Once upon a time, there was a young man who discovered a love for projects while still at school. When he was finally old enough to start earning his own money, it was clear: “His life's work will involve construction and plant projects." And he's going to learn the project business from the ground up. Real projects. Real world. Real work."
You're right, I was that young man: Werner Wirnsberger-Brandl. And this is my story.
Every day when I entered the BASF chemical plant in Ludwigshafen and later the large power plant in Mannheim, I was surrounded by so many learning opportunities. Like a sponge, I eagerly took in anything and everything that had to do with projects. I got the job done wherever resources were lacking and worked my way through various departments and positions.
I soon realized that projects often get into trouble. Those were the projects that really fascinated me, because, wherever everything is on the verge of collapsing, there's always so much to learn by analyzing, evaluating, interpreting, and initiating countermeasures with the aim of turning things around and steering the project to a safe finish.
And so, it came about that in 1999 I took over the management of a large project involving 300 employees. Once it was successfully completed, I had the opportunity to handle a major international project in Morocco with a team of 120 employees. In 2005, I was entrusted with founding and developing a company in Eastern Europe.
And then three years later, when the global financial meltdown brought our economy into a tailspin, I was tasked with leading a project company out of economic crisis. A tough restructuring program and a 50% reduction of the workforce were necessary to reorganize the company. Not an easy job, believe me!
Sometimes I am asked how the role of managing director and the world of projects fit together. Quite simply: in projects, it's important to recognize potential and adhere to target specifications. You have to observe, analyze, and make the right decisions at the right time. Above all, you have to make decisions even if the data remains incomplete. You have to tackle things, act transparently, and love working with people by challenging them, celebrating successes with them, and sharing and passing on your own knowledge. These are precisely the skills required of a managing director.
In 2011, I was hired to lead a strategic project out of a crisis and delivered results that I am particularly proud of. When I joined the company, the project was still in the design phase. The engineering team of the general contractor and that of the investor simply could not agree on the design data for
equipment and production processes. For more than 6 months, there had been such massive discrepancies that had the project at a standstill. With tact and empathy, I was able to get both sides to agree to an independent analysis. They accepted the judgment of the independent arbitrator. The project was able to pick up speed again and quickly cross the finish line.
For me, efficient project management requires a symbiosis of time, cost, quality, and people. It's like playing the piano: piano technique is actually very simple, but it still takes years to master it. Once you master the keyboard, you can conjure up the most beautiful melodies from the instrument. It's the same with project management.
With every project, my ultimate goal is to complete it successfully. I insist on short and understandable answers instead of endless reports. Solution-oriented and structured work, in which people and the client are at the center: that's what matters. Appreciative respect and collaboration are absolute musts.
This is how it came to be that I decided to start my own company PM&C in 2014. I would like to help companies implement their construction and plant projects and pass on my knowledge and experience. The focus is on project management, project development, crisis management, planning tools, and document management.
In the area of crisis management, I work not only with companies, but also with banks and bank administrators and provide support in the form of truthful, independent reports based on validated project data and evaluations. I home in on the details of the current technical and financial status with critical questioning, requesting withheld information, and bringing embellished data to reality. I give a realistic assessment of the further course of the project.
In an emergency, however, I might also recommend turning off the funding pipeline and thus prevent money and time from being invested in projects that no one had previously wanted to admit were going nowhere. Most of the time, however, I manage to get troubled projects back on track and bring them to a successful conclusion.
This is what I stand for with my name – Werner Wirnsberger-Brandl and my company PM&C.
Let's tackle your project together.
And let's get your project across the finish line successfully.
* For reasons of discretion (understandably), my clients do not wish to be mentioned by name.