Introduction

Originally developed as a means to encapsulate the essential stages of an information assurance assignment, our 4A’s approach has evolved. The approach has been reviewed and updated to reflect the development of our own expertise,  the consolidation of experiential learning, positive feedback from clients and to recognise the broader applicability of the approach to our increasingly diverse portfolio of engagements.

Summarised by the four headline phases of:

Awareness

Assessment

Action-planning

Application

The approach forms the basis of all our engagements. By considering the requirements of our clients against this framework we believe we can add greater value than by simply addressing the client’s publicly expressed needs. We seek to fully understand these requirements but also the forces driving the need, the capacity to achieve them and the readiness of the organisation to accept them. We do not do this to inflate our reputation, engagement or earnings, rather we look to maximise the positive impact the outcomes achieved have on the client’s desires.

The 4A’s Approach

The approach we take is summarised in the image shown below. With repeat clients and certain others with very specific requirements such as accreditation support, system analysis, or acquisition programmes, it is likely not all elements of the approach would be applied. It should be noted however, all aspects will have been considered by our consultants to aid planning, identify potential early wins or simply engender client confidence.

Awareness

At the outset of any client programme, they will have expressed their general requirements as an initial starting point. Our purpose here is to fully understand the spoken requirements while, through discussion, learning about the internal and external factors which may have precipitated these needs or driven an aspiration that requires the organisation to change, grow or secure its resilience. As part of establishing current resilience, we would seek to help the client to determine, amplify and target those risks which may impact their desired outcomes.

By properly understanding the risks to the client’s aspirations we would establish confidence in what is achievable whilst successfully gauging staff engagement and commitment. Such steps enable the consultant to initiate the assessment phase from a clear and comprehensive starting point with a proper framework for action and analysis.

Assessment

The assessment phase is used to dig deeper into the capacity and capability the client possesses to achieve their goals. We cover the entire infrastructure of systems, structures, processes and functions which influence the probability of achieving the desired outcomes, as well as the risks, gaps and resources  which must be resolved to progress.  While considering the preceding we also address the potential training and development needs which link to the competence, capability and learning required to support the future aspirations of the business.

During assessment and once all relevant data has been gathered and reviewed, our team would be looking to initiate the appropriate interventions to ease the achievement of our client’s goals. We develop the detail of these potential interventions in the next phase.

Action-planning

Critical to the continued success of any business is the ability to adapt to evolving internal and external pressures whether administrative, legislative, competitive or disruptive. To respond to such changes we assist clients in developing, managing and directing  the projects and programmes which address these pressures.

We can also provide the critical skills to ensure any supporting business cases or acquisition programmes deemed necessary by the customer are developed, costed and funded. A valuable part of the latter need is to act upon potential improvements to the structures, systems and processes identified to realise increased top-line profitability and hence the financial capacity to fund the implemented action plans.

Ultimately our goal is to develop a programme of change projects that move the client organisation to their preferred future in the most cost-effective and resource-efficient way.

Application

Whilst business analysis and action planning can provide time-bounded, costed implementation plans our responsibility to the client does not end there. In the application phase our consultants offer an experienced and highly competent implementation team who will work with the customer to maximise the probability of success.

We cover all aspects of implementation ranging from communications through developing key performance indicators on to measuring the achieved outcomes. We do this under the banner of projects focused on achieving the aspirations and benefits elicited, evolved and expanded through the preceding phases.

If within the application phase the client also seeks to be benchmarked against peers or established international standards we support the development of accreditation programmes. We offer staff who are implementers and auditors in the key standards associated with data protection, information security and payment processing.

So does it work?

We have applied this approach across all of our principle services

Project, programme and portfolio management
Design, development and delivery of change
Organisational accreditation and assurance
Provision of interim technical and managerial resource

We have provided these services across many sectors including national and local government, social enterprise, data-dependent markets, and passenger transport services. We have utilised all of the elements described in the approach individually, in small discrete packages or as a holistic means to achieving change, growth and resilience on behalf of our clients.

Overall, we have realised total savings and growth in excess of £200 million on behalf of customers drawn from a range of private, public or third sector organisations.

Related Post

What Does a Change Management...

What Does a Change Management Consultant Do? Engaging a change management consultant may...

Leave a Comments