Solsus Project Managers

Case Study:

RWE npower
Driving a challenging cost reduction programme to a successful conclusion

RWE npower Logo
RWE npower is one of the UK's best known energy providers and was undergoing serious pressure at the global group level to reduce costs. To deliver on this requirement, the UK operation established the External Spend Programme (ESP) .
However, at the time before the start of the SOLSUS assignment, the appointment of a top 5 consultancy and the commitment of significant RWE power resource, had failed to achieve satisfactory progress within the programme. A SOLSUS associate was placed as Programme Manager and quickly identified the following problems;

  • A Programme Management Organisation (PMO) that lacked the rigour to drive the programme
  • Organisational objectives that either conflicted or, more often than not, overlapped with the objectives of the programme
  • A lack of serious commitment to the programme by operational directors

SOLSUS provided a Programme Manager who revealed some significant risks within the existing programme that were severely restricting the ability of RWE power to achieve it's objectives.

Recommendations from SOLSUS took the following form;

1. Organisation design

Output 1: A redesign of PMO activities and the implementation of a more rigorous methodology, based on PRINCE 2 practices
Output 2: A re-establishment of the role of the board level programme sponsor and active use of his influencing skills
Output 3: A move from an 'outcast' programme setup, to one that was integrated with existing business structures, so as to become part of 'business as usual'

2. Tools
Output 3: The creation of an Enterprise Programme Management (EPM) view of cost reduction activities, to clearly identify overlaps and true areas of influence
Output 4: A diagnostic exercise to pinpoint weaknesses in the programme and steps to drive improvement

3. Implementation
Output 6: A 'Challenge and Review' approach to project monitoring to reveal and mitigate all significant risks and issues
Output 7: The appointment of project specific sponsors at the operational director level to develop performance ownership
Output 8: A realignment of programme objectives and integration with what were now complimentary projects across the organisation
Output 9: Clear team leadership from the SOLSUS associate to drive performance

The results of the exercise? A programme that delivered over £40m in savings for the organisation, without impacting on permanent staffing levels.

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