Marko is excited about the variety of his work – the accumulation of know-how and the great work atmosphere have laid the foundation for development

“OP carries out a large number of tangible projects through to the end. It motivates me that our work reaches customers and is published,” says Marko Kyröläinen, who works as a technical product owner at OP Design & Software, summing up the rewarding nature of his work.

Marko knows from experience what he is talking about. He began his career at OP six years ago as an application specialist and got the post of Scrum Master responsible for project work already early on in his employment at OP. Today, he is involved in highly interactive work aimed at keeping customer value at the core of everything that is done and responding to both business and project team interests.  

It is specifically the wide-ranging nature of the work that appeals to Marko. It has brought with it new skills to the competency pallet of an experienced employee.

“My subject and product knowledge has increased considerably during the past year. The technical product owner knows what is wanted from an application at the business level and understands customer insight  – what the customer using the application needs,” Marko says.

Six years at OP have given the day-to-day work of this experienced software specialist refreshing diversity and projects each more fascinating than the other.

Timing was everything when Marko’s career ambitions and the vacant position at OP came together seamlessly.

At the right time

Before his employment at OP, Marko realised that as a professional he was in a situation that required making a decision. A leap into the unknown from a job with a major employer opened up the chance to see what the future would hold. Very soon an interesting opportunity fell into Marko’s lap.

“A former colleague of mine had transferred to OP and tipped me off about a vacant post that was exactly what I wanted at that time.

Marko had heard good things about OP Design & Software’s employee community and work atmosphere. In addition, the idea of being involved in developing the most popular and widely used service in Finland sparked my interest.

“I thought that it would be nice to get to develop one of Finland’s most widely used online services for OP,” he says recalling his important career choice.

An application was sent, and Marko got the job he wanted. He got to start work as part of a new team where most of the members began their employment at OP at the same time as him.

The positive comments that Marko had heard about the work atmosphere proved to be true time after time.  

Work of a social kind

All of Marko’s roles at OP have been of an interactive nature. This has eminently suited an extrovert professional who enjoys social interaction. As regards the meaningfulness of his work, he highlights the culture of working together.

“We have a good team with a relaxed and open atmosphere. An issue that has always been very important to me is the kind of people around me.”

Although the responsibility of a product owner  requires spending time interacting with different parties and focusing on writing customer stories, Marko does not feel that he has lost touch with his team. He continues to strive to be actively involved in the day-to-day work.

“I still work a great deal with the team and sit in the same office with them. Communication is such an intrinsic part of the work culture. I’m able to interact with a wide variety of people on a daily basis", says Marko, describing his daily work as a technical product owner.

The atmosphere’s energising undercurrent plays a crucial role in the sometimes fast-paced development work. The days when things progress and there is a productive atmosphere at work are especially rewarding for Marko. Success and activity bring dynamism to day-to-day work.

Experience has taught him that energy, trust and openness increase when people  spend time together also outside the office and project work.

“Many people are friends, not just remote colleagues. A great atmosphere is built on people being open towards each other. It also makes communication easier at work.”

The freedom to do things and flexibility are an integral  part of the culture of Marko’s team. He knows that successful teamwork does not require him to sit in the same workspace, but Marko enjoys the presence of others.

“I like coming to work. I feel that I can be useful to others in a more tangible and real way when I’m present here,” he says.

Understanding growing rapidly

As technical product owner, Marko has made progress in OP’s applications and in-depth understanding relating to service development. He gets to influence product features more comprehensively and also the way in which the product should function so that the customer gets the best possible user experience.

“I currently view the work field more broadly when I work with people across team and business boundaries.

In his job Marko enjoys tasks where is able to use his creativity and reasoning abilities.  The feature descriptions of applications, writing customer stories and prioritisation responsibility or general project work are tasks where these two aspects meet.

The fresh attributes brought by new roles have satisfied Marko’s enthusiasm for professional development. The opportunities for advancement and changing the perspective of his work are things that this experienced employee appreciates. Means for renewing yourself are provided if you are willing to seek new challenges in your work.

“I like the fact that I been able to carry out various projects and be involved in a lot of activities and be able to develop through these. It has been enjoyable and rewarding. You stay interested when there is sufficient variety,” says Marko, describing meaningful variation in his work.

Never forgotten in a drawer

“I feel professional pride in the extent to which I have been able to encounter different areas of application development here.

Marko is motivated by the fact that products designed with feeling and passion are important to people. It links his work and that of his colleagues to a  wider context.

“Earlier on in my career I was involved in projects which have not necessarily reached the customer. Publishing definitely motivates in a completely different way.”

Customer-driven product development enables Marko to continually grow as a professional in his work. In particular, customer-focused thinking and product know-how sharpen day by day. He is ignited by the boost of energy brought by new projects and awaits the next application design arising from brainstorming sessions enthusiastically.

The best part of enthusiasm is when you can share it with your own community.

“It’s a wonderful moment when we get a product finished together and dispatched to the customer for use. It warms you to see an application in production and receive positive feedback from the customer. It’s a fantastic feeling."