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Are your team members on board with your tech journey?

How we helped a top SA Company optimise its internal digital adaptation strategy.

As a niche consultancy, we don't trade in cookie-cutter solutions. Every organisation has unique tensions, strengths and opportunities for growth. We employ a blend of methodologies like Design Thinking, Agile and Lean 6 Sigma (amongst others) to provide clients big and small with bespoke solutions that will serve them (and their colleagues/customers) best.

When you’re niche and compact like us, you can really get into all the nooks and crannies of pain points and challenges to clear out the obstacles thoroughly.

More about the benefits of being a smaller solutions platform in my colleague Paton’s recent article, Is there a battle raging between big agencies and niche agencies?

When colleagues are the customer

The project purpose as mandated by the Company was for the business to be digitally powered, to exemplify deliberate, market-leading growth and to nurture and manifest a winning, talented and diverse team that makes up the organisation. They wanted us to discover how well internal stakeholders were using and adapting to their evolving intranet, how digital enablement and accountability could be improved and if colleagues could feel more empowered in the process.

What we pledged to do

Process-centred challenges intersect with people-centred challenges, but they are not the same and usually require different approaches respectively.

We knew this project would require people-centred solutions, so a few of our design principles included partnering with users, taking their viewpoints and experience into consideration and focusing on data-informed reporting and insights to guide us in our exploration of solutions. We wanted to help the Company make its intranet platform a one-stop shop featuring seamless end-to-end processes that integrated into other systems successfully. We named 10 design principles as actionable quick wins before we deep-dived and got into the nitty-gritty details.

How we got cracking

Before we started on the ‘pains’ we began celebrating some of the ‘gains’ i.e., what was already working in the Company’s favour. There was a large amount, it just hadn’t been quantified:

  • The Company has a foundational track record of utilising the intranet successfully.

  • Much of the optimisation possibilities found could start with strategy alignment and didn’t require expensive technology fixes.

  • The Company’s steering team already displayed powerful and world-class engagement and openness to the process.

What's Working?

Focussing exclusively on the negative has been proven to undermine positive outcomes and from a people perspective can be bad for morale. We needed to mine the gold before we started pointing out the lead weighing things down.

The magic of mixed methodologies

As mentioned above, we use a customised blend of tools from our toolbox approaching a solution-finding mission. For example, with the Company, we employed Design Thinking principles when we helped identify some of the Personas that brought the prevalent types of internal stakeholders to life. We needed to get an idea of who these people were to take their experiences and challenges as well as their potential into consideration and discover empathy-based solutions specifically for them. You need to know who a person is before you can really help them be at their best.

Characteristics that defined these different Personas and addressed their unique needs and wants revealed team members like ‘Newbies’ who required seamless onboarding and wanted access to information more than anything else, the ‘Upskillers', individuals that are driven to learn and do more than the rest, and the ‘Streamliners’, folks who felt they needed more training, fewer notifications and more clarity on what they should prioritise, amongst a few other Personas.

We then compared these Personas to what the leadership team’s strategy was surrounding the intranet platform.

What did these parties need and want and how could these be aligned?

The Adoption Strategy

As mentioned before, we don’t advocate one-size-fits-all solutions, but spoiler alert, this story has a happy ending for the Company. During the journey, we took with this financial services giant we helped them establish numerous ways to improve upon their people-centred challenges as well as their technology-centred shortcomings. Furthermore, we helped the Company prioritise what they should act on now, what they should action next, what could afford to wait and what didn't need to be actioned at all.

Some of the improvements we helped the Company to address included:

  • A need to simplify the language used across the platform to be more inclusive.

  • To put more emphasis on building with the customer (user) in mind.

  • Clarify ownership of the intranet, and who was accountable for what.

  • Establish a new and improved way of work for the intranet team.

  • Keep the accountability per area small.

  • Always use analytics as a starting point.

Harnessing tools like Miro and Airtable, we structured this journey for them and laid out the resulting insights in such a way that we could provide the Company with a clear roadmap to reach their goals. Not just a case of ‘here is what isn’t working’ but also a plan for ‘how to get things working’.

How can we help your organisation achieve its goals?

Get in touch and let’s take the first steps together.

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