While reading an article the other day, I came across a new way that companies are now implementing to save money. Over the past few years with the growing popularity of smartphones and tablets, many companies’ IT departments have been trying to resolve a problem of integrating personal devices at the workplace and analyzing how it can benefit the company. According to Gartner, a research and advisory firm, “has predicted that at least half of white collar employees in the United States will be using their own devices for work by 2017.”
Some advantages that come with this integration are increased motivation and productivity, less training on devices and programs, and access for employees to connect wherever and whenever they want.
Employees handle their own upgrades
This saves the IT a considerable amount of money each year. And the employees are happier because they can choose when they want to upgrade and to what device to upgrade to – instead of being at the mercy of the IT guy.
Less waste means few unnecessary expenses
When companies purchase electronic devices (computers, smartphones, and tablets), they always tend to overbuy to side on caution so that every employee will have a device and not to create a lag time for incoming employees. This is a waste of money for the company and can be eliminated since employees would be responsible for supplying their own.
Greater comfort = Fewer training costs
Training costs go down when employees are utilizing technologies with which they are already comfortable, which would curb the time it takes to learn a new program or app. And in some cases, training can be altogether eliminated from the books.
As companies are continually looking to improve their processes and save money. I feel this is an inexpensive way to lower costs, be more productive, and keep happier employees.
Understanding organizational culture is a critical component to the success of a project. I was able to see this first-hand during a large acquisition project I worked on recently. We acquired one of our competitors who employed over 4,500 employees. The goal of the project was to successfully integrate our two companies together and eventually operate both businesses in a uniform way. Both companies delivered a similar service, but the organizational structures and company cultures were very different. We knew this would pose a challenge to the project as we set out to combine the two together.
During our last class, we discussed the key dimensions that define an organization’s culture. These dimensions indicate risk tolerance, team focus or communication style amongst other attributes. During the acquisition integration project we utilized similar key dimensions to try and understand what made our cultures so different. By understanding the culture differences we believed we could better manage the large-scale changes. The process involved employees from both companies completing a culture survey and assessing their own organizational culture based on the key dimensions. We then asked the same group to complete the survey again and indicate what their perceptions are of the other company culture. The results of the effort are shown below:
The solid yellow line is the acquired company (PM) assessment of their culture. The dotted yellow is the purchasing company (NEC) perception of PM’s culture. The blue lines are the same assessment for NEC. We discovered the employees from both companies had a very good idea about the culture of the other company, and we could easily identify where our cultures differed from one another. This information became central to the project and assisted us in managing the integration. We were careful not to make drastic changes in areas where our cultures differed, and move quickly to integrate in areas where our companies were aligned. An additional benefit was the positive view the employees from the acquired company had about NEC. The interest we showed in learning about their culture and applying what we learned built trust between the two groups. This trust became the platform to support all future integration efforts. Ultimately, by paying attention to organizational culture we were able to complete the integration project on-time and integration synergies were achieved earlier than planned.
The concept of organizational culture and the effect it has on project management is supported by a recent article I read from on the Projectmanagement.com website. Click here to link to the article. The article indicates the most valuable training a project manager can have is organizational culture training. The author recommends culture based training for project managers and project participants. The training material should enable project teams to identify, assess and address issues related to organization’s work culture. The efforts will be most successful when lessons learned from previous projects at a company can be shared and leveraged to ensure future projects are equally successful.
Have you ever worked with an organizational culture survey as part of a project? Did you find it helpful?
Nair, J. (2014, March 27). Organizational Culture: Essential Training for PMs. <i>ProjectManagement.com</i>. Retrieved July 5, 2014, from http://www.projectmanagement.com/articles/282209/Organizational-Culture–Essential-Training-for-PMs