»As a leader, you should be able to walk the talk«

Insights from Andreas Pørtner Karlsen on his recognition as IT Talent 2023

At the annual award ceremony, IT Talent 2023, held by Version2 – one of the biggest IT News Sites in Denmark – Andreas was recognised as one of the year's most talented IT project managers. Here, he shares some of the most important learnings he has gained as a project manager in the IT industry.

1. Being evaluated based on one’s efforts rather than seniority

When I started at Netcompany as a newly graduated computer scientist in 2015, I was a bit nervous about suggesting things – and potentially stepping on someone’s toes. One day, I built up my courage and proposed a way to do things differently. When I showed up the next day, my manager said, ‘That was a great suggestion! Let’s go with that!’ That’s how I learned that if you step up and take responsibility, you’ll get it. Throughout my career at Netcompany, I’ve experienced that you are evaluated based on what you bring to the table – not how long you’ve been here, what you wrote your thesis on, or what your last name is.

2. As a leader, you should be able to ‘walk the talk’

As a leader, you should be able to ‘walk the talk.’ If you ask someone to do something, you should always be able to provide input on how the task can be accomplished and lead by example. It’s a principle that I follow daily as a leader. Understanding the client’s challenges and identifying the technical possibilities enables me to guide my team effectively and offer concrete recommendations.

»It's essential for me to get to know the 'whole person' and create a space where everyone feels seen and heard.«

Andreas Pørtner Karlsen, Principal

3. The ability to handle complex tasks and set the direction

Most recently, I was the project manager at RejseBillet. Our task was to create a solution that strengthens public transportation and ensures equal opportunities for all citizens to get where they need to go. This meant that we had to understand the complex travel rules across transportation companies and define the most critical functionalities. We succeeded, resulting in a successful first release in August 2023.

4. Connect with your team on a professional and personal level

It’s essential for me to get to know the ‘whole person’ and create a space where everyone feels seen and heard. I always try to meet my people exactly where they are – professionally and personally.

5. The journey towards the results

The results are important, but the journey towards the results is equally important. One of my biggest priorities is always maintaining high integrity and trust throughout the process. In the business, among my team and with the client.