Business Agility within a Traditional Auditing Environment

Challenge:

A large South African-based financial services provider was searching for a way to ensure consistent and visible delivery within their Internal Audit space. The need for this arose due to a number of factors, including the fact that 75% of audits were completed in the last 25% of the timelines. This resulted in an unpredictable working environment and unsustainable working hours.

Approach:

By introducing concepts centred around Agility and lean thinking, the delivery of audits could become more of a continuous process with increased visibility and consistency. The Internal Audit area selected four teams to pilot the more ‘agile way of working’ requesting Agile training and coaching offerings from IQbusiness.

Solution:

The teams went through a 2-day Agile Bootcamp introducing them to the use of Kanban principles and Scrum Ceremonies, and enlisted the support of an Agile coach to ensure the correct implementation of the values and principles of Agility. Once the teams had attended the Bootcamp, the coach then assisted the teams in setting up their very own Kanban and Scrum boards as tools to implementing their “Agile way of working” successfully into their working environment.

The coach facilitated all of the teams’ initial Scrum ceremonies (Daily Standups, Planning and Retrospectives) which allowed for the teams to learn from the coach and understand the value of each of the sessions as well as the process as a whole. The coach then involved the leads for each audit to co-facilitate the sessions whilst guiding them through the intricacies of the ceremonies. Through continual practice with the coach, the leads gained a plethora of experience and began to facilitate the sessions themselves, with the coach providing some minor feedback but becoming less and less involved so as to allow the teams to become comfortable in practising this way of working in their own right.

The coach also assisted in developing an understanding and appreciation of Agility at the management / EXCO level, in order to begin to address the organisational constraints which the teams operated in and had been identified as counter-intuitive to business Agility.  Due to the success of the pilot, the client is planning to roll out Agility into their Internal Audit teams throughout Africa.

Benefits:

The client achieved the following beneficial outcomes:

  • Higher levels of collaboration within the audit teams, as the team members were traditionally accustomed to working in silos.
  • Increased consistency through delivering valuable audit information to the business on a set cadence.
  • All work being done on each audit was visible to all interested parties.
SharePoint 2013 implementation for the local finance division of an international healthcare

Case background:

SharePoint 2013 implementation for the local finance division of an international healthcare, consumer lifestyle and lighting technology company (2015/16).

Key business challenges:

With finance divisions in three countries, our client needed a central platform for employees to share documents and collaborate. There was also a problem with knowledge retention, as employees would save documents on their local PCs, USBs, and a local drive.

There was a large staff turnover at this point due to company restructuring.

In order to address these issues, the Knowledge Capital team developed two SharePoint portals through

Designing a site taxonomy (metadata etc.):

  • Designing (in terms of structure and look and feel) and building the actual SharePoint platform.
  • Creating permissions groups.
  • Creating workflows to automate some of the more important manual processes.
  • Creating a calendar service to inform employees about daily tasks.
  • Dashboard reporting.
  • Content migration.
  • Training.

How we helped their business grow:

This portal became employees’ first port of call, as it contained all the artefacts required to complete their work from processes, to policies, to KPIs broken down by value chain.

Collaboration between finance teams based in different countries.

Improved information security structure based on permissions.

Organisational development and applied research consultancy

Case background:

Knowledge Management Strategy and Core Implementation Programme for an organisational development and applied research consultancy.

Key business challenges:

The organisation operated primarily in a virtual environment but growth in the organisation required greater collaboration between team members. An innovative value proposition that helped organisations solve complex problems through narrative, meant that the organisation had designed and developed various methodologies and approaches. The challenge the organisation faced was that it had:

  • Masses of intellectual property (IP).
  • No reuse of existing value propositions
  • No formal innovation process to identify areas to work on.
  • Virtual working was a challenge for new members of staff who had no previous working experience.

We conducted a Knowledge Discovery Programme, unpacking the organisational landscape and especially the behaviour of individuals.

Rollout of a Core Programme that included:

  • Mentoring for junior team members and development of Work Life Canvases.
  • Influencing the team to use a central database with taxonomy, tried out different technologies and adoption of technology.
  • Experimenting with various social collaboration technologies, e.g., Socialcast, Podio, Yammer.
  • Conducting in-depth product review and analysis.
  • Developing marketing and communications collateral.
  • Developing branded templates.
  • Developing processes to support product types.

How we helped their business grow:

  • Collaborative use of a centralised document management portal.
  • Streamlined value proposition with supporting collateral for reuse and marketing purposes.
  • Innovation process to test ideas for market value.
  • Employees were more engaged and “looked after” in a virtual environment.
  • Improved virtual working environment.
  • More focus on relevant product areas.
  • Identified the value of their knowledge assets.
  • Improved the overall knowledge landscape within the business.