MANAGEMENT IN ACTION
better than you,
“Getting It Done.”
So every month,
PM Network shares
your expertise on
and all project
topics in between.
If you’re interested
Stefan Bokander, PMP, is a program manager
at Tetra Pak, Lund, Sweden.
Håkan Olsson, PMP, is a senior consultant at
P4M Consulting and a former project portfolio manager at Tetra Pak, Lund, Sweden.
A steering team that met monthly was set up for
governance, and a project service organization was
created to support usage of the new process.
The result was improvement—but, frustratingly,
not as much as hoped. The project managers knew
what to do, the framework was in place, the governance was in place. Why didn’t the company have
consistent, high-level performance? Why were the
project managers still working so differently from
One business unit at Tetra Pak identified two of
n Project managers had no common culture and no
channel to work on self-improvement as a group.
n The processes had been developed by process
specialists, sometimes too far from the action,
resulting in low ownership on the part of the
A SECOND PROJECT BEGINS
After some negotiation, the sponsor approved a
new three-year background project. The first step
was to form a common steering team of all project
managers at that business unit (approximately 15
people). The team performed a self-assessment and
an analysis of the gap between what was needed
and the company’s current situation.
As part of the work, the team looked at each
Knowledge Area in A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), focusing in particular on Project Quality Management.
The team decided to create a quality management
plan, and the most experienced project manag-
ers began by reviewing the product development
process, phase by phase, tollgate by tollgate. The
project managers highlighted the factors that they
knew would best secure project or product quality.
These factors turned out to be reviews by various
experts: for instance, a PMO director review, a fel-
low project manager review, a design review or a
steering group review.
The company was then able to settle on a
generic quality management plan. It relies on
reviews that serve a double purpose: ensuring the
quality of project deliverables and providing opportunities for the project managers to share and learn
from each other.
The work has paid off. In an environment where
complexity has multiplied, the company managed
to raise its tollgate on-time rate from 13 percent to
98.6 percent over 10 years of continuous improvement. Perhaps more important, Tetra Pak also
created a self-learning organization. The extensive
review system means project managers are constantly gaining practical, immediately applicable
knowledge from each other. The project managers
are now a self-adjusting group that can spend less
time on quality reviews and more on developing
leadership and business understanding. PM