Managing a project during a turbulent period at a global player in the automotive industry

The situation at the client

The client was running an important project that had a hard deadline due to tight contract obligations. A change of supplier had to take place so that the client's customers in 46 countries could continue to receive high-quality roadside assistance and roadside assistance. The project had been running for some time now and all signals were on red. There was too little overview and control, which resulted in a great deal of uncertainty both at the supplier and in the internal organisation.

Despite the fact that the project had had a preparation time of 2 years, it was not obvious that the deadline would be met. Approximately 4 months before the deadline, an internal Project Manager was given the task of managing the project in addition to his ongoing work. He realized that this project immediately needed the full-time attention of a professional project manager.

'' A supplier change had to take place so that clients' customers in 46 countries could continue to receive the high quality breakdown and roadside assistance services''

The solution from MOJEO

By quickly communicating with MOJEO, a Project Manager could be put on the project in no time. Jeroen van Doremalen started to work on behalf of MOJEO to deliver critical goals with the intended quality within time and budget.

He started with a focus on communication and creating clarity for all parties, to get everyone on the same page. Within a few weeks, the project was back on track, with clear goals and even clearer actions.

Then, one month before the Go-Live, a clear plan was presented to the newly established Steering Committee. This Steering Committee included both the management of the supplier and the client. The message during this Steering Committee was positive: ''If everything goes well and we have priority to mobilize everyone, we will succeed in delivering within the deadline!". In this way, the client did not have to fall back on the one and only expensive alternative: extending the contract with the existing supplier. No sooner said than done and with great appreciation for the project work (from red in January to light green at the beginning of March) a formal Go was given in this meeting! After crossing the 'point of no return' there was no way back.

One day later the first Corona news started to seep through, the first hygiene measures were announced and a week later the situation was declared a pandemic. Two weeks before the planned launch, the Netherlands and all 46 countries participating in the project went into lockdown to a greater or lesser extent. All projects were immediately put on hold and only the 30 designated project staff of this critical project were allowed to continue.

"With utmost effort, weekend, evening and night work, but above all through a lot of personal intransigence on the part of all project members, we have succeeded in guiding a successful Go-live".

This, of course, had a very large impact on the work within the project. 'How to deal with a pandemic that could hamper the progress of your project' you will not often see in the theoretical textbooks. In the first days there were a lot of VPN issues, inaccessibility of people without a business phone and therefore a lack of coordination.

Ten days before the Go-live, the new situation was under control and, together with the project team, it became long days until the 1 April deadline. With utmost effort, weekend, evening and night work, but above all through a lot of personal intransigence by all project members, we succeeded in guiding a successful Go-live.

The added MOJO

In a complex process that had already been followed with suspicion and then overshadowed by the Corona impact, Jeroen and the project team successfully completed the project against all odds.

Stakeholders of the project may have given up hope due to all previous setbacks, but the ultimate proof that commitment pays off came in the last Steering Committee after the launch. The management boards of the parties involved expressed their sincere appreciation for the extraordinary work that MOJEO has carried out. The applause of all board members in this virtual setting said more than a thousand words.

In a complex trajectory that was already followed with suspicion and then overshadowed by the Corona impact, Jeroen and the project team successfully completed the project against all odds. "The applause of all board members in this virtual setting said more than a thousand words".

How do you get a project back on track?