A mid-sized R&D facility had been successful in establishing a presence as the go-to facility for both corporate and public funded research projects. This success had enabled considerable growth in staff numbers and significant investment in laboratory equipment. Outside the specific R&D projects, they were looking to drive a digital transformation of their business processes by investing in new systems.
To keep pace with a rapid expansion of operations, the primary focus had been on delivering the ever-increasing portfolio of projects. Low priority had been given to the business systems running the back-office processes that connected these projects. This had been manageable in the early stages but as the company had grown the lack of integration of data and the overheads of supporting business systems that had grown organically was becoming a hinderance.
The client brief was to assess what would be needed from a technology perspective to connect the project systems to the business systems. Whilst agreeing to answer the brief, we also identified that simply introducing new technology would not fulfil their ongoing operational requirements and highlighted the need to complete an end-to-end assessment of “People – Process – Technology” to establish any organisational / training needs, efficiency / effectiveness improvements as well as technology / digital requirements.
Working in association with a trusted partner, a programme was designed that included an interview / observation phase to understand the existing operational dynamics, a “proof-of-concept” agile projects phase to determine the strengths & weaknesses within the existing infrastructure that would be needed to deliver a digital transformation and finally an organisational development assessment to identify the people skills available to sustain the transformation after the programme..
After a period of fact-finding, three proof-of-concept projects were completed providing working examples of how data from different projects (and geographical locations) could be integrated to give a significant competitive advantage. Each POC was handed over to working teams within the client organisation to allow internal activities to move them from prototypes to production ready solutions.
Additionally, a three year roadmap was completed to allow the client to transition from current state to a digitally integrated operations within an achievable time-frame and in phases to minimise operational risk to their core business.
Finally, a multiphase organisation design was proposed the ensure existing skills could be enhanced in parallel to the three year roadmap. A key phase of any digital transformation being the people and skills available to deliver success.
The Senior Leadership Team were engaged throughout the project which ensured the recommendations and findings were already “owned” by the client when they were presented back. Further increasing the criteria for success of their digital transformation.