Recently Wunder has become three Head of -positions richer. To highlight the company’s core expertise, the Head of Technology, Head of Delivery, and Head of Design have been nominated and started their new roles in December 2021. If counted together, these three persons have an impressive 27-year work history with Wunder. Therefore they have lots of experience and a clear vision of where we are heading in the particular area. Instead of just sharing the Wunder vision in tech, delivery, and design, we decided to invite the new Head ofs’ to a conversation and give them the chance to reveal their professional visions along with their personal Wunder stories.
We are concluding the “Head of” interview series with Eeva Ojanen, our new Head of Delivery. Eeva can call herself a Wunderer for over five-and-half years already. Since day one, she has been working as a Delivery Manager – taking care of projects, teams, and clients, from sales proposals and concept creation to project delivery and continuous services. Last autumn Eeva took the challenge and became Guild Lead of the Project Management Guild, and just a couple of months later, she received an offer to take the role of Head of Delivery.
“Project management is not only about processes, time tracking, scope, or budget but rather working as a hub and enabling interaction between the client and the project team.”
What responsibilities does your new Head of Delivery role include?
Our Value Delivery organization, which consists of three responsibility areas – design, technology, and delivery – takes care of our project and continuous services operations. We deliver the agreed work to our clients – from designing the future digital services with our clients to actually building the web services and taking care of them after the project launch. My responsibilities go hand in hand with the Head of Design and Head of Technology because only in collaboration we can ensure that our operations run smoothly and develop our ways of working within our deliveries. Involving our people helps us find and implement the best practices, thus making Wunder an even better workplace for our people and a more experienced partner for our clients.
How would you describe the role of Delivery Managers at Wunder?
Project management is not only about processes, time tracking, scope, or budget but rather working as a hub and enabling interaction between the client and the project team. Ultimately our Delivery Managers, doing either project or/and service management, have to be professionals in collaborating and working with people.
The Project Management -guild develops our project management competence, and Delivery Managers are in a key position when planning and implementing enhancements to our ways of working. That surely requires tight collaboration between all the three tracks – tech, design, and delivery.
Both – developing our ways of working and leading our delivery teams – requires good coordination and collaboration skills. We are responsible for taking care of our teams as well as our clients, which is not always a simple task. I’m proud to be working with such warm-hearted and yet professional people!
“With all we do, we aim for long-lasting and mutually beneficial partnerships with our clients – to be their trusted partners on their digital journey.”
As this is a relatively new role, what are the delivery potentials at Wunder for the upcoming year and perhaps even further?
This year’s primary focus is refining operational structures and the bigger picture, implementing our operative strategy. The quality of deliveries can be revised and improved. I aim to ensure equally high quality, value, and client experience for the customer regardless of the project team or provided solution.
I have to admit that Wunderers always have been a bit hesitant about the term “process.” I myself also dislike doing things just for the sake of a process – things need to have sense and meaning. However, as the company grows in size and diversity, the common delivery guidelines become more and more important as we aim to ensure a unified employee and client experience. Still, our personal touch and the particular client needs always will remain visible in our work. Just as our dear Head Of Design Talvikki wisely put it: Our future vision is to optimize and gradually push our operations and clients towards a more sustainable and data-informed user-centric development during the next few years.
What will it mean for Wunder clients?
Our clients build their services for their end-users, which should always be at the center of the development plans. For our clients, this means developing their services steered by our experts with a more proactive grip and thus getting the most out of the expertise we can provide.
We have always utilized agile ways of working, which support tight and open collaboration with our clients to create the best possible solutions and, at the same time, enable learning on the way and truly prioritizing the work that benefits the end-users the most. Many of our clients, especially from the public sector, are not used to working this way and need support. We are more than happy to help them achieve their goals and use the available data to go for a truly continuous improvement of their services. With all we do, we aim for long-lasting and mutually beneficial partnerships with our clients – to be their trusted partners on their digital journey.
What could be the potential delivery threats in the nearest or furthest future?
As the delivery is highly related to communication and interaction with other people, in my mind, the potential threats are tackling the IT industry as a whole and so, of course, affecting the delivery as well.
The first one I would point out is the overheating of the IT industry, meaning that we need to take extra good care of our employees. Recruitment of good experts has gotten quite hectic and if employees get dissatisfied, they can easily find another company to work for as the demand for the IT workforce is incredibly high. Such changes, of course, affect the deliveries, and it is no secret that teams that know their clients and services well can bring the most value to the client. At Wunder, we put a lot of effort into providing opportunities, meaningful work, and a pleasant working atmosphere for our experts.
There is ever-increasing pressure to digitize our world – especially from an environmental point of view, and this is why also green-tech thinking is on our radar. From the technical point of view, we always try to optimize our services (read more about the topic from an article by our Head of Technology Janne). Our vision, “To build a world where digital belongs to everyone.” also supports this idea – by bringing digital services accessible to more people, we help reduce the time and emissions needed for people to spend on traveling when getting things done.
The long COVID isolation has affected the feeling of togetherness all over our society, and now we will have to find the balance between remote and on-site work so that people can again feel more connected. Also, the war in Ukraine and the uncertainties that the situation has created increase the total amount of stress factors among everyone, and that naturally includes Wunderers in Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and other countries our experts work from.
We all increasingly need a clear sense of purpose and a feeling of belonging. Defined roles and responsibilities, ways of working, and enabling safety and connections are even more important than a couple of years ago. The wellbeing of our people directly affects the quality of work we deliver, which makes these topics even more essential to be considered and nurtured.
“With my core value being “connection,” I feel that all our Wunder values resonate with me profoundly.”
How does Wunder differ from the other companies when thinking about delivery matters?
Wunder is a work community that fosters inclusivity and cherishes psychological safety. We receive positive feedback from our clients on introducing the concept and living accordingly within our projects. We receive and give feedback also internally, Hugs being one way to do it. Safer the project teams, better the results – and this has been proven many times through research, the most famous one probably being Project Aristotle by Google.
Even though we are not perfect with this (and never will be since this is a never-ending journey), we consciously put effort into these topics. We can be proud of having an increasing culture of open discussions that tackle even the difficult issues. This is due to having brave and devoted people who bring up matters that are not working as optimally as they should. Our asset is definitely the wunderful, passionate, and talented people working here, for and with our clients!
Is there a particular Wunder value that motivates you the most?
With my core value being “connection,” I feel that all our Wunder values (being open and curious, nurturing a culture of trust, and taking care of each other) resonate with me profoundly. Creating meaningful connections with colleagues and clients by being open and curious establishes the trust and feeling of being cared for.
My main motivation for taking on the Head of Delivery position was to bring the word from the operational level of Wunder to the management level, thus ensuring more effect on how we do things and making Wunder an even better workplace for all of us.
Who are the professionals you get inspired by in your professional work?
My role models definitely are Brené Brown and Amy Edmondson. Amy, by being the “mother” of the concept of psychological safety, and Brené for her extensive work on people-centric leadership. I love Brené’s podcasts (“Dare to Lead” and “Unlocking Us”) – highly recommended! Still ever-learning the “Clear is kind,” vulnerability, and courage!
What project or initiative are you most proud of?
Ramping up the Psychological Safety Group within Wunder. It took quite some effort to bring up and promote the topic together with my colleagues. It makes me happy and proud that this concept has been adopted all the way to our highest management! This is really close to my heart, and there is always space to improve and learn new. People are so intriguing!
What has been the most memorable moment at Wunder that you have experienced?
I think the WunderCons, where all our people get together in one place for a couple of days, connect and create bonds also outside our working roles. For the last couple of years, we have had these events online for obvious reasons, so I’m looking forward to seeing our people live in 3D again this autumn after such a long time! This internal event works miracles for team spirit and commitment! And those live-event miracles benefit not only Wunderers but also everyone collaborating with us.