People development – central to performance Aerospace case study

Interim Role : Aerospace Engineering Transition Director – Head of Engineering Turnaround


The business is a £130m subsidiary of a major Global Aerospace Group. The products and programs are complex high technology and engineering  led. The board had failed to capitalise on the high growth potential to design and build aerospace engine components at this traditional facility. With a history of over 80 years aerospace deign – manufacture A series of initiatives led by an recently promoted engineering director had failed , and no one knew why. The legacy was serious motivational, cost and quality variance, delivery , and customer  satisfaction matters. The issues were due to s systemic cultural gap sin professional management at executive level, that required a different approach that went beyond the norm of the aerospace industry. The objective as Transition director and Interim Head of Engineering was to  turnaround the engineering capability / to create the capability on which to grow the business and attract some major product development to raise the value add and profitably grow the business.

 Ability to integrate into the client company:

Immediately implemented a team motivation plan to retain and develop the scarce resource. Working very closely with the MD and other key board members, “Integrated quickly into the client team”. “Within 3 days identified  the issues,” Defined and implemented the team development, engineering structure, and outsourcing strategy and recruitment requirements to create the capability to 100% deliver on time to budget.

 Impact on the business / bottom line:

“Significantly over delivered in unexpected ways beyond the brief” “delivery across many aspects to create a stronger team with adherence to the new structure”, “protected bottom line through risk reduction” devolved ownership of the budget with the team structure of KPIs /governance process. “4 pronged” Vendor collaboration strategy implemented creating new ways of working for the Aerospace industry. Attracted  through uncompromising recruitment process some of the best industry experts. Created the basis of the Engineering Academy and create a centre of excellence. The recently appointed engineering directors role was once in question, but as a consequence of the work done / structure created raised  the bar to outperform some of his peers on the board. Customer satisfaction raised from 55 – 76%.

 Working style

In order to create a centre of excellence  a complete focus on creating a high challenge / supportive fast learning motivating environment “Very challenging,  with a tendency to solve every issue” delivering an outstandingly capable team delivering complex aerospace engineering on budget on time, with the internal framework and supporting capability to create the basis of a centre of engineering and customer excellence, and attract and develop the best team members.

Leadership / people management skills

Very strong challenging but highly supportive leadership, “the engineering team could not have performed at that level with out your support”, “the behaviours now support the structure and need to move forwards”. Whilst stakeholder management was complex until the engineering directors capability was confirmed,  he is now performing better than most of the other board members managing a very complex customer facing high tech engineering environment with a team capable of becoming a centre of excellence