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Case Study: How a Workplace Management Team Improved Their Performance with Structured Ways of Working

Background

The Heads of Workplace and Facilities (Senior Leadership Team) for a large UK pensions and
insurance provider formed a new management team responsible for the management of the
facilities management contracts and delivery of the estate strategy, which included maintenance,
refurbishment, and relocation projects and all other material change to the workplace services and
built environment across Edinburgh, Manchester, and London locations.
The new team consisted of twenty colleagues who had all worked together in the past in various
capacities however this was the first time they had worked strategically as a team.

Problem

The SLT felt they faced several challenges in developing the team and improving its effectiveness
whilst working in a hybrid model and were looking for a way to:

  • Shift the team to strategic thinking

  • Improve accountability and engagement

  • Manage time better with quick and regular interactions

  • Support collaboration

  • Embed process, methodologies, and frameworks that add value and quality

  • Understand team workload and priorities

  • Develop transparency and trust between the team and SLT

  • Create a culture of continuous improvement

The SLT knew that by not addressing these challenges it would lead to inefficiencies, delays,
conflicts, low morale and poor customer satisfaction.

Solution

To address these challenges, the team embarked on a journey of improvement that involved the
following steps:

 

  • Created an aspirational vision for how the team would like to operate, based on the principles of
    agility, collaboration, customer focus, and quality.

 

  • Used mapping techniques to understand the key services the team needed to deliver to achieve its
    strategic goals and the value they provided to the customers and stakeholders.

 

  • Designed the key processes required to deliver the key services in a hybrid way of working,
    balancing the needs of remote and onsite workers and ensuring clarity of roles and responsibilities.

 

  • Agreed on a prioritised backlog of work set out in an Estates Strategy plan, aligned with the team's vision and goals, and based on the expected benefits and effort of each activity.

  • Organised the team into smaller delivery squads, each focused on a specific service or project, and
    empowered them to self-manage their work and make decisions within agreed boundaries.

 

  • Developed a Kanban system for bringing work into flight then through to completion, using visual
    boards and tools to track the progress and status of each task and identify any bottlenecks or issues.

 

  • Introduced daily stand-ups, retrospective and planning meetings with clear objectives, to facilitate
    communication, collaboration, feedback, and learning within and across the squads, and to ensure
    alignment and transparency of the work being undertaken.

 

  • Tailored a change management methodology that suited the team and the type of work it delivers,
    incorporating best practices from agile and waterfall approaches, and ensuring stakeholder
    engagement, risk management, quality assurance, and continuous improvement throughout the
    change lifecycle.

Benefits

As a result of the solution, the team achieved the following benefits:

  • The team worked more effectively and efficiently, as they had a clear direction, alignment, and
    understanding of the priorities and expectations from senior management. This increased their
    productivity and performance earning them trust and recognition from leadership.

  • The team felt more accountable and empowered to make decisions and take ownership of their
    work, as they had more visibility and autonomy over the tasks and processes. This enhanced their
    motivation, engagement, and satisfaction, and fostered a culture of innovation and creativity.

  • The team now worked in a state of flow, focusing on work that was broken down into manageable
    pieces and delivered in short cycles. This reduced the complexity, uncertainty, and waste of the
    work, and enabled them to respond quickly and flexibly to changing needs and feedback from the
    customers and stakeholders.

  • Smaller squads meant more trust and psychological safety within the team, improving their
    communication, collaboration, and learning. This also allowed them to leverage the diverse skills,
    perspectives, and experiences of each member, leading to broader and better solutions that met the
    user needs and business goals.

  • Time was used more effectively to support delivering the work, as the team eliminated
    unnecessary meetings and activities, and adopted a regular rhythm of planning, reviewing, and
    refining their work. This also ensured that they had time to reflect, celebrate, and improve their
    practices and outcomes.

  • Quality was continually improving through the development of the change management
    methodology and improvement of key processes, as the team incorporated best practices from
    Lean, agile and waterfall approaches, and ensured stakeholder engagement, risk management,
    quality assurance, and continuous improvement throughout the change lifecycle. This also increased
    the consistency, reliability, and value of the work delivered, and enhanced the reputation and
    credibility of the team.

  • The team continued to deliver an ambitious Estates Strategy plan that aligned with the vision and
    mission of the organisation, and contributed to its success and growth. The team also demonstrated
    their agility, resilience, and adaptability to cope with the challenges and opportunities in the
    dynamic and complex environment.

Calendly

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