The company had committed itself to a record-sized delivery project for a strategic customer. Once the project started, the management quickly realised that they lacked the capacity to run cross-functional delivery projects alongside their other activities, so they brought in external help before the customer was affected.
First, Level21 appointed an experienced project manager who immediately got the project under control. At the same time, another consultant from Level21 started a cross-functional survey of existing project management and methods along with the company’s staff. Additionally, a consultant from Level21’s management coached the company’s managing director and management group.
After a while, one of the Level21 consultants could step back and hand over project management to an employee at the company, but with continued coaching and project support. The other consultant’s survey had resulted in a programme of improvements, including training, which began on a relatively wide front following a management group decision. Monthly coaching continued for the managing director and management group.
There must be immediate action in challenges of this kind. This minimises the risk of disruption for customers, while ensuring that the affected staff keep up with the relatively quick changes that are necessary. The customer project is now on track and the challenges are the normal ones.
The company had problems with delayed projects, resource conflicts and unclear work in the steering group. Projects to generate new business often had to make way for the emergency management of current problems, so the management decided to get help to improve the management of projects and project portfolios.
Level21 surveyed the factors controlling the project and established a cross-functional process for product and technology roadmaps. Objective selection methods for steering groups were introduced, along with improved resource management. The development of methodology and working methods was supplemented by developments in expertise and leadership. Governance, working methods, culture and transparency are decisive for success in this field.
The improved working methods were tested in real projects and implemented alongside the customer. Methodology was documented in a project handbook.
The result is a well-grounded project portfolio that supports the company’s strategy and is customised to its actual capacity for execution. Decisions were improved through greater transparency. Reducing the number of projects that were run in parallel increased speed in the organisation and in projects.
The business group took a strategic decision to evaluate how to accelerate growth in a business area. However, they lacked the expertise and resources to conduct the analysis themselves, as well as establishing their ambitions and plans for aggressive growth.
A consultant from Level21 was appointed as head of the growth programme and then as product manager for the business area. The consultant defined the purpose and objectives of the task and then started an independent analysis with frequent updates with the group management. The first step was to obtain increased understanding and participation from key people within the group.
To achieve rapid execution, the consultant conducted three parallel activities: analysing customer needs on a global market, developing and strengthening the business area’s organisation, and discussing how the product portfolio could be renewed more quickly.
This assignment was a balance between existing operations, the development of a new business deal, and new and innovative products to accelerate growth. The apparent risk of a strategy gap was professionally managed, as the organisation’s abilities must synchronise with the expectations of the board and management and the identified opportunities for growth.
Growth in selected territories has increased by +30% with maintained or improved profitability.
The company had had a greater focus on the purchasing costs of direct materials than of indirect materials and believed that potentially significant savings could be made in the latter. With this type of problem, it is important to start with a factual analysis. At the same time, the organisation’s particular circumstances must be taken into account. Level21 always uses proven methods and tools, combined with the customer’s special requirements.
Level21 analysed and structured material costs, and identified areas with the greatest effect on total costs. A cross-functional team was put together with staff from the customer and led by Level21. Goals were formulated per product group, and basic causes were analysed and cost drivers identified. Negotiations took place with specific suppliers. Goal fulfilment was followed up and secured. In parallel with analysis work, improvement activities were conducted in internal materials provision.
The results were reduced material costs and a more effective supply chain. Working closely with the organisation led to the development of its own expertise and capacity.
This is how sustainable results are created.
Level21, which works with Professor Robert G. Cooper, conducted an analysis of the company’s development process according to PI-Assessor. On the basis of this analysis, the management decided to reorganise the development department and establish several new management positions. A consultant from Level21 was then appointed as interim manager in a new middle management role, tasked with developing and implementing the role.
In this type of change, it is critical to manage the strategy gap that may arise when the management decide a major change to an existing organisation. The consultant from Level21 also had to manage a two-dimensional challenge, because the organisation had to continue to develop existing product families as part of a new organisation.
The analysis not only entailed a reorganisation but also the development of both processes and the affected individuals. Another consultant from Level21 was hired as a management coach for new managers, combined with process development and training in relevant areas.
In addition, the company hired a third consultant from Level21, who boosted activities that had been put on the back burner.
Level21 handed over a functional organisation to the newly-employed permanent manager.