Building a killer cross functional team to support change in business model – powered by First Avocado

A change in business model has its repercussions deep at the people level. With performance indicators and skills sets shifting to accommodate change in strategy, the people side needs to be validated at the onset.

Client : The client is an IT outsourcing company who is now venturing into   the product  development

Our client has been into IT outsourcing services for more than a decade. They are shifting their business trajectory by focusing on product development and so the need of complete business model transformation and overhaul of its processes. 

Workshop Purpose: Build a strong team and organisation structure to support go-to-market strategy to accommodate change in business model.

First Avocado was contracted to relook on its go to market strategy. The existing customer facing side of the business was highly account driven and project focused. Business development was a seasonal activity undertaken by senior management without transparency of its dealings with the rest of the team (especially project team).

The following were First Avocado’s mission for this project

  1. Identify the right mix of cross functional teams that support the business model change

  2. Break the organizational silos and allow seamless communication across account executive, business development, presales, and project teams.

Creating a cross functional team starts with analysis and redesign of it’s processes. First Avocado relies on management science and collaborative approach for service design. The approach was highly data driven as much as it was intuitive.  Stakeholder management was critical   keeping customers in the center of all service consumption while maintaining coherence to business model.

This had to be supported by a new set of tools. First Avocado also provided system analysis services (business context), but the rebuild was initiated by the client themselves, as them being a technology company.

The biggest challenge was to instill a new paradigm in dealing with customers. Business development and presales team were re-established with clear roles and responsibilities. The account executives and project teams along with newly established functions had to go through series of change management workshops. The workshops focused not only on the mechanistic side of business but also on the leadership aspect of change.

The change from this shift focused on three broad areas which was addressed via breakout sessions over few days

  1. Re-orientation – Helping understanding the business context and defining business context and strategy. These sessions were focused on clarifying roles and responsibilities. The interlock, dependencies and control parameters were discussed and also it’s adherence to overall organisation mission.
  2. Addressing Challenges: Forecast challenges, and validate assumptions that may be encountered in the new paradigm. We used various service design and data models to refine risk, develop solutions and workarounds. The workarounds and solutions were tested on simulations. This also caused few structural and control changes in the original plan.
  3. Stabilizing: This phase will be completed after 3 months only after receiving adequate feedback and data. The stabilization phase will focus on productivity by removing non value added activities in the new cross functional structure. The learning from this will be used to improve software applications. The phase will challenge operational practices that are apparently dormant and reap no benefits.

Although this case focuses on leadership development during change. It needs to be pointed out that First Avocado worked closely with the client in advisory and implementation of cross functional teams. This includes   creating the right structure so as to align to new strategy. This was purely consulting driven with capsules of workshops for senior management.

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