Business Eco-systems Projects

Case Studies

Business Eco-systems Projects

Developing Nuclear Waste Management Eco-Systems

This EU funded project involved reviewing the nuclear waste management systems in two EU countries. The purpose was to understand the structural underpinnings of decision-making, and specifically how this related to the enormous problems of public confidence that affect the industry. In each case, the “system” involved the whole industry interacting as an eco-system, with different organisations playing very different roles in relation to one another. Outcomes from the study were a set of recommendations in each case for improving the structure of decision making to improve the transparency and accountability of the system.

Eco-Systems Development for Third Sector Providers

A group of third sector providers that were contracted to a public sector organisation were under pressure to consolidate their operations so their clients and the public sector funder would have less complexity to deal with. What ensued was a battle for position between the set of providers. Fractal worked with one of the providers to model the eco-system of organisations and the relationships between them. From this we developed a strategy for the business and a negotiation strategy for building the alliances necessary to manage the consolidation and broker an agreement with the public sector body in the way that was most advantageous for the client.

Partnership Governance

Designing Partnership Governance for an IT Outsource

A large IT provider bidding for a large government contract needed a partnership structure that would allow it to work effectively alongside the existing in house IT teams. A ladder partnership governance structure provided a rigorous framework for establishing joint development and accountability in decision making, coupled with an ability to introduce innovations at different levels, so that the needs of governance didn’t stifle change and flexibility.

Developing Partnership in Health Centres to Improve Health and Social Outcomes

Fractal was asked to develop a model for partnership working to help Health Centres partner with a range of health professionals and social organisations to increase access – particularly in to hard to reach groups – and to integrate care and support. Trials showed significant improvements in both access and take up of services from key target groups.

Developing a Strategic Partnership to Withstand the Impact of Cuts

A local authority had a professional support contract with a private sector company. Both sides regarded this as a strategic partnership and the relationship was good. When stringent public sector cuts were announced, they hit this relationship particularly hard. The private sector company was faced with a disproportionate hit on new projects and this impacted on their ability to maintain key skills within the area. Both parties had a reason to work together to solve this problem since hollowing out the skill base would harm both. We worked with them to identify a source of alternative income for the professional support team and so maintain key skills. This was identified from exploring the potential synergies that the partnership could develop together that neither could offer alone.

Developing a Strategic Partnership to create shared IP

This partnership between an R&D-based company and a large university was aimed at developing new intellectual property on a shared risk-reward basis.  Both organisations were highly motivated to deliver.  After six months, the partnership was floundering, with a reduction in trust between the partners and a consequent drop in productivity.  Our consultant demonstrated the elements which anchor in effective partnership working and supported the partnership in implementing them.

Developing Governance Audit Methodology for a National Government

The enormous and endemic problems of trying to establish control and stability in a volatile political environment led to this World Bank sponsored skills transfer project for the Columbian government. A methodology was developed using the Viable System Model to help the Columbian Contraloria to analyse and evaluate the structural and communications problems of their public sector organisations. This was then developed as training programme and a handbook.

Commissioning Projects

Reviewing Information Support for Commissioning

Fractal were asked to review the provision and use of intelligence for commissioning across a number of primary care trusts. Our diagnosis started with modelling the information needs of the commissioning process and then mapping the available information and its use to this model. This gave a very different perspective to the one the Trusts had adopted and revealed significant biases in the decision structure that had been caused by deficits in key areas of provision. This in turn revealed how little actual commissioning was being done.

Design of a Management Simulation to Develop Commissioning Skills

Fractal were asked by Cranfield School of Management to build a management simulation to provide senior decision makers of public services to practice their commissioning skills. The simulation has now been used by managers from over 30 public sector organisations.

Mergers & Acquisition Projects

Managing Post-Merger Integration

Two mail, delivery and advertising organisations merged, to create a greater regional presence, deliver cost efficiencies, and to combine their expertise to create synergies through new offerings.  As part of the integration planning, they jointly developed a capability model of the new merged organisation.  This helped them to consolidate their core capabilities, and also identify where capabilities needed to be strengthened to deliver the new services identified at the point of merger.  A useful by-product of the modelling work was the creation of strong personal relationships across the new organisation and a shared understanding of the direction and plans for the merged organisation.

Developing Management Structures to Integrate Acquisitions

The expansion by acquisition of this engineering mini-conglomerate from £30m to over £250m left the CEO with a problem. At £30m he knew most of the employees personally. As the company grew by acquisition, he was no longer able to manage through personal relationships and had to increase and improve the organisational relationships and management structures necessary to manage the company. Our consultant helped him design the management structures to manage the increased complexity of the growing company.

Rationalising the Divisional Structure in a Growing Group

This group had grown by acquisition from nine to around thirty subsidiaries. These had been assigned to divisions on a political basis to try and keep the divisions the same size. This complicated the interactions between the subsidiaries both in the market place and between operations. An analysis of market and operational concerns helped in the development of a divisional structure that optimised the co-ordination between the subsidiaries and between the divisions. This helped the divisions to develop coherent strategies that were integrated into an overall group strategy.

Integrating Acquisitions into a Group Structure

A group had been developed from a parent company and two acquired new business units, but the board found that there was considerable friction between the original company and the two new units. An analysis of the governance structure showed that the group management viewed the whole business as synonymous with the original parent business. This meant that the strategy of the group and group’s resources tended to be focused on the parent company, and the other units in the group were neglected. The project showed the need for a strategic capacity for each of the three units and for the integration of these into a strategy for the group as whole entity.