jects. Good interaction skills play a key role in the successful completion of a project.” Fair game A typical project involves two parties: the customer and the supplier. Both have the objective of creating a good product. However, the idea of what makes a good product can be different. The suppliers of products or ser-vices have their own project organisa-tions, their own objectives, and their own administration. A company strives to fulfil the desires of its customers, gain good references and make profit. As a customer, the Finnish Bor-der Guard has its own objectives and requirements related to its operational tasks. Combining the objectives and wishes of the supplier and the customer is its own kind of a process. Conflicts occur, for examples, when the supplier and the customer have different quali-ty criteria for the product or a different idea of the scope of the delivery. The project managers of both par-ties must be able to solve the problems in such a manner that cooperation is possible in the future, as well. Holm emphasises that the project manager of the purchasing party must be sensible and fair, and not too stubborn. “The agreement will state what is ordered, but the related details may be lined with gold or silver. However, they must be interpreted in a sensible man-ner.” Fairness involves that the supplier is paid for additional work not covered by the agreement. The same also applies vice versa: the company must be flexible when necessary. A major project is a question of tenacity The preliminary decisions on the pro-curement of the offshore patrol vessel Turva were made in 2008, and the of-ficial procurement decision a year later. This was an exceptionally large project, 47 RAJAMME VARTIJAT in which Holm was involved from the start. The vessel’s functionality profile was planned in cooperation with the Finnish Environment Institute and sev-eral different ministries, and the con-cept was designed in cooperation with the ship-building industry. There were suppliers and subcon-tractors from all over the world. Numer-ous components were manufactured. Hundreds of meetings were held during the project. The progress of the project was reported to the top management. The project comprised a steering group, a project group and several working groups. According to Holm, completing a large project is a question of tenacity, with no place for impatient people. The design period is long, the construction takes a long time, deployment also takes its time, and the warranty period is long, as well. Still, the procurement and construction speed of the Turva is globally in the top category compared to the construction of other equivalent ships. The project leader must be able to notice both major and minor is-sues. However, there will be surprises. On Turva, for example, the pattern of one floor had been laid the wrong way around. The biggest surprise, however, was the decision made to close down the STX Rauma dockyard where Turva was being built. “The key personnel vanished after the news were published. The project manager at the dockyard did a good job, although he was facing an almost im-possible situation.” Product development as cooperation Completing a vessel project is anything but boring desk work. “The project work is colourful and rapid. When accepting the job, the project manager must prepare for danc-ing to the tune of the supplier’s and the manufacturer’s schedules. The custom-er must not delay the project.” A project will usually be the more successful the earlier the customer, supplier and subcontractors get to work in cooperation. The customer does not necessarily know what opportunities are available. Nor do the supplier or the subcontractor know precisely for which purpose something desired by the cus-tomer will be applied in practice. The product development is cooperation. “The end result will be poor if the customer does not know what they want, and the supplier does not know what options are available on the mar-ket.” Gunnar Holm is responsible for four to eight projects at a time. Their workload on him depends on the pro-ject managers. If they do their work well, Holm has less to do, and vice versa. An experimental offshore boat project is currently underway. The boat is being built and will be delivered to the Finnish Border Guard at the end of 2017. A competitive tendering process is also currently underway for a series of 23 rigid-hulled inflatable boats. In ad-dition to these, supplementary procure-ment for Turva is going on, involving the acquisition of equipment increasing diving efficiency, for example. Holm enjoys his work, which al-lows him to produce tangible products that help people do important work. The project becomes concrete when the vessel comes to port. “When the vessel comes to port, I think that – wow – is this the result of completing some forms”, Gunnar Holm jokes, but emphasises that procure-ment is not a one-man show. It involves cooperation by several professionals.
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