Our part time chief operations officer was responsible for implementing a project turnaround strategy in this small lighting solutions for small cities company.

Company Profile

Specialising in innovation, design, and manufacturing of lighting solutions, this company caters to smart cities and recreational vehicles. It is part of a broader electrical equipment manufacturing organisation serving a global customer base.

The CEO’s Mission

The company’s goal was to complete a long-overdue, faltering project and bring their new solution to market. The CEO identified the possibility of the requirements of strong leadership in order to get this long overdue project from its current business in to where it needed to be.

COO Objectives

  • Develop an As-Is picture of the existing project.
  • Identify barriers, constraints, and blockers to progress.
  • Pinpoint additional risks and devise mitigation strategies.
  • Create a roadmap to make the new solution market-ready.
  • Develop a budget to support the new roadmap.
  • Assist the division in convincing the executive board of the parent organisation to secure continued investment.

What the COO Did

The project involved a smart lighting system integrating physically installed street furniture, IoT technology, and a cloud-based backend. The COO identified the challenge was completing the cloud component, developed by internal resources and a third-party outsourcer.

Collaborating with the project team, the Director:

  • Built an understanding of the current project status.
  • Visualised key pain points and identified essential activities for project turnaround strategy.
  • Discussed various elements including Commercial Technical, Project Debt, Product Management, Implementation, Quality Assurance, Hardware Scale, Performance, Support, Maintenance, On-going Product Development, Production Governance, Network Firmware, Cloud/CMS, Culture, Communication, Roles, and Responsibilities.

After grasping the ‘as is’ situation, a detailed report was produced and validated with key contributors. A summary report was then presented to the Executive Board, who accepted the recommendations. The project continued to completion following the proposed recommendations and roadmap.

The Results

Upon completion of the project, the organisation had a clear and agreed way forward to get their solution market ready, a completely aligned stakeholder community and a significantly enhanced awareness of how to prevent similar challenges in the future.

Having continued the relationship with the company, I was delighted when the solution finally went live and is now being used extensively by many new customers. It is delivering on the strong predicted revenues and now starting to pay back on the investments made.