Grainger calls in an interim manager to audit business-critical IT project and ensure project delivery

Grainger plc, is the largest listed residential landlord in the UK and it also has a strong presence in the German residential market. Grainger plc’s portfolio of German properties is managed by Gebau Vermögen, a joint venture company that it established with the lindner Group.

The Challenges

Grainger needed to replace its property management system at Gebau Vermögen.  The project had been managed in house by Gebau however, with resources stretched, the projects dates slipped. The system was considered business critical so it was imperative for Grainger to get the project back on track.

The company decided to undertake a project audit to identify any risk factors and wanted to hire an independent interim manager with expertise in IT project and risk management to undertake it. The interim manager would be required to identify any areas of project risk, and recommend actions to mitigate the risks and report on the findings to Grainger’s executives in Germany and the uK.

Grainger approached Russam Interim to source an interim IT risk project manager with relevant experience and found them Walter Hasler, a swiss born interim manager with IT project and programme management experience gained in leading international companies in Switzerland, the uK, the usa and europe.  walter’s strength was also that he fully understood the German language and the working style and culture so he was able to integrate into the organisation quickly.

The Project

Walter had to get up to speed quickly, understand the project status and the reasons behind the project delays. He examined all project documentation and met everyone involved in the project. 

one area that needed immediate attention was to improve communication and reporting between Grainger and Gebau. walter developed templates to improve reporting and communication. He also served as a ‘go between’ between both parties – communicating on project status on regular conference calls with executives from Grainger and he examined all documentation produced by Gebau before it was sent to Grainger to ensure all communications were clear.


The audit undertaken by walter improved the communication between Grainger and Gebau. It is agreed by all involved parties that only a close cooperation between Grainger, Gebau and the external supplier, including a tight project management approach, would generate successful outcomes. The project has now gone live.

Dave Butler, Director Corporate affairs and IT commented, “we had very specific requirements for this role – an experienced international IT Project manager who was also a fluent German speaker and able to communicate both at a technical level with the local IT project manager and also at board level in Grainger. russam Gms has an extensive database of international candidates and found the ideal interim quickly so we could get the project back on track. They understood the brief and we were impressed by their responsiveness and ability to fulfill our challenging brief successfully.”

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