Timely involvement of relevant external advisors and good project management are key to a project’s success, Sorainen clients told at a webinar on Monday.

When major companies like Bite, Fortum and Sunly launch a project, they attempt to include external advisors, including law firms, as soon as possible. “Timely involvement of all the external advisers is crucial, so we book a large room with everybody represented,” describes Sigita Kravale, Fortum’s senior legal adviser who, as former head of legal of Fortum’s business in the Baltics, was instrumental in Fortum’s sales of its district heating business in the Baltics.

Equally important is  agreeing on exact roles and who manages the project. Tadas Navaitis, Bite’s director of procurement, stressed the importance of finding a great project manager whose strength is working with people. His words were echoed by his colleague Jurgita Peledienė, legal manager at Bite, who noted that they had just realised a couple of years ago how crucial it is to have a project manager for each project, so that everyone knows their responsibilities. “It should be clear to everyone who manages the project,” added Kerstin Kütt, General Counsel at Sunly.

Clients value efficiency and business thinking

When asked about qualities required in external advisers, Kravale mentioned availability, flexibility and efficiency. “There will always be time pressure, so 50-page presentations are not helpful,“ she noted. “And 10 points go to being proactive.”

Kerstin Kütt added accuracy and the ability to think one step ahead to the list of most important qualities. “Advisers must ask if things are smart from business aspect, since I have to take their ideas to investors and the board.”

Sorainen regularly invites clients to regional and local panels to share their insights about how we could better serve their needs. This time, managers dealing with legal matters from Lithuania-based Bite, Gren Latvia (previously Fortum) and Estonia-HQ’d Sunly kindly shared their wisdom on project management. Kaupo Lepasepp, country managing partner of Sorainen Estonia moderated the webinar.

How to make a project successful?

  • Involve all external advisers timely
  • Define scope and timeline
  • Agree clearly who manages the project
  • Agree on way of updates, eg brief written memos
  • Feedback is always good, both ways, if time allows
  • If you have questions, ask
  • Look for advisers who are flexible, efficient, business-minded, proactive

Source: Sorainen clients