Case Study

Lining up Managers for Transformation

The professional services business highlighted in this case study has several thousand employees in several countries. The focus for this effort was on the consulting unit, consisting of 350+ employees. The challenge for this unit was that they were competing against smaller, faster, agile IT companies — and they were losing business to them.

The company’s new CEO knew something needed to change and that agile was the right direction. Getting management on board was super important because executives and managers have to understand the agile work and organization so that they can lead the transformation.

Case Study Snapshot

Trainer Name: Riina Hellstrom Date: 2019 Website: Trainer’s website

Summary

The professional services business highlighted in this case study has several thousand employees in several countries. The focus for this effort was on the consulting unit, consisting of 350+ employees. The challenge for this unit was that they were competing against smaller, faster, agile IT companies — and they were losing business to them.

 The company’s new CEO knew something needed to change and that agile was the right direction. Getting management on board was super important because executives and managers have to understand the agile work and organization so that they can lead the transformation.

 The first six months started with the “WHY?” so that everyone came to an understanding about the strategic situation and the business environment. The coaches set up a modified Scrum for the executive level to work on this.

 Agile teams were already in place and working, and the clear vision was to move towards a Team of Teams (ToT) setup. The coaching challenge therefore was to help this company transform in an involving and participatory way. The approach was very inviting rather than pushing the change. And it worked well.

 Once the executive team was coached, they made sure that every single one of the 350 employees understood the reason for this transformation. Once that happened, the executive team stepped back to allow the teams to self-organize and redesign line manager tasks into the new structure.

 In preparation for the line manager’s workshop, all tasks and responsibilities were written onto cards so they could be reformulated within the new structure. Forty-five managers gathered in one room to identify their teams’ freedom and constraints, new roles within different countries based on local parameters and legislation, and being introduced to the concept of “Leadership as a Service” (LaaS). LaaS came into play to help teams understand responsibilities, prioritization, customer relations, professional services sales, and finance. Then, tasks were sorted by responsibilities for competence development and domain expertise. 

 Even though they are still organized as a “line management” company, progress has been made and positive outcomes have come to light.

Key Results

1) Everyone is on board with the change.

2) Executive team and all line managers were prepared.

3) Others in the organization are now asking, “When are we starting?” and “How can we get on board, too?”

4) The unit is growing from 350 to 550 by acquisitions.

5) Profitability and remained steady despite consulting time invested.

6) Teams are independently winning client cases, collaborating without management’s involvement.

7) The company has moved to more of a community organization.

    Who is Riina Hellstrom

    Riina is a Certified Scrum@Scale Trainer and an internationally recognized, brilliant Agile and people professional. As the first HR Professional to achieve the Certified Scrum Professional and Licensed Scrum at Scale Trainer, she dares to say she is a pioneer. She wants to help you and your team move.

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