Elevating Project Management Excellence: Interview with Joni Väisänen, Head of Project Management at Laitex

In today’s fast-paced business landscape, project management plays a pivotal role in the success and competitiveness of organizations. To gain valuable insights into this dynamic field, we had the pleasure of interviewing Joni Väisänen, the newly appointed Head of Project Management at Laitex. With a wealth of experience in successfully leading and delivering complex projects, Joni offers a wealth of knowledge and advice for aspiring project managers. Join us as we delve into the key aspects of project management and uncover valuable insights that can drive your own success.

1. Can you briefly share your journey in the field of project management and highlight the projects you have overseen?

“My journey in project management has been both challenging and rewarding. Prior to joining Laitex, I held the position of Manager in the Construction Department for the Energy Business Unit at Valmet Technologies Oy. In this role, I managed and coordinated construction sites across various global locations. I have also led end-to-end projects, including installations and commissioning in the Valmet Energy Business Unit and Wood and Pulp Drying Business Unit. Notably, we recently completed a successful project in Braunschweig, Germany, where Valmet delivered a biomass boiler.” – tells Väisänen.

2. Project management methodologies and frameworks have evolved. Which approach do you find most effective, and why? Are there any emerging trends in project management that you find intriguing?

While project management methodologies and frameworks have evolved, the core principles have remained consistent. From my experience, I find that good planning and scheduling, effective communication with stakeholders, and a proactive approach to handling changes are still the keys to success. As for emerging trends, I find the integration of agile methodologies in traditional project management approaches intriguing. Agile methodologies provide a flexible and collaborative framework, enabling teams to respond swiftly to evolving project requirements – Joni shares.

3. Communication plays a crucial role in project management. How do you ensure effective communication within project teams, stakeholders, and other relevant parties? Do you have any tips for improving communication in challenging project environments?

Joni Väisänen: “Communication is indeed a critical aspect of project management. To ensure effective communication, frequent meetings with the project team are vital. It’s essential to come prepared, with a clear agenda and goals for each meeting. Actively encouraging input and feedback from team members fosters a culture of open communication where everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas. Often, the best ideas and solutions emerge from the collective intelligence of the team.”

4. Change is inevitable in any project. How do you manage and adapt to unexpected changes while maintaining project momentum and meeting objectives?

Embracing change is crucial in project management. To manage unexpected changes, I employ a scenario-thinking process. This involves envisioning different scenarios, both positive and negative, that might occur during the project. By having contingency plans ready, we can respond quickly to unexpected changes without losing project momentum. Additionally, setting clear goals from the outset helps maintain focus and align efforts, even in the face of unexpected challenges. Effective communication is paramount during such times, as it ensures that all stakeholders are informed and engaged – Väisänen offers insight.

5. Lastly, what advice would you give to aspiring project managers who aim to excel in their careers? Are there any key lessons you have learned throughout your journey that you would like to share?

Joni Väisänen: “For aspiring project managers, my advice is to be open to challenges. Often, it is through challenging situations that we learn and grow the most. It is also essential to strike a balance between work and personal life, as maintaining well-being and perspective is vital for long-term success. Additionally, every individual is unique, so it’s important to find what works best for you in terms of project management techniques and approaches.

Joni encourages aspiring project managers not to fear failure but rather to embrace it as a valuable learning experience. Every failure presents an opportunity to gain insights, make improvements, and grow both personally and professionally. View it as an essential aspect of the project manager’s job description. “Don’t be afraid to fail, everyone fails. It should be a part of the job description 😉 “ – says Mr. Väisänen.

Through this insightful interview with Joni Väisänen, we have gained valuable perspectives on the world of project management. His experience and advice serve as a guiding light for aspiring project managers, highlighting the importance of effective communication, adaptability, and a continuous drive for excellence. By embracing these principles, aspiring project managers can elevate their skills and make a significant impact in their careers.