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Ministry of Defence (UK)

Ministry of Defence
Client Ministry of Defence
Region UK
Sector Infrastructure, Defence and Transport, Public Sector, Health and Not For Profit
Offering Organisation Design
Leadership behaviours Operating model Roles and responsibilities Team behaviours Ways of working

The Challenge

Our client had inherited a recently designed operating model that was only partially implemented and experiencing a number of challenges. Their teams found themselves operating on a reactive footing due to roles, responsibilities and key processes being unclear and therefore inconsistently interpreted in practice. These tensions were impacting our client’s delivery capability including the ability to leverage partnerships effectively, and to confidently evidence reliably safe and performant processes. Q5 were engaged to unlock the potential of the operating model and teams and help them to operate demonstrably safe and effective ways of working. 

Our Approach

We set out by diagnosing the core issues, designing interventions to rectify them and taking these through into implementation. More specifically, we:  

  • Used data and interviews to conduct an in-depth analysis of the operating model – ascertaining what was working well and where there were challenges.  
  • Created a set of recommended intervention areas, aligned with our client’s core objectives, each of which involved a combination of:  
    • Co-creating a powerful problem statement and requirement set;  
    • Facilitating a series of multi-stakeholder design sessions using as-is and to-be activity analysis, design thinking, process and RACI maps;  
    • Brokering workshops with critical partners;  
    • Designing and delivering behavioural and capability enablers  
  • We ran this weekly problem–solving cycle for six months. We supplemented this with psychometric analysis and team workshops with the top and middle-management layers, to build the leadership behaviours required. We also ran ‘all-hands’ master classes to support the critical skill and mindset shifts.  
  • Throughout the process, ownership of the problem identification, solution design and implementation resided firmly with business stakeholders. 

Key Outcomes

  • By the end of our engagement with the teams, we had delivered tangible and meaningful change ‘on the ground’: people were already starting to see benefit from new processes, revised accountabilities; clearer decision making and more effective behaviours. To achieve this, with them, we created:
  • Clear analysis of the problem, and the implications on safety, partnerships and morale
  • Better defined roles, responsibilities and governance across several critical processes and sub-teams
  • A revised operating model and new ‘playbook’ launched and owned by the senior leaders and problem owners combining ways of working tools with scenario-tested interfaces, processes and accountability matrices.
  • A six month team and behavioural development programme, comprising 3 layers of interventions, focused on building a more consistent set of behaviours, which were formalised into a Management-owned charter and inductions.
  • A scorecard for the whole enterprise that transcended individual team and functions’ objectives, supporting improved prioritisation and communication internally and externally, with change initiatives weighted and mapped to it.

What our clients say about us

“The Q5 team have been fantastic in the way they’ve partnered with both me and my team. By diagnosing and focusing on our key pain-points, they have pragmatically and rapidly unlocked the potential in our complex operating model. This has transformed the effectiveness and demonstrable safety of the support that we provide to current operations.”

Brigadier Anna-Lee Reilly, Ministry of Defence
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