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Major Changes Take Flight in an Aeronautical Joint Venture


On May 2, 2005, two major aeronautics organizations announced their intention to form a joint venture that would bring together two of the launch industry’s most experienced and successful teams. The Consent Order that created this venture stipulated that it must stop sharing IT applications with its member companies by December 1, 2008. Deployment of SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software was one way to achieve IT application separation, but the business encountered some challenges.

Ensure the enterprise is PREPARED for all upcoming changes.


The challenges included a lack of early involvement with the business owners of the functional areas and the assumption that subject matter experts were communicating design decisions with business process owners (BPOs).

Additionally, no structured process for BPO engagement was in place, and no formal critical design review (CDR) and business process sign-off existed. There was also a delay in the creation of the “to-be” business process maps.


Assigning a business readiness manager with key ties and credibility within the organization was critical to achieving the necessary level of business involvement. As the counterpart of the business readiness manager, GP Strategies’ Organizational Change Management (OCM) consultant guided activities and tasks to reach a higher level of organizational readiness beyond just the SAP implementation.

A business readiness model, Creating Organizational Readiness for the Enterprise (C.O.R.E.), was necessary to ensure the enterprise was prepared for all upcoming changes. It represented an integrated approach to business readiness, including other initiatives such as legacy application separation, business process documentation, and IT infrastructure.

  • The following elements contributed to the success of GP Strategies’ solution:
  • An Organizational Readiness Checklist facilitated business involvement and ownership of preparing the organization.
  • Extended C.O.R.E. team members owned business readiness for their respective functional areas.
  • C.O.R.E. Business Readiness Workshops established a solid business engagement model that became a vehicle for cross-organizational knowledge sharing.
  • Business analysts quickly became knowledgeable and developed the ability to learn and articulate the business process.
  • Business process maps were used as a catalyst for sign-off, integration testing, and user acceptance testing (UAT).
  • Consultants and the business understood the “to-be” business processes.
  • Documentation was created for the legacy applications needed to support SAP and the business community.
  • Executive sponsorship was gained for the integrated communication approach.
  • An established process for gathering and distributing communications enabled capture of communication opportunities for all initiatives affecting the organizations.
  • Executives were accountable for communication flow and readiness within their respective functional organizations.

The business readiness model, Creating Organizational Readiness for the Enterprise (C.O.R.E.), represented an INTEGRATED APPROACH to business readiness.


GP Strategies received only positive feedback regarding their contributions to the project. The client was also impressed by GP Strategies’ seamless work with their SAP partners.

  • As a result of all of these efforts, the organizations involved in this joint venture experienced:
  • Better integration with the business community, resulting in a higher level of business readiness
  • An effective process for mapping over 5,000 end users to new roles and positions
  • Increased engagement with business SMEs to create, review, and validate “to-be” business process maps
  • Improved understanding of the “to-be” solution
  • An official CEO-sanctioned business readiness sign-off process

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