With a background as a logistics consultant and then an SAP consultant, Kjell Norstein’s all about problem-solving and simplifying complex systems. He has taken this simplification approach into new areas like managing SAP projects. That makes him the perfect man to take the lead on SAP S/4HANA transformations across the Nordics with Cognitus.
Kjell Norstein is our Delivery Director in the Nordics. With 25+ years of experience as an SAP consultant and project manager, he has the insight on projects and digital transformations to help Cognitus’ clients smoothly transition to S/4HANA.
When Kjell joined Cognitus, he brought decades of experience with SAP and project managment. After first joining SAPs office in Norway in 1993, Kjell has been working with the company or its products ever since.
Kjell currently lives in Denmark, where he moved in the early 1990s to work with SAP. That move shaped his life in more ways than one. Working in SAP’s then small office with less than 20 people, Kjell met his future wife on a sunny summer evening. They later married and adopted a son, who’s now moved out. But, while Kjell is still in Denmark and still working with SAP projects, he didn’t start out there.
Instead, Kjell started his career in logistics, using that platform to discover his love of planning. He is educated in economics/logistics, and worked in the field for several years as a logistics consultant. That job took him across Norway, with early work in automated warehouse optimization, optimizing distribution and delivery for major chocolate providers, and working to optimize storage, routing, and delivery schedules for clients across the country.
When he joined SAP in 1993, it was as a logistics consultant. But, in 1998, he moved into his role as an SAP project manager and has been in that role, with one organization or another, ever since. Kjell worked with SAP for a total of 13 years in the last three decades. As a project manager, he has completed implementations for Arla, Vestas, Tetra Pak, Fortum, and many others.
“I learned from every project, “ says Kjell, “They all gave me some unique challenge and insight, and I really like that about my role”.
That, plus a deep love of learning have kept Kjell on the forefront of new technologies at SAP. He’s supported SAP implementation methods from Solution Architect/Manager, ASAP and the newest SAP Activate and is constantly pursuing new certifications in SAP technology, and metrologies.
That early experience with logistics optimization still forms the backbone of Kjell’s approach to life and to work.
“I’m very interested in figuring out how to optimize things, how to simplify them. Logistics was an interesting aspect of that – it’s never a challenge to make something complicated, anyone can do that. Making things simple is an art”
“There are a lot of moments that you can’t control and that’s just how they are”, says Kjell, “when I joined SAP for example, that was a coincidence because I was looking for something else to do. One of my friends called me and said, ‘this is really a job for you’. I joined because he’d taken the time to call me. Without that call I wouldn’t have met my wife and I wouldn’t be where I am now”
Privately, Kjell is interested in home improvement and listening to podcasts. He also takes his love of logistics and planning into other areas with his sailing hobby.
“I love sailing because it’s so quiet, you’re all alone and you have to depend on nature and your ability to evaluate what’s going on. You can relax – but need to have done your homework to be prepared for changing conditions like bad weather, underwater rocks, other ships or urgent “repairs” both on the boat or the crew. it’s also really challenging if you get into bad weather. I also really love planning the trip, making risk assumptions, establishing procedures in case something goes wrong, and really taking the time to make sure everything will go well”.
In June of 2021, Kjell joined Cognitus. He’s now working as Delivery Director for our Nordics office and we’re proud to have him.
“I joined Cognitus because of the delivery model – the factory approach – which allows us to repeat how we complete projects with step-by-step processes to ensure everything is done quickly, to exacting quality standards, and in an optimized way. That really speaks to me, and I’m heavily involved in helping to develop those models so that when a customer makes a request, we know exactly what to do, how to do it, and how to execute the delivery in a very controlled way. I also believe that kind of approach is going to be necessary as more organizations have to make the move to SAP S/4HANA.”
“I think it’s very often the case that projects get out of hand in terms of costs, timelines, etc., because project managers don’t have or use these processes and controls. I want to help simplify and make more secure deliveries, and with Cognitus, I get that opportunity”.
If you’d like to learn more about Kjell, visit his LinkedIn here.