Balfour Beatty – Workplace shared services

The challenge

GDF Suez needed to integrate Balfour Beatty Workplace (BBW) into Cofely – its UK facilities management business. This was a major and complex integration project which included multiple stakeholders and two businesses with very different governance arrangements, processes, systems and cultures. As part of the integration, GDF Suez wanted to establish a new shared service centre in the north of England to take on the Finance, HR and IT activities previously undertaken by Balfour Beatty, and those from its existing service centre located in the south of England. The establishment of the shared service centre needed to happen quickly and smoothly, ensuring there was no impact on end customers and no breach of the agreed transition arrangements.

Our role was to programme manage the set-up and delivery of this project, and to also provide specialist organisational design, process design, and change management capability. The project covered all aspects of the establishment of the shared service centre; finding the location, building fit-out, recruitment of staff, design of the new business and operating model, process design, TUPE of staff, recruitment, training and transition of work into the new shared service centre.

The result

The shared service centre was established in the planned timescale and in line with the agreed business case. The work was to transition activity from the Balfour Beatty and Cofely service centres into the new shared service centre with minimal impact on staff, customers, and in line with the agreed transition arrangements.

What made it successful

  • Strong and visible executive sponsorship throughout the project was critical – enabling timely decisions to be made to keep the work on track
  • Robust and clear governance was put in place – where accountabilities and responsibilities were very clear
  • A clear business case and target outcomes were set out at the start of the work – giving a robust foundation against which to monitor progress and inform decision making
  • The case for change was very clear and driven by the agreed transition arrangements for the separation of BBW from Balfour Beatty and the integration into Cofely UK
  • Working collaboratively with client teams – ensuring that the impacts on people in the business were recognised and managed appropriately and sensitively
  • Flexing our specialist support as required throughout the assignment – with a focus on supporting and developing client capability.