Global Power Leader Uses Dynamic Personas to Shape Digital Workspace Strategy and Improve Employee Experience
In this case study
For more than 100 years, this global power leader has been committed to improving people's lives through its research and innovative technology solutions.
In 2019, the company realized in order to achieve its vision of powering a world that is always on, it needed to deliver an always-on experience to its employees by providing seamless access to critical applications and services from any device and location.
However, with 58,000 employees located across the globe in thousands of facilities and workplaces, the company struggled to understand its different technology needs to create personalized, innovative experiences. For example, field technicians at local service centers needed access to different devices and applications than traditional, office-based employees at its global headquarters.
The company also needed to address operational challenges. Its traditional IT operating model couldn't support an always-on experience with service upgrades tethered to device refreshes every three years and focused primarily on PCs. It needed to move from a device-centric approach to a model focused on the end user.
To help bridge the gap between IT and end users, the company had created a new position dedicated to the digital employee experience. The Director of IT – Employee Experience acts as a liaison between IT and the business and is responsible for viewing technology through the lens of employees and identifying opportunities to optimize experiences.
With another device refresh quickly approaching and employees' technology expectations rising, the director and the entire IT team faced difficult questions.
Director of IT - Employee Experience
Employees were also confused. Their inboxes were flooded with broad, impersonal and, sometimes, irrelevant emails from the IT department.
"We had a one-size-fits-all approach," the director said. "For example, we would send out an email to all our employees about updating their operating system even though some employees didn't need to update their system. We would end up frustrating and overwhelming those employees with technology messages that mean nothing to them."
As a first step toward improving the employee experience, the company tried to develop a set of basic workforce personas — groups of employees that share similar characteristics, technology and job requirements, or IT services — but quickly realized they needed a deeper understanding of employees' challenges and workflows to effectively apply them to their business.
The global power leader turned to WWT to help expand and refine their workforce personas and develop an actionable strategy for improving the employee experience.
We hosted a Digital Workspace Envisioning Workshop with the company's IT department to understand their existing personas and long-term vision for their digital workspace, which included moving from a traditional IT operating model to a modern IT operating model.
A modern IT operating model would enable the company to seamlessly update employees' devices and applications on a continuous basis rather than conducting large-scale, disruptive refreshes every three years.
During the two-day workshop, we led "day-in-the-life" exercises and brainstorming sessions to capture specific employee workflows, requirements and services that were missing from their existing personas.
Next, we conducted a Dynamic Persona Assessment to fully expand and refine personas. We collected and analyzed end-user data and interviewed more than 40 key stakeholders across the company to gain insight into how employees work and different departments' business objectives.
Using our dynamic persona modeling (DPM) methodology, we merged this data and institutional knowledge to create personas that layer various attributes, including technology features, support needs, security and access profiles, collaboration profiles, applications, licensing, adoption and training needs, migration/batching schedules, and financial models.
Based on the results of the workshop and assessment, we developed an actionable digital workspace strategy that enables the company to equip employees with the devices and tools they need to be successful, personalize IT communications, and achieve a modern IT operating model that eliminates disruptive device refreshes and staff augmentation costs.
Specifically, the company benefitted from:
- New, robust dynamic personas that enable IT to provide more personalized support and tailored messaging
- Technology mappings that align personas to specific capabilities and devices, reducing the number of devices and spend per employee by providing them with only the tools they need
- Financial comparisons of current and future operating models, which revealed the company could shift to modern management without increasing overall costs
- A roadmap with tactical steps for transforming the employee experience, reducing risk, increasing compliance and improving security
- Guiding principles and best practices for implementing the roadmap and strategy
Using our financial models, we were able to forecast costs in the company's traditional operating model versus a modern IT operating model over the next eight years. By shifting to a modern operating model, the power leader could gain better budget predictability and avoid spikes during device refresh years, as well as reduce the number of unnecessary device replacements by 25 percent.
The DPM process also allowed the company's IT Team to gain credibility with leaders across the company by demonstrating their dedication to understanding business requirements, addressing employees' needs and challenges, and helping achieve organizational outcomes.
Currently, the company is executing on the DPM strategy. Its first step is mapping specific job titles to each persona type. Moving forward, it plans to leverage up to seven dynamic personas.