May 18, 2010, 4:32 PM — Michael Del Priore, Church & Dwight
Of the many lessons from my previous experience leading global restructuring that I am applying now, the most important is: don't move faster than the organization can.
When I came to Church & Dwight in August 2009, I found myself with an IT group that was functioning without a strategy or plan. To create a global structure and operating model, I had to move in a way that would mature the organization, and not risk rejection by imposing changes in attitudes, processes and services internally and externally all at once. My senior team and I defined a new model for how IT will engage with our users and customers. One key principle is to separate the support functions from the strategic ones. That is an end-state goal for our three-year plan; as long as they are blended, execution will overwhelm strategy. Including my entire team on fleshing this out was necessary to get them to think in an enterprise manner. After socializing it with key executives, I held an IT town hall to lay out the new environment, specific near-term goals and the steps to transition.
Following through on those goals has been critical to gaining buy-in. We reached our first milestones at the beginning of April, when we restructured into the global model, outsourced our application maintenance and kicked off a global SAP implementation. Because we had been preparing for the transition for months, the day it took place was almost a nonevent.
Paul Martin, Rexam
We have been talking about moving Rexam away from being a decentralized IT environment with function-oriented IT organizations for several years now. We did tackle the back office, bringing together data centers and networks, but the front office was another matter. Touching the lifeblood of the business set a lot of people on edge. But with new company leadership and the changing economic environment came an objective to align business and IT into one common approach, leveraging best practices and the resulting efficiencies.
This approach will enable IT to be a shared service center, instead of embedded in each division as a separate function. Our goal is to become an internal service organization-like an IT vendor inside Rexam. And the key has been to address the concerns of the autonomous business units from a single perspective. We developed a governance model to ensure every immediate need and long-term desire is prioritized across the organization. We then demonstrated it, showing each business unit leader what that decision process looks like, how the prioritization is built, and how we determine the resources for each project. Now that we have that process and they understand it, acceptance is growing.
Dave Patzwald, Schneider Electric