Case Study - Results Driven
My best example of demonstrating Results Driven leadership was when I led the Aspen Systems Corporation (Aspen) project to move our company, all 1,600+ staff, desktops, business systems, telephone and contact center equipment, telecommunications, and the 100+ information technology (IT) component data center, to a new facility.
The primary challenge was to intelligently and gently migrate all the people, equipment, customer and business systems, and IT infrastructure to the new facility without disrupting our business, financial, human resources, security, and IT services.
This project involved the entire company of five business units (BUs), six functional units (including Finance and Business Operations (FBO), Human Resources (HR), and Information Technology (IT), 100+ business systems, and over 1,600+ personnel. My primary team members were senior colleagues from each of the BUs and functional units.
My approach toward Results Driven leadership started with establishing an accepted a vision and goals. A team must understand the expected results in order to establish a framework for driving results. I accomplished this by interviewing executive, business, and technical leadership, documenting business imperatives, opportunities, and risks, and socializing this information throughout the enterprise.
I established Accountability by working with executive and business leadership to define the goals of the move, and identified core elements of the move. I used visual mapping tools to break the move into logical, discrete elements that could then be assigned to functional teams. Working with these teams, we defined the "as is" and "to be" states, roles and responsibilities, authority, and accountability to achieve successful execution and delivery.
Maintaining Customer Service during the move was paramount. I initiated this by communicating our vision, goals, and strategies to business leaders and customers. We verified contract requirements, deliverables, performance metrics, and Service Level Agreements (SLAs). We created service continuity plans, and defined customer business partners as single point of contact for communicating information, schedules, status, and results.
I demonstrated Decisiveness regularly, and set up an environment to ensure I had the best information to make the right decisions. I set up daily meetings with the team leadership to review status, risks, opportunities, and customer service performance. As was expected, not all elements went exactly as planned. Ultimately I had to make decisions that would require deviating from plan, approach, budget, or schedule. I used several approaches to acquiring the necessary information to make the right decisions. For relatively simple issues, a discussion and brainstorming with the team leaders was sufficient. For issues that had a demonstrable affect on plan, I formed an Internal Project Team (IPT) to quickly assess the situation, impact, alternatives, and go-forward plans. Ultimately I vetted the situation and recommendation as appropriate, and made the final decision.
I demonstrated Entrepreneurship by advertising the move as an opportunity for business evolution. Rather than viewing the move as a disruptive, necessary task, I focused on how it would enable new opportunities for business and professional growth, customer service, and prospects for technology and business innovation. I took ownership of the move, communicated vision, goals, and strategies, socialized the tasks, schedule, and continuity of operations plans, and generated excitement and participation.
I exercised the discipline of Problem Solving on a regular basis. An example was with a problem due to a delay in delivering new PCs, potentially impacting their availability on Monday morning following a move. I assembled the Desktop Team and we documented the original goal (having 27 new PCs ready on staff desktops Monday morning), the current situation, and the projected impact. We brainstormed, and reviewed our roll-out plan. We found that we could receive the PCs in sufficient time if the supplier did not install our standard image. Instead, we could install the image upon receipt, and deploy the PCs in time for Monday morning service. This example emphasized the problem solving approach to gather the experts together, step back and reviews the situation, identify the tasks to be performed, brainstorm alternatives, and adjust the actions to achieve the goal.
An example of exhibiting Technical Credibility was with my work with our vendors. We leveraged the move as an opportunity to upgrade some of our systems and technology. We introduced our initial network attached storage (NAS) which set the stage to reduce our future costs and data center footprint. I worked with my data center team and vendors to define a strategy for moving forward. I also worked with our vendors to support our customer services during the move. They loaned us equipment that we used for business continuity in the event of a primary equipment failure. Leveraging vendor relationships was an important factor in our success.
The result of this initiative was highly successful redeployment of Aspen Systems Corporation to a new facility. Critical business and customer systems were fully operational following the move, and only minor problems were experienced with a few desktops (which were mitigated with the installation of loaner desktops from a pool).
In addition to the success of the move, we had developed more comprehensive and well-tested BC and DR plans, and improved our mission critical business systems documentation. We chose to maintain the BC site for mission critical FBO and HR systems as a failover in the event of a system disruption.
I held an awards ceremony to reward outstanding team members with recognition awards. I also received a monetary award and presidential certificate.
I asked our program managers to survey their customers about business and system performance following the move, and each indicated there was no lapse in performance. The general employee population felt things were business as usual when they moved into their new space.