Babcock and Project One ‘Step Up Together’ to support national defence

Babcock is an international defence company, operating in its focus countries of the UK, Australasia, Canada, France and South Africa, with exports to additional markets. It supports and enhances its customers’ defence capabilities and critical assets through a range of product and service solutions, providing increased availability, affordability and capability. 


Project One is a leading, independent consulting business specialising in leading complex business-critical change and transformation programmes. With their extensive global experience and insight across a range of industries and sectors, they work hard to deliver exceptional transformation and change management. 


Babcock has a significant Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul contract with the MoD in the Land Sector. During the first five years of the contract, various changes were successfully implemented to improve performance and ways of working including major investment in SAP. Babcock has a lot to be proud of including an unrivalled industrial capability, a highly skilled and dedicated workforce as well as leading technology solutions. However, there was a clear recognition that more could be done to improve efficiency even further and that the transformation of the business with SAP at its heart could be accelerated to better meet the expectations of both the Customer and Babcock. 



The three key focus areas were: 


  1. Material Availability – improving availability of material to increase delivery of equipment
  2. Operational Excellence – Enabling employees to operate more effectively and efficiently
  3. Customer Delivery – Accelerating the delivery of Equipment.


Babcock’s mission is to keep the Army on its feet, assuring the readiness of the vehicles and equipment it needs, when it needs it. Therefore, any risk of failure to meet customer expectations is critical. 



“The level of knowledge and speed at which Project One became effective was great.” 


Mark Dougall, Head of Operational Delivery Midlands, Babcock 


Project One was engaged to provide an embedded and focussed programme leadership team of specialists in business change, technology and transformation to work in collaboration with the Babcock team to deliver a set of key initiatives over 12 months. The objective was to improve materiel flow, develop more efficient ways of working and deliver a great service against key customer priorities.


The approach taken was not to stand up an independent programme team, but to work shoulder-to-shoulder, as part of the Babcock business team, creating ways of working and a mindset of continuous improvement, leveraging actionable intelligence and data. The programme, called ‘Step Up Together’, was positioned to encourage proactive interaction and contribution from the whole internal team.



Louise Atkinson, MD, Defence Equipment Babcock, said, “The Project One team integrated perfectly with our own leadership team providing expertise, hands on help, and bringing their considerable experience to the table, but without being disparate from the team who had to embed the changes and make them sustainable. Because of this approach, everyone felt fully involved and empowered and we were able to harness the huge amount of knowledge, experience and ideas that already existed in all levels of the organisation. I’m really proud of what we have achieved together and know that this will be a change that sticks for the long term.”



The joint team identified the key initiatives and focus with careful consideration to what would be most impactful from a customer and business perspective. A portfolio of work was agreed and then divided into a series of agile sprints with the focus of delivering value as fast as possible.



“The programme was a really positive collaboration between Project One and Babcock. The teamwork has been great and the shared values between the businesses was evident throughout”.


Neil Walton, Transformation Director, Project One



Project One’s approach to agile benefits: speed to business value




Project One’s approach to benefits: tracking and realisation in agile



Benefits realisation is not just something to consider once the project has come to an end…





  • Identify benefits
  • Define measures
  • Establish a baseline
  • Engage stakeholders
  • Clarify roles and responsibilities.






  • Implement with benefits as the ‘North Star’
  • Keep focus on adoption
  • Establish reporting.






  • Track benefits
  • Handover to BAU
  • Identify lessons learned.



“We have a much better understanding of the business through the use of dashboards and actionable intelligence which is now visible across the business”.


Sandy Donald, Head of Operational Delivery South, Babcock


How Project One made a real difference


  • Trust in driving the agenda, working closely with the leadership in a collaborative team
  • Best practice knowledge of SAP usage in an MRO and Logistics setting
  • Knowledge of the industry and competitors
  • Best practice approaches to delivery and governance embedding change and continuous improvement focussing on outcomes
  • Alignment with the Babcock principles and purpose.



The outcome for Babcock and their customers


There have been significant business improvements which are now positively impacting the end customer, including:

  • Increases in operational productivity by 15%
  • Significant improvement in parts availability
  • Effective business management through data analysis and actionable intelligence
  • Greater leverage and use of SAP functionality
  • More efficient organisation.



“Project One was great to work with especially with their knowledge of SAP and how we could really leverage the system to improve our business performance”.

Tom Morton, Contract Director, Babcock

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