Lead and succeed

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Sometimes people need help to learn to lead, sometimes there aren't enough leaders to go around. Sometimes complexity means leaders need a disciplined leadership method. Sometimes input and from people with a different perspective is required.

Leadership Support

We can help your team to overcome challenges or, when you need it, we can provide autonomous interim leadership at key stages. With our help you can steer a project away from a crisis, give a new project a strong start or make sure an established endeavour negotiates those last, tough, hurdles and finally lands. Our approaches, experience and drive make the difference.


We have worked with companies large and small, from global telecoms operators through leading financial software product companies to small specialised online service providers. We have led large multi-vendor programmes over multiple releases and assisted small teams to start-up with a clear model and road map. On more than one occasion we have been the first choice a global CIOs with a problem.


Four things create a solid foundation upon which success can be built:

  • Having leaders
  • Ensuring the resources, tools, organisation, remit and operating model are fit for purpose - see Shaping Complex Programmes
  • Selecting an optimum path “of least resistance” and “of most opportunity” for the work - see Campaign Planning for Complex Programmes
  • Having the right leadership approach and mindset. One that sets clear and achievable objectives, that uses content based decision making. One that values and measuring outcomes and their quality rather than activity for activity’s sake. One that does the detail where necessary. One that accepts it is their accountability - see Directing Complex Programmes
Software Engineering

Embedded Solution Development - Just as this project was starting the lead decided it was time to move on to better things. Already supporting the team on compliance issues we were asked to step in and take the project through its first cycle of development. Adopting a time-boxed development paradigm and incremental delivery targets we led a mixed discipline development team delivering signal processing and operational modules for this instrument.

Industrial Embedded Communications Application - We established the small team development operating model required to bring order and efficiency to this work. Planned a recovery campaign and scaled the capability, growing the core software development team and blending it other disciplines. Directed the work for nine months, whilst an in-house lead was developed, and then transitioned to the in-house lead before providing oversight and guidance for another six months.

Process Control System - Facing a larger piece of work than had previously been attempted this medium sized process control supplier wanted additional leadership alongside its existing project management team. The ability to provide more direction, compared to the in-house project management discipline, permitted “in-flight” improvements to ways of working, tool use and to the management and assurance practices. These changes reduced uncertainty and increased transparency. Executives could now measure where the project was and managed accordingly.

Major Programmes

Rapid Implementation of a Telecommunications Stack - Regulatory intervention required the implementation of a full telecommunications business stack in less than two and a half years. A challenge for all but the smallest operation and this operator was the dominant national carrier. This was one of the most challenging civil IT projects ever undertaken. This programme was characterised by its complexity, both technological and organisational, and by the intensity of the work. We bolstered the leadership team, taking on key roles and sharing the burden of operational delivery leadership. Our experience and approaches made us principal participants in the campaign planning process, bringing a fresh perspective to the debates about how to do the impossible. Our attention to detail and “can be done” ethos were key in driving the work to a successful conclusion.

CRM & Billing System Delivery Industrialisation - The output of a major transformation programme, delivery of this CRM and Billing system needed to move from a project approach to a regular release oriented delivery model. At the same time there was heavy demand to deliver fixes and new products into the estate. We shaped the delivery model, establishing the pattern of definition, development, test and release. Then, we championed making it work. Fighting the tendency to go back to old approaches. Ensuring suppliers worked to the new, open collaborative, model rather than taking away work and operating as best suited them.

Network Inventory Platform Upgrade - This platform sat at the heart of this company’s business, maintaining a near real-time inventory of millions of logical and physical assets and coordinating the provisioning of these assets. It needed to be upgraded to the next generation of product but the year before an attempt to do this had been abandoned. This “first of its kind” upgrade needed a careful campaign plan. A plan that addressed two fundamental goals, one was to do the upgrade, the second, as significant, goal was to establish the confidence to do the upgrade. A highly congested development road-map made finding the way to do this extremely challenging. The main focus was on the campaign planning aspect of the programme, the key to its success, working out how to achieve these goals and how to weave this work into the overall portfolio of activities.

One offs

First Off Product Development - Intent on breaking new ground, developing a embedded control device, this client was moving into very new territory. This was their first foray into this field. Inevitably this would be a discovery exercise, there were new disciplines to master, custom sensors, custom electronics, purchasing, manufacture and field support and maintenance. On top of that software development with very challenging real-time operating requirements. All to be developed and delivered at a particular price point. Our track record with this company together with the novelty of the situation, the need for innovation and a fundamental dependency on rigorous assurance, made us the natural choice to provide project leadership. We held this remit for four years. During this time the initial product was developed and launched and then, driven by evolving market conditions, the project went on the develop a second generation, more modular, family of products.