The Award for Most Persistent Driver of Change Goes To … (Part 2)
In the previous blog post, I introduced the director of global business process services at a leading enterprise technology company.
The director set out on a journey to provide back-office managers with the data they needed to make effective decisions around employee productivity.
Part one covered the first four hurdles she had to overcome. Following are four more she conquered to make her vision a reality.
Hurdle #5: Condensed Timeline. The initial plan called for six months of pre-work, deployment and then three months to settle in before they would start doing their analysis and begin realizing benefits. Executive management, however, felt they needed to show ROI sooner rather than later, and set a target of four months for pre-work and two months for settling in.
Hurdle #6: Big Bang vs. Rolling Thunder. Because of the compressed deadline, the corporation deployed DPA all at once to more than 5,000 employees. However, per company policy, the employee had seven days to download any new applications and restart their machine.
It became a logistical nightmare to try and track who had downloaded, who was sending data, who wasn’t, etc. So, phase 2 will be a rolling wave—going country by country, team by team, monitoring deployment, restart efforts, and validating data sends. They will also have a migration team in place to identify, correct and fix any issues as each group gets deployed.
Hurdle #7: What To Do With the Data. Suddenly the managers and directors of back-office functions are receiving reports on application usage, employee utilization and productivity—data they’ve never had before.
Their question: What am I to do with this? Extensive training was needed so managers would know how to:
- Pull reports
- Interpret the data
- Use the data to have conversations with their employees focusing on the positive—increasing productivity time—and not on the negative—time spent in non-productive-related applications or activities.
To support their objective of increasing not only employee productivity but also manager productivity, the corporation purposefully chose to only use standard DPA reports—no customized reports would be supported. They also limited the granularity of data available to managers, so they can’t see every URL an employee visits—which could prove to be a rabbit hole of wasted time for managers.
Hurdle #8 (Last One!): Ongoing Governance. With a global implementation, it is critical to actively manage change, solution adoption and training, and issue resolution. The director and her team created a center of excellence to manage the “steady state” support for the areas in which the solution was deployed.
Staffing this with the expertise needed with coverage in relevant time zones is quite challenging. In addition, the corporation’s approach is to keep things small and contained, adding resources as needed. The center of excellence currently has seven full-time resources supporting 300 leaders in APAC and the Americas. As Phase 2 rolls out in EMEA, they likely will add another resource, mostly to cover the time zones.
After a long journey to provide back-office managers the data they need to make decisions, the technology company is starting to see the dividends. With the solution live for only four months, they are already on their way to achieving a 10 percent productivity improvement in 12 months (five months sooner than planned). This is being achieved mostly through attrition, by not backfilling positions or filling planned headcount increases.
In addition, some areas of the corporation have signed new business but have not had to add headcount to address the volume increases. And, some managers are seeing their inventory levels going down, which means they are processing more with the same or fewer headcount.
I think you will agree after reading the director’s story that she truly deserves the award for Most Persistent Driver of Change. Have you taken on a global implementation? What were your greatest hurdles to success? Share your story below.
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