Our clients have needed change management support in many situations.
Reorganizations & Program Management
For various strategic reasons, a multi-billion dollar business decided to “de-merge” and decentralize several product lines into autonomous business units. This change required the company to move from a single finance function to mirrored functions in each unit. As these moves were being made, the company also would change two major support systems and close several satellite locations. With so many balls in the air, the company needed to effectively manage the effort and associated risks.
The company turned to The Brookside Group and our Alignment and Integration Services to manage the initiative. Our team put a Program Management Office in place and then helped the client identify an appropriate plan to reach their goals and and minimize risks. Using The Brookside Group’s Program Management ApproachTM, our team established a means to track progress against the plan, provide complete transparency and early visibility to potential issues.
The PMO is currently being operated with the understanding that in upcoming phases, we will transition our program manager role to the client. Our team will move from a managing position to a coaching position and we will move from an active role to a supporting role.
Business Process Management and Change Leadership
A global manufacturer implemented SAP in most of its major markets except for the U.S. The U.S. was at the end of the implementation queue for two reasons. First, to reduce overall risk; second, the U.S. unit had significant culture and business process challenges to address. The organization had relatively long employee tenures and most processes were undocumented. Senior management regularly rewarded people who “broke the rules” as the champions of “bureaucracy fighters.”
Executives realized a cultural intervention would be necessary before the SAP implementation began. Senior management needed to learn that business process was a way of improving the organization’s performance. The Brookside Group’s associates became a key partner in that work.
Over a two-year period, our associates worked with the client to shift leadership attitudes about business process management and discipline. We helped the client establish and manage a governance program designed to encourage senior management’s personal involvement. Additionally, our team helped the client form an in-house consulting group to facilitate improvements in process design and execution.
As the programs rolled out, vice presidents were named accountable for process performance and improvement across functional lines. Quarterly forums were conducted for these vice presidents to showcase progress, receive training and allocate resources.
The client, now in the midst of its SAP implementation, benefited greatly from the programs. Cultural pushback from senior management on process discipline is no longer an issue for the organization. The senior levels now are successfully leading the changes created by the SAP implementation.
Organizational Alignment – A public utility was facing a convergence of several threatening forces: an aging and retiring workforce creating knowledge capital drains; customer growth creating large demands for capital investment; environmental sustainability issues creating employee and community relation concerns; rising commodity prices threatening profitability; and the potential for energy market disruptions and regulatory changes to significantly alter the business’s core operating assumptions.
The business determined a focus on operating efficiency and effectiveness held the potential to offset these threats. An investment in Business Process Management (BPM) fundamentals would enable the company to preserve knowledge, deliver higher quality service, and reduce costs. The company’s challenge was changing ingrained ways of working in a culture highly averse to change.
In working with our client, The Brookside Group laid out a plan to accelerate BPM adoption. The recommendation redirected their effort to one focused on engaging senior management prior to marketing BPM to employees. Our counsel was, “Employees will not go where they are not led, and executives will not lead without understanding where they are heading.” The company needed to create awareness, understanding and participation at the senior-most levels before they could make significant progress at the employee level. As a result, our client delayed plans to broadly market BPM to its employees. Rather, our client now is focusing on building competency and leveraging management support, and less on marketing a “theme of the month.”
Improving Ways of Working
A new product development company needed help launching three bioscience startups. This company partnered with The Brookside Group to document the necessary business plans and secure both public and private operating capital for the startups.
At the end of a multi-million dollar project, the executive management at a pharmaceutical company and a contract research organization realized their partnership had been inefficient and ineffective. This left both sides convinced they would need to improve their ability to manage strategic partnerships.
Each company knew what was at stake. The pharmaceutical company could see well-run projects would speed their new product launch process. The research organization knew well-run projects would give them a competitive edge in their industry.
Executive management for both companies felt a “lessons learned” review would identify the sources of inefficiency and provide a platform for more productive working relationships.
The two companies engaged The Brookside Group to assess the team’s work. The Brookside Group employed its Organization Alignment ModelTM as a framework for the review.
The Brookside Group’s initial assessment validated the two companies’ executive managements’ perspectives about opportunities in the process and communication areas. The assessment also indicated additional opportunities for building a more collaborative environment.
Through additional assessments, The Brookside Group helped the two companies understand:
- Many of the process and communication issues were symptoms of misalignment in the team and project. For instance, different parts of the team had different definitions of success – timeline and scope management were paramount vs. a preference for quality regardless of other constraints.
- Senior management from both companies must take significantly different approaches for any future projects. For instance, they should provide a “steering committee” for support; provide more detailed and aligned direction; and purposefully operate as a virtual team with necessary team design and team-building activities.
Education & Training
A client who outsourced its accounts payable function faced significant issues at cutover. Suppliers weren’t getting paid. An analysis of the situation showed the outsourcing supplier was largely following the specified process. The client’s own people weren’t following the process.
The Brookside Group was retained to improve process compliance through a procure-to-pay training program. Our approach involved the development of an eLearning application and certification process for current employees, and the incorporation of this training in the new employee orientation process. As the client was operating in more than 20 locations and hiring several hundred people per year, our approach enabled the client to deliver training whenever and wherever it was needed, provide refresher training when necessary, and do so at a fraction of the cost, time and effort of the originally envisioned classroom delivery approach.
Training Program Management
An SAP implementation’s first phase required 1,400 employees across three cities to be trained in 20 different subject areas. The Brookside Group managed the schedule, logistics and training communication plan. With our team covering all of training logistics, the program team was able to focus on their development and training delivery responsibilities.