Enabling a major transport engineering business to transform performance

Business Transformation


Our team worked with a major business in the transport infrastructure sector to achieve a highly successful business turnaround after years of underperformance and losses which had stabilised the organisation and returned it to profit for the first time in five years.

However, due to years of underperformance the business had fallen behind its competitors with outdated processes, systems and infrastructure which were undermining consistent and efficient project delivery, exacerbating a loss of market share and resulting in poor pipeline of projects. The organisation understood that their business turnaround required reinforcing with transformational change to return it to a competitive position and to achieve consistent profitability.


Our team were engaged to support the business in developing a new strategy and implementing a large-scale transformation that would radically improve the client’s technical delivery capability, profitability across its projects and create an organisation capable of consistently achieving ambitious performance targets within a safety critical environment.


Our team worked closely with the MD and leadership team to create an ambitious new strategy and build a robust Business Performance Contract to drive change implementation and business performance. This mechanism enabled the organisation to achieve a clear alignment of objectives right through the company, from its strategic business intent through to individual employee objectives. This facilitated the realignment of company resources, activities and investments to be focused on delivering the intended business value.

We supported the client in identifying and prioritising the key change initiatives that would deliver the business transformation goals. The ambition of the transformation meant the changes were complex and far reaching and addressed areas of the business from project delivery, processes, systems and engineering, to supply chain, finance, contractor management and resourcing, amongst others. TMT, our powerful change management support tool, was deployed within the PMO to enable the implementation of the change initiatives. TMT’s capabilities reduced the uncertainty and complexity of delivering the programmes by creating a centralised hub to view and control the entire change landscape. The system improved decision making, tracked all of the change activities to ensure they delivered their intended value and, uniquely, addressed the limitations of human capabilities within complex environments which enabled the change implementation to succeed. The effect was the clear prioritisation of workload which enabled all resources and activities to be directed at generating business value, and reduced workload and stress on individuals and the business and its systems overall. During the first 18 months of support the business transformed a period of continual write downs into a 3% in-year margin which later rose to a 9% margin in the subsequent year.

Working alongside the client throughout the change implementation, we coached leaders, the PMO, and programme owners to ensure successful delivery outcomes of the transformation. To achieve this we supported the organisation to shift from a directive leadership style to supportive and increased the depth of engagement throughout the business while focusing on behavioural changes. This empowered individuals to co-create and take ownership of the changes at functional and departmental team levels so that they became embedded into the organisation.

We supported the organisation with adaptive behavioural factors to ensure that the new technical and economic changes within the organisation were supported by new ways of working. This included areas such as building collaborative and integrated ways of working across disciplines such as projects, finance, engineering and supply chain to improve project delivery, as well as coaching in change leadership and communication skills to ensure the transformation succeeded and that the new ways of working were embedded in the business-as-usual operations to make them sustainable.


After years of underperformance, within a year of the transformation the business had turned a loss into annual profit, making it one of the leading business units within its parent company. It exceeded its growth targets and increased the project pipeline significantly. In that time, employee engagement also dramatically improved from 40% to 80% satisfaction. Project delivery had been one of areas which impacted performance most. The transformation enabled modernised systems, processes and capabilities and integrated ways of working to be adopted which resulted in consistent and predictable project value generation for the company. The business unit was also formally recognised by the UK and Europe CEO with an award for the transformation and its outstanding performance.