In order to improve the efficiency of processes used across different business units at all-round Entrepreneurship and Employment partner Securex, the project management team had to evolve towards a program management approach, which resulted in people taking on new roles and tasks.
Securex called on XPLUS to help assess its team members’ skills. This assessment enabled Securex to draw up development plans that help employees take up their new positions and ensure they have the right people for the job, which in turn allows Securex to maximize the benefits from this switch to program and portfolio management.
Prepare the Program Office team for the evolution to program management by picking the right members for each new role.
XPLUS assessed the team’s skills over the course of one month and drew up a concrete and objective report.
Based on the work by XPLUS, Securex was able to put the right person in charge of each task and draw up effective development plans, which result in improved operational efficiency.
Securex is evolving its project management teams towards the Agile way of working, which poses several challenges. Not only do people need to become familiar with this new approach, they also have to take on different roles. Especially for projects involving different business units, some things had to change, explains Brigit De Wit, Director Program Office IT at Securex: “On the one hand, we had project managers who needed to take up new Agile roles such as scrum master. And on the other, we noticed that working in independent Agile squads was great for small projects but less so for larger ones across different business units. We soon figured we’d also need to move people towards program and portfolio management roles.”
The question arose of who in the current team would be great in which new role. De Wit wanted to map out her team’s competences objectively and make decisions based on that. “Our CTO Stoffel Vanhalst had previously worked with XPLUS to assess the capabilities of our Architects, which turned out to be a very positive experience. So, in the spirit of not wanting to change a winning team, I reached out to them for a similar assignment with my department. And this move proved to be the right one. We decided who would take up which role based on this XPLUS assessment, and also use it as an objective foundation to create development plans that can bridge any gaps in people’s skillsets.”
“If we didn’t do this, we’d be allocating jobs haphazardly without knowing whether someone actually had the capabilities they needed to perform the required tasks. And if they didn’t, it wouldn’t matter whether we switched to Agile and program management or not; it would harm our efficiency either way. That’s the issue we wanted to resolve together with XPLUS,” continues De Wit.
Brigit De Wit discovered there was some unease among her team concerning the assessment. While she considered it an opportunity, many felt it was a punishment for not performing adequately. Together with XPLUS, she organized an internal kick-off meeting to provide context and remove any uncertainties.
De Wit: “It took about a month to go from first interview to final assessment report. And even though there were no shocking revelations, it did make everything much clearer and rooted in fact. This meant we could match everyone to the job they would excel in, and my team felt more secure in moving to these new roles, too. After all, they could see in black and white that they had the necessary qualifications. And if they didn’t have the capabilities yet, the work done by XPLUS also cleared the path towards gaining these skills by providing actionable points for improvement. This allowed us to create development plans based on facts, and send people for the right training, which we’ve already done.”
“The assessment also reassured me of the quality of my team. XPLUS’ strong links with the market give us an external perspective, and also mean they can benchmark my team against others. I know my team’s strengths, but they know what those strengths actually should be. I’m happy to report my team passed with flying colors,” laughs De Wit.
The assessment will improve the efficiency of her department in the long run, concludes De Wit: “Having the right person for the right task and knowing which areas to improve on is a surefire recipe for a more effective team, and I’m certain XPLUS has given me the correct recipe. They have proven to be a reliable and constructive partner throughout the project, with plenty of expertise on the subject matter. It was clear from our very first conversation with their consultants that they had the experience and knowledge to build an assessment report that I could trust. They were always available to answer my questions and I really appreciate their to-the-point attitude. While there aren’t any concrete plans for the future at the moment, I’m definitely putting them on speed dial in case an opportunity arises.”