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CASE STUDY

Cultivating an Agile Culture for a Complex Project

THE PROBLEM

Designing a fully integrated military telecommunications network is a highly complex undertaking, particularly when there is no established precedent or detailed blueprint. Beyond the technical challenges in the design activity, there existed the challenges associated with the stakeholder community and the need to manage their expectations and address their interests.

Quintessential was engaged by the client at project start-up to help them develop their team culture. The client wanted to build a team culture that was agile and creative, embrace the notion of serious play and experimentation, and have the resilience to leverage uncertainty to enable them to find ways of breaking new ground.

THE APPROACH

Our first task was to understand the Project’s culture by way of defining its actual state and projecting what its ideal state looks like. The resulting gap between actual and ideal, and corresponding desire to undertake the journey provided us with the necessary information to design appropriate initiatives. We subsequently designed a High Performing Team (HPT) program to build the capabilities of the Client’s team using the following principles:

  • Co-creation. Collaboratively building the culture and productivity with the existing team members, then adapting and renewing it with each new cohort of team members. This included an On-Boarding Program, a Bootcamp Induction and an Employee Survival Guide.
  • Cognitive Fitness. Equipping the project team with the self-awareness, skills and mindset to be agile and nimble in a dynamic environment. This included a Capability Maturity Model (CMM) analysis and a Ways of Working (WoW) tracker.
  • Co-existence. Enabling the project team to live its own culture, identity and ways of working, while remaining aligned with its stakeholders, including a Stakeholder Map and a Communications & Engagement Plan.

Benefits

With this project having a large number of ‘moving parts’, our approach enabled the Client to work with the complexity of the environment. They subsequently adopted an ‘influence’ approach over the temptation to exert ‘control’ as the latter approach was ineffective in navigating the dynamic nature of the project. Furthermore, with technology progressing so fast, the design process needed to constantly adapt as blueprints were evolving and the end goal often could not be fully defined. Consequently, project leaders were unable to rely on predictability and full project control. Rather, we helped them to build faith in their team and the wider stakeholder community to allow solutions to emerge and to adapt accordingly through safe to fail experimentation. This led to the workforce embracing a fail often and learn fast culture.

THE OUTCOMES

The outcome of this project were highly successful.  The project was delivered ahead of time, within budget and with a satisfied customer who was engaged right throughout in a highly transparent environment.  The program also won various engineering awards and was recognised by the end-customer as a benchmark innovation project.

Testimonials

I have known Pat for approximately 20 years, initially meeting when working at Boeing, then moving to Eurocopter and staying in contact ever since. I
have found Pat to be one of those rare individuals who uses a personal touch to achieve technical outcomes. Pat’s strengths lay in his broad technical background and experience, coupled with genuine empathy and ability to develop high-performing teams.

Andrew, Head of Customer Support, Airbus Asia Pacific

I recently worked closely with Patrick during the development and delivery of the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) funded Australia Awards Fellowship Program entitled, ‘Responding to Skilled Worker Demand: Improving Quality, Leadership and Management of TVET’ in Vietnam. Throughout the delivery of this Fellowship Program Patrick was responsible for facilitating training activities in the areas of transformational leadership, personal leadership, leading teams, project management and change management. Patrick did an outstanding job in this position demonstrating his agility in effectively and efficiently responding to emerging challenges as well as contextualizing training content to meet the needs of his audience, in this case senior leaders from Vietnam’s Ministry of Construction.

David, International Development Office of Queensland University of Technology

Patrick Albina is a highly intelligent, insightful professional who has the rare ability to balance a high level of technical capacity with a sophisticated approach to dealing with people at all levels. And because of this powerful dual perspective, Patrick has outstanding influencing and engagement skills.

Tim, Thought Leader | Consultant | Author

Working with Patrick Albina on the AIR9000 Ph8 bid was a truly positive experience. Pat’s attention to detail assured the highest quality material was prepared and submitted. His enthusiasm and vigour for the product being offered never waned, along with his determination to ensure all customer requirements were fully satisfied. I wholly recommend Patrick to any organisation looking to engage a dedicated, self-motivated and highly personable team-player.

Jon, Senior Consultant at Projects Assured
Patrick Albina is a highly motivated, intelligent professional with keen skills of insight and perspective that are required to be effective in managing organisational complexity. He has the capacity to embrace the technical aspects as well as the people and relational issues which makes him excellent in his influencing and sense making skills to understand and make long term effective change in organisations.
Erin, Specialist Educator and Advisor

Since mid 2014, Patrick’s coaching has helped me define and develop a values based approach to my career. We consistently meet to discuss my progress and I receive objective feedback from Patrick that I put into our action before our next meeting. This action and feedback loop is the most powerful and effective professional development work I have done to date. For anyone looking to accelerate their career, I highly recommend contacting Patrick.

Ben, General Manager, Baksh Capital
Patrick has been the lead consultant on a number of projects in recent years for CASG, ranging from a comprehensive tailored learning and development framework, asset management principles adaptation to strategic organisational reform and change management. His skills, experience and capability to communicate effectively and strategically with all stakeholders is outstanding.  As well as delivering exceptional value, he is always going above and beyond, delivering ongoing strategic value to the organisation more broadly.
Diana, Senior Manager, CASG

We engaged Patrick to provide subject matter expertise to our Product Management Implementation Project, established to deliver a tailored design and implementation of ISO 55000 Asset Management principles to enhance CH-47F Chinook Product Management. Throughout our 12 month engagement, he provided valuable guidance and practical assistance in all project stages including, problem framing and design; change management; procedure development and practical implementation; observation and feedback; and communication (internal and external). He proved a highly effective enabler to achieving our objectives and ultimately a successful and resilient project outcome.

Adam, Commanding Officer, CASG