Re-shaping an international technology provider's approach to the market

The Challenge: To assess how to continue to achieve the business plan in the light of a tightening marketplace and where the company’s style, way of working, market approach, customer handling and delivery ‘machinery’ needed completely overhauling to meet changed customer expectations.

Our Approach: Bring together senior executives and the sales teams into a series of workshops exploring opportunities that were currently being missed. One way of really making this real was to bring top customers - current and potential - to the workshop and get them to present a ‘no holds barred’ view of what they were looking for and what they thought of the company.

The Results: The strategy of the company for UK and Europe was reshaped starting with the customer. This has led to greater turnover, internal restructuring and improved customer satisfaction.

Making a retail bank’s data warehouse plans stick

The Challenge: To shape the sequence of change around a high street bank’s data warehouse post merger and to bring clarity, achievability and accountability to the programme. Establishing a re-baselined set of plans that all parties bought in to and were able to deliver.

Our Approach: Bring all parties to the table in a series of ‘hot house’ Workshops. Within these workshops we used visual representations of the more detailed project plans to bring out clarity on key milestones, slippage and conflicts. Each meeting produced clear outputs: actions, defined owners and agreed timescales for the resolution of issues.

The Results: An achievable set of baselined, controlled plans that were then delivered against and an ongoing review process that continues today.

Ensuring change really does build a better business for the future

The Challenge: A leading supermarket undertaking a major programme of change wanted to ensure that the business benefits would be delivered as planned.

Our Approach: Hold ‘discovery discussions’ with all the major teams responsible for the change and with the business areas that would change. Focus upon clarity of end vision and how all the component parts of the new business operating model would fit together. Then on specific issues, draw key players together. Meet with the sponsor – main board director - at least weekly to give guidance and feedback and to shape the next stage.

The Results: The finance director made adjustments to the programme to ensure delivery of a holistic change for the business resulting in a better supermarket operation. The main board gained assurance at a time of leadership change for the business.

Shifting the cost base without losing the 'essence'

The Challenge: A major newspaper and media publisher needed to reduce cost without losing the essence of its heritage of independent free press.

Our Approach: Work as a subject matter expert to ‘deep dive’ into specific areas of IT and Operations and across all business areas, perform role of ‘agent provocateur’ in interviews and workshops to ensure all possible changes were considered. Assist further ‘stress testing’ of the proposals during workshops with the CEO.   

The Results: We made cost conversations acceptable in a culture that hitherto had little cost focus. Industry leading edge approaches were adopted in parts of the business. The organisation reshaped its cost base and operating model for future viability.

IT financial and process review for a leading pharmacy chain

The Challenge: Restore business confidence in the IT department’s financial control of change by addressing the lack of consistency and predictability of the financial accounting for major projects.

Our Approach: To undertake a completely impartial and independent review, looking at all aspects of financial control, both within the IT department and also with respect to its processes and interfaces with the Finance department.

The Results: Identification of seven significant issue areas, a clear set of recommendations for their resolution and to support this, a prioritised plan of action with identified owners and timescales.

Delivering the first project in a major integration programme

The Challenge: A major Retail Bank needed to deliver a significant new mortgages system in its first step towards integration of the merged business. Structural changes and recent missed deadlines resulted in the need to bring in an experienced programme manager to pull the whole team together and get the system delivered to defined deadlines.

Our Approach: To put the best person we could identify into the role; concentrate on working as one team; avoiding parochialism and blame and ensure all parties understood their accountabilities, the current status and the priorities for action.

The Results: Given the extremely ambitious plan, it was a major effort by all concerned but the programme was delivered to the agreed timescales. The system and the ‘one team’ approach to delivery has been widely praised and subsequent phases of integration work are following this approach.