Enable Consulting

Self Funding Application Modernisation Programme

How to design a self funding application modernisation programme


One of the main challenges with getting any modernisation programme off the drawing board, is securing the funding for the programme.  With competing priorities leaving the programme competing for funding with other programmes. These competing programmes often delivering much needed new functionality the business urgently required.  The result was that modernisation was often pushed lower down the priority list.

However one of the side effects of this behaviour is that the business improvement programmes are more complex. As a result they become more costly to implement because of the issues integrating with a legacy application and ageing infrastructure.


The Challenge

Competing priorities and a finite in year budget meant the stakeholders were faced with a challenge to get the proposed modernisation programme off the ground.


The Solution

Enable Consulting were able to help design a programme that became self-funding.  By triaging the entire application estate we were able to develop business cases for some of the easier modernisation targets that delivered in year return on investment.  This return was then reinvested into the programme to deliver some of the more complex modernisation activities.

The triage effort looked at a number of parameters to help classify the applications. This helped to initially focus on applications that potentially could release the in year return.

The 3 categories were:

Simple —Software as a Service and UNIX to LINUX migration

Medium—Application Replacement or Business Process Changes

Hard— Complex systems (Mainframe/Multiple Interfaces/Missing Source Code)


The Result

As a result we were able to instigate a self-funding programme that resulted in reducing the IT run rate for the client.  It also reduced the complexity of the environment reducing the cost of implementing future business improvement activities.

The key learning from this successful programme was that it is critical to understand the measurable value you will deliver.  By understanding this value and tracking your programme against delivering this value it was possible to feed this ROI back into future activities.

Recovering a Failing Programme

Industry – Utilities



While attempting to replace a key billing system the client found the programme significantly over-budget and unable to deliver on time. With no clear plan that provided the stakeholders a view of the remaining deliverables, milestones, timeframe and required budget, the client needed help in understanding why the issues had occurred and then how to get the programme back on track.


The Challenge

The client sought help from Enable Consulting in order to perform a Programme Health Check and then to provide recommendations on how to recover the programme.


The Solution

Enable Consulting tailored a programme health check to perform a rapid assessment of the failing programme and came up with a set of proposals to help recover the situation.  Given that the programme was already identified as in trouble it was possible to quickly hone in on the trouble spots and identify the correct remediation.

At the conclusion of the assessment, Enable Consulting presented the Health Check findings and a list of project and program management improvements that would address the specific “pain points” within the programme in order to help prevent further deterioration in execution. Included with the list was a roadmap for implementation of these enhancements. A key outcome of the assessment was a requirement of ensuring that the Client was able to understand exactly how much remained of the initial implementation, and also what it was going to cost.



The Result

The specific areas in this case that were found to be problematic were:

Stakeholder Engagement – The key stakeholders did not feel part of the delivery process and as a result did not understand their role in helping to support and enable the delivery.

Programme Delivery – The programme director was trying to run the programme as a project and as a result was not able to see the bigger picture.  This resulted in poor coordination between the programme streams, duplicated work and missed dependencies.

Project Reporting – There was no integrated programme management tool which resulted in each project reporting in an adhoc manner.  This was also a contributory factor in the Programme Delivery issues.

As a result of the assessment Enable Consulting were able to provide some additional Programme Management support and set up a Project Management Office (PMO) to ensure the appropriate governance and methodology were applied to the Programme.  This governance ensured that the stakeholders were brought into the programme and enabled them to support the delivery.

With the implementation of a PMO and the injection of an experienced Programme Manager the programme was able to forecast remaining spend and timeframe, rebaseline the programme and provide a firm number enabling application for a budget increase.  This provided confidence that the rest of the programme would be delivered to the new baseline and budget.

The programme was ultimately delivered to the new baseline and the new system was able to help streamline key client facing business processes.