Organizational Change Management within the Financial Services Industry
The financial services industry is constantly changing and companies must adapt. Companies within the sector are continually assessing how they can improve their systems and organizational structures to be better able to respond to disruption. The uncertainty of Brexit notwithstanding, financial services firms must be able to adapt and respond on all sides: regulatory changes, increasing cybercrime, speed of new market entrants, data usage, artificial and human intelligence in the workforce, the addition of cryptocurrencies, and of course governmental policy changes.
Our client, within the Financial Services industry, began a portfolio of transformational change back in 2017 to bring about new ways of working and develop improved technical capabilities within their organization. They needed new ways of working to better respond to demand, ahead of market requirements, as well as to improve their overall customer experience.
Key challenges to be addressed included:
- lengthy duration for applications,
- varying firm feedback, and
- transparency and clarity of information available to applicants.
To enable these new initiatives to be understood and adopted effectively by the business, MI-GSO|PCUBED was brought on board to apply change management practices in support of this transformational program.
Change Management, as a practice, can often be overlooked for the sake of delivering an output quickly or within a cost constraint. However, the change manager role is essential in considering the people-aspects of project delivery. When people, process or technology changes are made, especially those changes that alter existing ways of working (which includes all 3), it’s important to maintain employee and stakeholder engagement. Those impacted should be involved from start to finish instead of solely being a recipient of something taking place, thereby reducing common resistance to change.
A change manager was embedded into the portfolio team from MI-GSO | PCUBED to prepare the division for change, manage the change and support embedding activities to increase adoption. Their focus, allowing the benefits of the transformation program to be realized.
Our organizational change consultant worked closely with the project team and business stakeholders to understand the scope of the change, including who it was affecting (stakeholder identification), and the timescales for when impacts would take place (impact assessments). Change plans were then developed specifically for each package of work. Each tailored change plan included not only the necessary preparation activities, like impact assessment and stakeholder identification highlighted above, but also relevant communications and training, and activities to embed and sustain the changes afterward. The team identified the purpose of the proposed changes and how it would alter people’s existing activities. That information was then fed back into the communications and training to promote efficient adoption of the change.
In total, all required activities to support each change were considered and planned before the project delivered the outcome. The individual change plans then rolled up into a portfolio-wide view of activity which enabled better conversations with business stakeholders.
Over the duration of the engagement, key Change Management interventions in support the Transformation Programme included:
- Developing tailored change plans to identify key activities and levels of engagement required across workstreams
- Managing communication and engagement plans to address the how, who, when and why for each initiative
- Identifying and analysing stakeholder groups affected by changes, and applying relevant impact assessments
- Working with the business to develop interventions to manage impacts
- Conducting a training needs analysis, and identified suppliers to transfer skills
- Setting up and managing surveys and feedback loops between the programme and business
As part of the transformational programme to revolutionize their ways of working the team set out to:
- improve transparency about how the client managed applications,
- improve consistency,
- provide a more supportive service, and
- make better use of technology to stay current in the market place.
As a result of the new ways of working and improved processes, the average decision time for applications was reduced by 35%. In addition, the implementation of a new application tracking system made for better use of technology and focused on improving transparency in how the client managed applications. When the new tracking system went live, 85% of users provided positive feedback on the application tracking system.
Finally, as one of the key objectives of the transformation was to adopt a more service-focused mindset, the team conducted experience surveys throughout the change initiative, highlighting a 36% increase in firm experience as a result of the improved processes.
As of 2019, the programme has transitioned to a continuous improvement initiative.
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