Developing an Agile Workplace Culture

CASE STUDY

 

Our client was a B2B software company that was going through rapid change due to reorganization as a result of COVID19.  We were brought in to develop a people strategy to implement the CIO’s Agile Workplace initiative across the IT department.

Our Approach

Upon completing our Organizational Assessment 360°, 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.”

♦ Project overload as a result of reduced employee headcount

♦ Unclear processes due to rapid changes

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

​♦ Lack of understanding and transparency between teams

These factors resulted in a low employee engagement score across teams, resulting in lower productivity.

From here, we utilized our Organizational 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. Value streams were mapped visually, and pain points/bottlenecks were addressed across teams. From there, teams collectively made decisions on new roles and responsibilities.

♦ Implementing the use of a companywide KPI visualization tool and Slack as a two-way collaboration and feedback tool

♦ Developing a central repository for process documents.

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

♦ Using our people analytics tools to redesign teams to include functional and technical skill sets and then conducting an initial agile pilot with 3 teams, training staff and leaders on the agile SDLC and Scrum. 

♦ Working with team managers one-on-one to coach them on new skills based on our behavioral assessment, helping them lead more effectively in the face of change.

 

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. Project team performance metrics improved as well: IT delivery times reduced from months to days, leading to increased stakeholder satisfaction. Finally, our people analytics tools saved the department nearly $200K on operating costs. 

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“You understand people and change deeply. In all of my years of experience, you are the best change management professional I have ever worked with.”

– Mona Pomraning, Senior Manager at Accenture

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