Fulton Hogan: Aligning vision, sophisticated strategy and sublime execution

Photo of Sarah Kulman of Fulton Hogan

Matt’s approach from the get-go was clear and concise. He got straight to the core of what needed to be delivered and communicated how we would all get there together.


As a leadership team, we knew what needed to be done – we had an idea of what focus areas and activities would deliver the results we needed. But we needed someone to guide and navigate the differing views and personalities to get the best out of everyone.


Despite tight timelines, Matt kept us on track. His collaborative approach helped unite the fairly new working group, creating support for each and buy-in to the organisation’s vision.


Matt encouraged the team to look objectively at the situation and agree on a bold vision that would elevate its short-term strategy to long-term security.

Fulton Hogan logo

Sarah Kulman

Alliance Integration, Communications and Strategy Manager

The Metropolitan Roads Program Alliance (MRPA) is currently responsible for removing dangerous level crossings on behalf of the Victorian State Government.


MRPA’s current projects include, Evans Road, Lydhurst, Cardinia Road Pakenham, South Gippsland Highway, Dandenong; and Clyde Road, Berwick.


It wanted to create a long-term strategic plan that would help cement its vision, motivate its people and become the government and community’s preferred infrastructure supplier.

The TL;DR snapshot:

The challenge: Collaboratively build a strategy for now, and the future

The MRPA integrates three organisations – Fulton Hogan, Metro Trains Melbourne and the Level Crossing Removal Project – and their expertise into one cohesive team to deliver large infrastructure projects on behalf of the government.
The stakes are high, the work is complex, and the outcomes are critically important to the community.

A change of the guard in leadership offered an opportunity to reflect and refocus, and co-create a new organisational vision.


While the outcome was clear, how to get there wasn’t – until BEX Lab joined the fray.

nighttime construction site with men managing the movement of structural beams
The MRPA delivers complex and important infrastructure projects on behalf of the government and local communities. (Image source: Level Crossing Removal Project.)

Our approach: Strategic inputs and future-focused collaboration

The cornerstone of any workshop is to be clear on the outcomes upfront. In this case, we had to:
We’ve run enough of these sessions to know a successful workshop is a creativity and collaboration multiplier.

When done well, it creates a safe environment where people can solve problems, plan together, and build collective ownership – moving from “no, but” argumentation to “yes, and” collaboration. In doing so, it harnesses the intelligence of a group.


Once our objectives and workshop insights were locked down, we developed a cohesive plan deliver against them.

The solution: Strategy is what you choose not to do

We only had a day and a half with the Leadership Team, and we had to make it count.


First, we did a retrospective to discuss which elements of the existing strategy and operating model worked well, what could be improved, and where we needed to focus our efforts.


Once we understood the current baseline, we moved to strategy. We’re big fans of Kaplan and Norton’s balanced scorecard, which unifies focus, simplicity, vision and measurement.

The retro revealed the existing vision and core objectives didn’t match the new commitment to growth and innovation.
MRPA strategy framework
The MRPA’s strategic plan positions it to become the government and community’s preferred infrastructure supplier.

To evolve the vision, we worked in both smaller groups and as a collective – something we’d replicate for the rest of the workshop.


Next, we identified the four strategic pillars that would enable the MRPA to realise its vision:

We then developed the performance measures, targets and specific initiatives (with owners and deadlines) that would determine both our short and long-term success.


Finally, we pressure tested the plan to ensure we’d truly embraced blue sky thinking – rather than being operational – and evolved our work to embed some audacious goals.


Once the workshop was complete, we worked alongside with the Alliance’s Communications and Strategy Manager, Sarah, to synthesise all outputs and package them into a cohesive document for feedback.


She re-engaged the leadership team and refined the strategic plan, before finalising it for stakeholder and organisational socialisation and dissemination.

Making it happen: Develop a two-tiered strategic road map that’s actionable

Group of people in a function room for the MRPA Strategy Leadership Offsite Training
The exec workshop unified a new team, enhanced collaboration, mapped the current baseline, and developed the short and mid-term roadmap.
The final checkpoint for the strategy was to present it to the Alliance Leadership Team.
As you’d imagine, we were collectively chuffed when they said it was it was one of the most sophisticated strategies they’d seen.
In their words, “It is visionary because the strategy focuses on short-term deliverables as well as long-term growth. In doing so, it positions the MRPA to deliver any infrastructure project the government requires, future-proofing the organisation and its workforce.”

Specifically, this approach to strategy development enabled the MRPA to:

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