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IT Influencer of the year Janne Viskari: ‘Master’s Degree in Technology prepares you for virtually any work’

Director General of the Population Register Centre Janne Viskari became interested in leadership and project management during student projects.
Aalto University / Janne Viskari / photo: Linda Koskinen

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering and Communications Janne Viskari realised during his studies that he was more interested in the coordination of matters rather than in-depth expert work. Viskari has worked in various managerial positions throughout his career: initially as a project leader, and subsequently in managerial positions both in the private and public sector.

‘I acquired knowledge about leadership from managerial positions in the student guild, student union and associations during my studies. You cannot dictate volunteers or boss them about, but you should motivate them by other means. The management of employed workers can be similar: you should make people enjoy what they do’, Viskari says.

Viskari’s management skills have been recognised: Tivi magazine for ICT professionals selected him as Tivi Influencer of the year in 2018, and the British Apolitical online service placed him amongst the 100 most influential persons in digital government last year.

National IT reform the biggest project in Viskari’s career

The biggest project led by Viskari was completed at the end of 2017. He was in charge of the Population Register Centre unit responsible for the National Architecture for Digital Services (KaPa) implementation programme. Its aim was to create a national digital service infrastructure to facilitate interoperability between organisations and services. Despite the budget cuts, KaPa programme was completed on time and under budget. For the citizens, the reform is visible as Suomi.fi services.

At the moment, Viskari works as the Director General of the Population Register Centre. He is currently preparing the merger of the Population Register Centre and Local Register Offices into a new central office, the task of which is to promote the digitalisation of society. The merger is in line with a government proposal and it is currently pending in the Finnish Parliament.

‘All projects are different. The pending fusion between the Population Register Office and Local Register Offices equals the merger of several operators, and the challenge is how to make the organisational practices consistent throughout’, Viskari says.

Although Viskari has worked in project management throughout his working career, he did not know what he would like to do for living when applying for a study place.

‘I applied for the then Department of Electrical Engineering, as it provided many different alternatives within the department. Now I know that the field of study will not define what kind of work you can do. I have personally worked very little in actual engineering during my career, but Master of Science Degree in Technology is comprehensive and prepares you for virtually any work’, he says.

Text: Linda Koskinen

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