Project management – a qualified mission
12 OCTOBER 2017
Project management is a big part of the business, and something of an unfamiliar career path. As the complexity of projects increases, it is important for Scania to both take on and retain talented project managers.
For managers, to take one example, there is a clear career ladder. The project managers have a similar step-by-step career, in which various stages of competence have to be fulfilled before moving on to the next level. PM3s are senior project managers. Carolin Bagge is the project manager for the launch of the new generation of trucks, and became a PM3 last spring. She feels that the best thing about working as a project manager is being able to get an overview of the entire delivery, seeing how all the elements hang together.
Went from medicine to trucks
With project management training behind her and 10 years’ experience, she progressed in the role to increasingly sophisticated assignments, and she has now been at Scania for five years.
“I went from medicine to trucks. But leading people is universal. Being a project manager is about leadership where you lead without staff responsibility and you borrow resources. It’s a question of motivating and engaging people.”
For Carolin it’s a question of creating something new each time, with the challenge of getting the best from all the strong-willed people working cross-functionally. She emphasises how much you learn during the course of a project, as most recently with the launch, where she was faced with organising the best launch ever.
“There’s a lot of pleasure to be derived from creating and intersecting multiple organisations. It becomes clear where the strengths lie.”
Cooperation that covers a large area
After almost 10 years at Scania, Tobias Nordin works on operational changes in project form. Until the turn of the year, he ran the Scania Maintenance with Flexible Plans project, and in his role as project manager he sees how he has the opportunity to transform the business while also getting it to run more efficiently.
“I like working on this type of improvement. We have things to learn and there is a lot to get your teeth into – seeing how together with the operation as a whole you can become a team that is a single entity all the way out to the workshops.”
Another PM3 with a lot of experience is Lars Bygdén, who is responsible for the development of the new generation of trucks. He started at Scania almost a decade ago because he wanted to get to know a new company and its development process after ten years within the telecommunications industry.
“I started on the new generation of trucks in autumn 2009, and I’m still working on it now.”
It’s a huge project that in total involves 1,500 people, with Lars coordinating twenty people in the project office.
“We are a team that moves forward by solving problems and staying on schedule. You have to find the best way forward and maintain a good team spirit and mood.”
Input from the business important
Lars likes to see project managers from different parts of the organisation. It is useful to have knowledge of the business before you start at a central project office, for instance.
“Often you only realise how much you have learned when you change job. That’s also true within the company.” He sees many challenges ahead in his role as project manager:
“It’s a different world today. We have many collaborative projects where what we are developing is intended for other companies. It’s truly something that increases motivation.”