A British company who design and manufacture electric test equipment and measuring instruments for electrical power applications. They are a world brand in their market and have a long pedigree.
We started with the senior management and helped them understand how to behave as a project sponsor. We also took them through the programme at a high level so that they understood what their teams were about to experience. This enabled them to be able to use the same language and follow the same process. They could also support and coach their direct reports. This maximised the chances of successful implementation of new ways of working.
Next we ran a series of three workshops following the same approach:
Fact finding from the delegates around what they wanted to cover at each stage, particularly focussing on discovering what did or did not work in the present system.
Robust action planning
Tutor feedback on their action plans to ensure deliverable change
Permanent access to the ML&C online Academy
What Happened as a Result?
Immediate results were:
Changed behaviours as managers realised that they had authority and were expected to use it effectively
For the first time delegates took full responsibility for delivering their projects
Individuals started taking control of their people and projects through assertive behaviour
Stress levels and working hours were reduced dramatically as they now felt in control
New product development is a key element in helping the company maintain its number one market position, and is very much intended to be part of their future. However, recent experience was that development projects were sometimes years late. This caused the inevitable problems of cost overrun, lower ROI, dissatisfied clients and frustration within the business. Their brand was under threat due to competition from around the world that was taking their market.
We wanted to be able to differentiate between the symptoms of the problems and the real core business issues which needed addressing. To do that Tim Woodman firstly interviewed the Technical Director, who was sponsoring the initiative, followed by the Managing Director and others through the project management process, right through to the project staff. We needed to be able to solve the business problems, not just deliver a training event.
Longer Term Benefits?
Projects are now being delivered on time, on cost and to high quality standar
Clients have noticed and are commenting on the improved performance against contracts
Projects are being fully completed rather than getting done what was essential - such as product manuals
A Specific Example
The project was to design a new piece of electrical test equipment and to deliver to market within a desired time frame of two years but, more realistically, three. It had just commenced when we were commissioned. The project has recently completed within only 18 months, with the corresponding reduction in development costs of labour and materials. They have also gained an extra 18 months of sales revenue that they wouldn’t have achieved if it had completed to the original timescales. This alone has made them several million pounds that has all gone to the bottom line.
We currently provide ongoing project management training and coaching expertise for the project managers, helping them think through how to handle any particularly difficult aspects of the project. These include both structural project process and the management of the process to achieve the desired goals. It also addresses the inevitable people issues.
What Does the Client Say?
Megger's Technical Director says, "It is true that without the support and expertise of ML&C trainers and coaches, we would be worse off to the tune of millions of pounds."
What Did We Discover?
We discovered that, as committed as the managers were, they had a lack of confidence in their role, their authority, their ability to confidently manage their teams and the project management framework itself. And although they had a programme of training in the past years, it had not delivered the desired results.