Interview: Working with projects that has an impact on the society

Visma bidrar med samfunnsnyttige prosjekter slik som asylbarn.no

Through our lives, we usually spend about 80.000 hours on our career. This is a lot of hours! So the question is how people in the IT industry can make sure that this time is used on something that is useful for society?

We often hear people say: I want to do something socially beneficial with my career. Social impact means how organizations, businesses or individuals’ actions affect the surrounding community. Projects that have a positive social impact are projects that can make individuals everyday life easier. With the technology we have today, we have the opportunity to make a difference and make a positive impact on society. 

As an IT consultant, you can do something beneficial for society by developing solutions that make everyday life easier for the people who need it. 

In Visma Consulting Norway we work with a wide range of clients, and many of them have an important impact on the society. As an example, we work with The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI), The Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) and The Directorate of Integration and Diversity (IMDi). 

Our UX manager, Bente Bakke, is one that has worked with a lot of projects that has had an important impact on our society. She says that this very rewarding work:

“At first I thought that it was the subject of UX design that was what I liked the best about my job, but over time it has changed and I think it’s just as exciting to work on projects that give an extra value to our society, so that I can personally make a difference through the work I do. I think this is a really exciting perspective”, says Bente. 

As a designer, Bente, gets included on a lot of projects in our company and she has a unique ability to see the whole picture within the solutions that she creates. Over the years she has worked with a lot of different projects that have an impact on the society, such as within education, refugees, and agriculture. Bente Bakke

“It’s rewarding to know that the work you do is helping to make things easier for people”, says Bente. 

She says that almost all of the projects she has been working on within Visma has some sort of benefits for the society. 

Want to work with projects that have a positive social impact? Check out our open positions and join our team. 

Our solutions contribute to safer immigration of refugees

An example of a project that has had an important impact on Norwegian society is a project that we did for UDI. The task was to develop a website called Asylbarn.no, that was aimed to make the immigration process for children easier when they come to Norway as refugees. 

“In this example, the solutions that we created made the immigration process less scary for the children that don’t talk Norwegian to come to our country and to feel safe throughout the process”, says Bente. 

“This was a very rewarding project because, after the launch of the website, we received a lot of positive feedback from the asylum centers, both from the people working there and from the refugees told us they felt safer”.

Challenging projects

When working with projects that have a social impact, you can end up in situations that are very challenging because you have to deeply understand the customers working processes and needs to be able to develop good solutions. An example was one time when Bente worked on a project for Bufetat. Parents that are separating up in Norway and that have children under the age of 16 must attend a meeting to decide on where children should live etc. Bufetat needed to develop an effective system that would safeguard the children’s needs.

In order to develop a solution that focuses on the user’s needs, we need to get a lot of insight into their needs. As part of this insight work, Bente participated in conversations between two parents who had separated, so-called mediation meetings.

“During one of the conversations, it turned out that there had been some violence between the parents, which was a tough but interesting experience to include in the insight work I did”, says Bente. 

This meeting helped Visma design a solution that handles difficult issues like this in a safe and secure way. 

What do you like best about working on projects like this?

“The opportunity to work so variated and the opportunity to learn so much new about each domain, something that I would never have had the chance to do if I worked in-house with only one product”.

Bente also points out the opportunity she gets to work with different teams in Visma, which is how she acquires a lot of knowledge from the people she works with. Both when it comes to technology and communication with customers. 

Want to develop solutions that make a difference in society? Take a look at our open positions: 

Go to open positions