Our customer is a British multinational defence and aerospace company, who had entered into a Consent Agreement with the US Department of State, in order to demonstrate an enhancement in the processes and controls it has in place to meet Export Control regulations. It set up a Cross-Business-Unit programme, which includes a complex £50m technology programme, comprising six  common solutions, spanning multiple Business Units and impacting c30,000 staff. Approximately a year after the programme was set up, the customer requested Project One’s support to manage the delivery of the technology programme and to lead business change.

This programme is ongoing and since our involvement, we have engaged senior stakeholders across multiple Business Units to bring clarity to plans, budgets, governance and working arrangements which improved the overall grip of the programme and brought stability to its delivery. We have overseen supplier negotiations and managed supplier delivery of the technology solutions we have put in place. We have agreed an approach to business change with the programme board and executed upon it and established a change network across the Business Units, which set them up for successfully delivering the business change.

The Challenge

  • Delivering a large-scale and complex programme of process and technology change, which aims to achieve standardisation across a diverse base of autonomous Business Units. Each of the Business Units presented different requirements and expectations of the solutions, which were at times incompatible and in need of alignment and close management
  • A programme that was already underway and didn’t have the level of planning rigour and governance, which culminated in a set of plans and budgets that were unrealistic and in need of resetting. Several team members did not have the experience of a programme of this scale and complexity and were in need of extensive support and coaching
  • A lack of clarity as to how sustainable change would be co-ordinated and delivered in a consistent manner across multiple Business Units employing c30,000 staff impacted.

The Approach

  • Identified the key issues that were impacting the delivery of the programme and delivered difficult messages to senior stakeholders in order to address the issues
  • Reset the programme plan and aligned Business Units towards the programme goal of common technology and standardised processes
  • Supported the Programme Director in establishing governance arrangements including a Programme RACI, which were geared towards meeting the challenges of engaging multiple Business Units with contrasting requirements of the technology and disparate ways of working
  • Embedded rigorous programme controls to gain a strong understanding of the status of the programme and increase the grip on programme delivery. This helped to identify where team members required support and coaching, resulting in an uplift in skills within the team
  • Provided strong delivery drive, putting in place an approach towards integrating planning with Business Units to help create a common understanding of complex plans. This provided clarity around interdependencies between the programme and Business Units and a route to managing these effectively
  • Improved Business Unit stakeholder engagement across all projects, via the design and introduction of solution working group for areas such as process design, transition, business change, solution architecture
  • Established a business change approach, endorsed by the programme board and adopted by the Business Units to focus the business on landing the scale of change, which will help to meet the requirements of the Consent Agreement
  • Supporting the central IT function in establishing an internal business change service, which is geared towards supporting its portfolio of c300 programmes and projects which range in size and complexity.

The Outcome

Project One has led this programme through providing hands on programme and portfolio management and Business Change expertise. We delivered the following:

  • An approach to capturing a single set of requirements, and a standardised process design with Business Units that historically operated in silos
  • Put in place robust arrangements for governance and programme control, meeting the needs of a programme that spans multiple Business Units
  • Defined and executed a Business Change strategy (covering all change, engagement and training) which was approved by the programme board, and aligned with all Business Units
  • Led the successful go live across multiple Business Units of all six common solutions, transitioned into Service and currently in process of setting up the governance and delivery approach for future change and enhancements
  • Led the programme response to the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring that the programme kept momentum. This resulted in two of the common solutions going live midway through the pandemic, which looked unachievable from the outset.

POSTED BY: Paul Clark - Director of Operational Improvement and Chairman

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