Cracking challenges of project work

After completing two out of five Management Trainee projects, you have faced many of the typical challenges related to this type of working. As surely many of us work with projects daily, I wanted to share three things about this that I have learned during my time at Visma.

Approach the problem from a point of courage

The first project, which started in Oslo in August, was about big data and how we can effectively use it in debt collection. My project group had a lot of ideas of what could work, but there was no clear evidence that would back up one single approach. Ultimately, we decided to go forth with a few scenarios to test out what would work best. I learned from this that many of the best solutions are created through trial and error. Thomas Edison also once said “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Applying a structure to your case

Approaching a problem from different angles is imperial in project work. Nevertheless, in my experience doing this without any framework can cause problems for time management and hinder you from achieving your goal on time. My project owner and I agreed early on which customers we should focus on (and most importantly: which ones we should leave out). This scope helped me to get up to speed quickly, which is crucial as we only have two months time on each project.

Document your thoughts

My second project, which started in Helsinki in November, was about how we can improve our sales process and which KPI we should use to measure success. The best way to find out needs for improvement was to first document how our processes look like right now to be able to question why we are doing things as we are.

What you should remember when working with projects is to all the time think outside the box. As a newcomer you have the advantage of seeing things in a different way. The challenge is that after some time you get used to the existing processes and you stop questioning status quo. It is vital to document your thoughts throughout the project so that you can go back to review your earlier thinking.

Eeva Penttilä is a Management Trainee at Visma 2016-17. She has a Master's degree in Corporate Governance and a Bachelor's degree in Economics from Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki. Eeva gets excited when talking about startups and gets inspired by people with different backgrounds.
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