The Director of Global Business Process Services at a global enterprise information technology company came to a realization many years ago.

The managers of back-office operations were at a handicap due to a lack of data and no standard, consistent program for workforce management (WFM).iStock-506519362_chalk and rope_resized.png

The corporation had been using the Verint Workforce Management (WFM) solution in their front offices for many years, so the director took on the mission to convince the organization that the data and similar solutions could be used to manage back-office operations.

Her initial plan was to start small in one region (U.S.) in one industry (healthcare) and limit the number of locations to ten with roughly 1,000 employees.

Two and a half years later the program is global, multi-region, multi-industry, and multi-site, covering 7,500 employees.

With any epic journey, the story is long and the hurdles to overcome are many—too many for a single blog post. So today we will learn about her first four hurdles—and part two will cover the remaining four.

Hurdle No. 1: Executive Buy-in. And when she talks about executive buy-in, she’s not talking about a software purchase. She had to start with educating executives on the true needs of the back-office and the ability to capture and use data there to drive productivity and management decisions.

Hurdle No. 2: A Business Case. Being a large, complex organization, a business case was required for every major purchase or initiative. This might be easy in a small organization, but in hers all the relevant corporate entities had to have a say in what they wanted to see and understand how and why this was going to drive value.

The good news was she and her team—supported by the Verint team—crafted a strong business case that gained the enthusiastic support of upper management. The bad news? They did such a good job demonstrating the value that the corporation did not want to limit the deployment to the initial plan, so they decided it should be a global initiative.

So the scope expanded to APAC and the Americas (with EMEA in a Phase 2), five industries, 15 countries, 75 sites, and between 7,500 to 9,500 employees. The proposed solution also changed from WFM to Verint Desktop and Process Analytics (DPA), because DPA was seen as a foundational step to get data into the hands of back-office managers.

The change in scope meant she had to redo the business case over and over again as different regions and business leaders were brought into the decision-making process.

“I put myself out there to try and recommend a solution, believing that we really could improve the back office. But I don’t know if I actually would have been successful in getting approval to move forward if I did not have a vendor who was truly with me side-by-side, living the pain, giving me answers, and going through the process,” said the director.

Hurdle #3. Organizational Change. In the middle of this process, the corporation reorganized.  Luckily, most of the executive management team, and consequently support for the initiative, remained intact. There were new requirements and processes she and her team had to follow, but they didn’t really delay her progress.

Hurdle #4. Ask for Requirements Once. The director and her team believed they had done their due diligence in collecting the requirements from the various constituents. They sent out their pre-work package of data requests and templates to each of the business owners.

Unfortunately, as they continued to meet with different functions and regions, they learned of additional data requirements and had to return to the business owners more than once to ask for more information. They truly didn’t realize the complexity of how different the systems, processes and people requirements were by region, function and site.

Look for Part 2 of this journey in an upcoming blog post to learn how the director persevered to help the corporation achieve a 10 percent improvement in productivity while providing back-office managers with actionable data to make better business decisions.