Challenge: Overcoming opposition to a new workforce management product
Trillium’s client is a historic name in rail transportation. Despite its leadership in the transportation and logistics industry, the company was still using the antiquated method of roll call to track employee attendance at projects in the field. Information collected during the roll call process is manually entered into an electronic format by a field supervisor for the purpose of communicating information to corporate headquarters. While the process has limited impact to current field operations, the time tracking process raised questions about reliability and accountability.
While this method opened up many possibilities for error, a more pressing reason for abandoning it was the inability to meet government regulations and union collective bargaining mandates for rail project reporting. These mandates called for reporting data such as, who was working on the project, what training or qualifications they have, what they accomplished, who was the project leader, and how many hours they worked. Therefore, the client needed to update and optimize workforce management processes and tools – a project that would impact approximately 10,000 workers in the field.
Although the client wanted to move forward on the project, management struggled to obtain agreement and alignment of key stakeholders to move the project from concept to execution. Even after consulting with a preferred vendor on requirements, management still found that requirements were too loosely defined. In addition, the absence of a comprehensive program picture, execution plan, program governance structure, and communications plan all added up to a major obstacle to senior management approval. And even though the client had volumes of information from the requirements gathering effort, it was not able to effectively tie it all together nor clearly articulate the value of their business case to senior management.
Trillium Solution: A roadmap for moving forward with standardized requirements and governance
Trillium was engaged by the client to recommend a workforce management solution and implementation plan that senior management would buy off on. First, Trillium consultants performed a Field Time Tracking and Work Reconciliation Market and Roadmap Study to identify viable solutions and an architectural roadmap to automate these business processes. As a result of its assessment, the client was able to:
1.1 Revise and standardize program requirements in order to align them to the proposed value proposition
1.2 Articulate to stakeholders and potential partners and vendors the rationale and benefits of completing the project
1.3 Implement a formal program governance structure, including review, approval and sign-off processes, escalation and resolution processes, and standard management communication schedules
1.4 Tailor a blend of program/project management methodologies, including industry and proprietary Trillium best practices, best suited to the client and the project
1.5 Create messaging tailored to effectively communicate and gather support of all stakeholders
Ultimately, the client was able to obtain senior level management buy-in, support, and funding for the project. A Trillium team was asked to remain on the project for teaching or coaching the client’s project team “by example” through the execution of business analytics and program management functions.
Results: Greater accuracy and compliance for attendance tracking in the field
With Trillium winning senior management approval for the workforce management project, the client was able to move forward and complete a successful project. Today, the attendance roll call with its error- prone manual steps has been replaced with an automated workflow management system.
Specifically, Trillium helped the client achieve the following benefits:
2.1 Streamlined workflow management with more accurate and compliant attendance reporting in the field
2.2 Moved a stalled project forward by developing strategies to clearly align project requirements with business goals
2.3 Helped the client’s team develop best practices for project planning and project management
2.4 Ensured compliance with government and union regulations on project reporting
Having learned from Trillium’s expert analysis, recommendations, and best practices for project management, the client is well prepared to gain senior management approval for future workforce management projects – not to mention the efficiencies gained from the new attendance reporting processes in the field.
Trillium Solutions Group, Inc. is a professional services firm headquartered in Chicago that provides technology consulting and strategic sourcing services for industries such as trade associations, financial services, telecommunications, and healthcare. For more information, please visit www.trilliumsg.com.