When appointed CEO of Novo Nordisk Engineering, Hans Ole Voigt created a vision for the company: Within five years NNE should be able to build a pharmaceutical plant in less than a year.
The first reactions were quite negative, most of the employees thought such a goal was totally unrealistic. Processes were reengineered, people were coached and step by step NNE got closer to the objective. Employees became more and more energized and felt the 12 months goal was reachable. From a 30 to 36 months industry average construction time, NNE first came down to 24 then 18 and finally 11 months. By 2005 the goal was reached and the company had earned a standing reputation thanks to its accomplishments.
This case provides a good opportunity to learn about speed in project management. From a supply chain perspective it shows the importance of involving external partners from clients to suppliers in successful project execution.
It also helps understand that even in highly regulated industries (here pharmaceutical industry) processes can be changed and improved.
From a human resourced management it shows the importance both of creating energy driving employees to overcome extremely challenging projects and investing in project management training.