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Konica Minolta Business Solutions embedding PRINCE2® for business transformation

Case Study

Konica Minolta Business Solutions embedding PRINCE2® for business transformation

Case Study

  • Case Study
  • Project management
  • Project planning
  • Project progress

Author  Markus Lichtner

Responsible for internal Project Management and Global Major Account Project Management teams at Konica

November 20, 2015 |

 9 min read

  • Case Study
  • Project management
  • Project planning
  • Project progress

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This case study describes how Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe GmbH introduced and adapted PRINCE2® to improve project management capabilities and help develop a project portfolio management function for its European Headquarters and National Operating Companies.

1. About Konica Minolta

About Konica Minolta

Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe GmbH is a leading global services provider in the field of IT and document processes, as well as digital production printing solutions. The company excels in services-led business consulting, implementation and management and provides a range of worldleading printing systems and solutions. For more information visit

Konica Minolta is a global company headquartered in Tokyo,Japan. Europe contributes to the global group with an annual revenue of €2 billion and over 8,000 employees in over 50 countries throughout Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

2. Introduction


This case study describes how the Enterprise Projects and Process Management Division of Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe GmbH introduced and adapted PRINCE2® to improve its project management capabilities and help develop a project portfolio management function for its European Headquarters and National Operating Companies. Embedding PRINCE2 across the organization was a necessary prerequisite for Konica Minolta to implement its transformational change to meet its vision for improvement.

3. Konica Minolta’s vision for change

Konica Minolta’s vision for change

Konica Minolta is undergoing transformational change to its core business processes and is changing from a hardware-centric business to an IT services-oriented business. It sees project management as both an enabler for more complex customer projects and a facilitator for the internal change to manage new business.

In addition Konica Minolta wants to build on the professional project management service that it currently offers to its customers and increase this business.

The need to improve Konica Minolta’s project portfolio management is a response to some clear drivers for change:

  • Customer expectations and requirements
  • Necessity for change within the organization to improve efficiency
  • Limited transparency (internal projects) and limited decision making capabilities
  • A highly competitive and agile environment.

The organization was aware that it needed to improve its project portfolio management in order to enable business change and so that they could answer the questions: ‘How many projects do we have?’ and ‘What do they cost?’ They did not have reliable information about the total number of projects in planning and execution, the budget they consume or their scope and schedule. An absence of transparent project portfolio management limited informed decision-making.

4. The change programme

The change programme

4.1 Aims and Objectives

The work programme to support the business transformation and deliver the organization’s vision was designed to achieve the following aims and objectives:

  • Establish controlled execution of customer projects: being able to execute most complex customer engagements
  • Offer project management as a professional service
  • Ensure project control, governance, transparency and ability to act (for internal projects)
  • Optimize use of internal resources.

A set of short and long term goals were defined to help build the environment to achieve the aims and objectives.

  • Describe and establish project management processes based on a tailored PRINCE2 approach
  • Standardized document templates based on PRINCE2, tailored for Konica Minolta
  • Implemented project portfolio management solution (Lighthouse) providing “one tool for all”
  • Continuous transparency to support management decision-making processes
  • Develop an ability to execute large scale and complex projects in an international environment with stakeholders and project members from European HQ, local organization, customers and suppliers to achieve common goals with all business functions involved.

4.2 Highlights of the Change programme

The programme comprised four main elements. The scope of project portfolio management implementation had to be defined along with the right processes to achieve the desired improvements. The new way of working with project management had to be accepted through a ‘mind-setting’ activity supported by training and education. In order to gain acceptance across Konica Minolta, a powerful support system was developed to provide “one tool for all”.

4.2.1 Scope and processes

The scope of the programme was to implement portfolio project management in the Konica Minolta European Headquarters and the European subsidiaries, which is an ongoing process. They needed an overview of the project landscape or portfolio, the ability to prioritize and harmonize projects and help with strategic guidance. This required the introduction and continuous tailoring of the PRINCE2 approach and processes for both customer projects and internal projects and the establishment of project financial controlling processes.

4.2.2 Mind-setting

In order to get support for the programme, project management had to be recognized as an enabler for change and business benefit. It was also important that the value of standardized processes, tools, templates, roles and responsibilities, etc. was accepted. The use of a PPM software tool and the application of PRINCE2 Best Practice mutually reinforced each other and helped achieve a new mind set faster.

4.2.3 Training & Education

As well as getting buy-in to the programme goals, Konica Minolta created a training programme to
provide training in the skills necessary for the new ways of working.

The training programme required development of a “Project Management Education Track” to target employees regularly working in projects as well as full-time project managers. The skills requirements for different roles were identified and appropriate levels for PRINCE2 training were created for them:

  1. Bronze Level - Target group “Every employee that has a role in a project”
  2. PRINCE2 Foundation Certification
  3. Silver Level - Target group “Employees regularly working in projects”
  4. PRINCE2 Practitioner Certification
  5. Gold Level - Target group “Full-time Project Managers”

The “Project Management Education Track” encompasses official PRINCE2 Foundation through work based training and training for practitioner certification.

In addition to the cetificated training the track includes specific training designed for senior management: “PRINCE2 for project board members”.

4.2.4 Introduction of PPM software tool Principal Toolbox (“one tool for all”)

Konica Minolta could not roll out the new project portfolio management processes across the organisation without support from the right toolset. They evaluated a number of different PPM tools before selecting Principal Toolbox from Fortes Solutions. Konica Minolta worked with Fortes Solutions to deliver a common toolset that was branded ‘Lighthouse’ within Konica Minolta. The toolset provides:

  • standardized project models based on PRINCE2;
  • harmonized document templates;
  • common terminology;
  • standardized project board- and management reporting;
  • common functionalities for project financial controlling (SAP interface in development);
  • full support for Project Portfolio Management.

4.3 Approach

A key decision was to introduce PRINCE2 as a line task of the newly established Enterprise Projects and Process Management Division within the European HQ and not as a single project.

A plan to develop and implement project portfolio management across Konica Minolta was designed, starting with establishing the ‘As Is’ state by creating a project inventory/ overview, followed by some preliminary project prioritization. The plan included stages to:

  • introduce a methodology based on PRINCE2, including creation of a Project Management Handbook, development of “Project Management Education Track” training, creation of tailored project management document templates and guidance for project managers and project boards;
  • evaluate and implement the project portfolio management tool;
  • put in place continuous optimization of processes and tools;
  • set up Enhanced Portfolio Management to include project prioritization by top management, management of project dependencies and guidance and consultancy to senior management.

The effectiveness of the new project portfolio management system was to be tested by key performance indicators (KPIs) in the start-up phase. They were defined to measure improvement of project management capabilities across European operations. They included measurement of the numbers of:

  • PRINCE2 certified project managers across European operations
  • European subsidiaries using the Lighthouse project portfolio management tool.

And some examples of measured improvements are:

  • Projects led by PRINCE2 certified project managers improved from 23% to 90% in a year
  • Projects with defined critical success factors (defined scope, defined budget, define timeline / schedule) rose from 45% of projects with one or more defined success factors to 100% in a year
  • Total number of PRINCE2 certified employees reached 470 by August 2015.

5. Conclusion


5.1 Challenges

Initially the programme faced problems with getting management attention, buy-in and resistance to change (especially regarding the “mind-setting” mentioned above). There were also concerns, notably in the head office, about the speed of change proposed. The organization felt “overwhelmed” by the amount of changes (processes, templates, tools, etc).

The programme addressed these concerns by training senior management and by tailoring the processes, templates, tools, etc so that they were not perceived as a burden A valuable lesson from this is to introduce change in stages: keep the scope of changes to a minimum (start small, think big) – add more step by step.

5.2 Success Factors

The new project portfolio management services are now being used by Konica Minolta’s European Headquarters and its European subsidiaries and the professional project management services are being taken up by its customers.

The change programme owes much of its success to top management support, including support from Konica Minolta’s European President, and the great performance and knowledge of the team that worked to deliver the programme.

The programme got valuable assistance from Fortes Solutions in helping develop the Lighthouse tool set and used the PRINCE2 foundation web-based training (WBT) that has been developed by ILX group.

5.3 Outcomes

The change programme has already:

  • developed a tailored PRINCE2 approach (processes, templates, terminology, roles and responsibilities, etc.) which is established in the European HQ and subsidiaries for both internal and customer projects;
  • established project portfolio management processes and function in European HQ;
  • complemented the common project portfolio management tool (Lighthouse).

As well as improving the performance of project delivery and helping the transition to IT based services Konica Minolta expect to realise future potential benefits of consistent billing of project management services, better resource management and a stronger alignment of selected projects with corporate strategy.

One lesson from a programme of this scale was that it was easy to overwhelm the organization with new processes and new way of thinking. The lesson for the future would be to accept a longer adoption time by the organization. For example, allow project execution skills to mature before starting the next steps in portfolio management.

Building on the successful rollout, the next steps for Konica Minolta are:

  • finalizing the European roll-out of the project portfolio management solution Lighthouse;
  • the PPM solution Lighthouse to be used globally (APAC, Europe, Americas);
  • continuously increase quality (Project & Portfolio Management Management / Lighthouse);
  • adopt more high level project management techniques (e.g. EVM).

6. About the authors

About the authors

Markus Lichtner is an experienced Project and Programme Manager and is responsible for internal Project Management and Global Major Account Project Management teams at Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe GmbH, one of the world’s leading suppliers of products, solutions and services within the field Office and Production Printing.

Marcus Seelis has an Internal Audit background and has delivered several huge-scale projects to Konica Minolta Europe such as the implementation of J-SOX, an organizational development project reorganizing the European leadership and collaboration structure and a European cost-saving project. He was responsible for European Internal Audit, Corporate Development/M&A and is currently responsible for Corporate Operational Excellence with Project Portfolio Management and Lean Process Transformation.

7. About Fortes Solutions

About Fortes Solutions

Fortes Solutions develops and delivers Project Portfolio Management software for organizations seeking to improve their efficiency in projects, programs and portfolios.

Founded in 1997, the focus and passion of Fortes Solutions still remains the same: to deliver smart and easily adaptable software based on leading methodologies such as PRINCE2, MSP®, MoP® and P3O®.

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Konica Minolta Business Solutions embedding PRINCE2® for business transformation