Interim Head of Programme Management Support

Client – THALES Land & Joint Systems Crawley


Brief – THALES Land & Joint Systems, Communications Operating Unit based at Crawley, West Sussex had been making a substantial investment in improving their Programme Management (PM) capability and quality of delivery.

Over approximately 18 months the business has moved forward across a broad spectrum of Programme Management functional aspects including: PM process improvements in Earned Value Management (EVM) and Risk Management; PM capability assessment; PM training and development; all of this under the guidance of a particularly charismatic leader. This person left THALES to further his career closer to home and an interim leader was required while a permanent replacement was recruited.


Contribution – Vincent Considine was known to the THALES L&J Programmes Director as a result of four previous interim assignments and was asked to take on the role with a three-day handover. He joined a relatively new team who were charged with supporting the Programme Management staff across the whole business unit. The newly created PM function was in a state of development with not all of the functional aspects implemented.

Because of his previous programme management experience Vincent was able to make a contribution in both the detailed technical aspects of Programme Management as well as devoting considerable time to building a sense of community amongst the PM staff. A specific contribution was in identifying and recruiting a permanent replacement who was a Programme Management “heavyweight” with substantial experience in the defence and aerospace sectors and the appropriate coaching approach for the role.

In addition Vincent was personally instrumental in developing a bespoke PM Maturity assessment intended to take a health check reading of the maturity of the management of THALES’ programmes. The bespoke methodology was developed to complement the organizsations’ existing CMMI based appraisal by providing a rapid and relatively non-intrusive tailored assessment. This PM Maturity assessment was developed, trialed and documented and following endorsement by the L&J Board was implemented across the business.


Outcome – The interim manager was in post for four and half months and maintained a continuity of approach and drive. A seamless transition was achieved from the interim leader to the newly recruited permanent Head of Programme Management support over a six-week handover period enabling the new recruit to have a tapered introduction to their new role. This reduced significantly the dislocation normally experienced during a change of leadership.

The PM Maturity assessment developed and implemented by Dr. Considine remains a lasting legacy for the business as a way of rapidly assessing the health of the management of their programmes. This allows rapid assessment of the risks associated with a programme enabling prompt corrective action when necessary.


>>> Read the Testimonial >>> Head of Programme Management Support – Jeff McGee