The Faslane Naval Base, Royal Navy
Faslane is one of the operating bases for the Royal Navy in the United Kingdom and is considered the home of Great Britain's nuclear deterrent in terms of submarines. In order to improve the effectiveness of the base and also to reduce costs, the Faslane base was in 2002 turned over to a private contractor, Babcock International to manage on behalf of the British Ministry of Defense (MOD). With the transition came a change in management from what was essentially a civil service-staffed operation, with all its incumbent bureaucracy and low productivity as well as high overheads to a private-sector type of business oriented enterprise that saved on costs and capitalised on efficiency. In this privatisation 500 jobs were lost much to chagrin of local trade unions and ban the bomb protestor (Faslane, n.d).
The initial contract was for a 5-year period during which the contractor was expected to produce savings of £76 million. Their fee was to be a percentage of the savings made so if they made no savings for the base they would not make any profit. In that first 5-year period the contractor managed to save the MOD £100 million, £24 million more than projected. This report looks at how this process was carried out and compares and contrasts the Faslane operations before and after the privatization.
[...] There was increased communication with and within the staff and staff were encouraged to share more information, including information on financial performance. A lot of the processes in place were studied and made faster, more efficient and more meaningful for the staff that performed them. The Johnson Cultural Web is a tool for unpacking and studying in depth the ingrained habits that form the culture of an organisation and their staff. The Web looks at the six aspects of the organisational culture. [...]
[...] The organisation's staff, suppliers, customers and stakeholders have to all know that they are in it for a long time and that the changes being experienced are set to remain and to do that Bobcock Marine needed to engender in them all the feeling and confidence that the competitive advantage that the firm was experiencing needed to be maintained and sustained for the long haul not just for a few months or years. The key changes that were implemented at Faslane were therefore for the main part strategic. They involved ensuring the organisation developed and adapted to a new strategy, that the new strategy was embraced and agreed upon by all the major stakeholders and that it was aligned to ensuring the successful implementation of the contract as well as meeting all the desired annual and longer term goals that were specified especially in efficiency and cost containment. [...]
[...] When these two forces are at some kind of equilibrium then a status quo is maintained. This tool allows those about to be affected by a change to not only identify all the opposing and driving forces, but to also rate them and based on the score for each, come up with a matrix for what the desired change should be. However this tool can often be subjective as it calls for self scoring and needs to be used. The tool is also quite simplistic and may not be very useful in complex situations where there are many conflicting and compounding vested interests that all need to be factored in, such as was the case in Faslane (Force Field Analysis 2002). [...]
[...] Once this was done then the communication of how this was expected to pull together was implemented and in the process the rewards that each group would expect from successful implementation were spelt out. This ensured that in the end the goals of the privatization were achieved. It was not all plain sailing but eventually the results were worth the work that went it all this. References Faslane, Gare Loch, NS n.d., Retrieved April from http://www.banthebomb.org/militaryscotland/74.html Force Field Analysis 2002, May, Retrieved April from http://www.change-management-coach.com/force-field-analysis.html Hailey, V. H & Balogun, J 2002, May. [...]
[...] Control systems looks at what aspects are closely monitored. Organisational structure, whether the organisation is hierarchical, or flat how many levels there are in the system. Other aspects covered include symbols used in the organisation, power structures in place, and finally stories that are told to new employees about customers. These are all unpacked and repackaged to come up with a map of the organisation as is before corrective action is taken. In the case of Faslane the rituals and routines were all examined for their usefulness and impact on efficiency, control systems were also looked at to see which made sense and which didn't while the organisational structure and levels of bureaucracy were reduced. [...]
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