Meet our project manager, Khanh:

Steady technology leadership

As a senior project manager at KONGSBERG IT, Khanh wants to understand the mechanisms that drive the individuals in the team she leads. Only then she can extract the best from each person.

Khanh has worked as a project manager at KONGSBERG IT for the past eight years. The 44-year-old was born in Vietnam, came to Norway at the age of one, and was raised and currently resides in the city Tønsberg in the southern part of Norway with her family. She holds a degree in engineering with specialized expertise in telecommunications and IT.

Today, she leads extensive delivery projects for all of KONGSBERG's business areas.

Khanh thrives in the interface between technology and people. At KONGSBERG, she faces challenges that she doesn't find in many other places, with a wide range of products and technologies, and significant variation across different sectors: defence, maritime, and digital.

The company's size also allows for collaboration with numerous skilled colleagues, suppliers, and partners. “Working with such a diverse and talented group of people is very motivating and enjoyable,” Khanh explains.

“In your opinion, what is the most important quality a good project manager should possess?”

“There are several things, but you need an element of structure and the ability to drive things forward, prioritize, and most importantly, the human aspect – soft skills. A significant driving force for me is to make the team members with their different personalities and backgrounds work and function well together, as well as bringing out the best in each team member,” says Khanh.


• KONGSBERG IT was established as a shared service in 2018, providing IT services to support all business areas within KONGSBERG

• The IT department is functionally organized within Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace and consists of approximately 300 employees globally

• The department provides support to the entire KONGSBERG organization, which is located in 40 countries, across more than hundred locations, and with a total of more than 11,000 employees

• They assist with operational services, architectural guidance, projects, security concerns, application management, and much more

• IT projects play a significant part in the business's efficiency, digitalization, and development initiatives, with KONGSBERG IT often taking on project management responsibilities in these projects

A project manager works across disciplinary boundaries and must possess an understanding of how technical challenges can impact the project in terms of financial and delivery commitments. Independence is a keyword, but also the ability to collaborate with everyone from technical personnel to the project's steering group.

“You have to be comfortable having a significant responsibility and be able to handle uncertainty,” Khanh explains. “In time, you learn that there are things you can influence, and there are things beyond your control.”

A brown belt in kickboxing isn't the first thing that comes to mind when encountering the steady and composed project manager. Despite the fact that she started training the sport as an adult, she has climbed the rankings impressively. “It's about finding something that requires full concentration and the ability to clear your mind completely, in addition to pushing me physically,” Khanh says with a smile. Today, boxing has been replaced by soccer and floorball, which serve the same purpose and is her way of relaxing.

“As a project manager, you need an element of structure and the ability to drive things forward, prioritize, and most importantly, the human aspect – soft skills."

Khanh shares that what she enjoys most about her job as a project manager is the variation in tasks depending on which project phase they are in. “The different phases require different skills, so you get to use your competence in different ways,” she says. What you do at the beginning of a project is very different from what you do during the process and as the project nears completion. “So even though a project's timeline can range from 8 months to 1 ½ years, the tasks are very different throughout this period,” Khanh explains.

A typical workday depends on the project phase; an early phase involves mapping of needs, exploring solutions, and being involved in procurement processes and negotiations alongside the procurement team. “After all, it's ultimately my responsibility to ensure that we can deliver according to the contract,” she says.

The project she is currently working on is part of a program called the "Digital Business Transformation Program" and is now in the delivery phase. “It's a program that will ensure that the application landscape, data, and integrations support business processes and needs. It's about establishing infrastructure and a foundation, where applications and IT systems support end-to-end processes, enabling the digital journey ahead,” Khanh passionately explains.

And speaking of a digital journey – with most of her colleagues scattered around the world, much of the communication takes place on digital platforms. However, the project manager knows how valuable physical meetings can be and ensures regular gatherings for meetings and workshops, often at KONGSBERG's office in Lysaker, which is a convenient hub for all travellers.

Like other project managers at KONGSBERG IT, Khanh is part of a "Project Management Office" (PMO). “Here, we share experiences across projects and work on developing both the field and the work methodology,” she says. “I'm social and greatly appreciate having a network to rely on in addition to the project team,” Khanh concludes.

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