The Client's Challenge
Solaris Power had just been acquired by a joint venture between Texas Utilities and AGL. As part of the take-over, AGL wanted to reassess the priorities of the current and planned initiatives. They employed whiteboard listing and ‘Post-IT™” notes to voting for the 25 identified projects. E.g. For the highest priority project the execs would write ‘1’ on the post-it note and place it under that project.
During the first go-round of this process, TOP were asked to comment and give feedback. We asked the executives who were voting if they really knew what they were voting for—especially projects outside of their area. The answer was, basically, “No”.
We were asked to advise on how they Leadership team could create a more rigorous and effective process.
Assist AGL to create an objective prioritization process for the newly acquired company.
We sent all 25 projects back to their respective divisions with a simple 2-page template so that they could clearly define exactly what the project was about and what it would achieve—its desired business outcomes, benefits and value.
Simultaneously we worked with the Leadership Team to document and then define a Strategic Contribution Assessment Tool (SAT) that captured the company’s new strategy and strategic imperatives.
Then, at a 2-day retreat, sets of projects were assigned to small groups of executives who had no vested interest in any of the assigned projects so that they could impartially assess and prioritize their sets of projects.
The groups of executives then presented to their peers (many of whom had a vested interest in the projects the others had prioritized)what their assessments and priority recommendations were.
Thirteen of the 25 projects were stopped as they were found to not be priorities at this time.
A resultant ‘top-10’ list of projects was agreed in priority order - actually top-12 as the list was finalised.
The executive team conceded that they could not objectively and effectively prioritize diverse projects based on their own innate knowledge and so the new strategy-based prioritization process was adopted for ongoing use.
The resources allocated to or planned for the 13 cancelled projects were then reassigned to the high priority projects. Many expensive project contractors let go. And the organisation was able to focus on 12 projects that would moved them forward rapidly, and not be distracted by 13 projects that did not matter.