About Tuomas Kalinainen, Service Delivery Manager & Technical Project Manager (Finland)
Tuomas joined DWF in September 2016 as a Solutions Consultant. He was able to take some time in the beginning to study RPA and Digital Workforce’s customer cases, which helped him to internalize the best practices and methodologies before starting his own projects.
When Tuomas was assigned his first case together with another consultant, he quickly took over the maintenance side of the RPA project as well as maintenance tasks in other customer projects. In this role, understanding the best practices that he had been studying was especially important. Tuomas’ work soon brought up an internal discussion, and the team realized there was a heightened need for further developing and defining best practices. This realization marked the beginning of an ongoing development project where Tuomas ended up taking a significant role.
Tuomas also continued to work with his assigned customer taking on even more responsibilities. The project taught him how to interact with customers and how to utilize his knowledge in practice.
In 2017, Tuomas was given the task of founding a Run Management RPA service maintenance team in Poland. Tuomas took on the task and stayed involved until the end of 2018 when the role of running the team was fully moved to Poland. Once the RM Team Lead was moved to Poland, Tuomas was assigned to work on Run Management customer onboarding.
Tuomas still takes part in tasks related to Run Management communication and tries to involve himself in discussions with customers. However, he has also moved towards the role of a Service Delivery Manager as the onboarding of Run Management customers is not a full-time job.
By 2019, Tuomas has had the roles of:
- Solutions Consultant
- Run Management Lead
- Technical Project Manager
- Run Management Expert
- Service Delivery Manager
He has been involved in RPA development and maintenance, setting up a new team in Poland, Digital Workforce’s internal improvement and training, as well as customer onboarding. Also, when Tuomas started at the company, he brought up the need for an internal knowledge-base, and later in 2018, together with a colleague, decided to tackle the issue head-on. Today, the knowledge-base they initiated is being used and built up across the whole company.
Tuomas’s thoughts about his development at Digital Workforce:
What factors contributed to your development at Digital Workforce?
“Before landing at Digital Workforce, I was already looking for a company that was not too large, so I could have an impact on the work and how things are done in the company. This makes it hard to say where the push for development came – from myself or from the outside. However, I know that one thing pushing me forward has been open communication: I’ve voiced my thoughts when possible and tried to challenge the status quo constructively.
Along with communication, it’s important to show a willingness to do the work necessary for improvement: When you see a challenge, grab the chance to talk about it and then start working on it. It might also bring along an opportunity for your next career step.“
What do you expect from your future?
“I’m still quite new to SDM; there is still a lot of work to be done and hope to continue in this role in the near future. Later on, I also think it would be natural for me to get involved in Run Management in some way as I know a lot about the service. I’ll always try to catch opportunities as they come.”
Has the new role met your expectations?
“Because I don’t have one "full role" at the moment but rather a combination of roles and tasks, I feel that I can have my input in a lot of things. That is something that I really enjoy, but also look forward to covering more tasks involved in my responsibilities as SDM.”
What have been your most significant learning curves?
“My biggest learning curve was probably in the beginning when I realized that there was not a defined career path for everyone in the company. I realized that I needed to find my own path and open my mouth if I wanted to move ahead.”
What have been your biggest challenges?
“There have been different challenges at different points. In the beginning, it was time management and learning the technology. After that, it was managing people in the RM lead role. More recently, my challenge has been proactively addressing the question: ‘How to make myself useful in areas I want to develop in?’.
I’ve also realized when talking with people over coffee, for example, how much tacit knowledge there is in the company and how much we could improve our internal communication to share this knowledge. Many challenges can be solved with solutions from earlier made mistakes.”
What would you say to others looking to advance in their work?
“People are always told to be proactive, but I think many of us don't take this seriously enough. You really should believe in how important it is to be proactive and take the initiative. Find someone that can help you and be your advocate; to push you and help you develop further. Don't be afraid to ask and talk to people. You can't communicate too much!”