We help organizations achieve higher and faster returns by deploying best-in-class thinking across the capital projects portfolio and project delivery value chain.

Too often, capital portfolios don’t translate overall strategy into capital allocation across a portfolio of projects. Many projects lack a mature and optimized business case, and fail to return their cost of capital. The Capital Excellence approaches help improve returns and program performance across the entire portfolio with a rigorous, holistic methodology enabled by digital and agile techniques.

We help industry players—including owners, operators, and investors—align capital strategy, optimize portfolios, and transform project development and delivery across asset classes. At each stage we discover, create, and ultimately grow value—for all participants in the value chain—and build teams with the right skills to manage complex workstreams. By combining proprietary technology, advanced analytics, and capability building, we deliver Change that Matters on an end-to-end journey of capital transformation, resulting in reduced risks, saved money, accelerated progress, increased returns, and improved performance.

15-30%

average capital cost savings

2-4

point average uplift in ROIC

~30%

typical reduction in project schedule timeline

What we do

Our work often begins with a rapid assessment, powered by Westney Capital Analytics, to provide our clients with an objective, fact-based view of strengths, opportunities, and the size of the value at stake.

Capital strategy and portfolio optimization

We partner with organizations to define strategic direction, optimize capital spend, and build enterprise-wide capex capabilities, including designing digital transformations.

Project development and value improvement

We identify and evaluate early stage projects and apply strategic levers to improve project business cases significantly. We also optimize design, procurement, and the critical enablers – organization, culture, capabilities, risk, contracting, digital and analytics – to realize the full potential of the project.

Project delivery and construction

We help deliver projects through a disciplined execution rhythm to accelerate schedules, improve safety outcomes, maintain quality, and reduce costs. This end-to-end value assurance and optimization support, tailored to major projects, can be further enhanced by full-time support from McKinsey experts embedded in the leadership team.

Our Approach

Analytics and technology

Applying analytics and technology is core to our approach, changing the way we help clients deliver projects. We combine proprietary solutions like Digital Control Tower and Project Production Management with advanced analytics through Westney Capital Analytics, and create partnerships with leading technology providers. This ecosystem of innovators allows us to deliver leading-edge solutions that support capital portfolio performance by improving project management, identifying project complexities, and predicting outcomes.

Capability building

Maintaining capital portfolio performance requires the right mix of team skills to sustain the impact of transformations in the long term. In addition to ongoing coaching throughout projects, we help clients embed new capabilities with McKinsey Academy’s Capital Excellence program, and build digital skills through our proprietary education and external partnerships.

Impact stories

Getting smart about capital spending

An energy company transforms how it plans capital projects, freeing up billions to enter new markets.

An engineering and construction giant reignites profitable growth

Better strategy and strong leadership pipeline unlock growth, boost revenues, and safeguard margins.

Strategic approach to hospital design and construction cuts cost by 20 percent

Improvements to building costs, construction approaches, and procurement help a US healthcare provider reduce capital costs and raise service quality.

Featured Video

Capability Center Venice Expansion

As our Digital Capability Center in Venice expands, we are leveraging our expertise to help deliver the project. Watch what we’ve learned so far.

Featured Insights

The Next Normal

As the world becomes more urban, more people will live and work in high-rises. What will that mean for builders, real-estate companies, and tenants? In this edition, The Next Normal explores the high-rise of 2030.

 

Capital Projects 5.0: Reimagining capital-project delivery

– What could your business achieve if your large capital projects were 30 to 50 percent faster and cheaper? The opportunity is more real than you think.

Why the time is right to reinvent capital-project delivery

– What could your business achieve if your large capital projects were 30 to 50 percent faster and cheaper? The opportunity is more real than you think.

Agile delivery of capital projects

– Industry leaders are using the agile approach to reimagine how capital projects are delivered.

Walking the talk: Best practices for digital construction

– We are taking the advice we typically give our clients and applying it to our own construction project—and we’ll be sharing the challenges and lessons as we go.

Resetting capital spending in the wake of COVID-19

– Amid the pandemic, many CFOs are struggling to stabilize cash flows. A quick reset of capital spending—which can usually be achieved in about four weeks—can help them reach their goals.

The next normal in construction: How disruption is reshaping the world’s largest ecosystem

– The COVID-19 crisis looks set to accelerate an overdue transformation of the world’s largest ecosystem. We expect nine shifts to radically change the construction value chain, and offer a blueprint for the next normal ahead.

Collaborative contracting: Moving from pilot to scale-up

– Despite the early successes of collaborative-contract adopters, the industry remains hesitant. Five steps can help project owners better envision the transition toward more collaborative approaches.

Modular construction: From projects to products

– Shifting construction away from traditional sites and into factories could dramatically change the way we build. Will modular construction make a sustainable impact this time around?

More from this practice

Practice page

Global Infrastructure Initiative

Our research suggests up to 40 percent of global infrastructure and capital project investment is poorly spent because of bottlenecks, lack of innovation, and market failures. McKinsey established the GII to address these issues, promote economic growth, and contribute to more resilient and secure communities.
Blog Post

McKinsey welcomes Westney Consulting, a leading capital-projects consultancy

– The acquisition further helps us ensure on-time and on-budget delivery of our clients capital projects.

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