Case Studies

Kenway Ensures the Success of their Business Partners Despite a Difficult Environment

Despite issues with various client partners, Kenway ensured the short term success of their in-flight projects while transitioning off of the engagement in a professional manner.

Guiding Principles:

To welcome and respect the uniqueness of each individual with whom we engage

To operate, think, demonstrate, speak and lead with integrity and emphasize it through all mediums

To communicate swiftly and effectively through all channels, at all levels, internally and externally, regardless of whether the information is good or bad

To always, under all circumstances and under all economic conditions, do what we believe is “right” for the client, even when what is “right” may directly lead to less business and lower revenues

To include in all engagements, a plan to transition knowledge to clients through training, tools and alternative resources

The Situation:

Kenway had been providing Business Intelligence (BI) services to a Financial Institution and its various business units. The BI Lab Team had been a presence at the client for several years and had delivered high impact analysis to their business users. However, several issues had arisen around a new business sponsor, the mistreatment of Kenway employees and the questioning of Kenway’s delivery methodology.

New Business Sponsor:

A client resource was stepping into a newly created role as the business sponsor for the IT group through which Kenway was providing their services. This client demanded that Kenway shift our staffing model to a method that had previously proven incapable of effectively addressing the significant ebbs and flows of project demand for the group. Their demands extended further to require Kenway resources to effectively work as much as the client desired with no potential for relief from additional resources as well as to effectively be “on-call” at any time, regardless of its relation to normal business hours. This directly contradicted both Kenway’s staffing model and our overall viewpoint on how we treat our employees.

Employee Mistreatment:

The aforementioned New Business Sponsor, when challenged on their demands, went on to speak to one of Kenway’s employees in an extremely unprofessional manner. Additionally, another client resource acted unprofessionally in front of both Kenway and client resources, causing direct impacts to Kenway’s level of comfort working within close proximity of the client while onsite.

Questioning Delivery:

As a result of the previously documented situations, the client then began to call into question the delivery method (approach, tools, etc.) that Kenway had successfully been using on this project for well over a year causing unnecessary tension and distractions. Even after Kenway explored utilizing client desired delivery tools and found them to be ineffective, the client insisted that the way Kenway delivered the data was incorrect.

Steps Taken:

Kenway assessed the situations individually and holistically. Much debate was had about how to handle this challenging engagement. Throughout this process, Kenway proactively kept all impacted employees informed of the situation, what was being done, what to watch out for, and solicited feedback and concerns from each team member. Ultimately, the decision to discontinue services became the clear best choice. The manner in which to do so was also debated – to terminate services immediately or to ramp down Kenway’s presence over a number of months. In the end, the decision was made to ramp down over a number of months in order to allow for a proper knowledge transfer and to ensure that the business sponsors were fully informed. As a result of this key decision, the following steps were taken:

In regards to the new business sponsor, Kenway worked with its direct clients in the IT organization to minimize any direct involvement with the individual and to instead use the IT clients as a conduit. No changes would be made to the existing staffing model; with the existing staffing model being leveraged to ramp resources down through the completion of the existing contract period. This was communicated objectively and with the background rationale to the new business sponsor as well as the IT clients.

In addition to the actions taken with the new business sponsor, Kenway also worked with the IT clients to relocate to a client site away from the client that had acted unprofessionally. There was further agreement that any engagement with this individual was to be done over a web conference or over the phone.

Finally, Kenway worked with the IT clients to obtain acknowledgement that the delivery model would not change on any project that Kenway performed. Furthermore, both Kenway and the IT clients solicited feedback from their business partners about the delivery methodology to ensure that they were receiving the end products that they desired. The Kenway team also transitioned historical and in-flight projects to the IT clients, allowing them to modify or complete them in the manner they deemed fit.

The Outcome:

Despite the difficult client situation, Kenway continued to provide optimal consulting services. Rather than taking the easy road and simply disengaging immediately with the client, Kenway opted to take the more challenging, but right road. Kenway did not want the actions of a few individuals to negatively impact the majority clients who valued our services and approach. The Kenway team diligently documented and transitioned its work in order to best position the group to succeed moving forward. In the end, Kenway resources were able to maintain their focus and were appropriately rewarded with the praise of their business partners for a job well done on the respective projects that Kenway completed.

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