Markku Inkeroinen, Construction Project Manager
A team player who gets his hands dirty
Markku Inkeroinen, Construction Project Manager, leads and manages Senate’s large and demanding projects. While timetables and budgets must be kept, it is not the process that matters most to him but the end result: a happy user.
What does your job involve?
Timetables, costs and quality are always important in construction but the process itself is just a “necessary evil”. A project is a success when the user is satisfied – and stays satisfied.
Construction projects take years and I work closely with our customers and our property managers and other colleagues in Helsinki and in the other regions. For instance, in the project for the new courthouse and police station in Joensuu, I got to know our people in East Finland very well. My involvement varies by project but usually it is the account manager who is in charge of the initial stage. As Construction Project Manager, I usually join in the preparatory stage and stay involved to the end of the warranty period.
I also take part in the selection and tendering of development consultants, contractors and service providers. In our large and demanding priority projects, price alone is not decisive – ability to co-operate and competence are also critical. We organise half-day events that are similar to recruitment to analyse our potential partners’ substance competence. We also want to find out what our chemistry is like and how we get along in general – after all, cooperation is largely about trust.
Senate always has 10–15 priority projects underway. During the three years I have worked at Senate, I have been responsible for the Joensuu courthouse and police station, the Hanasaari cultural centre and Merikasarmi, which is currently in the preparatory stage.
What are the goals of your work?
An overall goal is to use the government’s funds wisely. I always insist that we stay within our budget.
Above all, however, the users of the premises must be satisfied. That is a challenging goal because people always have their own ideas about quality, but we must nevertheless always aim at great customer experience. Working with customers is about dialogue and hearing and listening to them. You have to be diplomatic and of course always mind your manners. I am from the Savo region so I tend to get along with people naturally.
What is the most significant future trend in your field?
The operating environment is changing constantly and ever more rapidly. As a result, we must be able to complete construction processes more quickly than before. You cannot compromise on letting concrete dry but project planning in particular must be made quicker.
We are now building activity-based premises in accordance with the Government Premises Strategy but customers may still have rather short-term views about how they are going to use their premises. We need work with them to find out how to make the premises serve their needs better in the long run, how to design the premises so that they can easily be altered as needs change.
Wood is used less in office construction than in housing and I do not believe wood will become widely used as the only material. Hybrid construction, on the other hand, is likely to become common, where the frame of a building can be concrete or some other material and the exterior wood.
Three principles that guide your work?
- User satisfaction. The most important measure. Think about a 15-year lease: if normal day-to-day things do not work, people will not enjoy their work. That is why we establish common targets, goals and success indicators together with our customers.
- Team play. Leadership is not about not getting involved. I like to take responsibility but as a project leader I am a team player. We are all in these projects together and everyone should have their hands dirty.
- Openness and frankness. You can always tell me like it is, even when it is not working. I try to provide constructive feedback and I think it is important to give praise straightaway and not only in an annual review. It is also important to be fair: there are a lot of people at Senate who work in the background and we must remember their role, too.
Education: Master of Science in Engineering. I have also completed extensive further training courses. Senior general construction project manager (RAPS), certified real estate manager (KJS) and workplace manager (workplace development).
Previous employers: Before I joined Senate, I worked as Senior Lead in Sitra with responsibility for real estate investment, leasing and development. Before that, I worked at Pöyry as a development consultant for 14 years and before that at the engineering company Juva for about 15 years.
Working groups: Updating the project leadership and development task list (HJR18) and the FISE Board for verification of the competence of principal design offices (Pääsuunnittelijan pätevyyden toteamisen lautakunta). Customer experience ambassador at Senate.