Interview with Oana Korogh-Nielsen: Better stakeholder engagement

Oana Korogh-NielsenOana Korogh-Nielsen is the Head of PMO for National Electrification Program at Banedanmark. I had the opportunity to speak with her about the amazing projects that she is currently working on. Here is what she had to share.
Hello Oana! Let’s get going: can you describe your job?
I am the Program Management Office for the Electrification Program (EP) of Banedanmark. The Danish Electrification Programme (EP) was established in November 2012. It is part of a large investment in modernizing the Danish railways. It has the potential to electrify major parts of Banedanmark’s infrastructure over the next 10-15 years.
The EP PMO is multi-disciplinary and multicultural. It consists of more than 50 people from different backgrounds in traditional program management (planning, quality, risk management, etc.) as well as rail-specific disciplines. This supports the execution of EP projects. The EP PMO is also responsible in the execution of the main electrification contract currently being offered.
Wow! That’s quite a large program. What is the biggest challenge?
The EP PMO is responsible for the tender for electrification. This multi-billion contract will be awarded in 2015. The Electrification Programme will adopt the latest and most innovative technologies from similar projects across Europe. The tendering process itself is a major undertaking, which includes the management of the deliveries and alignment between more than 80 employees, consultants, and other organizations.
There are many stakeholders within and outside the program, including other interfacing programs, rail operators and rail authorities, safety authorities and the ministry of transport. The program also has the support of the general public and media. My greatest challenge is to manage the PMO organization in alignment with its stakeholders and drive the tender project towards selecting the right supplier.
It is a delicate job to manage this mix of stakeholders while also keeping an eye on your work. How did you build trust with your stakeholder group?
Banedanmark is committed to doing meaningful work for society. We believe that cooperation and understanding are key to our success. It is crucial to engage and manage our powerful stakeholders. We follow the Banedanmark leadership framework, which is available to all our leaders to help build a strong and flexible culture of performance. It is based on constructive and dynamic cooperation among employees, leaders and stakeholders, partners, and the political system.
Understanding the motivations, challenges, and success criteria of others is crucial. To share our vision statements with our stakeholders, we also use them. Programs and projects are managed using established governance frameworks that allow us to share a common understanding about our goals, deliveries, and plans. A set of strong values drives us to ensure a positive and constructive environment.
This approach could be used for many projects, not just yours. It requires a lot communication, including talking about success criteria, vision, and so forth. What advice would a project manager give you about communicating on projects.
Identify and address the needs of project members. This is done while bridging between many people and ongoing assignments within the company. My daily work spans a wide area. My workday is characterized by unpredictable tasks and high levels of independence in their execution. My workday is not only focused on performance and results, but also a framework that provides clarity and meaning that allows employees to tap into their potentials, resources, and involvement.
Support and m are another important focus in communication.