Verktygslådan AB
Management Consulting & Language Services

Over the years of my professional life, I've developed a pretty good sense of what I like, and of what I'm actually quite good at. I thrive at the crossroads of "IT" and "the Business", working to bridge the gap between them in the short run, and to close it in the longer run. I'm a firm believer in pinpointing the essence of a challenge - whether a project, development portfolio, re-organization, new product, etc. - and focusing the efforts on that essence. Working hard with talented, passionate people, towards a common goal, that's what everybody likes, right? It's certainly true for me.

However, focusing on the essentials and keeping it simple, is, ironically, not necessarily easy. In this I'm helped by my
experience. I've led a variety of projects, not always on bump-free rides, but always to an ultimately successful delivery: strategic partner projects (e.g. Eniro with Hemnet, Observer with Dagens Industri, Klarna with SL), product development projects, outsourcing, due diligence. I worked as a product manager at Observer at a time when the company's core product was under heavy stress from a paradigm shift in technology.

At Eniro I revised and simplified the development process and the way we planned, prioritized and followed up on the portfolio. I was an "agile ambassador" and a key member of Eniro's major re-branding project. At Klarna I introduced a light-weight planning structure, increasing development transparency and predictability. As a manager, I've had direct reports spread over three countries. I've hired and fired. I've watched and helped people grow. I've made mistakes and learned from them. And I've shared the joys and sorrows of my fellow management team members, taking collective responsibility for the performance and development of our business division.

I think I'm also helped by some of my personal characteristics. I'm analytical and good with both words and numbers. I have the ability to zoom between the big picture and the relevant details, and to see things from several different angles. I genuinely care. At least, that's what
others say about me. I humbly agree.

So, what do I want to help you with?

Advice, Inspiration & Problem-solving

I'll help your project get a good start - or get back on track. I'll lead or moderate project kick-offs, workshops or retrospectives. I'll coach your project manager, project client or steering committee. I'll help them sort out roles and responsibilities, and agree on decision-making and the right level of reporting. I'll perform project audits and review documentation.

I can assist in recruiting processes and give you independent input on business plans or product strategies within my area of experience. I'll talk to smaller or larger audiences about what's really important in an agile, project-oriented way of working and thinking.

These types of assignments normally range from a couple of hours up to a week in length.


Simplified Structured Processes

I've encountered organizations who feel that they don't have control over their development process, lack visibillity of ongoing initiatives, and can't trust any deadlines. At the other end of the spectrum, there are organizations whose formalized decision making processes and cumbersome reporting schemes slow down development and shift focus from what really matters. And there is a plethora of proprietary methodologies and complex portfolio management software on the market. But to be honest, development planning and project governance aren't rocket science.

I'll implement simple, agile processes for portfolio management, project governance, development and delivery, based on your organization's needs and pecularities. I won't introduce any new software - general Office-type tools and some method for common file sharing go a long way. I'll anchor the processes in a few essential principles - including the one that these processes have no value per se, only as means to an end.

Setting the wheels in motion would take from a few weeks to a couple of months, depending on the situation, although it typically takes longer before a new way of working settles in the organization.

Operative Management & Delivery

I'll lead your project or program (by which I mean a coordinated set of separate initiatives which share an overall goal). Ideally from its inception, but otherwise from any point where you need someone to take over.

I'll fill the gap when you need an interim line manager or director, within IT, Product Development, Service Delivery, PMO, etc.

These types of assignments would normally range from three months and upwards.

contact me for more information!

Johan Ljung

CV Johan Ljung
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