Skip to main content Skip to main navigation

News + insights

Case Study

Downer Professional Services Enables Major Federal Government Department with Cutting Edge Technology and Leverages Workforce to Achieve Key Deliverables

Dec 7, 2023 • 1 min read

Client Overview

Our client is a major Federal Government Department establishing a new capability in Australia. The capability requires cutting-edge technology, a large workforce, and infrastructure. The client is responsible for the end-to-end capability lifecycle to ensure national security and sovereignty. The capability requires some of the most sophisticated and complex technology today to be delivered in accordance with international regulatory agreements and frameworks. 

Client’s Challenge 

The client faces significant challenges in relation to delivering the capability on time and within budget, noting the exacting scrutiny at the highest levels of Government and Parliament. It also faces international pressures from partners, and nation-wide public push-back in relation to major safety and health risks. 

The challenge covers a range of key areas: 

  • Strategic plan: the client requires a strategic plan to ensure funding allocation and approval for stages of delivery according to a strict timeframe. The plan needs to ensure the client delivers appropriate technology, a skilled workforce, and infrastructure in line with Government expectations. 
  • Workforce constraints: a large workforce is integral to delivering the capability. The client needs to attract, train and retain a highly skilled workforce. The client also needs to ensure it can continue to up-skill the workforce throughout the capability lifecycle. 
  • Infrastructure: the client requires a major infrastructure precinct, including buildings, machinery and complex equipment with technically advanced systems. The client needs to consider leveraging the existing nation-wide infrastructure, while also delivering new infrastructure never built within or by the country.  
  • Policy and International Regulatory Agreements and Frameworks: complying with stringent policy and international agreements is critical to the success of the delivery of the capability. The client needs to ensure it is not in breach of regulatory standards and frameworks, especially regarding health and safety. 
  • Timely delivery: strict timeframes have been set by the Minister and international partners. The client must ensure it is on track to deliver on time, while facing significant timeline pressures. 

Addressing the challenge

Downer Professional Services has provided the client with a range of enabling functions, to problem solve while being solution focused. We have leveraged the business’ subject matter expertise, wide-ranging skilled workforce, and industry networks to ensure the Department achieves its staged key deliverables on time and within the international policy and legal frameworks. 

We are working closely with the client to develop a robust strategic framework to ensure the client has clearly defined and staged targets in relation to technical advancement, a skilled workforce, and an infrastructure precinct. Notably, we are implementing strategic engagement across the nation at State and Federal levels of government and across a range of sectors, including science and engineering bodies, academic organisations, infrastructure precincts, and industry networks.

Equally we have undertaken robust research in relation to workforce strategies, retention schemes, remuneration comparisons, and education and training opportunities. This has been captured in the strategic framework when communicating to senior officials and government members.

The client identified the need to build its team and workforce to implement major program milestones. As a result, we have been actively involved in building business cases, presentations, and supporting material to demonstrate the need for the client to implement a staged Program Management Office. 

Finally, as a leading sovereign Australian business, we have identified key industry leaders and networks across the nation for the client. We have provided additional networks, support systems and a specific briefing to help the client achieve its major technical and infrastructure milestones.  

Key Results

Downer Professional Services worked closely across a range of key stakeholders within the client’s Division, thereby drawing specialist teams together to ensure consistency and clarity of key milestones and deliverables. Downer’s close collaboration with a range of teams ensured information was synthesised and integrated into the overall strategic framework. This ensured information was appropriately communicated on time to senior management. As a result, funds were allocated across the Division on time and within the scope of the project. 

By providing a range of additional networks across industry, Downer positioned itself as a key strategic partner for the client. Going above and beyond client expectations, strengthened our client relationships and established new relationships across the Department. In addition, the client expanded its networks, strengthened its knowledge in relation to key technical matters, and developed a greater understanding of the requirements for an infrastructure precinct. 

Our work on the Program Management Office (PMO) business case highlighted our expertise in delivering best practice PMOs. We demonstrated our knowledge of the client’s risks, requirements, and key deliverables, and demonstrated to the client how to optimise resources, streamline decision-making, and realise integration and coordination, while ensuring alignment.