-term and indefinite contracts are currently under review which may lead to changes in the contractual conditions applicable to this position.

Duty Station:

Garching near Munich, Germany, with duty trips to all ESO sites in Chile;

Career Path: V


If you are interested in working in areas of frontline science and technology and in a stimulating international environment, please visit for further details.

Applicants are invited to apply online at Applications must be completed in English and should include a motivation letter and CV. Within your CV, please provide the names and contact details of three persons familiar with your work and willing to provide a recommendation letter upon request. Referees will not be contacted without your prior consent.

Deadline for applications is 17 March 2024.

Interviews are expected to start soon after this date.

ESO Values

An important element in any successful employment relationship is harmony in values between an organisation and its people.

The ESO Values are:

ESO strives for excellence through innovation.

ESO provides outstanding services to its communities.

ESO fosters diversity & inclusion.

ESO believes in the key role of sustainability for its future.

Achieving the above are recognized as only possible on the basis of personal values and attitudes that we expect from our employees: respect, integrity, accountability, commitment, collaboration, and clear & open communication.

Applicants to any ESO role are asked to reflect on their affinity with these values and advised they may be asked about them if called for interview.


ESO has established diversity as an important value of the Organisation, is committed to providing an equal opportunities environment and is actively seeking to promote a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce. Please visit for further details.


No nationality is in principle excluded from employment at ESO, however, recruitment preference will be given to nationals of our Member States, host states and strategic partners: Australia, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Chile, irrespective of gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity or religion.

This vacancy is now closed.
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