Our client was a major transportation authority implementing a new strategic direction which would redefine the airport as a “distinct, service-centric and customer focused brand” within the community it serves.
This was an important component of its five-year strategic plan, approved in 2011, which is centered on total commitment to customer service and a vision of becoming North America’s leading international gateway.
Achieving operational excellence is one of the Authority’s main areas of strategic focus, as set out in the five-year strategic plan and the authority had acknowledged the need to become a more competitive commercial enterprise in order to achieve this.
Schroeder & Schroeder, Inc. was commissioned to conduct a comprehensive assessment of existing capabilities relating to the Authority’s ability to manage and measure the performance of its multi-year service and revenue contracts and the contractors performing them.
The overall objective was to identify how the Authority could achieve significant cost savings and increased revenue through improvements in the monitoring and management of contract performance. The key deliverables included a future desired state model, recommendations for achieving this, and a top-level implementation plan.
- Organizational structure – despite a recent structural transformation, there were still gaps between departments, which increased the difficulties of project co-ordination and the workload involved.
- Stakeholder resistance – the authority had recently undergone a major cultural transformation, but some elements of the original culture remained and resulted in resistance to change. This made it difficult to secure the necessary engagement and inputs of some stakeholders to the project.
- Stakeholder perspectives – one of the main challenges was to determine how to reconcile different stakeholder perspectives and experiences in developing top level recommendations in order to benefit the organization as a whole.
- Unavailability or inadequacy of information – we faced difficulties in obtaining accurate and detailed information on some aspects of contract performance management, as these were not formally recorded.
- Worked with identified stakeholders to understand and document the Authority’s current business processes, models, and tools as they related to the management and measurement of the performance of contract agreements.
- Conducted a comparative analysis of the Authority’s current state against industry standards and best practices relating to how the organizations of similar size and function measure and manage performance of contracts. This involved the use of benchmark interviews, a literature search, and an online survey.
- Using the documented current state and comparative analysis, identified any capability and/or technology gaps preventing the authority from improving the value achieved from contracts, and helped the Authority understand the root causes of any gaps.
- Documented the desired state for how the Authority could increase the value it receives from its contracts, as well as concrete recommendations to enable the Authority to realize this increased value.
- Developed eight key recommendations for closing any identified gaps and for achieving the desired state, based on current best practices.
- Developed a high-level implementation schedule based on expert opinion pertaining to design and implementation of the recommended initiatives.
We applied a delicate balance of art and science skills to successfully overcome the project challenges and achieved the desired project deliverables, for example by:
- Developing and implementing a comprehensive communication and project plan to keep stakeholders up-to-date and aware of project activities and expected benefits and help engage them in the initiative.
- Applying excellent interpersonal and negotiation skills to persuade stakeholders of the importance and value of the project and secure their necessary input.
- Applying a holistic approach to each stage of the work based on consideration of four main organizational elements: processes and systems, people, organizational structure, and culture.
- Combining a systematic review of documented information with the qualitative perspectives of stakeholders to provide a comprehensive understanding of the Authority’s existing contract management system and its benefits and weaknesses.
- Employing state-of-the-art project management, monitoring, and quality assurance processes to minimize all types of project risk and ensure the deliverables were completed on time and within budget.
As a result, we were able to identify ways in which the Authority could achieve significant cost savings and increased revenue from through improvements in contract performance monitoring and management.
We identified clear, achievable recommendations and an implementation plan that would help enable the Authority to meet its performance objectives and contribute to achievement of its five-year strategic plan.
At the conclusion of the project all the key success factors had been achieved and the client was highly satisfied with the project deliverables and the value added by Schroeder & Schroeder Inc.