Project Manager of the Year 2022: Beatriz Espinosa Arronte
Mats Ragnarsson interviews the Project Manager of the Year 2022 award winner Beatriz Espinosa Arronte
Beatriz Espinosa Arronte
Project: Self-driving electric buses, Scania CV AB The project was to develop and deliver a fleet of self-driving electric buses in a very short time. The project was an important part of a larger collaboration between several companies in the VW Group with the task of delivering modern mobility solutions in Doha, Qatar, in connection with the soccer World Cup 2022. The first bus could be delivered already after 1.5 years. The project required the development of many complex systems in a short and fixed time – from self-developed self-driving systems to extensive infrastructure in Qatar. The buses required a completely new design and many new technical solutions, several of these in areas of technology that are characterized by rapid changes. The project would also be implemented in a geographical area with major geopolitical uncertainties and during a pandemic with a very high degree of remote work and travel restrictions. External financing, continuously changing conditions, collaboration with other companies and a completely new technology area, with no known solutions on the market, made the project very complex. Internally, too, the project entailed major challenges with a transition from traditional development and project management to agile working methods and management, where parts of the organizations involved worked agile while other parts still worked traditionally. An important success factor was that Beatriz built a strong and efficient team early on, which was an extra challenge because everyone in the project early switched to 100% remote work due to the pandemic. The project organization (approx. 200 people) had a very high level of cross-functionality, as well as different structures, cultures and working methods both inside and outside Scania. With her mindset “we can’t fail, we have to find a way to reach the goals” combined with her enthusiastic personality, Beatriz has developed new ways to move forward towards the goals and managed to get the project to deliver results in record time, without losing focus on quality or long-term perspective for Scania. An important success factor has been Beatriz’s very proactive work in identifying decisions that would be needed and then ensuring that the project received the right decision, at the right level and at the right time.