Bjørn Tore Søyland graduated from a Bachelor of Commerce with a major in Information Systems in 2011, and is now working as a project planning consultant for Statoil ASA, a major player in the Oil & Gas industry in Norway.
What do you enjoy about your profession?
As a Project Planner Consultant I get to work borderline between IS and the core business (Oil & Gas) to set the guidelines for planning in future projects. Working in a perfect mix of both complex IT solutions and interaction with other people is the key that makes me enjoy my profession. I generally believe that by combining people, information and technology in a smarter way we can set a mark in history on how we adapted to the rapid change that is happening in the world today.
What key skills and attributes are required in your profession?
I think that my profession as a Project Planner Consultant is a growing profession, and in the future it will be more and more important to predict the future in order to be able to finish a project within a framework. Many projects (particularly in IT) fail due to poor planning. A Project Planner needs to be proactive in order to always be able to predict the best case for every scenario. One of the most important skills is to be able to prioritize both daily work, and the activities that should be done in a project.
A Project Planner must be able to collaborate and work in teams with engineers and other specialists as much of the work is dependent on input from others (including what should be done, how long it takes to finish, what resources we need, what are the risks and how much will it cost).
How do stay up to date with trends in your industry?
In order to keep up with different trends in the industry a Project Planner needs to keep updated within two areas:
- Planning is present in every industry, and it is important that the Project Planner understands the specific industry in which a project is going to be conducted. It’s important to follow news and events in addition to networking with people in the industry.
- Planning/Scheduling is a profession itself and continuously learning from experienced personnel in the company I work for, Safran Software Solutions AS, is the key for my development in this area. I also need to network and learn from experiences from related projects, and take advantage of online networks such as Planning Planet and LinkedIn.
What advice do you have for students looking to enter your profession?
If you want a diverse job where you are able to influence the largest and most complex projects in the world you should pursue a career within planning. As planners come from many different areas today you have a wide range of choices when it comes to your course at Curtin University. My advice is to follow the particular industry you want to work within and gain enough knowledge to become technically savvy in order to be able to take advantage of the excellent project planning software that exists today.