Best-Hall has five project managers working on fabric structures. One of them is Jukka Torppa. Torppa works at the Kälviä office as part of a team of nearly 150 professionals.
Torppa’s work on a project starts with an order confirmation after the client has decided to order the building and the project is handed over to him. First, Torppa goes through the project with the sales department.
“I do tend to follow sales in advance, sound out the client’s needs and look at the preliminary architectural plans. This allows me to ask sales for the information I need to proceed.”
Once the changeover has been made, Torppa confers with the designers. Torppa invests in groundwork to ensure that the project can move forward smoothly with the client.
The project manager holds the reins
Standard fabric-covered buildings or smaller custom buildings are pretty straightforward from a project management perspective. According to Torppa, if the groundwork has been laid in advance, the most important things can usually be agreed upon in one phone call before the installation, followed by another call to make sure everything went as planned.
However, most building projects also involve other operators, such as an electrician and a door supplier, whose work has to be coordinated. Sometimes there may also be a construction company involved, which may have subcontractors such as PHCE or flooring installers.
“Everyone’s schedules are equally important and need to be coordinated,” says Torppa.
Project management also differs between countries. Usually, partners have different operating models that require different levels of involvement, depending on the delivery package chosen.
A happy client is the best reward
Torppa joined Best-Hall as a project manager in August 2021. He is a mechanical engineer by training and has previously worked as a factory manager, project manager and on the testing side in the IT sector, among other positions.
What motivates Torppa in his job as a project manager is the variety and the chance to find solutions to different challenges in different projects. For him, the most rewarding part is when a project is completed and the client is happy – as is usually the case.
“When talking to the client, it is pretty easy to find out how things are going or how they went. As a rule, the feedback we have received shows that our projects have been very successful,” says Torppa.
Torppa knows that the client’s top priorities are that the building is completed on time and that their wishes and needs have been listened to. It is also best to give sufficient notice of any changes to the schedule.
The same job in a different package
For the most part, Torppa’s job is similar to what he has done in the past. When working on construction projects, the challenges are quite similar and the issues are the same. Only the organisation and its approaches and solutions are different.
“Situations change quickly, so you have to be able to choose the things that move things forward in the right way.”
When confronted with the need to identify the most important issues, Torppa’s solution-oriented approach and organisational skills really come to the fore. In every project, there are issues that need to be dealt with immediately and others that can wait until the following week. It is important to be able to distinguish between these issues.
“I am the critical point in the whole building process or, conversely, a completely unnecessary person. In a perfect world, there would be no need for this job if everyone else has done their job perfectly,” Torppa says jokingly. But unfortunately, in the real world there are always many variables involved.
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