Objectives of the project
In recent years, LEONI faced dynamic growth, heightened global activities and forward integrations, which significantly raised requirements on IT operations. LEONI IM’s leadership realized, prudently, that the path forward was to strengthen its global IT strategy to reach a higher level of satisfaction with its internal customers WCS, WSD and the Holding organization. After taking a good look, some improvement areas were outlined:
- Enhance the handling of new business IT requests with a more professional structure, greater formality and transparency
- Define the roles and responsibilities between business and IT to clarify the requirements and delivery schedules to reign in costs and adapt swiftly to market changes
- Map out the processes for the identification, evaluation, approval and monitoring of IT projects
- Hone IM’s IT project portfolio management skills and capabilities to efficiently monitor and control project costs, benefits, interdependencies, and potential synergies between IT projects
Evidently, a well-crafted Business-IT alignment model was needed. However, the company’s leaders were reluctant to foist big changes onto its people and processes without proper support. BearingPoint convinced with its holistic, collaborative approach, which proved crucial to transforming LEONI IM’s ways of working whilst ensuring everyone was carried forward.
What BearingPoint did
Drawing upon our leading-edge practices and experience, as well as LEONI’s inside-out knowledge of how to make the implementation successful, the project team progressed through four distinct phases:
1. Besides project set-up and workshop preparation, our team surveyed top management stakeholders to pin-down existing challenges, requirements and expectations regarding the Business-IT alignment.
2. We foregrounded the voices of both business and IT, at global and regional levels, when designing the BITAL concept. During a workshop series, we formulated:
- New IT Demand & Portfolio Management and Annual Budget Planning processes
- New roles & responsibilities within the defined processes
- Standard BITAL rules, guidelines, tools and templates
- Decision boards and governance elements
With this inclusive approach, the finalized concept was highly credible with business stakeholders across the organization, helping to cement the global coverage.
3. During the final roll-out wave at WSD, we implemented the defined processes and organizational changes, in alignment with the Planview implementation (an IT project portfolio management tool). Communication and change management actions were also scheduled.
4. The Go-Live of the new BITAL collaboration model was prepared. Some 300 LEONI employees were trained in their new roles accompanied by global communication and change management measures. A satisfaction survey was conducted six months after each BITAL roll-out wave and afterwards integrated into IM’s annual customer satisfaction survey.
Measurable & concrete results
With the BITAL collaboration model now in place, the effectiveness and visibility of decision-making across LEONI’s business and IT functions has dramatically improved.
The introduction of the global Business-IT Alignment model for LEONI WSD significantly strengthened the communication and collaboration between our business units, central functions and the IT organisation. With the introduction of Business Demand Coordinators, BITAL contributes to a more professional management of our IT project requests, and supports more goal-oriented IT investment planning across the different business units.
Astrid Rooseboom, VP Program Management of LEONI WSD
In all, the BITAL model re-defined the process of IT project request handling from its identification to the closure stage. It optimized portfolio value and performance by aligning strategic business and IT goals. And it standardized the project portfolio management process in a formal and transparent manner. Other key benefits include:
- Greater transparency of divisional and firmwide IT project portfolio including budget, benefits, issues and risks
- Stronger governance of the different “owners” involved in IT Project Portfolio
- Robust fact-based IT project request evaluation, including cost and benefit assessment
- Structured and systematic approach to IT project staffing and delivery
- Implemented Demand & Portfolio Management and Annual Budget Planning processes as well as organizational changes
- Project Portfolio Management integrated with the Planview tool, with the tool implementation carried out by LEONI
But perhaps the true driver of success was the collaborative culture that was deepened over the course of the engagement. For example, every quarter it is now routine for the top management to come together to discuss strategic business-IT decisions, as also happens amongst divisional leads on a monthly basis. Today, innovative and well-founded governance rules are in force, supported by consistent data-enriched reports and robust processes. This enables LEONI to deliver strong communications as well as proactively tackle strategic IT decisions in step with the business’ rapid growth trajectory.