Media: Telling Hard Truths

In another customer engagement in Europe, we met the management of a digital media corporation that had already adopted automation technology solutions. They were reaping its benefits and generating business efficiencies. But the change had made life tougher for users in the enterprise. Already there were a few rumblings of discontent. The management called us to steady the system, and identify the gaps.

In the first four weeks at the client location, our founders interviewed associates to understand past scenarios. The discontent came from the automated system, which made it hard to troubleshoot issues. So we tested the system by deliberately introducing three or four flaws to see if the system could catch the flaws in the current setup. We quickly realised the solution generated data that was complicated, and hard to use.

In this situation, being transparent is vital. We set an expectation with leadership that the system is flawed – a message leadership may not want to hear, given the newness of the system. We do this by testing based on assumptions, getting extremely connected with the organisation, and articulating the flaws clearly.

The trust we built with leadership helped us develop a new blueprint for the digital media company – a blueprint that kept the employees at its heart. We created a complete back-office automation solution bringing everyone on a single platform. As we had foreseen, the biggest challenge in the solution was in migrating data from the previous automated system.

We had designed our blueprint to cleanse and restructure the data in an appropriate format. At every stage, we validated results with subject matter experts. In this case, it was the people who used the system. As a result, they found the final solution quick and user-friendly

Our Takeaway: Design a solution for ease of use with the buy-in of all stakeholders during design and implementation. And buy-in is possible only with open communication and complete transparency.