Case Study 1 - BT OneIT :
Led by Al-Noor Ramji, Chief Information Officer of BT Group and CNET Networks CIO of the year 2005,
OneIT are undergoing an extensive and critical period of business transformation likened to that
undertaken by IBM in its move from a product based business to a service provider.
As the business dynamics of the telecoms sector respond to the influence of new players such as
Google BT has stated it’s commitment to defend the core and grow the new, no-where in BT is this
more evident than within it’s IT services business.
Historically part of the GPO, now the Royal Mail, BT emerged as a privatised business with a retained
culture of long term employment, union negotiated flexibility and barriers to change not generally seen
in the broader IT industry. To unfreeze the current model OneIT initiated a revised performance management
process designed to improve focus on operational delivery through 90 day cycles of objective setting and
post implementation review. Personal targets and goals and the associated appraisal processes were to be
aligned to these cycles. Utilising a standard five point Likert scale one would expect to find those struggling
to deliver during a period of change within the bottom two rungs of the rating system. The reality at the end
of the first quarter was so low as to be statistically irrelevant across the business where one would expect to
see between 5-10% of the evaluated population.
The resulting lack of staff churn threatened the transformational agenda and demotivated key team members.
The Changesmith Approach
Following a period of process analysis including a review of currently available support and training facilities
a decision was made to undertake a close review of the ratings process and in parallel re-introduce the
performance management process to key line managers via a series of workshops, web chats and teleconferences.
Each identified performance case was reviewed and validated against the available evidence. Working with
outsourced HR services a data base of ratings quality was established and a validation hurdle implemented
should the business need to progress to dismissal on performance grounds.
Following individual review each performance case was aligned with a performance coach who worked with
the line manager to initiate and manage the improvement process. By focusing on the changes in performance
required to meet the transformational goals of the business a significant number of performance cases chose
to move away from the OneIT arena.
Benefits & Results
Achieved increase in the awareness of the ratings process and visibility of the bottom 10% including performance
exits and career realignment actions.
Changesmith Consulting worked in conjunction with the OneIT performance management team and Accenture
HR services in this instance.