Project Case Studies





Definition of project requirements for a steering group of a provincial government finance project

An Ontario ministry attempting to get cross functional alignment on a major finance project, involving acquisition of systems and services; decided to use a facilitator to maximize productivity and quality of its project definition.

The session used Process Design Consultants’ Critical Thinking and Project Management methodologies and a skilled Process Design Consultants facilitator to arrive at a clear consensus definition of requirements. This enabled the cross-functional steering group to clearly define its contract with the system suppliers and manage the project to a successful conclusion.

Strategic planning session for the management team of a community care access centre

A community care access centre responsible for the planning and management of care services in an Ontario region decided that a strategic planning session was needed to set clear priorities for the next 3 years and create team alignment.

The session used Process Design Consultants’ strategy mapping methods and two skilled facilitators and arrived at consensus on strategic priorities and a heightened appreciation of how the team could collaborate more effectively.

Facilitation of a process re-engineering steering group for an industrial distribution company

An industrial distribution company faced with rapidly changing market conditions decided to launch a business process re-engineering project to develop and implement new ways of doing business to meet customer needs and maintain company profitability.

The sessions used Process Design Consultants’ business process improvement, project management and strategy mapping methods an experienced facilitator to review progress, identify obstacles and keep the project on-track. As a result the company successfully developed and implemented 6 new core processes that enabled them to better meet client needs and restore company profitability.

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Coaching of re-engineering team leaders for an industrial distribution company

Team leaders responsible for planning a re-engineering project and leading their team through its implementation decided that they would benefit from experienced coaching to assist their decision making and action.

The coaching sessions were face to face, one hour at a time, focused on specific concerns that each leader faced. As a result leaders felt more confident about handling team issues and conducting meetings. This led to the successful completion of their projects.

Coaching of project coordinators of a strategic technology project for a large public sector organization

Charged with coordinating the implementation and integration of more than a dozen strategic technology projects, the project coordinators of a large public sector organization felt the need to have some coaching to help them “make sense” of the wide variety of issues they faced.

The coaching sessions, each half a day in duration, guided them through the process of project transition and successful transfer of ownership to the line organization.

Coaching of the head of an IT dept during implementation of a strategy-based restructuring

Having determined that a strategic restructuring was needed to create greater alignment with stakeholder needs, an IT dept head decided that they needed confidential help to “think-through” the alternatives and issues and provide a sounding board for their decisions.

The coaching sessions, which each lasted a half-day, assisted the dept head to arrive at a structure and management appointments that were a good fit to the department’s needs, and to a smooth implementation of the new structure.

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Evaluating the effectiveness of a companywide training course for a retailer

Having invested heavily in the design and delivery of companywide training to increase staff product knowledge and customer service, a large retailer decided that it needed to get an objective outside perspective on how well the program was working and so determine its next steps.

The project involved the design and implementation of a companywide survey. This was followed up with focus groups to identify the strengths, successes of the program and the “gaps” still to be closed. As a result the retailer took specific steps to increase the effectiveness of the training outcomes, such things as management coaching of employees.

Identification of measurement opportunities and issues for the call centre of a major oil company

Having set-up a customer service centre by combining the staff and systems from across several business units, the management team decided that it needed to find out what performance measures were being used, how well they worked and what gaps existed.

The project involved the design and conducting of a series of interviews with managers and staff. The resulting insights provided the management team with immediate opportunities for progress (“low hanging fruit”) and alignment on a longer-term direction. The management team was able to implement a consistent balanced scorecard to report progress to its stakeholders.

Identification of a service delivery model for a provincial shared services organization

Having set-up a shared services organization combining units from across ministries, a provincial organization decided that it needed to identify what common elements its managers and staff believed should be part of a common service delivery model for all services.

The project involved the design and conducting of interviews and focus groups to identify common elements and business rules. The resulting overall model was adopted by the organization and was incorporated into customer service training and service level agreements.

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Developing problem solving and decision making skills in a bank

A national bank wanted to provide 1200 branch managers with a simple, quick process for identifying, anticipating, clarifying and prioritizing issues; for solving customer problems; for making better, more effective decisions; and for developing simple, powerful action plans to 1200 branch managers.

Process Design Consultants customized a training course for the bank and delivered the course across the entire country over a period of three months, providing an awareness of the need and the skills to develop better solutions with more commitment from the stakeholders to implement.

Developing critical thinking skills within a project-oriented organization

A large transportation control company, which plans and executes projects around the globe asked Process Design Consultants to develop and deliver a training course to enhance their ability to recognize and resolve customer and corporate issues better, faster and with greater commitment of their staff and stakeholders. We have now trained some 300 people in the organization. The processes we transferred to the organization have now become a “way of life” for getting issues on the table and resolving them.

Providing core skills to a petrochemical company

We have now worked with a large petrochemical company for the past 10 years to provide them with a common process for identifying, anticipating, and prioritizing issues of concern; finding root cause when things have gone wrong; generating better, more effective decisions with greater organizational buy-in and support; and planning the implementation with lower risk and higher probability of success.

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Developing a human performance management workshop for a government agency

We designed a customized performance management program for a large government agency that provided its managers and staff with the skills to setting meaningful, realistic goals and expectations, to monitor performance to discover significant gaps, to gather data to describe exactly what is happening and when, to determine the root causes of that behaviour and to make better decisions for improving performance, to provide more specific and timely feedback, and to provide much more effective coaching on a face-to-face basis.

Developing a performance management process for a municipal government

We developed two similar programs for large municipalities to give managers the skills and confidence to set clear performance expectations, to monitor and troubleshoot performance problems, and to change the performance system (with their authority levels) to get better, more consistent performance from their employees. An offshoot of this course was that managers became more aware of the need for leverage; they could only achieve their goals through the performance of their employees.

Developing a management development program for an automation company

Process Design Consultants designed a management development program for an engineering company to supplement their great technical skills. The management development workshop included segments on managing the performance of individuals and teams. As a result of this workshop, managers became much more adept at managing the task and people aspects of large projects.

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Developing a strategic thinking core competency in a national retailer

A national retailer wished to develop a greater capability for strategic thinking and planning in its middle managers in order for them to align plans and project decisions with company strategy.

Process Design Consultants customized a training course on strategic thinking and planning especially for the organization. The program has enabled a broad cross section of managers and professionals to develop an “instinctive savvy” about what needs to be done and to make better strategic decisions.

Improving strategic dialogue with stakeholders in a public sector organization

A local government body wished to improve the ability of its managers to carry out strategic planning and communicate more effectively with all stakeholders.

Process Design Consultants customized and delivered a one-day course that has become one of the best attended in their curriculum.

Creating broad understanding of strategic direction for a private sector firm

A large company with operations throughout the country needed to have its managers gain a better understanding of its strategic direction and align their units with this direction.

In order to do this Process Design Consultants custom designed and delivered sessions that would provide managers the opportunity to analyze the strategy, determine its implications for their department or business unit, and apply it to their environment. Feedback from managers has shown that their level of comfort with company strategy and ability to communicate it to staff has increased significantly.

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Customized design and delivery of application-focused management training in a major transportation company.

A large national transportation company needed to improve its delivery of projects I I.T. and other areas, and decided to develop training based on its own specific project standards and documentation.

Process Design Consultants, who already provided their basic project management courses, designed a new training program, Project Application and Tools, to be more application oriented. This enabled the company to standardize project management documentation, a key PMO goal.

Improving senior management project sponsorship in the public service

Provincial government projects commonly have multiple stakeholders who need to be kept in the loop, else the project automatically falls. The leadership development group asked Process Design Consultants to design a one-day program to help senior managers play their sponsorship role effectively in this complex environment.

The courses were well attended, with several hundred senior level participants. This enabled the senior management group to firmly establish their project sponsorship role in managing stakeholder expectations and balancing project priorities, a vital step forward.

Developing the project management core competency for an international oil company

An international oil company identified that its strategic success in competitive markets depending on ensuring that its people developed specific competencies, one of these being project management. Process Design Consultants were asked to design a course for professional and managerial staff and cover the task and team aspects of project management.

Process Design Consultants continues to deliver this course, now with over 200 alumni, which has established a common language and tools for cross-functional project teams to deliver project objectives on time and within budget.

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Process Improvement for increased customer satisfaction at a public sector service organization

A noted public services organization serving both the public and their professional membership found that it needed to improve services to stakeholders. It pursued this through upgrading its computer systems and improving it business processes.

Process Design Consultants were asked to design a series of training modules that would enable a cross-functional team to identify, map and improve its own process.

During a nine-month period under the guidance of Process Design Consultants, over a dozen such teams improved their core business processes as measured by critical results such as error rates, response times and accuracy rates.

Redesign of business processes around new computer systems

A direct marketing firm acting as an intermediary between consumers and product-marketers decided to implement a new generation of information technology to increase its capabilities and decrease unit costs. Knowing that the lowest risk way to set-up such a system is to design the ideal processes and then implement a system to conform to them. They asked Process Design Consultants to provide customized training to enable their project teams to achieve the aggressive deadlines for system implementation.

Process Design Consultants’ training sessions enabled the team to successfully design new processes and get high organizational buy-in, and consequently achieve their stringent project implementation deadlines.

Training of process teams to align organization to strategy for an industrial distribution company

In order to implement a new strategy based on market segmentation and a new value proposition, an industrial distributor set up cross-company teams around its six core processes to drive the transformation of the company.

Process Design Consultants designed and delivered customized training to start-up these teams in both task (business process) and team (team work, change, communication) aspects of their roles.

Over a two-year period the teams were successful in both redesigning processes, getting broad organizational buy-in and facilitating cultural change and alignment with their new strategy.

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