A new operating model and organisation structure position a defence contractor for growth

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A new operating model and organisation structure position a defence contractor for growth

The opportunity to work with Nous Group was a thoroughly rewarding and enjoyable experience. The team brought exceptional skill and expertise, which enabled [our organisation] to navigate strategic transformation. The ability to build strong relationships, to maintain process discipline and to provide timely advice to executive leadership were particular strengths of the Nous team. The successful engagement with Nous has ensured [our organisation] is ready to meet its current challenges and grow into the future.
Chief of Staff, Australasia, global defence and commercial contractor

Our client was the Australasian division of a global defence and commercial contractor.

A defence contractor sought to capture market opportunities

As it prepared for the next phase in its growth story, the organisation engaged Nous to review and reorient the organisation’s strategy to capture market opportunities and emerging customer demand and then to design an operating model and organisation structure to achieve the strategy.

Nous led deep consultation through a robust process

To shape the model and organisation structure, Nous ran a three-month program that featured significant executive engagement.

In this program we developed the value chain underpinning the core business and identified key capabilities required to govern activities and deliver quality services, assessed operating model maturity (evaluating more than 20 capabilities), defined the desired target state for critical capabilities and costed the priority projects that would bridge the gap.

We undertook an environmental scan to identify five factors against which we evaluated strategic growth opportunities:


In parallel, Nous worked with the CEO and a small advisory group to design the operating model and organisation structure, applying Nous’ proven six-step process to:

  1. Establish design principles to test organisation design options.
  2. Develop multiple structure options, each with a different focus and orientation.
  3. Determine the optimal form (centralised, centre-led or decentralised) of internal functions.
  4. Evaluate structure options for strengths and weakness against the design principles.
  5. Mentor the transformation team to develop the organisational design for the next level down.
  6. Develop a detailed cost calculation tool to support implementation.

We worked intimately with the core transformation team throughout to ensure communications and change were carefully and purposely managed.

The new operating model and organisation design have won support

The operating model and organisation structure, which were aligned to the organisation’s strategy, are now being implemented. Our close collaboration with the CEO, rigorous design processes, and frank and transparent engagement developed the CEO’s deep understanding and confidence in the process, and a clear narrative to take to the board and staff.

What you can learn from this organisation

  • Setting strategy is critical, but not sufficient – organisations must ensure they are set up to enact strategy well.
  • Required expertise includes being able to identify and articulate problems with analysis and evidence.
  • There is value in balancing process discipline and thoroughness with adapting to new context and revealed needs.

Key people in this project

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