Scaling Up Customer Project Management : The Role of Customisation

University essay from KTH/Industriell ekonomi och organisation (Inst.)

Abstract: Many organisations aim to grow and increase their profitability, yet not many start-ups manage to survive beyond birth. The transformation into a well-established enterprise is generally seen as a big obstacle to tackle. Further on, project based organisations faces several challenges during scale-up such as how to maintain customisation within customer projects and how to keep up across-functional integration. This thesis addresses how a start-up manufacturing enterprise can scale-up its customer project management. Accordingly, the aim of this thesis is to get a better understanding of the difference between a start-up and an incumbent enterprise, and in turn highlight how to maintain customised operations in a project based organisation. The basis for this thesis is a case study conducted at Northvolt, a lithium-ion battery manufacturing enterprise located in Sweden. The outcome was performed through a collaboration with Northvolt’s customer project management department, and an analysis of conducted best-practice interviews together with a literature review. The empirical findings can be summarised in the following: • First, a growing enterprise needs to implement industry quality standards through the identification of standardised modules. Likewise, an enterprise needs to find which layers to keep flexible and create an environment that enables customisation. • Second, the dynamics within organisational structures can be illustrated as a cradle moving back and forth. An external platform enables new product development. • Third, cross-functional integration is identified as a corner stone for scale-up, but also vital to maintain new product development and hence customisation. • Fourth, pushing down the ownership together with clear targets and milestones is crucial to facilitate a mindset that motivates the workforce in growing sustainable. At the end, this thesis provides Northvolt with some key aspects to have in mind while scaling-up their customer project management, and highlights the conceptual contribution. 

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