Interim Business Unit Director

Client – Cobham, Flight Refueling Ltd., Wimborne


Brief – The initial brief was to lead the existing Air to Air Refueling (AAR) Business Unit reporting directly to the Director & General Manager.  The responsibility was for the whole business spectrum from order intake through development programmes to product sales delivery.


Revised Brief – Six weeks into the assignment a major internal re-organisation was implemented which resulted in the existing Business Unit structure being disbanded and a functional organisation instituted in its place.  The interim executive was asked to remain with a revised brief of focusing specifically on a significant Air to Air Refueling development and delivery programme.


Contribution – At the time of starting the assignment a major re-planning exercise was underway which was generating for the first time an Integrated Master Schedule (IMS) for the whole programme.  The re-planning exercise had been underway for several months and progress on re- planning was continuing to slip.


Vee Solutions contribution was to:


  • Drive the IMS planning exercise to a conclusion and implement the project baseline;
  • Assess the capabilities of project staff and to take action as necessary;
  • Identify poor definition of Work Packages (WPs) and drive allocation of Work Package Managers (WPMs) to Work Packages.
  • Institute a “drumbeat” of WP status and progress reviews to inculcate a culture of regular project status updates.
  • Define a simplified Earned Value and Cost Variance status reporting method based on Red / Amber / Green (RAG) status by work package.
  • Stabilise the monthly project reporting process to senior executive management.
  • Stabilise the Risk Review process and the Risk Register updates.


Outcome – The legacy of the assignment is:

  • Appropriate staff are in key positions;
  • An improved culture of statusing progress vs the IMS plan;
  • A regular drumbeat established with defined calendar and status dates;
  • The introduction of key components of EVM in particular monitoring Earned Value and Cost Variance.