Here’s what we’ve been up to
Driving value from business change in HE
Investing in up-to-date facilities and undertaking a business culture transformation could support UK universities in a number of ways. Not only can it help to maintain profitability, but it could also mitigate the impact of Brexit on overseas applications. However, the disparate nature of many institutions and difficulties in accessing funding can make business transformation challenging for the sector.
Here are five steps to drive effective business change. They will help gain the support of the entire university community and keep costs under control:
Outline business change objectives
To ensure large-scale transformation projects run smoothly, it’s essential to map out key drivers for the programme at an early stage. Undertaking a gap analysis will enable universities to consider the current outputs and actions needed to improve efficiencies. By doing this, comparisons with competitor institutions can be made.
Rather than attempting to handle all areas of a change project at once, institutions should divide it into specific areas. This will enable them to prioritise changes which offer the best return on investment. They can then focus on these first. For example, streamlining the supply chain can have a rapid and significant impact across different stakeholder groups
Evaluate processes and systems
Technological innovations across the sector are developing at a rapid pace. As a result, HE institutions should waste no time in a thoroughly reviewing their processes and systems. This will allow any improvements to be included in the business transformation programme. It will also help to drive efficiencies across the project.
Create a communications plan
People experience business change in different ways. For this reason, it’s important that the communications plan for large projects considers the need to communicate to a variety of stakeholders. This should be done using a range of different channels. Including an FAQ section or site can prove a useful way of anticipating stakeholders’ likely questions. It also provides them with the information they need.
Ensuring stakeholders are onboard with business changes is crucial. A successful communications plan, using honest and consistent messaging, will help win trust.
Consider external reputation
Reputation is crucial for HE institutions. Therefore it’s vital that they give thought to communicating change externally and maintaining a positive public image. During this process, universities should ensure that their external messaging aligns with what has been communicated to internal stakeholders.
Sofia’s first month
My first month with Entec Si has been amazing! I am doing a level 4 apprenticeship in Project Management. I have already experienced what an apprentice is and what it involves.
What is an apprenticeship?
Prior to this, I completed an apprenticeship in level 3 in Business Administration for a year and a half. Being an apprentice means that you attend classes with an experienced tutor in the subject field and you take part in workshops and activities. On top of that you learn new skills and abilities within the assigned role.
For me this works well as full time education is not a viable option. The apprenticeship is designed so that you can work and study at the same time.
This apprenticeship will last 24 months, and I will learn how projects work and, ultimately, how to manage one. In addition to this, I will undertake numerous theory lessons such as planning, risk and quality, stakeholder management, etc. The mix of onsite experience and taught lessons should give me a rounded experience of project management.
My first week
For my first week at Entec Si I was based in the office. I spent some time with Dave, our Business Support Manager, and went through the induction process. As well as this, I received a lot of information on the systems and processes, which was helpful.
I also spent time with Alix, Communications Support, who explained how I would be assisting the Business Support team. We also completed the onboarding process in which I learnt about the Entec Si values and how important they are.
During my second week I went on two different sites and it was a great experience. I was able to meet more of the Entec team and learn about the projects they were working on. It was fantastic to get a sense of how the team works onsite and the environment I will be working in.
Continuing the journey
It is fantastic to see that every day is different, and this is what excites me about Entec Si. The variety of work and being able to work with different colleagues is a great opportunity to learn and grow. Also seeing how the team work to their strengths is a great motivation.
I am very much looking forward to the rest of my time with Entec Si. I am so happy to be part of an amazing company!
Happy GDPR anniversary
Back in June 2017, we started the process of auditing and reviewing all personal data we held. The result of this review was:
- A Candidate Privacy notice
- An Employee Associate Agreement
All of our staff were then asked to complete further data compliance checks. Following this we set up relevant retention policies over the 2018 Christmas period.
Supporting our clients
A year on and GDPR has certainly taken hold since its enforcement on the 25 May 2018. Not a day goes by when this isn’t reflected in the day to day work of our project teams based at client sites. Here are some examples of how we have achieved this.
SG Fleet, founded in 1986, has headquarters in New South Wales, Australia, and two sites in the UK. They are in full swing, reviewing their cross countries’ regulations and licensing.
We are providing SG Fleet with project coordination on a number of projects. The latest of these being the migration and implementation to a new cloud based telephony system.
The first step was the drawing up of the initial agreement and licensing between the telephony provider and SG Fleet Australia. Once in place, our onsite project coordinator was then able to supervise the novation of the agreement from Australia to the UK offices.
The Australian parliament has been completing some due diligence on updating privacy regulations to close the gap with Europe, although some differences still exist. As GDPR doesn’t just apply to EU businesses, it’s become crucial that the telephony licensing and data accounts follow EU GDPR regulations.
Supporting the not-for-profit sector
The Civil Service Sports Council (CSSC) is a not-for-profit organisation which promotes fulfilling lifestyle opportunities to its 160,000 plus members. We have been working with CSSC for over a year on different projects.
CSSC take all aspects of GDPR very seriously and ensure that they only use and request the minimal amount of information. As a consequence, the GDPR project was of particular importance to them. Courtney Brooks, one of our business analysts, has been supporting CSSC on several activities relating to GDPR:
- Reviewed their 3rd party organisations to establish if they were a data controller or a data processor
- Created a document for all 3rd parties to sign
- Developed a GDPR data flow diagrams detailing the data journey – from their creation, storage and accessibility
As a result our blended project teams have experienced a variety of situations which have helped us gain a greater understanding of GDPR. Alongside this we’ve continued to maintain strong relationships with our clients, and support them to successfully deliver projects.
Happy 1st GDPR anniversary!
Three key steps to navigating the politics of change
Business politics can be one of the main challenges when looking to drive successful business change. However, the careful navigation of internal politics is a factor that is often overlooked.
Here are three ways that effective change can be achieved while ensuring that political sensitivities are managed:
When faced with change, the natural reaction of most people is to consider the personal impact this will have on them. A good change programme should consider the implications of the suggested approach for each employee. Consequently it should offer support mechanisms right from the very beginning.
In turn, this will also make it easier to anticipate and mitigate any setbacks. By building in buffer time and creating a communications strategy you are able to pre-empt any issues.
2. Map out stakeholder groups
While focus is usually placed on senior stakeholders, influencers are in fact often spread across the business and may be found in many different positions. By mapping out stakeholder groups at an early stage in the change programme, it becomes far easier to determine who the true influencers are within an organisation. The easiest and most effective way to do this is by spending time with employees and gaining a better understanding of the workforce and its dynamics.
3. Review the reasons behind resistance
It can be easy to dismiss resistance as defiance when coordinating a transformation programme. However, it is important to consider whether there is an underlying reason for this behaviour. Different people have different worries and similarly respond to different methods of communication.
As such, thought should be given to how the change process can be organised. This will ensure that it reflects the needs of the majority of employees. By adopting this approach from the start, change managers can help businesses to avoid costly and time-consuming resistance throughout the project.
New hires: Three is the magic number
We’re pleased to announce that the Entec Si family has grown, as we welcome three talented new hires already this year.
Meet our new additions
Taking a lead on business strategy and the business’s recent progression into the health sector is Sue Johnson Gregory. Sue joins the senior team as a principal consultant.
In addition, Clare Aris has been appointed as a project manager. Clare’s appointment further strengthens the firm’s project management expertise. Similarly, Richard Dobson has been appointed as a project coordinator following a successful career within the financial services sector.
Alongside this growth, we’ve also launched an apprenticeship programme. The scheme will provide recruits with experience in all sectors of the business. It therefore provides them the chance to find inspiration for their future careers.
Keep on growing
Summing up these exciting new additions, principal consultant Eman Al-Hillawi said:
“Entec Si is going through an exciting period of expansion. In order to continue delivering exceptional results to our clients we need to keep growing as we are.
“Our apprenticeship scheme is vital for supporting the next generation of business change consultants, who are sure to assist in our ongoing success!”
My first month
It’s hard to believe a month has passed since I joined the Entec Si family. It’s been a busy month but a fantastic introduction to the IT world of change and transformation. I am already loving working with our client in Oxfordshire (CDC & SNC), and even got to attend a programme board on day one!
They say it’s the little things that count. So I was genuinely overwhelmed by how welcome I was made to feel in my first week by everyone I met. I also love the way we’re all with clients over a wide geographical spread, but you wouldn’t think so by the way we use social media to share our good news, great client successes, and our fun side!
Team away day
I’ve also experienced my first away day which was a great day, fantastically organised by Tammy and Dev. It was a lot of fun, but also really inspiring to see the team come together to share and shape ideas. These ideas are built on our vision and aims for the future.
If that was all in one month, they really should have got Entec on board the Brexit bus. Who knows what we could’ve achieved!
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