Programme management improvement

The Issue

Ineffective programme management at an international defence contractor had caused losses requiring a $300-million cash injection.

Two of the organisation’s divisions were about to undertake the largest (and riskiest) weapon development contracts in their history. The failure of either programme could have bankrupted the entire corporation. PwC Performance Improvement Consulting was asked to undertake a Programme Management Effectiveness (PME) assessment of the two divisions.

Our Approach

We created two multidisciplinary and multinational assessment teams. The teams used the PwC PME maturity framework to assess programme management processes, organisational effectiveness, culture and alignment.

Each team spent two weeks meeting with personnel at all levels in the organisation as well as customers. In addition, the teams reviewed relevant documents, policies and procedures.

Each division was assessed individually and benchmarked against the other, to identify strengths and weaknesses and discover gaps in critical programme management.

Each division was assigned ratings using the PwC PME maturity framework. The teams then came together to compare and contrast assessments and synthesize common themes and recommended remedial actions.

The Outcome

PwC identified several areas for management attention, including a competition for scarce engineering talent between the two divisions, inadequate Knowledge Management practices, and opportunities to optimise supply chain management.

Based on our work, the contractor created a programme management “champion” and developed a standard programme management work stream analysis. In addition, several cross-divisional initiatives were identified, including enhancing the role of finance in the change control and risk management processes, strategic source management, and human capital management.

PwC also identified a number of strengths that could be fostered to become competitive advantages in the global A&D market.

PwC has since been retained to provide assessments at three more divisions, and is working with the client to enhance working practices in the realm of programme management.