Integration of multiple strategic initiatives
lessons from the field
Business Issue: A Case Study in Project Integration
With a rich tradition reaching back nearly 140 years, a regional bank has been leader in the Caribbean for many years.
But now the bank wanted to further strengthen its position in core markets while growing aggressively into new areas of the Caribbean.
So the Bank decided to implement sweeping change across its organization. To create “The New Bank,” bank officials approved a portfolio of major initiatives and projects, including:
• New banking systems
• New Human Resources information systems
• A shared services environment
• Updated operational and business models for all sales and service functions.
The Bank initially engaged Andersen to guide the new banking systems transformation. As we undertook this project, we were exposed to the three other major initiatives that were either under way or planned. There we saw the opportunity for the bank to leverage our Architected Solutions across all the initiatives to speed the implementation process, use resources more effectively, reduce overall costs, and gain additional buy-in from employees at all levels of the institution.
So the Bank awarded us with program management, project management, change Enablement, and communications services responsibilities across all four strategic initiatives.
Exhibit 1. Architected Solutions
The Value Proposition
Underlying the bank's long-term success was a culture with a “cando” attitude, a very strong two-way loyalty between the bank and its employees, and a great deal of independence among the various departments and branches of the bank. At the same time, antiquated information and transaction systems, as well as a very traditional approach to operations and human resource management, were—in the view of bank executives—hindrances to strategic growth plans. Simply stated, the bank wanted to become “the bank of choice in the Caribbean.” But the current organization and supporting processes and systems did not allow the flexibility, interaction, and integration among the resources that would be responsible for expanding the bank's presence through the Caribbean. At risk was the bank's future as the undisputed banking leader in the Caribbean.
In providing these services, we where tasked with the following:
Program Management—assessing all of the different projects, analyzing their dependencies and prerequisites, and addressing resource capacity management and risk management issues.
Change Enablement—conducting situational diagnostics, identifying organizational change needs, and planning and implementing the actions needed to help bank personnel transition from their current state to the envisioned organization.
Exhibit 2. Architected Solutions Structure
Exhibit 3. Change Enablement Framework
Communications Strategy and Protocols—to facilitate change across the organization.
Lessons From the Field
We quickly identified three key barriers to be overcome in order for us to be successful in delivering these services. First, we learned that the bank's culture relied too much on long-held traditions and that these traditions, in some cases, stymied progress. Second, we had to overcome generations of silo-oriented thinking to achieve an environment characterized by integration—such as cross-selling and up-selling of products and services—and shared services between departments, branches, and remote operations. And, lastly, the bank needed to evolve toward a performance management orientation that focused more on results than activities.
Among the Change Enablement and Program Management techniques we used to overcome these barriers were three key innovations:
The program integration office (PIO)—We designed and proposed an umbrella change architecture that enveloped all four initiatives. Then we expanded the change Enablement components of the architecture into an encompassing program management effort.
Exhibit 4. Andersen's Business Consulting Approach to Program Management
High-level communications maps and info graphs—We stressed “visual journeys,” visual depictions of key objectives for stakeholders at all levels of the bank, both internally and externally. These info graphs became learning maps depicting current state, future state and the requirements of everyone to achieve the future state.
High-velocity situational diagnostic assessments (SDAs)—In dozens of focus groups, we not only provided a situational diagnosis, but also recommendations and an action plan—all within two or three hours.
When the initiatives are completed in 2003, the bank expects to achieve greater organizational agility. It intends to make it more difficult for competitors to keep pace. And the organization will work more seamlessly and cohesively to serve customers as the bank aggressively expands into new markets.
Client Value Delivered
As a result of our approach, bank officials expressed that they enjoyed a far greater peace of mind that opportunities, issues and risks associated with the growth strategy were being identified, addressed, and optimized. They felt that they received the right advice at the most appropriate time—that we provided a “radar” to help them navigate a difficult two-year transformation. And most of all, they felt that they “were not alone” in their effort to transform the organization into The New Bank.
Exhibit 5. Infograph
Exhibit 6. SDA Methodology and Journey Map
Proceedings of the Project Management Institute Annual Seminars & Symposium
October 3–10, 2002 • San Antonio, Texas, USA