Mats Backlund

Manager, Acceleration Centre, Wärtsilä Information Management

Vaasa, Finland

12 years at Wärtsilä

Originally from Finland


Courage to both innovate and execute ideas 

Mats Backlund’s journey in Wärtsilä has been closely linked with Information Management (IM), the department where he has worked in various positions for 12 years. “In IM I have been fortunate to be engaged with all the different branches of our business. In general, there are many days to remember, the first day, first successful project go-live days and internal courses to just mention a few,” he says about his time with the company.

Currently, he is running Wärtsilä IM’s Acceleration Centre in Vaasa. Since the establishment of the centre, the key has been to accelerate innovations and the centre works as a place where development teams design processes to get more value out of the company’s IT investments and enterprise systems. Mats has been running the centre for 21 months and feels that trying out new ways of working and disrupting the traditional has turned out to be somewhat of the new normal.

“In the Acceleration Centre environment, you have to be interested in finding ideas and solutions, but also have the courage to stop things that are not progressing in the right direction. Open, curious, interested and resilient nature with the earlier experience from project management will definitely help and be an asset in this work,“ he opens up the characteristics that are needed in successful project management.

For Mats, the establishment of the first continuous development team around an initiative initiated in the Acceleration Centre was a particularly memorable experience. “Once the initiative was developed and the first signs of actual realisation were seen, the team and the results of our work became more visible to a broader audience in Wärtsilä,” Mats says. Recognition felt especially good as Mats values this international community and interactions between Wärtsilians from different sides of the world as inspiring and impacting positively the company culture.

Working closely with development initiatives, Mats is confident about the future of the company and the centre he runs. “Innovation has always driven the company which can be seen in the impressive amount of initiatives and ideas brought forward. So, future is ours to take and the real challenge here is to pick the best initiatives and to find resources to make them happen while supporting our current core business 100%,” Mats ponders. “As the company has shed skins many times, we as individuals must be ready to do so too, again and again, and keep on the track of continuous development.”

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