Ensuring successful systems replacement in one of Europe’s largest fleet providers

The Problem

Our client operates one of the largest contract hire fleets in Europe and relies heavily on automation to ensure the efficient running of its highly customer focussed operation. The IT infrastructure and applications were ageing and were, in many cases, no longer supported by their respective vendors.  Our client has developed a high level architecture which outlined how the systems would work. However there was little understanding of what this meant in terms of how the wider business would operate with the new systems. Just as critically, work was still required to establish how the delivery programme would be structured and mobilise.

Our Solution

Our objective was to structure and mobilise a programme of change that would deliver the target IT Architecture. Experience shows that many IT change programmes fail because the team does not fully consider the changes that are required to business processes and actual behaviours to make the new system work effectively. However, our approach to designing change programmes deliberately places the business interests at the heart of the governance and delivery of the programme, thus ensuring our clients do not fall into this trap. To achieve the objective, we:

  • Clearly defined and communicated the technical changes - in a form that could be readily assimilated and challenged by the business functions. We mapped all proposed technical changes to business processes and outlined the difference between the ‘as-is’ and the ‘to-be’ .
  • Designed logical business & technical transition states. We defined how the business would look and operate at each stage of the implementation – taking into account technical and business process changes. This gave the business functions visibility of what needed to change and the confidence they could still deliver on their operational commitments.
  • Developed a Programme Architecture that would deliver the required changes. Once we understood how the future business would look and operate, we carried out gap analysis against the current operating model. This effectively produced a list of key changes (both business process and technical). Then, using our wealth of experience in defining and mobilising change programmes, we defined the workstreams by logically grouping together key outcomes & deliverables. This approach ensures absolute clarity of scope and accountability and crucially  eliminates  the possibility of ill-defined inter-workstream dependencies, which were all key factors in ensuring the programme was set up to deliver effectively. We ensured real buy-in and ownership from the management team by assigning key programme leadership accountabilities to senior managers from areas of the business that were to be impacted by the changes. To further bolster the sense of joint accountability between IT and the business we implemented a governance structure with ‘matched pairs’ – consisting of a Business and an IT lead, with joint accountability for the success of each transition state.
  • Mobilised the resources and established the programme. Working alongside the client team we recruited resources, established the Programme Management Office (PMO) tools and processes and implemented the governance mechanisms to ensure transparency and control.

Client's Benefits

Moving from what had been a purely IT based strategy project to a fully defined and managed change programme gave the organisation the confidence to move forward and start to realise the benefits of having a modern, supported and sustainable IT suite. The business functions are engaged and play key leading roles in this complex, multi-million pound, 5 year programme.