The issue

  • A subsidiary of a global defence company, providing technology-based R&D solutions and advisory services to government and defence organisations and private sector companies at the cutting edge of secure communications and cyber warfare
  • Despite repeated calls by Group to improve, the business continuously failed to meet performance expectations on revenue growth, profit margin and free cash flow
  • The business was suffering from an overly-layered and siloed organisation structure, with burdensome management processes and lacking commercial focus
  • The underlying issues were structural and an absence of effective performance management, wrongly being justified because business discipline would stifle creativity and innovation


  • Undertook a business-wide design and business case development stage to anchor the current performance failings and the required changes
  • Implemented over a 12-month period working alongside the business unit leadership with a structured plan;
    • A new leadership team established, with stronger governance processes,  metrics, and proactive staff engagement
    • Simplified the operating model and aligned capabilities to market needs
    • Re-framed value propositions and initiated the move into critical national infrastructure
    • Implemented resource management to drive productivity uplift
    • Implemented new mentoring and HR processes to underpin talent management
  • Supported post-implementation by refreshing the plan

The results

  • 29% revenue uplift (versus budget target)
  • 18% Return on Sales achieved versus a 15% target for the financial year
  • 90% improvement in business cash flow
  • 10% points increase in Engineer productivity, with a continued increase to 74% utilisation in year 2, and climbing
  • Transformed the operating model and business culture to be customer and commercially focused
    • Established performance management at the business and individual level
    • Underpinned changes with disciplines, governance, reward structures and visibility
  • The Project won the Management Consultancy Association’s award for “Performance Improvement in the Private Sector” with full sponsorship of the client

An award-winning team


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