The empirical findings from the interviews conducted in the three projects are presented in this chapter. The answers from the interviewees are divided into two sections representing the opened and the closed questions, including both the function by Kotter as well as the criteria of The Iron Triangle.
Findings from the interviews – project presentation IPM advertisement firm – Tre vänner
IPM is an advertisement firm established in 1985. The firm is located in the south of Sweden in Ulricehamn. The firm has currently (2011) 15 employees. IPM’s basic values are; they want to deliver advertisement that makes a difference and create advertisement that aligns with the customers’ vision in order to make them grow based on their customer brand. Magdalena Wistberg is a project manager at IPM and is the interviewee used in the thesis for the advertisement project. She has been working in the firm for many years and has a lot of experience from different types of projects.
The project that she will relate to in the manner of our contact with her, is a project that started in December 2010 and finished in March 2011 as planned. The project group from IPM had four people and the project’s objective was to create a homepage for a company in Stockholm by name Tre vänner, which is one of Sweden´s biggest production company within the media industry. They wanted to improve the design of their homepage and increase the homepage as a tool of communication. The collaboration between IPM and Tre vänner is a back and forth process where both the people within the team as well as employees at Tre vänner share ideas and work together in order to fulfill the objectives.
Destination Jönköping – Jönköpingsgalan
Destination Jönköping is an organization with the purpose of marketing the city of Jönköping. It has two responsible authorities; Jönköping municipality and Jönköpings Näringslivsförening (Jönköping business world association). However the organization is led separate from those authorities with their own board etc. The interviewee; Helena Nordström, is working at Destination Jönköping as a marketing manager, she has had this position for one and a half year. The way in which she is working is as a project manager. Since Nordström has a lot of experience in working as a project manager, she was very well suited for the interview. Al though this was the first time she arranged this particular project.
The event Jönköpingsgalan is a project that Nordström managed from June 2010 until November 2010, when the gala was held. Jönköpingsgalan is a yearly event where companies and people from Jönköping are celebrated for good and honorable things they have done. Examples of prizes are: Ambassador of the year, entrepreneur of the year and marketer of the year. The objectives of this project are to market Jönköping and to highlight good achievements. Also, this year Nordström wanted to change the image of the gala to become more modern and attract young visitors.
The structure of the project is that Nordström is the project manager with her subordinate Maria at Destination Jönköping helping her. Apart from them there were sponsors from other companies that were working with the project, about 70 companies with one contact person from each. The team in this project is therefore a little diffuse, it is Nordström and Maria that is the core, with 70 persons involved from other companies. Helena had the role of managing all information and to make sure that everyone knew what was expected of them. She was also in charge of booking the arena for the gala, order tickets and look for sponsors.
Jönköping City Planning Office – Västra centrum
Jönköping City Planning Office is a part of Jönköpings municipality and has the role of renewing the city. There are many different projects occurring at the same time. However, Jenny Larsson is the project manager in the majority of the projects. Larsson has been in the position for three years and has a wide insight in the work tasks.
The renewal of Västra Centrum (West city center) is a project that started in the autumn of 2010. Jenny Larsson is the project manager of the development and completion, although there is a construction manager in charge when the accomplishment takes place. So even If Jenny is the overall manager, her main focus is on the development and preparation of the project. The project Västra Centrum involves about 35 people and planned time to finish the project is a couple of years. However, the preparation phase which Jenny is involved in took about six months in order to include factors as the political reading, the design stage, and procurement.
The preparation phase is about to find, involve and motivate the right people to participate in the project. Later on, everyone who is affected will have his or her say, and finally compose a plan for the project together. The main objective of the project is to improve the quality of Västra Centrum so that more people find it attractive to stay in the area and that the visitor will come back and recommend others to visit the area.
Result from the opened questions
The objectives of the project
The three different interviewees were asked what the objectives of the specific project was, the answers turned out to be different depending on the type of project. Magdalena Wistberg at IPM describes the responsibility of the customer, which needs to be clear with their objective of the project. She also stresses the importance of having a dialogue with the customer and the objectives are set together with the customer.
“In the first stage, it is the customer’s responsibility to set the basic guidelines for what they want to achieve. They have to tell our project group what they expect from us. Based on the information, we then know what to strive for and for what kind of objective to achieve”. “The objective of the project is to create a new homepage for the company Tre vänner with the goal to sell and a homepage that reflects their company’s values and beliefs. Already in the beginning of the project, we create an open dialog with our customer in order to set the objectives together. It goes hand in hand with the strategy and vision of our customers operation” (Wistberg)
Wistberg also tells that both the long term and short term objectives are important, and that it is important to be clear about the objectives from the beginning.
“We often ask our customers about their short term, as well as long term objectives”. “It is of big importance that the objectives are defined in the beginning of the project. Otherwise, it is hard for us to know how to create and deliver a good product”. (Wistberg)
The project Jönköpingsgalan had a different approach about the objective of the project. In this case the objective was set by Destination Jönköping. Helena describes that the project as such has the aim of reaching young visitors, she also explains that the gala will benefit the city of Jönköping by marketing from several companies and that it is important to highlight the companies and persons who have contributed with something special to the region of Jönköping.
“This year the gala was given a new profile, a younger profile: “From royal wedding to Iphone”. This was made to reach the younger visitors, and by that make the gala live forward in the future.” “By arranging the gala we get a lot of people marketing Jönköping.” (Helena Nordström)
A common objective for a project is the cost, and the budget is often very central, in the project of arranging Jönköpingsgalan Helena was given the directive from the board to not make a loss of more than 100 000 SEK.
“I have a budget that says that I cannot make a loss of more than 100 000 SEK.” (Nordström) Jönköpingsgalan is the type of project where all work is done for the event of one single night. Nordström, who managed this gala for the first time, wanted to change this by arranging a pre-event.
“Another aim is that the gala should be living during a longer time. Before the gala we had a future-seminar, connected to the fact that we had set future as a theme for the gala.“ (Nordström) Jenny Larsson at Jönköping City Planning Office tells that the renewal of the western part of the city is the objective of the project. She mentions the financing, although the costs do not seem to be one of the major objectives.
“The project “Västra Centrum” is cooperation with the city and the property owners. The objective of the whole project is about renewal of the western part of the city. To make it more attractive and appealing, and since it is something the property owner are going to benefit from they will finance 50 percent of the renewal.” (Larsson)
Reaching the objectives
The interviewees were asked about who was in charge of reaching the objectives of the project, and also in which way this was done. The answers turned out to be similar to a big extent; all project managers described themselves of being responsible for reaching the objectives. Magdalena Wistberg and Helena Nordström both have managers above them who have the overall responsibility, while Jenny Larsson at Jönköping City Planning Office has the ultimate responsibility.
“Our CEO of the company, JesperFritzson, has the responsibility for every project on a strategic level in order to make sure that our own company work aligned with our values even in the long term, and not only based on the current situation. I as a project manager have the responsibility on an operative and practical level for the current project”. (Wistberg)
“I am responsible that the project stays within the budget that the board gives me.” “I have a boss, Sten Nordinder, who is director of department of destination Jönköping, so to be exact, I have to report to him, and he to the board, but I am always at the board meetings. But he has the general operative responsibility. Al though he is good at giving freedom and space” (Nordström)
“Even if there is a construction manager responsible, it is me who has the ultimate responsibility to make sure it finishes. We use the business plan to check and see if everything is finished. ” (Larsson)
Although, Magdalena Wistberg at IPM explained that in the type of project she is working, the customer has to contribute to reach the objectives as well, since the customer is actually the one deciding what IPM should do, and thereby the objectives of the project.
“I have the overall responsibility to ensure that the project follow the set objective. But this is not only an internal task for the project group at IPM, but also Tre vänners contact person that decided to use us as their” (Wistberg)
The ways of making sure that the objectives are being reached are different in the projects, At IPM Magdalena explains that measuring during the project and to listening to the customer is good ways of reaching the objectives.
“We try to determine as many measureable goals as possible. It is important to be creative and not close the doors. We also do a lot of analysis by listening to the customers. Listen is one of our major tools in order to understand our customers need” (Wistberg)
Helena Nordström at Destination Jönköping explains that, because she does not meet the sponsors of the gala, to reach the objectives she uses newsletters, e-mails, phone-calls and meetings to keep the sponsors informed. Jenny Larsson at Jönköping City Planning Office is arranging workshops and educational visits to motivate the team to reach the objectives, and to do it good.
“By having meetings, newsletters, e-mails, phone-calls to supply steady information” (Nordström)
“We practice our self to become better “storytellers”. To go on educational visits to see good examples is also a good way to go.” (Larsson)
Encouraging the team
When asking about the function of encouraging the team of the project, all interviewees made it clear that other people were involved in encouraging, although in different ways. Magdalena Wistberg said that an open dialogue and commitment among the employees at the office is very important, and that the team members learn from each other. Helena at Destination Jönköping has a different situation where she does not work with the team every day, and arranged meetings and directions is of bigger importance. Jenny Larsson, who was managing a large construction project, is encouraging the team by herself, but also by using others. She has discovered that quick meetings are a good way of communicating.
“We have a very open company culture that motivate and inspire the employees. I as a project manager have the responsibility to see and motivate each and every individual to encourage the people in the team, and see each person strengths and weaknesses in order to make them capable to fulfill their task with the right resources and right task to work with. ” “At IPM, we are very good at learning from each other. We keep an open dialog and have shared responsibility in every project. Commitment is of great importance” (Magdalena Wistberg)
“It is me, but also my co-worker Maria, who has been in touch with the sponsors after I established the relation and signed the contract. By having regular meetings with the sponsors and by email between me and Maria and the sponsors, we have given those directions and information about the gala.” “We started with a few meetings where we collected thoughts from the sponsors, after that we drove our own race and told them how we wanted it to be.” (Helena Nordström)
“It is me, I am nagging and nagging. If it is not enough I usually ask their boss to encourage them or any other person they know to nudge them a little extra. Regards to the motivation that is always something I can work harder on and improve. Something I started when I began this job was to attend the breakfast meeting, I think this is a good way to communicate and it is a quick link for them to influence and have their say“. (Jenny Larsson)
Measuring the success of the project
According to all interviewees the quality of the project’s result is what shows if the project is successful or not. All of them mentions the budget or the cost, but says that it is irrelevant in comparison to the quality. The factors differ depending on the type of project though, for IPM a good result is that the customer hires them again, while for Destination Jönköping it is important to mediate an experience for the visitors at the gala. Jenny Larsson at Jönköping City Planning Office can measure her project by observing how people react to the new building. The measurements are very different, but they all show the quality of the project.
“Right after the project is finished, we can only measure the success of the project if both we in the project group, as well as our customer is satisfied with the result. We call it customer satisfaction. Later on, one way to measure the success is if the customer comes back to our company and gives us a new project on their cost. God quality of the project leads to more projects”. “Off course there is also other aspects for how to measure the success, such as time and if we manage with the set budget. But for us, this is not the most important. It is not a major goal to stick to the budget.” (Wistberg)
Table of Contents
1.2 Problem Discussion
2 Frame of reference
2.2 Managers and leaders in project situations
2.3 The frame of Kotter’s functions
2.4 Functions of managers
2.5 Functions of leaders
2.6 The Swedish style of managers and leaders
3 Method Process
3.1 Research Approach
3.2 Research strategy
3.3 Data analysis
3.4 Quality of the thesis
3.5 Limitations of the method
4 Empirical findings
4.1 Findings from the interviews – project presentation
4.2 Result from the opened questions
4.3 Result of the closed questions
5.1 Analysis of the opened questions
5.2 Analysis of the closed questions
6 Conclusions and final discussion
6.2 Final discussion
GET THE COMPLETE PROJECT
Project Success – Application of Kotter’s functions of managers and leaders when evaluating project success: using The Iron Triangle