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Major Food Company - ICT Function

The Challenge

This organisation had embarked on two major strategic interventions designed to enable the Group to continue its success despite the challenges presented by the weekend global economy and to position the group for continued growth.

The Group is a c€5bn business split into two major groups – Ingredients which accounts for c€3.5bn with Consumer Foods earning the remaining c€1.5bn. The initiatives were designed to bring greater alignment across the various parts of the business increasing synergies and sharing learning across the group and, through a Change programme, significantly overhauling the global ICT infrastructure and operating model.

One of the short term impacts of the change initiative was a pull on resources with significant numbers of ICT staff being pulled out of the business into the global project as well as a first round of changes in ways of working. The ICT department was no different in this regard. It was left with less staff in the short term, the challenges of implementing some of the initiatives being launched by the Change programme and staff who were not clear of their roles and starting to disengage. To add to their challenges the team was spread over four different locations.

The Solution

Red Thread worked with the business management team to create a workshop that was attended by everyone in the department, where staff were given the opportunity to express how they were feeling about their current job; explore what the real accountabilities and responsibilities of their job were; highlight how the business’s values would help them succeed in meeting their current challenges and also create a list of actions that they themselves were committed to implement to drive the department’s performance even higher.

Over 55 staff attended the 8 workshops, each supported by a member of the ICT management team.

The Impact

Over 150 specific improvement actions were generated, many endorsed by the participating ICT manager and all picked up by the teams after the workshops. Detailed reports were created for each population (Developers, Business Analysts, etc...), outlining their observations and suggestions so that improvements could be applied consistently across sites.

Each member of staff identified two specific personal actions they would take forward – these to were validated by the participants ICT manager and noted on postcards that were sent to the staff 6 weeks after the workshop to drive application.

A final report was created for the ICT management team highlighting areas where there were cross functional improvements could be made; or there was a lack of role clarity between the different populations.

Staff also left the workshop feeling re-engaged and listened to, clearer about the required performance from their roles irrespective of where they were based and keen to engage with the next phase of the development programme that was aimed at high performing teams.

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