“This gave us what we were missing – a clear, understandable path forward which is achievable, explainable and logical.” - Meredith Angwin, NAB




The Client's Challenge

The client’s Project Manager (PM) group had been recentralized to provide a common service to the organization but was not operating effectively and finding most ‘plum’ project manager roles were going to external contractors.

A new General Manager sought help as to how to uplift the operating performance of the PM group to deliver the strategy.


The Project Services group which consisted of 450 project/program managers, portfolio managers and directors, enterprise portfolio planning and a central project management office (PMO).

Out of scope was any restructure of the group.


The Project Services group had just defined a clear Vision and Mission and a set of Values and Behaviours for the group – this was given to us as our starting point.

Through interviews and workshops we enabled a nominated group of project managers to translate this Vision and Mission into a series of Desired Business Outcome statements that defined the Target Operating Model. These outcomes were organized into a progressive Delivery Roadmap as the means to achieve the Target Operating Model (TOM).

The TOP Value Pyramid framework was used to show how the performance, credibility and capability of the projects group had to grow in a logical sequence in order to progressively realize the TOM.

The TOM was based on the end-to-end Strategy Execution process – from corporate (portfolio) planning to benefits realization and including career planning and management, deployment management and methodology and tools management.

The Results

  • Defined 24 desired business outcomes that clearly improved all of the identified issues and constraints of the current operating model

  • Defined a progressive realization plan moving through three sequential phases – getting the basics right, improving project performance and improving business performance

  • Developed master change plans for each business outcome

  • Scheduled the delivery of the outcomes to deliver the TOM over 18 months and then sustain it

  • Planned the inclusion of business PMOs only once the Project Services group had demonstrated their increased competency through improved project results.

The Payoff

A static project group was given a roadmap by which to move forward and visibly improve their performance and contribution to the bank.

The measures of success (the outcomes) were clear and their progressive achievement easy to understand and track both internally and externally.

Sceptical staff whom “had seen it all before” were able to see the value of the end-to-end process base and the progressive implementation rationale and that “this time it would really happen”.

Existing improvement initiatives were either folded into the TOM implementation plan or stopped as no longer relevant. Some were reframed to improve their relevance and performance.

Explore Strategy Execution Further

Read "TOP Thinking" blog posts on Strategy Execution by clicking here.

Topics: Strategy Execution, Strategic Project Portfolio Management, Banking, NAB