Department alignment. Is it an impossible mission?
The following case is about a Spanish public company in charge of almost all the water management, present both in Spain and in South American countries.
In this project, we found a common problem in most all the large companies: The departments are arranged in cellars,
that meant each area made its own war and looked for allies within the company or forced other departments to follow them. It is what we call "the law of the strongest".
Here the problem arises when two departments have to make a decision and think in the opposite way
. They are not irritate with each other, simply, in most cases, they have different needs.
we worked on two challenges:
1. How could we align both departments to facilitate a joint decision?
2. How could we transmit the value of placing their employee at the center of the decision through Design Thinking?
In addition, a key objective consists of choosing a software tool to support the talent management processes of human resources.
To align the team, we propose the following strategy based on the Design Thinking
- Understand each department requirements, their needs, limitations, the reason for the problem, focusing on the challenge posed.
- Understand the current problems of each one related to the topic.
- Envision the primary users (which employees are most affected).
- Land the needs of each type of employee through co-creation.
- Perform a Visual Thinking session to understand the needs scenarios mixed with the departments' needs.
All phases were vital, but the co-creation session with the employees of both departments gives us the best results. In it, people explained and verbalized their needs through the Point of View tool
Analyzing the needs of departments and employees, plus the visualization of existing software solutions in the market, we developed a visual document with 2x2 matrices to have a picture of the possible scenarios. With this material, they were able to project the current situation of the suppliers present in the market and see which solution were the ideal solutions for both departments.
Thanks to these sessions, they understood decisions could not be taken alone, and indeed they had to consider a new extra variable that until then had escaped them: the employee