70% OF NEW, LARGE-SCALE
strategic initiatives fail.
Seventy percent of large-scale strategic initiatives fall short of their goal. *
VERVE bridges the divide between the leadership teams that define the strategy and the operation teams who execute it.
A strategy, even a great one, doesn’t implement itself.
In a recent survey conducted amongst 140 companies, 38% mentioned alignment with corporate goals as the leading pressure facing strategic planning. While your strategy is crucial to the success of your organization, it is the ability to execute a strategic plan that generates the results that lead to lasting competitive advantages. †
Alignment is often misunderstood and is the largest reason for failure when executing a strategic plan. It is difficult for employees to understand how their day to day work impacts the long-term strategy of an organization. Having a plan is not enough. The plan must be developed and communicated throughout an organization to ensure that the proper stakeholders are engaged. †
The gap between a well-thought-out strategy and its successful implementation remains one of the most challenging obstacles organizations face today. Whether your organization needs help deploying strategic technology solutions or maximizing the success of a new product launch, VERVE has the expertise to execute a plan that drives profitable growth. *
Implementation of strategic initiatives
Our highly experienced program and project managers have the leadership skills and the subject matter expertise to successfully guide, manage, and support large-scale initiatives. We do not just create a strategic plan – we implement it, and sometimes that requires additional experienced resources which we can provide. The best strategy in the world will fail if it is not implemented successfully.
Implementation of analytic systems
Our consultants can assist organizations in the assessment, design and development of big data, data science competencies, data standardization and reporting. Our implementation engagements have resulted in identifying waste and inefficiency, while successfully implementing strategic initiatives.
Our consultants have decades of hands-on experience in managing large scale strategic business change projects. We understand the critical nature of employee involvement, stakeholder alignment, communications, transition management and post-implementation support. We work with you to ensure all are in place to achieve your strategic objectives.
ALIGNMENT IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS, YET MANY ORGANIZATIONS FAIL TO ALLOCATE THE NECESSARY RESOURCES.
Meet a sample of our team
THINK TALENT. THINK VERVE.
Sandy Russell, Managing Director
Sandy focuses on strategic client relationship management and solution delivery, enhancing our clients’ success in everything she does. In addition, she oversees VERVE’s overall operations, talent acquisition and inspires the VERVE team, making this certified woman-owned business a great place to work. She has developed and led several highly successful consulting practices in the finance and accounting, internal audit, IT, HR, and supply chain areas for Deloitte & Touche, PeopleSoft, and two leading providers of project-based professional services. Additionally, as a process improvement specialist, project manager, and global systems leader, Sandy directed business process improvement and global system initiatives for Deloitte & Touche and Duracell.
Gordon Graven, Project Management Consultant
Gordon is a results-driven management executive with over 20 years of diversified experience building and leading successful endeavors through both high-growth and industry consolidation cycles. He has led Healthcare service organizations (solution launch, implementation, operations, and support)from start ups to 550+ FTEs, that have consistently overachieved their annual revenue targets, profit targets, and profit % of sales targets, over the last 14 years. Gordon has also led several initiatives within Healthcare organizations including M&A, joint ventures, and the development of strategic and operational plans. Utilizing strong Project Management skills, he has led development and implementation of PMO’s, processes and procedures. While at VERVE, Gordon has helped a Fortune 300 client with their industry transformation and software product launch.
Mary-Anne Blount, Financial Project Manager
Mary-Anne Blount, CPA, MBA joined our team in 2012 and brings a strong focus on financial management, internal controls and client success. In her role as Financial Project Manager, Mary-Anne works with organizations to understand the strategic initiatives and challenges and develops solutions that contribute to their success. Mary-Anne has a background in accounting, finance, audit, internal controls, M&A due diligence and integration, strategic planning and project management.
Prior to VERVE, Mary-Anne had a very successful career within the financial services, manufacturing and consulting industries.
Sample VERVE Consultants
Hands on, subject-matter experts with remarkable backgrounds and qualifications.
VERVE is committed to exceeding our clients’ expectations by providing objective results-oriented analysis, solutions and implementation strategies. We accomplish this by working with people who are experts in their roles and love what they do. VERVE consultants (our employees) work under our client’s direction so our client stays in full control. Our consultants have experience performing the projects that typically would be done by larger consultancies, without the associated management layers, overhead and expense.
MBA, CPA - ACCOUNTING, M&A AND CONTROL
Accomplished CPA with broad based experience in financial, operational and project management roles for global companies in multiple industries. Proven value in evaluating, implementing and streamlining organizational transactions and business processes. Reputation for managing complex projects, leading cross-functional teams and being a valued team member.
- Finance & accounting
- Internal controls
- Budgeting & forecasting
- Project management
- Accounting systems implementation
- Supply chain
- Excellent research, reconciliation & audit skills
PMO, GLOBAL PROGRAM LEADER, PROJECT MANAGER
Delivers value by engaging highly skilled, global teams to cross-functionally realign complex business processes to business goals. Particularly effective in leading programs through changing business environments. Leverages a strong Lean Six Sigma background to provide leadership in changing the way organizations function. Extensive experience advising/reporting to Senior Leadership teams (SLT) and Boards of Directors (BoD) around strategy, priority and program status.
- Enterprise-Agile Program Manager with PMO setup
- Program & project management
- Executive communication
- Lean Six Sigma
- Modern Agile
MBA, CONTROLLER, CFO, PROJECT MANAGER
Known for developing collaborative cross-enterprise relationships, being a ‘go to’ person for getting things done and facilitating “go/no go” decisions on market entries, product launches, strategic alliances, system implementations and pricing strategies. Her exceptional skills have allowed her to be involved in many strategic projects with diverse roles from Division CFO, FP&A, project manager/director, system owner, champion and financial advisor. Her employers include Big 4 public accounting, and F300 firms.
This consultant has an innate ability to see the big picture while quickly foreseeing the downstream effects of decisions, business process changes, user community challenges, etc.
- Controller & CFO background
- Process Redesign / Internal Controls
- International Assignments / Global Initiatives
- Global Financial Reporting
- Financial planning & analysis
- Project management
- Downstream foresight
- Six Sigma
MBA, PROGRAM / PROJECT MANAGER
Demonstrated leadership in project management, process improvement, business analysis, change management, client services, business development, management consulting, corporate strategy and partnership development.
With a background in project management from several firms/industries, skilled with different tools and methodologies, he creates custom plans & solutions after collaborating with executive, management, teams, and business owners.
- Program & project management
- Business analysis
- Enterprise software
- Utilizes waterfall or Agile scrum methodology
- Lean Six Sigma
- Balanced Scorecard & Prosci Change Management
- Process Improvement
- Strong collaborative & investigative skills
FINANCE, SUPPLY CHAIN LOGISTICS, PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Extensive financial, logistics and program management experience coupled with MBA, Six Sigma Black Belt and Supply Chain Management certifications and presence provides a well-rounded resource for a variety of projects. Experience leading and supporting “transformational” projects.
- Supply chain / Logistics management
- Taxation – Corp / Individual / Non Profit
- Program & project management
- Valuation analysis
- P&L management, accounting & audit
- Customer relations
- Finance / Operations / IT / Systems
- Six Sigma methodologies
- Balanced scorecards / metrics
- Communications & training
FINANCE & ACCOUNTING, PROJECT MANAGER
Corporate professional with comprehensive finance/accounting operational experience having held leadership roles in Financial Planning & Analysis, accounting, controllership, treasury and pricing. Led various new implementation and process improvement projects.
- Project management
- Business process improvements
- Cross functional team leadership
- Risk mitigation
- Portfolio management
- Planning & analysis
- Process design
PROJECT MANAGER, MARKETING, EVENT PLANNING
Versatile, resourceful professional with demonstrated project management, marketing, event planning, process improvement and training experience. Adept at managing multiple projects and fluid priorities. Proficient in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, comfortable with social media. Excellent writing, presentation and interpersonal skills.
- Project management
- Process improvements
- Data analysis
- Strong organizational, communication & editing skills
DIRECTOR OF HR, GLOBAL HR - COMPENSATION / BENEFITS, M&A
- Acquisitions / Integrations / Divestitures
- Strategic planning
- Employee communication
- Talent acquisition (staffing)
- Executive compensation
- Benchmarking / Best practices / Metrics building
- Benefits design & administration organization
- Web-based HRIS tools
- Succession planning
- Executive & employee development
We help companies explore and assess strategic options, then implement them flawlessly.
We implement new strategies and rethink traditional business models.
Planning vs. Implementation
Strategy implementation projects require different skills and knowledge compared to strategic planning projects. Analysis and research skills may play a heavy role during the planning stage, whereas project management skills are needed to implement an approved strategy. The only successful strategy is one that can be implemented and having the right people in place is key to that implementation. VERVE has the resources and the skill sets to do both effectively.
Read our case studies to learn how VERVE has helped clients execute their business strategies
Strategy Implementation (Mergers, Acquisition and Divestitures)
VERVE assisted a Fortune 50 client with several transactions, including a $68 Billion acquisition, two $2 Billion divestitures, and an $11 Billion divestiture along with a variety of collaboration and joint venture agreements. Our team of diverse project management consultants assisted in several functional areas, providing subject matter expertise, strategic guidance and additional resources as the client had limited staff to work on supporting the transaction, integration and carve-out activities, while doing their ‘business as usual’ functions.
Financial Project Management: Managed the transition of financials through year-end in compliance with the Transaction Services Agreement (TSA) for a divested entity. Acting as Financial Project Manager, VERVE provided project management oversight and financial expertise in support of major acquisition and resulting asset divestiture. Highlights include:
- Established a process for implementing Corporate Accounting issues resulting from the divestiture
- Developed schedules and timetables for international locations to comply with provisions of Transition Services Agreement (TSA)
- Provided status to management
Manufacturing Integration Project Management: To support the multi-billion dollar acquisition, VERVE was enlisted to guide the client’s project managers to transfer products from the acquired firm’s manufacturing facilities to several global locations. Highlights include:
- Facilitated a program of 30 divestment and transfer projects for division assets
- Created project plans, gained local country buy-in, tracked plans, and managed escalations
- Worked with project teams in the U.S., Spain, Belgium, and the Netherlands
Technical Accounting Guidance for Ongoing Business Development Projects: As an interim member of our client’s technical accounting advisory team VERVE reviews transaction contracts to provide accounting guidance and to propose alternative structures to achieve the desired results. This includes:
- Providing due diligence support and purchase accounting guidance to divisional operational, financial, and legal staff to help ensure that business and accounting, both internal and external, objectives are met
- Identifying and analyzing the accounting and reporting issues of acquisitions, divestitures, collaborations, co-promotion and licensing arrangements and strategic investments by reviewing proposals, contracts, term sheets, executive summary memos, and other related documents in addition to holding discussions with appropriate Company personnel
Technical Accounting Lead: VERVE provided leadership on a strategic balance sheet segmentation project VERVE’s role on this highly visible technical accounting and Excel driven initiative included project management, strategy, coordination with the functional groups and technical assistance.
Financial Management for Business Technology Integration: VERVE provides strategic financial management and analyst services for transformational divestiture project activities. This includes:
- Manage project Transaction Services Agreement (TSA) ongoing cost analysis, estimation, and changes for wind down exit scenarios
- Develop global methodologies to collect and provide estimates for stranded, dis-synergy, and termination fees & penalties for wind down exit scenarios
- Establish project processes and global financial reporting for TSA Ongoing, Exit, and De-Integration spend
- Obtain and track financial costs related to actual, committed, and forecast for project activities
- Update and track changes to contracts and agreements upon termination of services
- Address data discrepancies with work stream leads, finance, procurement, and project PMO
Human Resources Project Management: Provide HR management with assistance on various strategic projects including:
- Project management guidance for global HR systems and processes (payroll and benefits) implementation;
- Managing HR Readiness/Business Processes for global mobility initiative;
- Managing the investor room for transactions including assisting with response research and analysis for investor room questions, and preparing target employee lists for divesting entities
Strategic Technology Implementation
A Fortune 500 client was launching their new SaaS product, however, the project was already in flight and falling behind. They needed a seasoned high caliber project manager with SaaS experience and expert communication and change management skills to help them get back on track and deliver the program on time. VERVEprovided project management support with the specific project management and SaaS expertise required and quickly accomplished the following results:
Project plan work streams were identified and milestones and timelines were solidified from the workstream owners.
Workstreams included but were not limited to areas such as technology enablement, web channel and provisioning, inside sales, field sales, marketing and communications.
Risks and dependencies were identified and began being managed.
The program was launched as scheduled.
A tiered post launch support program was created and managed successfully.
Business Transformation Strategy
A Fortune 500 client was undergoing a major business transformation and ERP implementation. Specifically they needed high caliber support for their PMO, specific project initiatives and their finance and accounting areas. VERVE quickly put a team together and performed the following tasks:
- Provided project management support for a call center consolidation that resulted in real estate savings as well as headcount and related savings. The project included process identification and documentation, call metric analytics, resourcing requirements and other data. This was critical to ensure the successful closing of the one call center and the successful movement of work to the receiving call center so the receiving call center would be appropriately staffed, trained and had baseline performance metrics on Day 1 of the cutover.
- Provided project management support that improved the customer experience with the client. The PM support was both as an individual contributor to start and then as a team lead in identifying processes and information to track and automate in regards to customer experience data within the new ERP system implementation.
- Provided finance, accounting and leasing support that allowed client expertise to spend time on the ERP implementation. The back office support provided was invaluable in allowing the go-live ERP implementation to go ahead as planned.
- Provided PMO support for the ERP implementation that included business analytics and project management. The support provided was so instrumental in the team achieving their goals that the support expanded into support for order to cash, product modeling and then go-live support to ensure the business was up to speed in terms of where they needed to be in order to do their jobs and execute within the system as designed.
Program Management Support
Program Management Support (Merger Integration & Business Transformation)
A privately-held newly acquired healthcare payer claims auditing firm needed integration support after their recent merger and for the re-branding activities they needed to undertake. Specifically they needed high caliber technical and marketing program/project managers as well as business analysts to ensure their success and support their newly formed Program Management Office (PMO).
VERVE assembled a team of program and project managers quickly to support their strategic initiatives, compliance requirements and met their very tight deadlines. Our combined activity led to an increase in structured project management discipline which resulted in the delivery of many technical projects, a successful rebranding launch of a newly merged entity and the resultant successful IPO.
Common Data Platform Model: One of VERVE’s technical program managers was instrumental in the successful pilot delivery of a common data platform model which was a mission-critical initiative to the business. This new platform now allows for greater data ingestion efficiency and cost reductions. It is now the platform of the future for our client.
VERVE’s security team worked on establishing integrated control frameworks, establishing information security and privacy policies, identifying gaps with current practices and establishing metrics for improvement.
PMO Support and Reporting: VERVE’s business analyst worked with our client’s PMO establishing executive dashboards, communications, issue/risk management documents, scheduling and stakeholder status presentations. Other VERVE project managers were instrumental in developing the client’s internal project managers regarding estimating resources, developing scope documents, creating charters and dashboards and reviewing project milestones. They also supported the client’s agile implementation leading stand up meetings, sprint reviews and the updating of SOP’s. Another of VERVE’s program managers worked with IT in establishing a service delivery structure (quality, governance etc.) as well as their network security architecture.
Technical project management: VERVE’s project managers supported a variety of software development initiatives, including compliance, application development as well as multiple integration projects.
Strategic Sourcing: Our consultants assisted with the implementation of a new contracts administration system and the structuring of this critical area to increase cost reductions and standardizations.
Marketing and Branding: VERVE led the effort for over 15 different workstreams as the main interface between the firm hired to create the branding and our client’s management team. A new branding of the two recently merged companies was released on time and on budget.
Vision without action is a daydream.
VERVE is committed to exceeding our clients’ expectations by providing objective results- oriented analysis, solutions and implementation strategies. We accomplish this by working with people who are experts in their roles and love what they do.
Our approach addresses issues that lie at the intersection of strategy and operations, including business transformation and change initiatives. Our consultants have a reputation for strategic thinking, attention to detail, creativity, and the ability to work collaboratively with many different organizations and their leadership.
At the core of our business is collaboration—amongst our employees at all levels and with our clients. Working together, our people continually challenge themselves and each other to develop and implement innovative new approaches, execute new strategies, and rethink traditional business models.