Developing an Agile Workplace

CASE STUDY

 

Our client was a global higher-education institution that was going through rapid change due to reorganization and the arrival of a new CIO. We were brought in to develop a strategy and implement the CIO’s Agile Workplace initiative.

Our Approach

Upon completing our Organizational Assessment 360° and Technology assessment, we found several key problem areas for developing an agile workplace:

♦ Unclear project ownership, roles, and responsibilities

♦ Resentment towards leadership as a result of change fatigue

♦ Siloed “us vs. them” mentality between functional teams, e.g. “We don’t talk to them.”

♦ Hierarchy limiting project progress and decision-making

♦ Unclear processes due to rapid changes

♦ Important documents not easy to find/scattered across multiple systems

​♦ Lack of understanding between IT and business stakeholders

These factors resulted in a low employee engagement score across the IT department.

From here, we utilized our Change Accelerator® program to understand requirements across teams and prioritize internal changes. We wanted to ensure that we could capitalize on low-cost, high-impact wins.

Immediate steps on the roadmap were:

♦ Developing and facilitating a cadence of all-hands cross-functional meetings. Program value streams were mapped visually, and pain points/bottlenecks were addressed across teams. From there, teams collectively made decisions on new policies and processes.

♦ Implementing the use of Slack as a two-way collaboration and feedback tool, as well as developing a central repository for IT process documents.

♦ Creating and leading an ‘Innovation Lab’ series for IT Project Managers to share ideas, adopt agile mindset, and train in new habits and behaviors.

♦ Conducting an initial agile pilot with 3 teams, training staff and leaders on the agile SDLC and Scrum. 

Results

Despite initial challenges with scoping and roles/responsibilities, our Organizational Assessment found that employee engagement had increased by 41% across pilot teams.  Employees noted that they felt they had a”better understanding of stakeholder and cross-team needs,” and “greater trust in peers/other functions.”

Our culture change consulting work did not just result in improved employee engagement. IT delivery times also improved, leading to increased IT stakeholder satisfaction. Thus, we were also able to make a successful business case for a wider agile organizational transformation.

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