With an approaching crisis in waste management handling, five municipalities managed to solve the situation in time with the help of interim Project Manager Sigga Birkvad.
In the spring of 2019, an acute problem landed on the table of Carsten Riis, previous Municipal Director of Ballerup. A waste management company had terminated the agreement to collect waste from five cities, and a decision had to be made whether they should make a new offer to the company or establish a joint company to collect waste themselves.
Not only did this require a complex decision-making process involving the mayors and administrations of the five municipalities, but it also had to be done quickly. If not handled properly, it could end up with filled unclaimed bins, citizen complaints, and bad press coverage.
“This was not the kind of task I could place on a unit and ask them to solve it. I had to have someone sitting close to me and who could drive the process forward very quickly.” says Carsten.
Since he had previously used the services of Nexus Interim, it was natural for Carsten to contact them to find an Interim Manager to help them with the problem. After being presented with three candidates, the choice fell on Sigga Birkvad, a certified Project Manager with several years of experience in the municipal world.
“It was a task that I knew that I could solve. I know the municipal sector well and I understand the administrative processes.” says Sigga Birkvad.
The assignment was to facilitate the decision-making process where politicians needed to decide how the waste would be collected in the future. Economy, different levels of service, and not least, the legal and practical task to establish a new joint municipal partnership, had to be considered.
“Sigga is very good at driving processes, which was what we needed to get a good basis for decision-making. Good communication skills and the ability to build relationships were also very important to us. We did not need an expert in waste handling.” says Carsten.
Due to the high time pressure, it was crucial to keep close track of both processes and stakeholders. And there were stakeholders: five mayors, five administrations, external lawyers, the local press, management, and employees of the former supplier, as well as external partners.
The prospect of solving the problem within six months was low according to many people, but they succeeded. The five mayors chose to take on the task themselves to set up a joint company, and after the assignment was completed, Sigga continued to support the newly formed company in getting started.
“I remember when Carsten asked me if I was the type of person who makes a plan carved in stone, or if I could be flexible and make quick changes when needed. It was definitely the second way that was needed, and I thought it was great fun. This has given me new experiences and many good new relationships. As an Interim Manager, you must be prepared for the fact that an assignment like this requires that you give at least 100%.” says Sigga Birkvad.