Strategic programme turnaround: Re-designing a strategic RBM initiative​ mid-flight

The client

The programme division of a major humanitarian organization, headquartered in Europe, manages US $7Bn in operations around the world. The organization is currently facing the unprecedented demand for its services, which has forced a fundamental rethink of how it conducts its operations and how it measures and reports on results.

The challenge

The programme division has responsibility for overseeing and supporting global operations, which follow its programme operations cycle.  However, in order to improve the quality of its delivery, the organization had been attempting to progress the development of a new RBM approach, results framework and results-based management tool with limited success.

Antylles was asked to deploy an Organizational Development and programme management expert to review the RBM project, identify the pain points and sub-optimization in the design, and propose a new way forward so the project could achieve the business outcomes needed by senior management.

The turnaround – rebuilding a plane while flying it

The programme turnaround exercise utilised a range of diagnostic tools to assess the current state of play.  After a desk review of strategic documents, our expert interviewed a range of interested internal stakeholders in the project and other parts of the HQ. This was then complemented by a benchmarking review of donor organizations and other international organizations who have made progress with their RBM initiatives to identify common programme design themes, pain points, and approaches to roll out and support.

The review of the current state culminated in a presentation to the Senior Executive Team of the proposed way forward, which identified the overall strategies for both the RBM approach and the programme design.

Following the acceptance of the first presentation, our Expert led a programme re-design process, which sought to challenge the thinking in the original design and re-configure the programme’s overall strategic, its mission-critical design elements, the team design and the roadmap and work plan.

In finalising the new programme design, our Expert also worked with the organization’s change management team and organizational development service to design a contextually appropriate programme governance structure.

The results

The new programme strategy, team design, roadmap and work plan set the stage for the re-launch of the new programme.  The exercise importantly reconfigured the thinking around the skillsets need for the team and enable the organization to headhunt the best and brightest professionals to join the new team to move it forward.

Want to conduct a change programme turnaround? Let us help. If you are considering undertaking a programme or project turnaround exercise we recommend planning for a 3 month exercise for a 1-2 person team of senior organizational design and programme experts. The time required is not usually linked to the size of the change programme/project being reviewed, but rather the complexity of the programme’s design, organizational politics, and the capacity of the project sponsor, owner and team to accept change. Contact Antylles to help plan for your next review.

About edwardcarroll

I help build and grow better-performing, more results-oriented organisations and operations in the international public sector and the public sector in developing countries.