Our client was a large national steel producer undergoing severe market pressures.
There was a need for the company to achieve dramatic operational and financial improvements in order to survive and remain competitive.
A need had been identified for a major restructuring of the company and its processes in order to achieve these improvements.
In this context, Schroeder & Schroeder, Inc. was commissioned to design and oversee the organizational transformation and restructuring.
The main challenges we faced on this project included:
- Short time frame – there was a need to deal with large scale changes, while meeting a very tight deadline for project completion due to the high risks involved in maintaining the status quo.
- Political issues – we needed to manage the changes in a tough and complicated political environment.
Stakeholder resistance – we faced difficulties of managing transformation in a very change-resistant organization.
- A “command and control” culture – The company had a long-established hierarchical culture which potentially hindered the type of open, two-way communications necessary for effective organizational transformation.
- Limited resources – The project goals and objectives were very challenging to achieve with the limited resources and budget available.
- Developing practical recommendations – There was a need to ensure the recommendations would be readily achievable within the short-term in order to have the desired impact on company performance.
The actions we took to address these challenges included:
- Working closely with senior company management to identify the main areas requiring change and to understand why, so that appropriate plans and recommendations could be developed.
- Facilitating the development and deployment of project success measurements to underpin the business case for the transformation and enable concrete benefits to be identified.
- Conducting a qualitative and quantitative analysis of operational and organizational changes needed to support the desired business direction, based on a detailed review of all relevant processes and documentation and in-depth interviews with key stakeholders.
- Designing and facilitating the overall organizational transition from the current to the desired future state, using a holistic and systematic change management approach which incorporated organizational structure, processes and staffing.
- Developing specific business transformation projects and supported Business Leads in their implementation to ensure that all areas of the organization were engaged in and effectively contributing to the transformation goals.
- Developing risk management plans and measures and providing coaching and mentoring in their use to support the company on an ongoing basis.
- Developing an organization-wide training strategy to help transition people into the new roles necessary for implementing the desired new business direction and providing support in the detailed planning, design and roll out of this strategy.
- Designing a comprehensive communications plan and strategy to underpin the transformation and providing support to the company in the roll out of these.
- Identifying, monitoring and assessing key transformation risks and issues, and providing support to ensure that critical risks could be effectively managed.
We applied a delicate balance of art and science skills to successfully overcome the project challenges, for example by:
- Applying good political acumen and an astute understanding of the operating environment in order to understand the business and transformation risks and develop effective risk management strategies.
- Applying excellent interpersonal and communication skills to persuade stakeholders of the necessity of extensive organizational transformation and the expected business benefits.
- Combining quantitative and qualitative information and data from various sources to overcome any gaps or biases and ensure that the deliverables were based on robust and accurate evidence.
- Involving senior stakeholders closely in the development of employee engagement strategies that would improve cultural change readiness, while being acceptable to organizational leaders and senior managers and achievable within the necessary timescale and budget.
- Using state-of-the-art project management, monitoring and quality assurance processes to minimize all types of project risk and ensure the deliverables were completed on time and within budget.
Our actions resulted in:
- Significant organizational transformation and change
- A successful implementation within aggressive timelines
- Significant downstream cost savings to the organization
- Increased capacity to deal with operational and market pressures
At the conclusion of the project all the objectives had been achieved and the client was highly satisfied with the deliverables and the value added by Schroeder & Schroeder Inc.