As long as 'better' is possible,
'good' is not good enough.

External project refurbisher effective?

The choice of project renovator must be made by the supplier at short notice and has great implications for project renovation, in individual cases also for the future of the company. The short-term availability of the project renovator is an important criterion for filling the position and can be a preliminary decision for a candidate selection.

There are advantages and disadvantages with regard to internal or external appointments

Criterion importance Internal project renovator Interim crisis manager
Organizational processes Low Known Training required
Supplier culture Low Knows people, communication channels, infrastructure Training required
Product knowledge (Project-specific expertise) Medium Company know-how (partly) known May have to be worked out
Customer culture High Training required Often a good network
General resistance to crises High Depending on the experience His "calling"
Preload / past High Low preload (same company) No preload / free from the project past
Personality High To be assessed in individual cases To be assessed in individual cases
Risk awareness High Depending on the experience Practical experience
Independence High Dependence on the company No interference

Practical example: project crisis at a subcontractor

A tier 2 supplier (subcontractor) was unable to deliver the components to the tier 1 supplier on time for the SOP delivery date. No vehicle could be delivered without the components, so the start-up at a Swabian OEM was at risk. The management was under pressure and used me as an external service provider to deal with the conflict.

The mood in the project team was at a low point, the project meetings were very impulsive (sometimes people shouted instead of speaking) and the trust among each other was low or no longer existent. Everyone tried to secure themselves (lots of security emails) and there was more talk about the question of guilt than about solving the issues. I tried to analyze the situation in individual interviews; one of these interviews was thrown at me with a wastebasket. Top management and the customer continuously requested reports on the project status and increased the pressure on the team - but one after the other.

The first meeting with the customer took the form of a conference call. In addition to representatives of my customer from France, Germany and Spain, representatives from the various plants and the development of the OEM also took part - more than 30 people, some of whom talked confused. The OEM asked that after a week of training I should present the action plan the next day.

Since I did not have to take into account political sensitivities, I was able to withstand the pressure and could request another week for an as-is analysis. The OEM complained to the management about the lack of a short-term action plan, but they supported me in every way in this situation. A week later I was able to present the proposal for a remedial plan. It is an advantage if you only have to take care of "the matter" as an external person - regardless of internal constraints or career ambitions.

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„I would be happy to advise you by email at or use my offer to make a call on +49 163 - 55 39 66 1.“

Dr.-Ing. Gerhard Graën PMP

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