Each project in the right place at Toyota Sweden:
When the economic crisis hit around the world, Nicklas Burman, ICT Manager at Toyota Sweden, knew immediately what needed to be done.
“I knew which projects that were business critical and which ones we could put on hold. I won’t say it was easy, but the budget work and prioritisations would have been considerably more difficult if we hadn’t been prepared,” he says.
At Toyota Sweden’s IT department, five people focus on providing the company’s 80 or so employees with the best IT support. IT is not a major cost in a company that sells cars for four billion kronor a year, but as Nicklas Burman points out, “everything we do affects the other departments and their ability to focus on their core activities”.
The IT department was running around 35 different projects when Nicklas joined the company in 2007. There was no overview, and the projects were not prioritised and they lacked management by objectives.
“Senior management were quite naturally wondering why none of the projects achieved their aims,” says Nicklas Burman.
So from autumn 2007 up until spring 2008, the department went through a major change process, during which each project was reviewed and analysed. The work was led by Magnificent, who also hosted a number of workshops in which the IT department and senior management identified those aspects of the department’s work that were the most business critical for Toyota Sweden, and how to prioritise the projects from then on.
The timing could not have been better.
“When the crisis hit, we knew exactly how to prioritise our work. We didn’t have to struggle over how to distribute our resources.” Now his department sometimes serves as an example of best practice for the rest of the company in terms of how to plan, budget and prioritise various projects.
“Toyota is full of motivated and talented people. But in the past we didn’t know what the other departments were doing and how it affected the rest of the company. This process of change has provided the solution to the problem,” says Nicklas Burman.