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Case Study: Complex Projects And Change Management Initiatives

Early 2015 a prestigious independent charity that manages a small portfolio of UK historic properties contacted us with a challenge – visitor numbers were falling.

Their business model relies upon fundraising through 4.4m visitors, nearly 100,000 members, seasonal and regular exhibitions, commercial rentals and events, donors, sponsors and volunteers.

Their funds are used for the upkeep, conservation and renovation of the properties and their many thousands of historic objects. The organisation also plays a major international role in conservation by actively setting standards.

To remain unique and attractive to all age groups the organisation needed their project teams and other staff to support an increasing number of complex projects and change management initiatives. On working with the client we found the following five core areas for improvement:


The situation and move towards complex projects and change initiatives was having a negative effect on the ability to deliver on time, on target, on budget. Team members all had differing levels of experience, training and/or qualification in project management. The current development providers offered generic project management training that did not reflect existing internal processes and procedures.


The dependency on input and decisions from experts was paramount to success, which required the building of successful relationships and good communication.


The remit of project manager and team roles, in the context of departmental working, were muddled and unclear.


Projects were difficult to define and the rate of scope changes were hard to manage and were holding up the project.


Making investment decisions between costly preservation versus raising income was a constant battle.

Ensure projects were on time, on target, on budget.

Eliminate project definition and scoping bottlenecks.

Ensure the teams know ‘who does what’.

Improve stakeholder relationships and communication.

Reduce the conflict between investment decisions and fundraising.

We developed a blended approach of online pre-work, face-to-face classroom learning and a reference portal with internal documents. We took some existing proven content, working with the client to map this to their language, documents and procedures with best practice learning.

We focused on some of the challenges highlighted by the client to deliver what was relevant for the organisation and individuals to deliver positive results whilst respecting the culture of the organisation. Providing every attendee with:

  • A proven project management methodology to follow that mapped into existing processes, procedures and documents. Bringing all team members to the same level of understanding.
  • A consistent approach to project management that was understandable and relevant to all levels, from those leading and managing to those who contribute.
  • Training that was targeted to different internal audiences.

Correct investment of time in the earlier stages of the project resulting in smoother delivery.

Staff moving from one project to another easily, because they are familiar with the same procedures.

Swift development of management controls of each new project.

2016/17 saw a visitor increase of 7%.

Clear corporate approach and audit trail.

Improved communication between parties.

Effective control of projects using tried and tested practices.

Improved decision making processes and audit trail.

Clarity over roles and responsibilities.

Facing similar challenges?

Talk to one of our consultants about your solution:

+44 (0)20 8334 7140


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+44 (0)20 8334 7140

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