Case study: On-demand digital workplace expertise

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CASE STUDY: Just-in-time knowledge for your digital workplace

How DWG helped a global consumer goods company
with as-needed input on digital workplace strategy

Expertise on-demand DWG

THE BUSINESS CHALLENGE

Building the best team for your emerging needs

It has long been known that no matter how good your team – even if you have the best of the best – there will always be experts outside of your organization who can bring in fresh insights and thinking.

The team at this client, embarking on a full programme of improvements to their intranet and its governance, knew they needed external assistance to support them. That assistance would ideally offer a deep understanding of the intranet and digital workplace landscape, plus expertise in a wide range of areas, from usability, to collaboration, to metrics. What’s more, this would need to be more than just an “assistant” – rather a partner that could be called upon as and when required.

Questions the client needed help with answering were:

  • As new needs emerged, how could they be sure they were heading in the right direction with their decisions?
  • How could they ensure that the skills and knowledge of their team were up to date with the latest intranet and digital workplace thinking?
  • How could they streamline the process of working with an external partner?

The client

A multinational consumer goods company with hundreds of food and household product brands, employing more than
150,000 people.


WHY DWG?

Practitioner experts, a foundation of research
and a familiar partner through membership

At DWG, all our consultants are practitioners who understand the reality of what it means to deploy and maintain an intranet. Additionally, through their experience as consultants and researchers, they know what it takes to make a digital workplace and intranet successful within a myriad of different environments.

Having worked with us over many years as part of our member community, the client’s team were familiar with the depth and breadth of that experience and our specialities. And we were familiar with their business. So when they came to us with the challenge they were facing, we had the perfect solution.

Overview of DWG

The Digital Workplace Group (DWG) provides large organizations with independent expertise for success with intranets and broader digital workplaces.

Our Member Forum offers confidential peer learning and expert research. Our Benchmarking provides sophisticated evaluations, comparisons and recommendations. Our Consulting Services provide strategic guidance and hands-on implementation support.


OUR APPROACH

Ad-hoc consulting, learning, stakeholder engagement

As the client’s team didn’t yet know precisely what expertise they would want to draw upon from us, we proposed a bundle of consulting days that they could use as and when needed.

Knowing that they were looking at areas such as metrics and collaboration, we suggested a “pot” of 10 days, which would give them access to our pool of consultants and various services.

Over the course of the following year, working closely together in order to make best use of the time available to them, we provided expertise within three key areas of their programme.

Service What we did
Metrics Consulting The client was going to be running a metrics workshop, looking at which metrics should be tracked for their intranet. However, they wanted to make sure they were adopting the right approach, in line with good practice.

We assigned the project to one of our consultants who had already developed metrics strategies for other clients, and also carried out extensive research into metrics good practice.

After getting up to speed with the background to the workshop, he attended in-person to provide expert input into the approach they were adopting.

Usability Masterclass The client identified a need to bring their site editors, intranet and website owners to a good level of understanding about usability best practice.

One of our usability consultants worked to develop a bespoke masterclass on usability, which could be delivered remotely in an hour. The session covered the core theory and practice of good usability, and was delivered twice to audiences in two different time zones.

Collaboration Workshop The client was planning a workshop looking at “Collaboration Reimagined”, which would bring together key senior stakeholders to define what their collaboration vision and strategy were. With the workshop in the diary, circumstances beyond their control meant they needed an expert facilitator to step in at the last minute.

On a very tight schedule, we worked closely with them to design a two-day workshop that took attendees through “the future of collaboration” case studies of what other organizations had achieved and how to build their own vision of what collaboration meant within the client.

The DWG team

Strategic Metrics: Chris Tubb, who is one of our benchmarkers, as well as author of our research reports on metrics, worked closely with the client to develop their metrics strategies.

Usability Masterclass and Collaboration Workshop: Louise Bloom, who is also a lead usability benchmarker and drives the development of our benchmarking model, designed and delivered both sessions.


THE RESULTS AND OUR IMPACT

Expert, neutral support as and when you need it

Rather than working on a single big project that had been fully scoped out ahead of time, we were able to provide “just-in-time” expertise in a number of areas, as needs emerged for the client. Our deep pool of knowledge and expertise meant that the client had a partner that could step in as required, providing guidance in metrics, then usability, then finally collaboration.

The impact included:

  • Streamlined procurement: By purchasing a bundle of consulting days, the client only had to go through the procurement process once, rather than on three separate occasions. This meant we could focus on getting them the knowledge they required when they needed it, rather than having to go through the formal process of getting budget approval and paperwork signed each time.
  • Trusted expert, neutral partner: By retaining us for a number of consulting days, rather than bringing in separate agencies for each service, the client had a partner that not only had a deep level of expertise in the intranet and digital workplace field, but also understood its business and the history of what it was trying to achieve.
  • Fast tracked professional development: Both the masterclass and the metrics workshop helped bring the client’s own people up to speed with the basics of usability and metrics. By using our own experts to help improve the knowledge of their own experts, the client is not only building the sustainability of its programme, but also equipping its employees with key skills that will stand them in good stead throughout their careers.
  • Vendor-neutral expertise: For the collaboration workshop, it was essential that the attendees adopted a high-level strategic approach, which steered away from considering different technical solutions. Vendor neutrality is one of our core principles and, combined with research into what other organizations have achieved, meant that the client came out of the workshop with a group of stakeholders who were engaged and excited about the vision and strategy they’d created, rather than with the technology.
RELATED RESEARCH:

Checklist for Setting Up a
Digital Workplace Programme

Checklist for Setting Up a Digital Workplace Programme

RELATED APPLICATIONS OF THIS SERVICE

The approach of retaining us for a number of consulting days can be a powerful one, which any organization that needs to bring in intranet and digital workplace expertise for multiple smaller “micro” projects can take advantage of.

Some examples of areas in which we could support you include:

  • Developing a business case for new investment
  • Facilitating stakeholder workshops
  • Establishing governance models
  • Conducting usability testing and measurement, including information architecture, search and navigation for redesigns or developmental projects
  • Having a DWG consultant sit in periodically on steering committee meetings, to offer independent, third-party expert advice
  • Having a DWG consultant available “on tap”.

ABOUT DWG CONSULTING SERVICES

DWG Consulting Services provides vendor-neutral, unbiased and high-quality advice, and practical hands-on support for digital workplace and intranet programmes. This work is rooted in our decade plus of providing measurement and research-driven membership services and our team’s experience of working within large organizations.

Get in touch

Contact the DWG team to request:

  • An exploratory call
  • A price quote
  • An RFP response
  • A statement of work

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