Novo Nordisk Engineering: Running for Fast-Track Project Execution

Case Solution

Carlos Cordon, Ralf W. Seifert, Francois Jager
IMD ()

As CEO of Novo Nordisk Engineering, Hans Ole Voigt has created a vision for the company: NNE should be able to build a pharmaceutical plant in less than a year within five years. The first reactions were quite negative; most employees considered such a goal completely unrealistic. Processes were reviewed, people were trained and, step by step, NNE got closer to its goal. Employees became increasingly energetic and found the 12-month goal achievable. From an average construction time of 30 to 36 months, the NNE was initially reduced to 24, then 18, and finally 11 months. The goal was achieved in 2005 and the company had built a good reputation for its achievements. Learning Objectives: This case offers a good opportunity to learn about speed in project management. From a supply chain point of view, it shows how important it is to involve external partners, from customers to suppliers, in successful project management. It also helps to understand that even in highly regulated industries (here the pharmaceutical industry) processes can be changed and improved. From Human Resource Management, it shows how important it is to create energy to master employees, master extremely challenging projects, and invest in project management training.

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