CASE STUDY: INCREASING employee engagement THROUGH AGILE hr strategies
Our client was a large, 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 Lean-Agile culture initiative internally while leading stakeholder communications and change management.  
Our Approach
Upon completing an Organizational Assessment 360° and Technology assessment across people, culture, processes and technology through surveys, one-on-one interviews, as well as focus groups, we found several key problem areas:
  • 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
From there, we were able to utilize our Agile Accelerator® program to understand requirements across teams, prioritizing the internal changes that would be necessary to address these pain points and ensure 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, where program value streams could be mapped visually, pain points could be addressed across teams, and decisions on new policies and processes made collectively. 
  • Implementing the use of Slack as a two-way collaboration and feedback tool, as well as a central repository for IT process and RACI 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. 
  • ​Developing training strategy for IT leaders across schools in agile management and servant leadership 
Results
Despite initial challenges with scoping and roles/responsibilities, 4 out of 6 of the pilot projects resulted in increased stakeholder satisfaction with quality and delivery time. Based on our survey, we found that employee engagement had also increased by 41% across pilot teams, and 25% as a whole across the IT department. Employees noted that they felt they had a"better understanding of stakeholder and cross-team needs," and "greater trust in peers/other functions." 

As a result of improved employee engagement, IT delivery times also improved leading to increased IT stakeholder satisfaction. Based on the improvement in metrics, we were also able to make a successful business case for piloting an agile HR performance management solution across IT.
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