Creating strategic direction
A Mott MacDonald case study

Page 5: Strategy and objectives

Mott MacDonald operates a rolling strategic plan that looks ahead over a five-year period and is updated every year. The five-year plan is an example of 'top down' planning it sets targets and the direction for the company”s business units. At the same time, the business units contribute to the planning process from the bottom-up through their annual business plans.

As Mott MacDonald is an employee-owned company, employees help to decide what areas they would like the business to focus on. This might mean the business takes on projects that do not provide a return on investment in the short term, but which help to position the business in the market in the longer term. For example, projects in China are likely to show bigger rewards as its economy grows.

The five-year plan covers all areas of importance to the business. These include financial growth, markets, services, customers, partners, sustainability and staff development. For each of these areas Mott MacDonald has specific business objectives.

SMART objectives

By taking into account the mission, vision and values, business managers set SMART objectives. These help ensure that the business can measure its performance accurately. 

SMART objectives apply to projects too. For example, Mott MacDonald”s engineering consultants supported a project in Malaysia where floods and traffic congestion have caused problems in the central business district of Kuala Lumpur, the capital.

The solution is the Stormwater Management And Road Tunnel by coincidence, also called SMART. This project is a world-first. The tunnel is 9.7 kilometres long and diverts the floodwaters away from the city centre. The 3 kilometre middle section of the tunnel also acts as a two-deck motorway to help relieve traffic congestion. When the tunnel is full with water, the road section closes.

Mott MacDonald designed the dual-purpose section of the tunnel and helped solve the technical solutions to challenges linked with excavating out the entire tunnel. By providing expertise from across the Mott MacDonald Group, the consultants worked with the local teams to share knowledge and solve a local problem with a sustainable and innovative solution.

In considering the project, Mott MacDonald's experts needed to ask themselves key questions to ensure their objectives were SMART. The results of the project showed whether they had achieved them:

  • S - what do we want to achieve? Kuala Lumpur needed continuous access to its business district.
  • M - how will we know if it has achieved the right result? The traffic congestion and flooding will not happen again.
  • A - do we have the right resources to carry this out? Mott MacDonald helped to procure the specialised equipment for the excavation.
  • R - does it address the problem? The proposed solution solved both the flooding and congestion problems.
  • T - what is the deadline? The first phase was to be completed in 2005 and the second in 2007.

Stopping the flooding problems will massively reduce financial losses for the city.  Using SMART objectives to create the SMART solution helped to ensure that the project was completed on time and within budget when it was finished in 2007.

Mott MacDonald | Creating strategic direction



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