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Performance improvement for a portfolio of software products

Following the restructuring of one of Tribal Group’s main divisions – Management Systems and Solutions (MS&S) – the division’s managing director identified that several of its key software products faced a range of short term performance issues and longer term strategic questions. These issues needed urgent attention to ensure Tribal could achieve its five year business plan.

Project background

Following the successful implementation of the new MS&S division, Tribal Group commissioned Monro Consulting once again to provide consultancy support for the commercial review of three of the division’s software products.

The aim was to assess the current profitability and return on investment (ROI) of each product and to support Tribal management in identifying appropriate strategic and tactical steps to improve on current performance.

Key problems and challenges

The three software products had been evolving over several years and, although they each had a solid market share and generally good levels of customer satisfaction, they all suffered from a significant level of “technical debt” and were on aging platforms. A “do nothing” approach was not viable and the management team needed to look at various options for either improving each product or considering other more significant steps.

Our solution

The work was carried out over a two month period and involved initial desk research into the original business cases, assessment of subsequent financial and operational performance of the software products, and a set of three key management workshops, one for each product.

These workshops brought together the key stakeholders from finance, product management, sales and the divisional managing director to:

  • review the current status;
  • assess market conditions and likely short and medium term impacts, including competitor activities and likely government policy changes; and
  • to develop and assess the potential options for improving the current commercial position.

A wide variety of options were identified and analysed, including:

  • additional acquisitions;
  • divestments of existing products;
  • technical architectural enhancements;
  • consolidation across Tribal’s existing software portfolio;
  • alliance and teaming options; and
  • horizontal integration with related software and service offerings.

The outputs from each software review were consolidated into executive briefing packs which were presented at the subsequent quarterly market review board as part of the new operating model decision making process.

Results

In each case, the final outputs from the reviews set out short-term tactics, plans, key actions and responsibilities for improving performance. They also highlighted the key outstanding strategic issues to be tackled in the future, along with recommended timescales.

“Once again, Monro Consulting has demonstrated its quality, flexibility and responsiveness in tackling this challenging set of software product reviews. The work was carried out under a tight workday budget and challenging timescales.

“In each case it has produced very helpful outputs to enable the Exec Team to take the right short and medium term decisions. In particular, Monro Consulting demonstrated excellent collaboration and facilitation skills, helping to ensure a set of highly productive and collaborative workshop sessions.“

Rob Garner, Managing Director, MS&S Division

Tribal Group plc

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