A transformation made possible through focus and determination

CASE Vestas

the Challenge

Vestas wanted to maintain its position as global market leader in modern energy, and needed to focus its energy in one direction in order to do so.

the Outcome

We facilitated a two-year process in which 12 strategic projects were prioritised above all else, resulting in savings and synergies.

Vestas is the energy industry’s global partner on sustainable energy solutions and designs, manufactures, installs, and services wind turbines across the globe. In 2007 Vestas was facing a number of complex, interconnected challenges:

  • A blurred strategic focus due to having too many projects and initiatives running in parallel
  • No reporting structure to connect strategy with projects
  • Underestimating the process of change and the role of communication in strategy execution
  • Suffered from a low sense of urgency failing to grasp the seriousness of e.g. not reaching a customer loyalty target on a maturing market
  • Had a low Project Management maturity and many of the projects had unclear timelines, moveable targets, no transparency, no handling of risks and lack of planned communication

Vestas engaged in a profound co-creation process with us as consultants. Together we chose a customer-centric ‘Must-Win Battles’ methodology (MWB) to guide the intervention and implementation.

We subsequently facilitated a process in which Vestas selected 12 strategic projects (MWBs) whose execution were prioritised ahead of all other projects. Each Battle was led by the organisation’s top talents and fully supported by the Group Management team. A Strategic Portfolio Management (SPM) capability was developed in parallel, whose team consisted of a 50/50 mix of external consultants and employees. Their role was to:

  • Anchor and report the full portfolio of Battles with Executive Management.
  • Align all Battles with one coherent project model
  • Conduct professional reviews and project audits
  • Execute portfolio risk management
  • Monitor resource constraints and coordinate across the Battles
  • Secure communication and change management efforts in Vestas, e.g. establishment of MWB intranet and the internal magazine MustWin

Thirdly, a Battle Support function or a Project Management Office (PMO) capability was developed to work closely with all the Battles. The team consisted of a 50/50 mix of external consultants and employees. The Support function helped the Battles to achieve results by offering methods, procedures, processes and tools within Communications and Change Management and Project Management.

The Battle Support facilitated knowledge sharing among the Battles and communicated best practices within the portfolio.

After two years of ‘battles’, Vestas CEO Ditlev Engel, expressed his satisfaction in the following letter:

“First of all, I want you to know how impressed I am with the progress made in all 12 Battles. It has been fantastic to see the energy and dedication, which the entire Battle organisation has invested in securing the victory for these 12 cross-functional, cross-business unit projects.

The most important way to measure the success of the battles is by focusing on the financial results: Will the winnings actually lead to increased profits? And this is where I am exceptionally encouraged. The 12 Must-Win-Battles are creating savings and synergies that are worth [XXX] million Euros next year alone. These figures are directly reflected in the budget for 2009.

The outcome underlines the potential of working as one Vestas. […] I feel very privileged and proud to be in an organisation where people invest so much of their time and energy in creating real results and change.”

– Ditlev Engel, CEO and President, Vestas



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Emerging gathers some of Scandinavia’s most skilled practitioners of leadership and organisational development. We believe organisations play an important role in building a sustainable future for the planet, its citizens and our democratic systems.