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15/06/2015

SiaLabs: Data Driven Change

In changing market environments, companies need transformation processes that are fast and effective. With SiaLabs, a service of Sia Partners, smart technology is used for collecting quantitative and qualitative data, so that an accurate view of an organisation can be given. SiaLabs uses these data driven insights for selecting the right approach to create sustainable changes.

With rapidly transforming markets, globalisation and digitalisation now being a part of everyday reality, organisations increasingly require flexible organisational capacity. This calls for process optimisation and new ways of working, both online and offline. However, transformation projects flowing from these needs are often hard to implement. Change fatigue, misunderstanding and lack of ownership cause employees to resist the change or act passively towards it. On top of that we see that transformation projects often take months before the first results start to show. They cost organisations endless amounts of money and the set objectives are rarely fully reached. Statistics indicate that 70% of transformation programs in corporations fail; either they are not on budget, not in time implemented or even worse: they are not implemented at all.

There should be a sense of urgency within the leadership of a company and its management to ensure successful implementation of carefully selected transformation programs. Because of those rapidly changing conditions, triggered both from the inside and outside world, many companies introduce Agile (or Spotify) types of new Ways of Working. Also they understand that transformations are no longer incidental programs that they have to undergo on a periodic basis, it is a continuous improvement program. All the more reason to equip the organisation with the right people, mindset and instruments to be able to drive this continuous improvement! 

In this article Sia Partners will present SiaLabs, an approach which has proven itself already to support clients in their efforts to make transformations a success.

Using Data, not only quantitative but also qualitative

Big Data has proven to be a great opportunity for managers to obtain better insights into what is going on in their organisation. It allows for a more detailed view on all types of areas like Finance, Marketing & Sales, Production, Supply Chain, IT and also HR & Change. 

‘Big Data’ with its significance as quantitative data coming from already existing internal (IT system) sources is already widespread in corporations for some years now and its benefit has proved itself. The ability to be able to analyse more data using available data management technology enables decision makers to make better analyses, i.e. choices and also more accurate predictions about the future. Its application can be of particular benefit during a transformation process.

However, besides those ‘quantitative’ aspects of the organisation, there is also a qualitative side of business, i.e. what people, think, what they do and what moves and motivates them on the work floor. This is also called the ‘wisdom of the crowd’. 

Here we can think of measuring team effectiveness, or its alignment on company objectives, organisational waste or simply collecting data on employees knowledge level about any subject. At Sia Partners we see a huge advantage in combining the analysis of the quantitative with the qualitative Big Data of the organisation, as shown in figure 1. This is why we created SiaLabs.

Figure 1: SiaLabs helps to reduce the lead-time of the two phases in the yellow square and delivers a very accurate assessment (source: Sia Partners).

What is SiaLabs?

SiaLabs can quickly capture the current situation on the work floor. This means that we include the entire ‘social system’ of the organisation in our measurement. Through this it becomes transparent who is doing what in the organisation and in which strategic direction employees expect to be heading. Visual outputs of the insights can for example be a ‘buddy map’ and an ‘alignment graph’, as shown in figure 2. In order to get these insights, we use an objective way of digitally questioning the respondents.  This comes down to only asking for facts, opinions and feelings which are all verifiable. Thereby we avoid collecting biased data and socially desirable answers, so we can give an accurate description of the organisational situation. Even more since respondents are allowed to answer anonymously.

Figure 2: A buddy map (left) shows who can share knowledge with who, the alignment graph (right) shows agreement among employees.

There is another advantage of being objective however. As we ask for concrete and measurable data, we can also compare this data with previous measurements. This means that we can benchmark the results with previous findings. With over 900 projects and more than 7 million answers to questions in our database, we can accurately compare the  organisation with its competitors in the industry or even with companies in other industries.

With traditional (quantitative) Data one can predict what will happen in the future based on what has happened before. SiaLabs allows to capture and learn what people expect in the future. SiaLabs asks questions about the ambitions of employees and verifies whether it is in line with the strategic objectives as set by the management. These insights allow managers to take action in organisational areas that need additional effort, or keep a steady pace there where results meet the objectives.

In order to effectuate any transformation it is important to know what employees are thinking, knowing and doing to help taking the right actions in the right timeframe. By making use of our SiaLabs’ method of working, one can now monitor the change along the way, make immediate corrections when required and thus avoid to run into surprises. However, having insight in the organisational situation is not sufficient. Managing change is a complex matter that needs careful execution and timing, engagement of the (right) people while selecting the right interventions in order for transformations to succeed. With years of experience in the area of change management as well as industry specific knowledge, Sia Partners knows how to build momentum for change, alongside the client. By adopting SiaLabs into our approach we are convinced we can significantly increase the success of your transformation programs.

SiaLabs brings both valuable insights and execution support!

In summary, SiaLabs, a service of Sia Partners, allows for consulting based on smart technology for a Data Driven Change. Our analysis  of your qualitative data within the organisation is Fast, Fact-Based and Focused. Moreover it ensures a complete and accurate view of what is really going on in your organisation. And this way it helps to select the right approach for creating sustainable changes.

So where is it that you want to go with your team, department or organisation? We invite you to discuss the next challenges and opportunities within your business area with us. Let’s improve your organisation with data driven change. And once the set-up has been done with your business unit, departments and teams, your company is ready to successfully improve on a continuous basis.

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