Growing construction company brings in interim project manager

Construction company Brunbjørn has grown rapidly since its inception just three years ago. From NOK 5.7 million in its first year of operations to NOK 50 million in 2015. When the company experienced an immediate need to increase its project management capacity, interim management was a natural choice.

Brunbjørn is a turnkey contractor with expertise in the development of broadband and fibre installations. The company's head office is located in Lillehammer, with the whole of Norway as its catchment area. We gave Chairman of the Board Arne Malonæs a call.

From zero to NOK 65 million in three years 

“We are a fast growing company with a budget this year of NOK 65 million. It's during periods like this that you come up against organisational challenges and, last autumn, we found that the need to strengthen our project organisation became more or less acute. From its inception, our CEO was involved in most aspects of the business and in control of most of the processes. But as the number of projects increased, it became necessary for us to organise ourselves a little differently. In this context, we decided to bring in an interim manager to act as project manager,” says Chairman Arne Malonæs over the telephone from Oslo.

Interim management was the best option

“The option to hire the expertise we needed would have involved appointing a member of staff. The process would have taken between four and six months, maybe more. But we needed someone immediately which is why interim management was the best option for us. At the same time, we put in motion a recruitment process to ensure we had a permanent member of staff in place in the long run.”

The requirement: An interim manager who could handle demanding projects

“Most of the projects we work on are organised as turnkey contracts in accordance with NS 8407. Anyone with experience in running projects knows that a turnkey contract can be a pretty demanding form of contract. It was in this context that we needed to build up expertise, in the form of construction managers, project managers and project activities in general. We work throughout Norway and need to establish efficient travel arrangements to get our engineers and technicians to where they need to be to carry out the projects.”

The InterimLeder process

“I've used InterimLeder on two occasions in the past, including the time when I was Managing Director of Oras. InterimLeder's strength lies in their ability to take on an assignment, adopt a flexible approach and quickly come up with suggestions for good candidates. The whole process went very quickly and, within a few weeks, the selection procedure and interviews were completed, and we'd found the right person. The critical factor for deliveries of this kind is that the supplier understands the company, the nature of the assignment and the challenges we face. And, in my opinion, the whole process has worked well.”

The interim manager

Launched in November 2015, the assignment had a planned duration of six months. Now, more than four months into the assignment, Malonæs is pleased with the interim manager assigned to the company.

“What was important for us was that the interim manager had an approach that could get to grips with the key challenges and cooperate well with our people. The candidate we chose had previously worked with much larger organisations and projects so we made a point of finding out how hands-on, in-depth and detailed his approach to the project would be. I'm confident that he is right for the job. He speaks with the construction managers and technicians, and doesn't shut himself away in an ivory tower, if you know what I mean. I'm happy with the choice we've made and, if a similar situation should arise in the future, I would certainly consider interim management again.”

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