Rapidly turning around an underperforming infrastructure business

Business Turnaround


A major business unit of our global EPC client requested our support in improving its efficiency and effectiveness. The business was starting to recover from an organisational restructure and subsequent takeover and had suffered repeated project write-downs as well as a reduction in market share. The culmination of these factors had impacted morale of the team and the profitability of the wider division and parent company. The performance problems persisted despite previous and ongoing change initiatives.


Our team was engaged to help the organisation understand why repeated attempts and activities to turn the business around had been unsuccessful, and assist the newly formed leadership team in stabilising the unit before returning it to delivering a sustainable profit.


We conducted a detailed business analysis to identify and understand the underlying causes of continued underperformance including how the organisation’s resources were utilised and aligned to deliver business value and achieve its strategic objectives. Through the utilisation of our analysis framework, we created a business turnaround strategy that provided the client with insight from both technical and adaptive (behavioural) aspects of change, as well as an assessment of how organisational culture was limiting their performance. Our report included detail on how each element contributed to or detracted from realising business goals. This helped the new leadership team better understand their core position, the main areas of loss of value and the initiatives that would have the greatest impact in stabilising the business and delivering a turnaround. These went across areas such as processes, systems, and compliance, project planning and delivery, performance management, supply chain, finance and resourcing, amongst others. We helped the organisation to prioritise the economic elements that would drive a rapid business recovery as well as pave the way for organisational elements that, when combined, would turnaround the business and build a sustainable organisational culture.

For the unit to deliver sustainable change, we were asked to build on their detailed business analysis report and a separate after-action review on a major commissioning by designing and structuring a change programme. We then worked with the senior leaders to build a robust case for change, clear objectives, specific deliverables and a communications and engagement strategy. The next step was for the client to resource a Programme Management Office of dedicated full-time internal personnel drawn from across the business to work with us on programme delivery. Senior leaders were also supported by our SMEs in strengthening their business direction and intent and enhancing the alignment of their business resources to goals.

To enable the execution of the implementation, we deployed their bespoke change management tool (TMT) to coordinate and prioritise the activities associated with the change. This enabled the organisation to move from a series of ad hoc and uncoordinated initiatives to one that was centrally structured and controlled whilst providing a full overview of the entire change landscape and its progress. This empowered the implementation with transparency, accountability, improved responsiveness and decision making, and an understanding of the financial value each initiative was bringing to the change. Working through this the PMO and wider business were coached in coordinating, managing and delivering the change workstreams, and in developing more efficient and effective ways of working that ensured the success of the implementation and adoption of the changes.


Within 6 months of the engagement the business was able to stabilise and return to profit for the first time in a number of years. The change was highly successful and the business unit’s global parent recognised that there had been a substantial swing from loss to sustainable profit as a result.