Blog post March 9
IT Maintenance Manager, what does that mean? As an IT Maintenance Manager, you are responsible for central IT systems, in my case it concerns a business system called IFS Applications, which Holmen uses to manage, among other things, Warehousing, Purchasing, Maintenance and Projects. We have about 2800 active users in the system, which is more than 90% of the total number of employees at Holmen.
My role includes ensuring that we have a working IT solution, ie that we at Holmen know in what processes we use the system and how we work in the system.
That we can continuously improve our work processes through support from the business system,we achieve this through a contact network that goes from maintenance to end users, so that we are able to gather the problems and new opportunities that end users have. That we have a functioning support organization so that we are able to troubleshoot problems that arise and resolve the issues, not only temporarily but also in the long term.
We recently launched an upgrade project of IFS, where I act as IT Project Manager. This type of project takes about one year from start up to deployment. There are many people and many activities that I need to deal with in a project like this. I will talk more about that in my upcoming blog posts.
Blog post March 12
Today I thought you should follow me one day at work. As I mentioned in my first post, we have recently started a project to upgrade IFS business systems to the latest version. Much of my time is currently spent on managing that project.
Holmen is currently running an older version of IFS and through this upgrade we will be able to make a fairly large technical lift. By comparison, we can see what it was like when the first iPhone model came on the market. We talk about a time when a Smartphone was not a telephone standard. I remember at that time I had bought myself a phone that was capable of playing mp3 files. Spotify was not yet available as a product on the market.
Upgrading a business system is more complicated, and more fun, than you might think. This project is scheduled to take 1 year in lead time. From project start in January 2020 to launching in January 2021 for end users. As we take a large technological step, we need to ensure that everything works properly, that IFS can communicate with other central IT systems, that we still have the support that we expect in our work processes and above all that all employees receive education about the changes.
Today we had a workshop together with staff from IFS, Holmen IT, maintenance personnel from all mills, Braviken, Iggesund, Hallsta, Workington and others. During the Workshop, we went through changes in the business system around the processes used by the maintenance employees. It is important that we capture all the changes that have been made in the system between the versions so that we know how to work in the system and what support we receive from the system in our daily work.
Blog post March 13
Today, the idea was that Holmen employees would continue their work, but with some viruses in circulation, we had to drastically change our agenda. No one could have escaped hearing of the pandemic with the Corona virus, which also affects us at Holmen. As a precaution, yesterday we decided to replace all physical meetings between locations and outside staff with online meetings. The advantage of working with IT systems is that it is possible to work remotely. The tools offered for collaboration online to present audio and video work great for us.
At the same time my youngest son has caught chickenpox. If it's not one virus, it's another. This means that I still needed to work from my home at the time of writing.
Okay, what did I do today. The day started with me performing an e-training for security linked to our mills. It is necessary for all staff, internally and externally, who need to enter the area. Thank you Holmen for thinking about work environment and safety! (in addition, I could have breakfast in the meantime)
After that I had an online meeting with IFS and colleagues responsible for the purchasing process within Holmen. We went through a new module in IFS that allows suppliers to see and confirm purchase orders, etc. For us at Holmen, it is important to understand how the module works, what can be done and how we configure the necessary data. Another benefit of taking this online was that I could record the entire meeting. Now we can go back and look at details again that were demonstrated to us. A pretty clever way of keeping meeting note.
During lunch, the patient's mother took over the care and I went to the office in Norrköping. Then I got some time where I started looking into how permissions and different roles should be handled in the upgraded system, the right people should be able to do the right things. No more, no less.
The day ended with an online meeting together with representatives from all mills working in the IFS project module. We went through the parts of the modules that will not be used in our solution so that we do not present that information to the end user. This makes the system more user-friendly.
And then I wrote this text.
See you later.
Blog post March 20
Hi all you who are sick, you who work from home and you who are healthy enough to go to work. Today it will be my last post on Holmen's employee blog and next week you will have the honour of hanging with a new colleague at Holmen.
This period has been a bit overwhelming considering all the quick changes due to the virus outbreak. Holmen has acted swiftly in accordance with the recommendations that exist, and it is noticeable. There are many colleagues who work from home, I have done it myself during the week that has passed. And I know that there are more people than me who are grateful that Holmen can offer that flexibility when needed even in "normal" situations.
What I appreciate about Holmen is that it is noticeable that you care about your employees. Here, at Holmen IT, we have continuous staff reconciliation with our closest manager to make sure that our work situation is at the right level. My previous experience as a consultant in the IT industry is that it is very easy to get into stressed situations with a great workload.
Another thing I appreciate is Holmen's attitude to health and wellness. We are invited to participate in physical training and Holmen sponsors many local sporting events such as running. As a hobby runner, I will definitely line up in the local races in Norrköping, which Holmen sponsors in the future, once the Corona crisis is over. Right now, you must content yourself with participating in virtual races. A virtual race is something you do on your own and register yourself via an app or GPS watch. You then share the result between each other on internet. Usually, no direct winner is selected, but it is more fun to run yourself when several people run the same distance even if you are not physically in the same place.
The last thing, which for me was crucial when I chose to apply to work at Holmen, is that it is close to the job if you live in Norrköping. Another plus was that Holmen runs "summertime", i.e. has 7h working days during the summer months. For me, it was important to go from a heavy workload as an IT consultant with a lot of traveling to having a fixed workplace with a better balance between private and working life. Something that I really feel Holmen contributes to delivering.
Thank you for following me 😊
Now I have to prepare for the project steering committee meeting next week…