Consulting Organizational Project Management

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Engage & Initiate

The client’s initial statement of need

During the first meeting, the client requested that the current organization for onboarding new employees be improved so as to reduce the time it takes to review new applications.

The change in the initial statement of need

After the meeting, the client’s initial statement did not change much, as they still wanted to solve the organizational problem of delaying the onboarding of new employees. More details became known: for example, the client reported that the delay was noticeably reducing the new hires’ contribution to the company, potentially causing a loss in the short term.

The initial scope of the project

The initial scope of the project involved only changing the internal organizational environment to address the delay. This factor lies in the plane of only one company and its rules for hiring new employees, so the entire scope of the upcoming project is limited to a few departments of the company from the scenario.

The client’s readiness for the analysis project

A portion of the interviews was conducted with those in charge, which resulted in a confirmation of the 60-day delay problem. In addition, the scenario reports that the department’s info security analyst (ISA) and department manager themselves reached out to the working advisory group to solve the problem. This underscores their intentions to really change the organizational structure and increase productivity in the company.

The project requirement as to a formal proposal and a simple agreement

We can say that at this stage, the project requires the creation of a formal proposal because there is a described and understood the problem to be solved. The appeal to the consulting group, in this case, is seen as an attempt of an outside intervention in the environment to change the situation. Since the solution (changing the hiring practices of new employees) is strategically vital for the company, any changes must be strictly coordinated. This is why it is necessary to initially develop a proposal blueprint that must be agreed upon or edited.

Frame & Agree

Project final (agreed-upon) details

The goal of the entire project is to meaningfully improve organizational hiring practices for new employees by either reducing the minimum time for application screening and issuing employees with the necessary equipment or shifting the time frame so that incoming employees already have an opportunity to work on the first day.

The intended outcome of the project will be to change organizational practices so that it reduces the time it takes to get new employees ready for work. The amount of time required will be reduced or the time frame shifted. Employees will be able to get to work right away, which will have an impact on productivity in the company.

The scope of the entire project is related to changes in the internal rules of the organization.

The total budget required for the tasks is calculated by the production capacity of the company. Since the ideal strategy is to develop or purchase software that allows for the scheduling of new employee flows, the bulk of the budget can be allocated to the implementation of this software. If the company sees no need to purchase a third-party application and can plan the flow of flows on its own, then the bulk of the entire project budget is associated only with consulting fees.

The time frame of this project is 90 days. During this time, it is proposed to plan, develop, implement and monitor the changes.

Critical measures for project success

The only KPI for this project is the time it takes to land a new employee. Since there is a reference (60 days), a change in this time relative to the benchmark will reflect the success of the entire project.

The resources needed on the project (people and roles)

The following resources will be used for this project:

info security analyst (ISA) — responsible person-head of the relevant department, without whom no change in organizational practices is possible.

Planning unit head supervisor (PUHS) — the responsible person- head of the relevant department, without whom it is impossible to change organizational practices.

New employees — critical resources for whom changes are introduced and who are the variables for the project.

Performance Consultant Group (PCG) — a consulting group responsible for auditing and developing proposals.

The manager of the company — a stakeholder who makes critical decisions affecting productivity in the company.

Issues (time constraints, access to key personnel, etc.) and specific requests the client made

Among the stated issues, the client has only a peculiarity of organizational practice such that new employees cannot start work immediately. It seems that the time to process the application cannot be reduced, which is an obstacle to the implementation of one of the strategies.

Securing senior level buy-in and solidifying support and commitment to the project plan and agreements

Since the implementation of the project involves a significant change in organizational practices, PCG had the full support of the people in charge beforehand: ISA and PUHS. No specific statements were made about the interaction with the CEO, so it is assumed that ISA and PUHS independently obtained approval to initiate the project with a third-party partner.

Define and Focus

The job roles related to the goals and the ones selected as the focus of the project

Two key roles (ISA and PUHS) were selected as significant positions that have a direct impact on the project being implemented. The IT Communications Manager was also selected initially, but it was clear from the interviews that his involvement was not required for further implementation. The focus of the entire project is placed on the work practices of new employees, so the role of a new employee of the company is also significant.

The critical success metrics used to select key performers to be interviewed and observed

The KPIs that were used to select key roles related to several criteria. First, these individuals must have the power to address organizational practice issues. Second, they must be familiar with the problem. Third, they must understand the current problem and be aware of the need to solve it.

When discussing the problem, there was no need to explain it to the key roles because they themselves were very knowledgeable and interested in the solution.

Locations of interviews to be conducted

The interview was conducted in one location, precisely the company in the scenario. Since the interview was conducted with employees from different departments in the company, there was no need to use other locations. This could have happened on the first day of the office visit because these interviews did not take long.

The required 3 outcome interviews

The first interview was with the head of the IT department, Beatrice B. Oneal. The second interview was with the Head of Planning, Juan Kemp. The third interview was conducted with the ISA, Mable A. Elmore. All three interviews were conducted on the same day (January 10, 2022) in the company office.

The 1 manager/supervisor interview

The required interview was conducted with the Head of Planning on January 10, 2022. The Kemp employee is one of the most important stakeholders, so meeting with him was one of the key tasks of the entire project.

The outcomes captured from the 3 key performer outcome interviews

The overall outcome of all three interviews was that there was an awareness among decision-makers in the company of a tangible delay issue that affects the speed of onboarding new employees. The results of the interviews showed that key performers were concerned about the impact of this delay on productivity and tended to view it as an inhibiting factor in the company’s development. Thus, consolidated outcomes include:

  • the need to change work practices.
  • reducing the delay for onboarding new employees.
  • increased productivity over the long term.

A list of facilitators of outcome success

Success factors cited by interview respondents included the following:

  • effective communication between decision-makers.
  • speed of change implementation.
  • the need to reduce the time required to review the application.
  • search for compromise in the decisions made.

A list of barriers to outcome success

The key named obstacles:

  • the forced departure of all employees to a remote format due to COVID-19.
  • lack of supervisor approval.
  • the reluctance of employees to accept change.

Define and Focus

The desired vs. actual performance and the real gap between them

A tangible performance gap was noticeable because there is a comparable difference between desired and actual parameters. In particular, the central KPI of the project is the reduction of time to review the application. A new hire must wait up to two months (the majority of respondents indicated this timeframe), although the practice can be changed by 92%. Most interview respondents specified that they would like the actual application review time to be no longer than five days (one work week), so the change between desired (<5 days) and actual (<60 days) is 92%.

The need to recalibrate the project

Based on the knowledge gained, the right thing to do would be to conduct additional interviews. In particular, it would be necessary to secure a meeting with the company’s head and get his approval. In addition, it would be helpful to interact with new employees who have already gone through the sixty-day filter to gauge their experience and opinion.

Elicit & Analyze

The number of outcome interviews to complete

At least two more interviews should be conducted (the company manager and any of the new employees who passed the 60-day filter) to ensure that the opinions of all parties are involved and that no unnecessary actions are taken.

The outcomes to conduct the Key Work Process interviews

Among these outcomes should be selected: reduced onboarding time for new employees (this is a critical outcome that is entirely in line with the mission of the entire project).

The need to conduct observations

Observations will be needed in at least two phases of the entire project. First, it is necessary to observe the current flow planning system to detect possible hidden patterns. Second, once the transformations have been implemented, the quality of implementation will need to be observed and corrected promptly.

The need to investigate special technology/tools or resources

Since one of the strategies for changing practices is the acquisition (development) of software, learning the relevant technologies proves to be a critical task. However, this needs to be implemented only after an interview with the manager to not take unnecessary actions and optimize change management.

Interpret, Select, & Recommend

Influence categories and early hypotheses

These categories include the following:

  • organizational practices for onboarding new employees
  • personal motivation of employees during the info filtration period
  • the impact of current practices on job performance

Testing these hypotheses will only be accomplished through a series of new interviews. If the hypotheses are not confirmed, it will still be necessary to ask respondents about these topics, as these could potentially be important to the entire project.

Early ideas for recommendations

One of the primary thoughts that has already come to mind is the automation of flow management with software. At first glance, this seems like an excellent strategy, but a deeper analysis of cost-effectiveness, applicability, and perspective is needed.

Report, Design, & Develop

Influencing the client while delivering results

The peculiarity of this client is that he or she is self-aware of the problem and is willing to work on solving it. This means that pushing is not required, but effective communication and dialogue will be needed to develop collaborative solutions. The client shows high engagement, so techniques such as brainstorming and “six hats” will be most appropriate.

The format of Findings & Recommendations Report

The proposed format will be a text document that describes all the details. It is a consistent 10–12-page abstract with all sections covering the features and problems identified. At this point, it is expected that the outline of the future abstract will consist of the following items:

  1. A brief introduction to the problem
  2. Results of stakeholder interviews
  3. Reflections on critical shortcomings of current practices
  4. Market/experience research of other companies
  5. Proposing changes
  6. Budgeting for practice change
  7. Timeline (depicting a timeline)
  8. Prospective changes that are most likely to occur when changes are implemented


Implement, Manage, & Evaluate

Evaluating the implemented solutions

Implemented changes are evaluated numerically (through the percentage dynamics stated above) and qualitatively (through the evaluation of employees’ opinions, especially those of key managers).

Recommendations to help the client manage change

Considering all of the above, the best partnership strategy is to establish an ongoing dialogue and be available to discuss ideas at any point in the workday. The recommendation is to monitor changes at all stages in order to detect and influence possible problems proactively.

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