Airbus Flies Higher with NextPerts

How Airbus Evolved Its Next-Generation Talent

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CHALLENGE:

Developing Next-Gen Talent

How does a complex, multicultural organization like Airbus identify and develop next-generation project leaders who can drive innovative solutions across the enterprise?

Since joining PMI’s Global Executive Council over a decade ago, Airbus has benefited from several exclusive Council products and services, including the Council Practice Improvement Assessment (CPIA), peer networking, and the NextPert program.

SOLUTION:

NextPerts

The Global Executive Council’s NextPert Program, which engages next-generation project leaders to develop innovative solutions identified by the Council, welcomed Cyrille Leclere and Tim Kaltwasser, two of Airbus’s rising stars, to its first-year pilot. These emerging leaders serve as a think tank, influencing the future of the profession.

For Tim Kaltwasser, the experience clearly proved to be an advantage in becoming a project leader. After the NextPert program, he moved on to other challenges that helped him develop critical knowledge for project managers at Airbus. He now oversees a project portfolio within the A320 aircraft program. Kaltwasser was recently honored as one of PMI’s Future 50 next-generation leaders who are creating, building and transforming the world through notable projects.

Airbus is a multinational aerospace and defense corporation with total revenue of 54.7 billion EUR (2019).

The PMI Global Executive Council is a group of 90 of the world’s leading organizations working to influence and shape the future of the project management profession.

“We have welcomed the NextPerts concept into Airbus as a way to engage, develop and exploit the energy and creativity of our next generations.”
- Hilary Baker, Head of Airbus Program & Project Management Academy & Policies

“The different perspectives I encountered as a NextPert definitely enriched my ability to lead projects.”
- Tim Kaltwasser, Project Manager, A320 Cabin Industrialization, Airbus

Cyrille LeClere found the experience so valuable that he enlisted two senior sponsors and advocated for creating an in-house NextPert program at Airbus after PMI developed a playbook and roadmap encouraging Council organizations to duplicate or adapt the program to meet their internal needs.

Airbus decided to conduct a pilot program in 2018.

The in-house pilot proved so successful that Airbus’s senior leaders agreed to continue the program. Airbus convened a second NextPert class in November 2019.

Fabian Osorio, a 2018 Airbus NextPert who has assumed leadership of the in-house program, characterized it as a win-win: both the participants and the organization gain from the initiative.

Watch Fabian discuss the NextPert program HERE.

“It was not difficult to convince management to launch this initiative. The ability to facilitate and to enable a group of people to collaborate is a key skill for project managers.”
- Cyrille Leclere, Digital Design Manufacturing and Services Program Management Transformation, Airbus

“My participation in the NextPert program gave me access to a network focusing on innovation.”
Isabelle Renard, Airbus A350 Program, 2019 Airbus NextPert

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