Author Kathy Wu, Social Media Coordinator at Oracle Consulting Nordics
Ever wondered what kind of personal qualifications you need to succeed as a project manager? Well, there are three personal behaviors my colleague Teemu Lepola thinks are important to understand and practice. He is not only a Project Manager at Oracle Consulting but also a floor ball coach.
Besides working, different sport activities have major role in my life. I have been playing floorball for more than 20 years, still today two or three times a week. It is hobby for whole year and during summer I also play football and golf as much as possible. At winter, those changes to skiing and ice hockey. I also try to keep fit with running and going to the gym regularly. The long experience in floorball and love for the sports has taken me a level of coaching a team of 30 kids in the age of 10. It is very fun but in the meantime exhausting. With kids you are interacting in a very different way than with adults, mainly because of the age difference. It sounds like I am a very sporty person, but I do have a musical side as well. Trying out new things is fun and I like to sing and play guitar for family parties and gatherings. With my friends we have tradition of doing golf-trips to new countries. Together we have been to Malaga, Belleek at Turkey and Mallorca, and for this year we are still in a planning-mode.
My career in IT-business started in 2005 and for the last 9 years before moving to Oracle I worked as Project Manager, Service Manager and also Head of PMO in a Finnish IT integrator. I studied my M. Sc. in Helsinki University of Technology in department of Electrical engineering. My major subject was media technology, but already at that point I was very interested in my minor subject: Leadership and Work psychology. Even though I consider myself quite Technic oriented (even nerd some might say), social interaction has always been important for me. From my studies, it is good to have a solid understand of organizational theories, theory of management and leadership and also the rewarding systems, what motivates and drives others. Very applicable in both personal life as a floorball coach and in a professional way as a project manager or team leader.
What makes me feel passionate in my recent career change to Oracle Consulting is the diversity of people. Every meeting with new people makes me excited, and that is a good way of learning new things. By discussing with new people you will widen your eyes of ideas and knowledge, and possible you will start to reflect over things you already knew or did not know. Another thing I am looking forward are my new colleagues, always a pleasure to work with talented people who are professionals in their own area. Professionalism is not only about being good at what you are doing, but being able to present it for others. In that way, a confidence will be found and that’s why our customer trust us.
There are some personal behaviors a Project Manager needs to practice. First you must be able to be proactive. You cannot wait for things to happen, you have to make sure that it will happen. By actively understanding the current situation and the dependencies between different things will make it easier for you to think a few step further. Knowing how to prioritize the tasks and be able to handle the small things while seeing the big picture of the project.
Second, if you want to be able to make progress you need to know how to receive and give feedback. It does not mean you necessarily all the time must give feedback, but when you do, you should be precise with an example of what could have been better and what was great. Sometimes, the feedback can be informal during a conversation. Usually people don’t say that I’m giving you a feedback now, so listen. It is an important personal skill to be able to pick-up the comments from conversation, so you can constantly develop yourself. Of course, many people think of feedback as something negative but it is not! I try as much as I can to give positive feedback because that’s a good way to motivate your colleagues.
The last personal skill to practice is don’t be afraid of asking questions, especially not from people involved in your project. Because, if you don’t ask you won’t know and instead of wasting your time figuring out what the others might think, just ask and you will get the answer directly. The most important task for a Project Manager is to know the current situation and can present it to others as agreed. You will also feel much more confident in yourself and for the project when you know what is going on. Of course, you can also first try to find the answers by yourself. However, do not feel it is a burden to raise questions, because it usually generate new discussions and thoughts.
That’s also what I like with the work culture in Oracle.It is a very open environment for discussions and you can get help when needed. As a new starter at Oracle I feel I have been taken care very well – also because of the new employee introduction we have, but mainly because I have received so much help from my colleagues. For the near future, I look forward to work in different interesting and challenging projects with Cloud Applications and Tech projects.
Hope you enjoyed reading this post. If you want to read previous articles you find them here: