We work with a variety of clients in a multitude of sectors including professional services, food and drink, public sector and health
We supported a growing manufacturing company to take stock on the current capabilities within the company and, more importantly, to identify the future capabilities required to drive the growth of the company. In addition to capabilities, we also explored the organisational structure, the systems in place to drive sales (from first customer contact to production and after sales service and also the wrap-around support services) and the shared values of the company. We worked closely with the CEO throughout and also engaged with team & Board members to develop recommendations that could be implemented over a 2 year period. The implementation roadmap prioritised the backlog of activities required to drive growth.
Our sister company, Anderson Anderson & Brown LLP, has significant growth ambitions – to double its revenue in 5 years. The Partner Group knew that to achieve this they needed to change the way the firm operated and established a programme of activity called ‘Firm of the Future.’ We supported them to introduce Agile ways of working to both client service and project teams. Agile was one of 5 strategic themes focused on across the firm and the coaching we provided to teams to adopt new ways of working resulted in significant improvements in performance.
Harnessing the power of Agile to improve our performance in a professional services world which is facing unprecedented change is at the heart of what we’re trying to achieve. Our ability to so do is in no small part due to the foresight of the team at AAB Consulting.
Paying it forward is very important to us as a business. We have all been fortunate to benefit from great mentors and supporters over the years and we feel a strong sense of responsibility to do what we can for the next generations. So, in typical consulting style, we roll up our sleeves and we get involved: We have worked with colleagues at the University of Edinburgh Business School for a number of years now; supporting both Change Masterclasses and providing mentorship and coaching to the MBA students who are considering Consulting as their next career move We provide support to the MBA programme delivered by the Adam Smith Business School at the University of Glasgow and we support the UofG Consulting Society by speaking at careers related events. Consulting is an industry built on amazing talent and we should all invest in the next generation.
There is a significant amount of research that provides insight into dementia and the care of those living with the condition. The team at Alzheimer Scotland (AS) is always keen to ensure that their care services keep up with the latest advances in thinking. We worked with the team, using Service Design techniques, to understand better the key users of the day care services by developing personas and mapping their journeys to uncover pain points and issues. We brought together representatives of the key user groups, including people living with dementia and their families, in a workshop that explored the ‘Art of the Possible’, and together, co-created service models to better answer the service users’ needs.
Rolling out new technology can be challenging, especially in a highly devolved organisation such as the University of Glasgow. For the roll-out of the new Assessment and Feedback solution, we were part of a multi-disciplinary Business Change and Adoption team that worked collaboratively with the Colleges to deliver effective communications, training and change support. Along with technical developers, we created a roll-out approach that supported the programme’s objectives using Agile methodologies. We mapped out a detailed change model, developed and managed a strategic communications approach and created a suite of training assets and events, including an interactive ‘hub’. Our business change and adoption approach has created an exemplar for further University transformation initiatives.
The purpose of the transformation team at the University of Glasgow is to work with our colleagues to improve the staff and student experiences. Some of the challenges we need to address to do that will be ones that colleagues come across in their day-today lives. AAB Consulting is supporting us to develop a Responsive Solutions service that enables us to tackle these problems at pace, while helping us to continue develop our organisational agility.
Our client recognised the growing importance of data across all aspects of the University’s work. It was important to both assure and, if necessary, secure investment to further improve the data infrastructure and data support services. Following exploration of the University’s current infrastructure, and its ability to support the institution’s strategic objectives, we supported our client to develop a case for investment that would deliver benefits in terms of their strategic plan, operational performance, finances and environmental impact. The business case received support from the University’s governance process and changes are currently being implemented.
Since 2018, we have supported Highlands and Islands Enterprise by designing and delivering the IMPACT30 programme. IMPACT30 is a custom designed programme that supports young entrepreneurs to accelerate the growth of their businesses. To date, we have supported over 70 business through tailored webinars, workshops, connections, constructive challenge, 1:1 spot coaching and Agile programme delivery – all of which helps participants achieve their objectives. The programme receives financial support from the European Regional Development Fund through the Innovation Strategic Intervention, in conjunction with the Northern Innovation Hub, which is part of the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal. We love working with young entrepreneurs in the Highlands and Islands - they experience unique challenges and opportunities and have infectious drive and ambition.
Marine Scotland delivers Fisheries Protection, Marine Planning and Science activities in Scottish waters. We worked with Marine Scotland to deliver a strategic review of their Information Technology to ensure that the organisation was fit to meet future challenges. The Discovery work explored: The existing provision of IT services across the Directorate The business requirements, strategies, policies and other initiatives that influence the current provision of IT The strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats associated with the current strategies and provision Factors that are likely to influence the future development of IT services, especially the Digital First and cloud mandates. The Discovery work resulted in a Case for Change, an IT and Digital Blueprint and an IT and Digital Roadmap. This suite of deliverables provided the team at Marine Scotland with a strong foundation on which to base future decisions regarding delivery of their digital ambition.
A leading marketing agency that had spun out from Local Government was exploring its next stage of growth. The MD wanted to find the right operational model to help them achieve more profitable growth, be agile in the market, and maintain the drive and ambition of its senior leadership team. We provided support to help them explore alternative operating structures, for example, employee ownership, co-operative, and researched the relative benefits and constraints of each model aligned to their growth ambitions and wider political considerations. The analysis has helped provide solid foundations for the next stage in their growth planning.
Opportunity North East and partners developed plans for a Global Underwater Hub that would bring together blue economy businesses across the UK to develop and capitalise on the UK’s world-class underwater capabilities. The scale of success of the proposed Hub would depend on support from the Scottish and UK Governments, who both required a business case to inform their funding decision. We supported Opportunity North East and partners to develop a business case following the UK Government’s Five Case Business Model. Our approach recognised the importance of harnessing the knowledge and insights of a range of stakeholders, developing a compelling case to provide confidence to investors, and socialising the case to the point where the ‘final hearing’ is surprise free.
Opportunity North East and our partners were very grateful for AAB’s support in developing the Global Underwater Hub business case covering the UK and Scottish Government funding applications. This important project will support the UK underwater industry’s expansion into the global blue economy markets and its contribution towards the UK’s energy transition ambitions and Net Zero targets. The business case has received full support from the UK and Scottish Governments with feedback indicating the document strongly represented the proposal. The AAB team was fantastic to work with and delivered valuable business insight; huge thanks and congratulations to them and everyone working on the GUH business case.”
We assisted Revenue Scotland with its introduction of a new tax management solution and associated business change. To do this we worked as part of a blended team with Revenue Scotland colleagues to share our experience and capabilities in key areas including technology options appraisal, assessment of the integration of the tax system and finance systems and Agile delivery of the project. The work of the blended team contributed significantly to the organisation’s transformation agenda. Our role was to guide, constructively challenge, build capabilities and bolster confidence in delivery. This is a perfect example of consulting support focused on building capability and confidence.
AAB worked really well with our team providing both the fresh thinking we needed and critically helping us build our capability for a hard delivery journey ahead. The AAB team members were accessible and patient with us but equally challenging when they needed to be - drawing upon their strong professionalism and deep experience.
We supported Sagars Accountants to redesign their client proposition and initiate customer-driven change via our Service Design support. We focused on process improvement, developed personas, and mapped journeys of their key user groups; the combination of which resulted in clear goals for the organisation. To enable rapid, effective change, we also upskilled the Sagars team in Lean Agile methodologies, and they are now deploying their new knowledge and capability to re-design services, restructure teams, and establish new performance metrics that will support their ambitions.
The University of Glasgow’s ambitious programme to overhaul its approach to Assessment and Feedback (A&F) was impacted by the COVID pandemic. Traditional assessments were moved online but this did not fully realise the original vision for the programme. We worked with UofG Team members to review the gap between what had been delivered and what was originally planned – building the case for further change. We analysed the market of assessment and & feedback system suppliers and spoke with other institutions to understand how A&F was evolving in their institution. Our analysis and research informed a technology options appraisal for the next phase and a compelling case for change for the introduction of a new operating model for the future delivery of assessment & feedback changes.
In designing and delivering the University of Glasgow Life App, we built a new cross-functional team which focused on user-centric features, sustainable code, effective estimating to manage workflow, and a commitment to continuous release to maintain momentum and quality. We also supported the developers to work with other specialist capabilities such as business analysts, UX, user research and communications professionals, coaching and training on backlog refinement, estimation, prioritization, as well as developing user stories. The Life App team continue to develop the product into a key platform to deliver service transformation opportunities at the University.
When we won a framework contract with the University of Glasgow in 2019, the Chief Transformation Officer made it clear that he wanted a partner not a supplier. He wanted a team that would be invested in the University. Our relationship with the World Changing Glasgow Transformation Team is exactly that; it goes far beyond the delivery of projects and our contractual obligations. As the Transformation partner to the University, we work hard to go above and beyond: collaborating with UofG Team members to share insights on a range of topics including Digital in Higher Education, Agile Teams and User Research introducing new ways of working to build effective teams sharing knowledge and building capability in new tools and techniques building trusted relationships with the CTO and WCGT Team members to create the right environment within which we can provide advice and constructive challenge on a wide range of topics undertaking our own research that can help inform thinking and decisions within the University supporting the wider University via support to the MBA Programme and the Consulting Society.
As part of the University of Glasgow’s Smart Campus strategy, a new app was designed for students, to focus on embedding technology into the University estate to deliver high quality services and experiences. This project involved bringing together a multidisciplinary team and coaching them in Agile techniques. By adopting Agile, we worked in short, incremental sprints to drive Discovery, create a product backlog and develop the first iteration of the new app within 6 weeks. The work continues to add new features and encourage adoption. The UofG Life app is now the ‘must have’ app for students to help them navigate university life.
As part of the University of Glasgow’s Covid response, it was acknowledged that some staff were unfamiliar with technology and techniques that would facilitate a smooth transition to online working. We supported the University by developing user-led content that addressed some key health and wellbeing issues, and in doing so, we identified an opportunity to leverage the new environment and coach staff to adopt new ways of working. In 4 weeks, we designed and developed a web portal that connected University staff with key information, tools and guidance on aspects such as Agile, Remote Working, Technology Use, Communities and Team Development. The website was an invaluable resource in driving productivity and wellbeing of staff, as well as an invaluable resource to facilitate change. Now, as new ways are being introduced and embedded in projects and in business-as-usual, the approach we developed is also driving the ambition to develop and extend the format further, into a live, open-source ‘playbook for change’.
We helped the University of Glasgow embrace a new system to help Post Graduate Research students (and the staff who support them) engage with their annual progress review. An internal team was responsible for the development of the system and good work was underway from a technology perspective. Our team was asked to help the Schools & Colleges prepare for the introduction of the new system. This focused on development and delivery of a communications plan that would impact ~5,000 staff and students. We also introduced governance to ensure that business readiness activity was progressed and that there was collective responsibility for the ‘Go-Live’ decision. The system was successfully implemented and adopted in line with the original timescale.
AAB Consulting have been managing the Specialist Advice Framework on behalf of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) since April 2021. As part of HIE’s strategy to achieve their priorities, the Specialist Advise Framework has been developed and implemented to support their client base. The Framework consists of a wide range of specialist advisors whose collective experience provides HIE clients with access to experts in subject areas including strategy, sales and marketing, and digital.
We worked with teams within a Higher Education Institution to review the current portals used by students and staff. The aim was to identify changes that will create better user experiences, provide better access to information & services and integrate the portals with other channels. Our team carried out significant stakeholder engagement, research sessions and workshops to establish a good understanding of the current issues and the potential changes required. The client responded swiftly to the recommendations and there are a number of actions being taken forward that will drive the development of user-led portal designs, bring together digital development capability and establish practices that make the best use of the research, design and development talent within the organisation.