Every day, KBR delivers solutions that change the world. The organisation’s global team is at the cutting edge of science, technology, and engineering solutions and mission-critical services that help governments and companies accomplish their most important objectives and achieve their sustainability goals.

KBR operates through two primary businesses: Sustainable Technology Solutions and Government Solutions. Within the latter, Simon Davies is the Head of P3M for Government Solutions International’s Projects & Programmes Division in the EMEA Region. Since January 2022, he has sponsored a pioneering PMO modernisation programme rooted in digital innovation. The work has created a virtual PMO, transformed internal portfolio, programme, and project governance, accelerated project management capability and assurance, and made a new offering for KBR’s customers. In 2023, these achievements saw KBR win Company of the Year and reach PMO of the Year finalist status at the Association for Project Management (APM) Awards. A clear vision, mature P3M capabilities and digitally proficient skills equipped Simon and his team to design and drive the work. But, he says, Wellingtone’s Project for the Web Accelerator+ Power App played an important role in fast-tracking the PMO’s digital transformation pathway.

Overview

Customer

KBR

Products and Services

Microsoft Project for the web

Accelerator+ Power App

Country

United Kingdom

Industry

Science, Technology and Engineering

PMO Transformation Highlights

  • Deploying Project for the Web Accelerator+ as a ‘digital cockpit’ for portfolio, programme and project management.
  • Exploiting Power Platform’s capabilities as a digital integrator for business intelligence.
  • Delivering a virtual PMO that is transforming governance and accelerating delivery.
  • Creating a PMO blueprint that could scale out to KBR’s customers.

Harnessing the Power of Digital to Modernise the KBR Way

“I have been with KBR for fourteen years, with a background in projects and programmes and a strong focus on technical project controls,” says Simon. “When our new Vice President joined, he approached me with a vision and a challenge for the PMO: to modernise the KBR way. While our programme delivery was extremely mature, at that point, our data was still spread across various siloed systems. We wanted to digitally transform and bring all that information into a data warehouse for business intelligence. So, we broke the old project controls model apart and established a Holacracy: a self-organising team of systems specialists, quality specialists, project management specialists, and project controls specialists, overlaid with an HR specialist for resource management. We then needed the right tool to sit across our systems and integrate all our data into a single digital cockpit for portfolio, programme and project management. On exploring the market, Wellingtone fitted the bill. Their Accelerator+ Power App, could accelerate our digital transformation journey.

Most businesses have not yet fully embedded Power Platform development skills in-house. Still, we have, so we needed a technology partner willing to combine their capabilities with our own. We felt that Wellingtone’s people were technically equipped to deliver our specific requirements and culturally geared up to work collaboratively with us. One of our ambitions was to build a digital PMO model internally that we could then offer to our customers. Accelerator+ was well suited since it leverages existing Microsoft licensing, meaning that our configuration can remain our intellectual property, and we can potentially deploy as we choose. Overall, Project for the Web was adapted to our needs, as the Accelerator+ Power App could be configured to meet our requirements.  Wellingtone came across as great people whose primary objective was to support our journey – not just sell licenses and bow out, as some vendors do.”

I see real potential to offer our PMO model as a blueprint of what can be achieved with the right customised Power Platform capabilities and Wellingtone as the implementing partner.

A Collaborative Technology Solution with the Microsoft Power Platform at its Core

The configuration began with a requirements-gathering workshop involving Simon, his senior departmental leads, and technical specialists. “It was a productive, two-way process,” says Simon. “At the start of this transformation, I performed an organisational assessment, pulling together twelve critical success factors that will guide our five-year plan across people, process, and technology. We knew what we wanted the solution to do in the technology arena. We were particularly interested in maximising Power Platform’s capabilities. For instance, we wanted to map key elements of APM’s Body of Knowledge into a single dashboard for full portfolio visibility, control, and governance. Wellingtone’s hotline into Microsoft’s roadmap as a Microsoft Gold Partner was especially valuable.

Across our requirements, they knew whether a capability existed, whether we could anticipate a future release, or whether we needed a workaround. When we did, Wellingtone supported us in finding the right solution. For example, we have brought benefits realisation management into the tool and linked it to United Nations sustainability development goals. That doesn’t come out of any box! But, by combining our technical Power Platform skills with Wellingtone’s support and expertise, we have successfully implemented many innovations like this.”

The first iteration of Accelerator+ was configured, built, and launched across a pilot set of projects in just three months before a full rollout across the business. Adoption was supported by a bespoke training programme. Wellingtone supported the programme’s development, and the training was given to staff virtually via a SCORM eLearning module. “The hardest part of any systems implementation is aligning the tooling to the different user groups and workflows,” Simon explains. “That must come from within the business. So, again, we were heavily involved in designing the training repository. Wellingtone adapted their standard offering to our senior audience, producing impressive videos which met our brief and followed our script. We have branded the solution as the KBR P3M Hub. We use the training process to onboard people and as an important professional development tool. We have embedded the training media within our HR platform and made it a mandatory stage gate that people must pass before accessing the full Hub. I’m focusing on using it to drive the right digital behaviours. We are continuously improving, but it’s not just about digital transformation. It’s about joining people, process, technology, and data across all our portfolios and systems.”

Moving forward, Simon’s vision of a solution that can be scaled out for the benefit of KBR’s customers is becoming a reality. “Wellingtone’s extensive technical and project management knowledge, combined with our maturity and digital skills, have underpinned a PMO model and tooling that acts as a digital integrator across the business,” Simon explains. “It is a model that I believe could also add significant value for our customers. I am now starting to have those conversations, showcasing our achievements to present the art of the possible in a PMO. Adopting the model would never be a ‘lift and shift’ scenario for our customers. Extensive customisation will always be involved, so a technology partner will always be needed. I see real potential in offering our PMO model as a blueprint of what can be achieved with the right customised Power Platform capabilities and Wellingtone as the implementing partner.”