Case Study: Delivering Value for a Rapidly Changing Business

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Our client is a world leader in nuclear decommissioning and provider of cutting-edge remote handling capabilities. MI-GSO | PCUBED were asked to support the client in driving performance improvements and cost controls whilst enhancing their international delivery capabilities and reputation.

The Challenge

Like all highly technical companies, the client is in a constant state of evolution. With new industrial advances, they rapidly adapt business priorities to deliver for their customers. With this constant change comes challenges. Legacy system processes are not developed and are adapted by individual teams. This creates siloed approaches as wider processes lose structure.   

To support the client with Lean Process Improvement consulting services, we used our own Lean Innovation methodology. We began a 90 day Ideate phase to discover critical improvement opportunities and develop practical, measurable solutions for the client.

 

Lean Innovation methodology
M|P Lean Innovation Methodology

Understanding the Present, Envisioning the Future

The Ideate phase begins with a sponsor’s challenge. The sponsor’s challenge is a workshop that brings together business leaders from across the organisation to identify key improvement opportunities. The end goal out of the sponsor’s challenge is to have a clear roadmap of improvement activities.

Lean Innovation Phase 1
M|P Lean Innovation Methodology - Phase 1
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In this case, our client identified high-level concerns of creating predictability around the delivery of engineering projects and established the need for greater certainty of project delivery dates. 

During subsequent workshops, we engaged the client team to develop an improvement charter to visibly communicate the objectives of future improvements to the wider business and to encourage buy-in.

Uncovering the Challenges

Before making improvements to the process, we needed to identify where these improvements could be made. In the second stream of the Ideate phase, run as a sprint, client teams provided insights into their current operations and specific areas for improvement. 

The team used the SIPOC model, a Lean Six Sigma tool, to develop a high-level summary of the process and identify the teams ‘pain points’, or areas for improvement. SIPOC is an acronym for Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs and Customers. 

Working with the client teams, we documented their current As-Is process. We ran a Failure Mode Analysis where 10 failure modes were identified within the process. This activity identified the modifications needed to improve the reliability and efficiency of the process.

One important thing to note is that we ran workshops with the clients teams from across multiple workstreams. Having the team together at the same time was a huge benefit to ensure no part of the process was missed.

Key challenges uncovered included:

In parallel, a stream of data collection and analysis took place to quantify the impact these challenges had on the high-level objectives to determine the key areas of improvement. The data illustrated the impact that each of the challenges had on the business and portrayed how they impeded the overarching requirement of predictable project delivery.

Designing Unique Solutions

With the challenges and their impact on the processes identified, we then led a 3-day rapid improvement event. During this event, the client identified the root causes of the problems, understood which activities deliver value and which deliver waste, and ultimately generated innovative solutions to solve the sponsor’s challenge. 

Through utilising root cause analysis exercises, including the 5 why tool, together we revealed 15 improvement actions in three key areas; focused areas of design, planning, and training. These areas were found to have critical impacts on process performance and reduce the predictability of process delivery.

On the final day of the event, teams presented their solutions to a decision making panel, formed of senior sponsors, to get their endorsement. The teams got on the spot approval from the sponsors and quickly developed an action plan to put the improvements into effect.

Pragmatic Strides Forward

Since the client started their improvement journey a short time ago, they have reduced their end-to-end process time by 63%, increased their drawing quality by 38%, and had 250+ hours of new training delivered, all ultimately enhancing the strategic focus to predictably deliver projects.

The team is now entering the next phase of our Lean Innovation methodology; the Improve stage. We have developed a 30-60-90 day review plan along with a visual management board to measure the effectiveness and ensure the improvement actions are being delivered. In addition, the M|P team has stepped back from the project into a coaching and guiding role, allowing the teams to focus on making the improvements themselves, to ensure sustainability and foster a culture of continuous improvement long after we are gone.

James Humberstone

James Humberstone

Consultant 
@ MI-GSO | PCUBED UK

Janko Venhorst

Janko Venhorst

Senior Consultant 
@ MI-GSO | PCUBED UK