There was a pressing need to change the culture of the business from R&D / engineering excellence to delivery of commercially viable engineering solutions for clients’ needs.
Demanding client expectations were not being met as technical solutions were unclear. And multiple projects competed internally for finite resources (funding, design input and management support) without clear priorities and design direction.
As interim director, my priority was to consolidate all change initiatives into a transition plan and rigorously lead and manage the process to initiate the culture change required.
To optimise the Project Management Teams’ performance, I evaluated and restructured the Programme Delivery function.
Additional permanent and interim project managers had to be recruited and integrated in technical teams. Working with the MD and COO, we aligned the allocation of highly technical resources to project teams.
To drive the shift toward delivery led by project management, rather than specialist engineering, we put in place a robust review and reporting process to prioritise new projects. This also managed the activity inflow to avoid resource conflict, as we instilled a culture of inter-departmental collaboration.
Meanwhile, at Board level, I was able to challenge the directors to prioritise the commercial and technical viability of long-term projects, so that some were rationalised in favour of others.
The Board and all stakeholders endorsed the revised strategy. My recommendations for commercialising projects were agreed and implemented. Projects selected through the new process are meeting client requirements, and running on time and on budget. Team dynamics have greatly improved. Now led by a former project manager, the entire team of project managers, business development and operations managers are motivated to deliver the business plan. Corac Energy Technologies is on track to meet its financial and strategic objectives.