Client: Global Media & Advertising Firm
Function: Finance Department
Project: Manage Transition and Change for Business Process Outsourcing
Overall Project Mission
A global media and advertising holding company outsourced parts of their finance back-office to a third-party, based in India. All finance functions were in scope: accounts payable, accounts receivable, job accounting, and general accounting. The project required changes to the finance processes, training of the new outsourced resources, required consistent project & change management and new ways of working.
The outsourcing caused changes in all in-scope processes. These changes affected finance employees, key employees in the business who interacted heavily with finance on a day-to-day basis, and average employees who did things like submit timesheet or expense reports. The changes also impacted third-parties, like clients and vendors.
Changes to the business processes came in a variety of forms: the way employees, vendors and clients communicated with the finance department, the way finance employees communicated with each other, and the way finance employees communicated with their new colleagues at the outsourcer.
Employees within finance were used to working on paper or on local spreadsheets saved on their desktops. New ways of working were required to enable collaboration with remote colleagues at the outsourcer.
Employees in the organization were wary of outsourcing, as they had built close, personal relationships with the finance employees. The changes within the finance department meant that the employees would now be interacting with generic email boxes instead of directly with specific people. This change caused the most anxiety among employees, as they worried that losing the personal aspect of their interaction with finance would change the quality and speed of their interactions.
In order to achieve success, Intellilink crafted a systematic and practical approach to communicate with the entire staff, while easing adoption of the multiple layers of organizational and process change.
A Change Management program was launched to help ensure the success of the project. The program addressed communications and training needs for the organization. The stakeholders included the organization’s senior leadership, champions and experts, project team members, and employees – all would have to buy into the program to make it a success. Additionally, the change impact to external stakeholders, like clients and vendors, had to be considered and incorporated into the Change Management program.
The team worked with subject matter experts within the finance department to identify how business processes would change, including changes to key handoffs and changes to enable a remote work environment. This business process analysis included roles and responsibilities within each process, which identified the impacted stakeholder groups.
Next, the team identified the gaps between the current state and the future state business processes to determine methods to mitigate the barriers to change. The team determined mitigation strategies to help manage stakeholder expectations, gain and maintain support throughout the project lifecycle, and prepare stakeholders to operate effectively within the new outsourced environment.
The team then developed a detailed communications plan that defined key changes, how those changes would be implemented, key messages, target audiences, information sources, communications channels, delivery timing, etc. This approach was vetted and put into action with the support of organization. The team also ensured that the communications directly addressed the concerns of the organization, while also firmly communicating the new direction of the organization.
Support & Transition
The team worked with employees within the finance department to develop new ways of working a digitally collaborative environment. The team helped with immediate post go-live support and crafted post go-live communications (FAQs, procedural steps, etc) to aid in the process adoption by all stakeholder groups.