A Fortune 10 IT organization was in the midst of an enterprise-wide transformation to become Agile at scale. The CIO had a bold vision that IT could drive meaningful value for the entire business, but they were lacking the strategic agility needed to transform. People agreed with the vision conceptually but didn’t feel empowered to deliver on it. There was no North Star that everyone could look to. They had 30-40 active initiatives and no prioritization among them. Any innovations made in one business unit or country’s home office weren’t getting shared and scaled to the rest of the IT organization. They needed to not only become more Agile, but Agile at scale.
While IT leadership was rolling out their strategy, a grassroots transformation was taking hold farther down in the IT organization within DevOps and Applications in a few key business units. The leaders of these groups hoped to do something on a smaller scale to demonstrate to IT senior leadership that transformation was about unleashing people to do and contribute more at speed and scale by achieving quick results that mattered to the business.
The goals of this Agile at scale transformation were to:
- Create a more customer-focused IT organization that delivers value to the business
- Make IT a competitive advantage for the business
- Position IT to work as a seamless organization – one team with one goal
- Break down silos that create duplication of effort and limit visibility across the organization
- Deliver measurable business results quickly in service of helping the business exceed their own goals
They called Kotter to augment the energy and commitment they had started to build within their groups. Together we aligned the executive team around a specific and singular message to communicate throughout the business, amplified the movement for change to get buy-in and support from all employees, drove short-term results through a quarterly portfolio of strategic initiatives, and launched year-long initiatives to drive cultural change and scale the wins achieved.
The results were astounding. Within one year, $60M in cost savings and revenue enhancements plus 272,000 hours of time savings were realized. The entire IT organization was working at a pace and with a degree of collaboration never seen before. Employees across geographies and regions were learning the same information and sharing successes – Agile at scale personified. And, as is often the byproduct of our work, individuals beyond the usual suspects were empowered to make bold contributions. One formerly bottom quintile performer shared an idea that got replicated across sites and led to a $20M savings, year-over-year.