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How we've helped
Our business consultants have worked alongside diverse regulated businesses to deliver results and implement process improvements. Our experienced consultants tailor each project to a range of well-known firms.
Through expert consultancy and effective solutions, we help our clients do better.
Merging Incident Management Systems
An African focused sports betting company with offices in Malta, Nigeria, South Africa and Serbia had recently merged with their platform supplier and needed a single system for managing incidents. They were planning to expand their offerings to include on-line games and virtual sports betting and have significant growth planned by expanding into other countries.
The current process for incident management contained numerous manual notification and communication steps. Information was being lost and there was little feedback, and zero progress visibility for customer support teams. Any incident went through at least three tools and potentially as many as five. Mainly they were logged in SalesForce, then in JIRA Service Desk and the ticket number communicated with IT and support teams via Skype.
SolarWinds Service Desk was also being used by part of the organisation for managing service requests, but not customer incidents, and for asset management.
A single view of incidents, with a path to link them to problems.
Integration with the customer support platform (Salesforce).
Feedback and updates provided to the team.
Clear escalation paths and notifications of serious incidents.
A single source of truth for all incidents.
The Process & Problems
After an introduction meeting with our business consultant, a series of one-to-one meetings were held with all stakeholders. This gave them an opportunity to discuss their needs in detail and highlight any areas of concern they had. This was an important first step in gaining buy-in to the changes.
Everything was collated into a process improvement report, with recommendations and an improvement plan that was sent to the senior management team. This was then distilled into a presentation which was delivered to all stakeholders.
The decision was made to make SolarWinds Service Desk (SWSD) the incident management hub, integrate that with SalesForce and provide an escalation path into JIRA for incidents that needed it.
With SWSD to be the hub for incident management and therefore the source of truth the set-up of the tool needed to be reconfigured. New categories were added and existing categories were consolidated. Reporting forms were redesigned to cater for incidents and provide a logical division between service requests and incidents. With that division established it was possible to create assignment rules to route specific incident types to the appropriate teams.
An agreement was reached on the classification of the severity of events. The allowed notification system to be created that alerts the relevant people at different levels of the organisation to critical incidents. It also provides customer-facing leadership visibility of incidents raised by their teams and any updates.
The customer support team reported a better understanding of what incidents had occurred, who was responsible for fixing them and more up to date information about progress. The process for managing escalations was well understood, guidance documents and training had been provided on severity levels and categories. The automated notification system was working and all concerned parties were getting the notifications they needed and had access to customisable dashboards for reporting purposes.
SWSD provided a searchable database of all incidents and service requests. It was easy to see what incidents had been raised, their statis, what was done, by whom and when.
Post-merger process restructuring to enable information flow between entities
Marketing asset delivery that increased efficiency and visibility of both workload and progress.
Aligning release management workflows leading to greater control and visibility of progress.
Established governance and reporting processes that reduced compliance risk.
Marketing Asset Delivery
An international Gibraltar iGaming operator had been through a period of rapid growth primarily driven by what had been smaller markets. Additional growth was planned by launching in more markets, all of which required localised marketing materials.
The growth had given rise to an increased headcount in all departments, but particularly marketing, with specialists in each market for acquisition, retention and CRM.
The department had been reorganized recently creating a marketing operations team of 30 people focused on delivering the assets needed by the rest of the marketing department to run campaigns, and by others in the organisation for internal and external use. The goal had been to try to better meet the needs of their 40+ stakeholders. This was only partially successful.
The four coordinators were overwhelmed and at risk of burning out, particularly the team lead. The production teams - both creative and technical - had huge backlogs of work making it difficult to respond to outside events with last-minute projects.
There were five or six methods for requesting campaign assets and some were difficult for the requester to use. They were fed into a complex labyrinth of workflows to get it delivered, much of which was manual.
The difficult request system meant old requests were being copied regardless of whether everything in that old request was needed, leading to unnecessary work and assets being created that were never used.
The manual steps led either to errors, and therefore re-work, or having to get repeated confirmations for what was needed, causing delays.
Each of the four specialist teams in marketing operations needed their own work orders, these were done in individual JIRA projects, with a fifth project used by the coordinators for complex projects.
The multiple workflows, projects and their complexity made it impossible for stakeholders to track the progress of their requests. The only way for them to get an update was to ask the teams or the coordinators. Naturally, this led to a lot of interruptions. This reached the point that some team leads had banned stakeholders from talking to them or the teams and they could only go through the coordinators. The consequence of this was that the stakeholders had a low opinion of the marketing operations team.
In the past, resource constraints had been alleviated by hiring, but that wasn’t scalable and senior management were reluctant to keep going on that path due to the costs and a lack of office space.
The primary goals of the enhancement project were to:
Create one simple request system.
Design and implement a single workflow.
Reduce the amount of rework and unused assets.
Give stakeholders visibility of their requests.
The Process Improvement Project
The first step was to thoroughly document the various request methods and workflows. This resulted in a workflow diagram that took three pages and contained numerous steps that just contained the name of a person. Then there were many small group discussions with the stakeholders to determine their needs and concerns, it was clear that they were keen for things to improve too. Once a clear picture of stakeholder needs was created it was presented to the marketing operations team. They had concerns of their own with meeting those needs. It was clear that there would need to be some work done on building relationships between some parts of the team and stakeholders. There was also a need to develop a more flexible mindset within the team.
To be able to create a single workflow there needed to be a single way to create requests. It needed to be easy to use and feed into an automated system to manage the workflow. After testing various options and weighing the merits of each versus cost and training needed it was decided to use Atlassian Service Desk as the tool for making requests. It was already in use within the organisation for logging IT issues and so was familiar to most of the stakeholders. It could also be customised to present different options for different request types, and it would create request tickets in JIRA easily.
To make the switch to the new process easier a new JIRA project was created with all the automations needed. JIRA tickets for the specialist teams could now be created with a button click and the sub-tasks were automatically linked to the master ticket.
The complete solution was presented to the whole marketing operations team and then finalised. That was then presented to the stakeholders for feedback.
Senior members of the marketing operations team were taken off-site for training in agile methodologies. The goal wasn’t to convert the whole team to an agile way of working, but to introduce some concepts to encourage different ways of thinking about how to deliver assets.
Specialist team leaders were also encouraged to set up one to one meetings with some of the key stakeholders. There was no specific agenda, they were just to discuss what was happening with their teams and the project they’d worked on.
The Service Desk request tool eliminated requests for assets that weren’t needed. The master JIRA project gave stakeholders a single place to check on progress and provide feedback, and the automation reduced manual work by the coordinators by 75-90%. The single simplified workflow meant everyone knew what the steps were and what was needed, interruptions for updates dropped to almost zero. There was still a lot of work for the teams to do, but with everything being easier to manage the stress levels were lower and the head of the coordination team was able to take some time off.
The project broke down the ‘them and us’ mentality and resulted in less rework on projects. The coordinators had always had contact with stakeholders, but now they were able to focus on details of requests and prioritisation, using some of the agile training, rather than just providing updates.
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