Organisation: A major UK retailer, with a turnover of in excess of £800m, engaged an IT partner to deliver IT services alongside its own in-house team. As well as geographical divides (Much of the outsider services were delivered offshore), there was a cultural divide between both teams and, on occasions, blame apportioned to the outsourced company. We were engaged to review the situation and provide a plan to resolve it.
Solution: Working initially with the C suite directors, it was clear that the customer had was open to the idea of creating a one-team approach and a plan was put in place to achieve this. A solution was agreed with the IT Director and the senior supplier Executive and the leadership teams briefed. A new operating model was then created with combined teams, shared seating arrangements and a one-voice for IT approach. The supplier name would not be mentioned separately, all emails, etc would refer to Corporate IT Services.
Actions and Deliverables included:
- Current state Review – A review of the current state was undertaken with interviews being held with both customer and supplier leadership and teams.
- Problem Identification and Acceptance – Once the reviews had taken place, we presented our findings and shared specific problems that the current structure, approach and working methods were encouraging, generating or causing.
- New Working Model – A new OneTeam working model was proposed. This involved creating hybrid teams of both supplier and customer staff, encouraging the teams to sit together (Previously teams had sat in supplier/customer pods rather than together) and agreeing on a common name for IT.
- Team participation – Key to the success of any change was the involvement and participation of the people. Key resources were selected from both customer and supplier teams and briefed in advance of the proposed changes. They were invited to critique the proposal and changes made as a result of their comments. They were then invited to become ‘Champions’ for the new model.
- Team briefing and education – Staff from supplier and customer attended briefings together where the new working model was shared. Their feedback was gathered and again minor changes made when required.
- Team Building – To further create the one team approach, a number of team building activities were created. A mix of formal working together workshops and social events helped ring the tame together with a final all team briefing focussing on common aims, common goals, and partnership-working.
Operating Manual – A ‘How We Work’ leaflet was created and distributed to each team member. This provided guidance on how to work, language to use, how to deal with issues and how to get help and support. The OneTeam approach was a huge success, the supplier’s name is never mentioned outside of IT, and IT is now seen as the competent and complete owner of Technology within the organisation.