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Social Network Analysis - IBM Case Study - 2nd European Headquarters Congress 2014

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The case study is based on an internal consulting project carried out in 2012 at IBM in Germany for the IBM System z Hardware, Software, and Services Organization.

The responsible team is established across all business units to drive and lead System z growth initiatives aimed to result in higher revenue achievement, a better pipeline, and the foundation for growth. The IBM D-A-CH group, consisting of the country organizations in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, belongs to one of the world’s largest units for System z related hardware, software, and services today.

The domestic core team in Germany comprises about 300 employees from Hardware-, Software-, Services-, and Support-functions. A cross-brand Social Network Analysis was used to analyze the collaboration patterns across the brands and facilitate the creation of a high-performance team. The analysis has been conducted anonymously on a job role / function basis as required by the domestic works council to meet concerns regarding employee data privacy. The results served as input for a strategic workshop with cross-departmental focal points to agree on actions that would improve the overall collaboration efficiency and promotion of information sharing and knowledge management. A better integration of the different job roles into the System z opportunity-to-order sales cycle should bring teams closer together and finally increase the client value and satisfaction.

Based on 190 survey responses (72.2%), the following major challenges could be identified:
Hardware and Software teams are not well aligned
Roles and responsibilities are not transparent
IBM Consulting Services are not leveraged
R&D and IT Specialists are not well integrated into the System z team and sales cycle
Software functions tend to be isolated from the rest of the team
Pricing functions tend to have a far too centralized role within the System z team indicating a focus on price-driven deals inhibiting value discussions

In order to address these challenges, the team decided to enhance the quarterly on-site deal workshops by bringing all relevant parties together and following a defined methodology to identify opportunities that increase the perceived client value. Moreover, an internal System z ‘IBM Connections’ Community was set up to serve as the central collaboration platform. Within one year, the community grew to 1,440 members mainly across Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. 15% of all members were people manager. During this time, 130 blog entries, 6,600 blog views, 11,900 file downloads and many forum discussion could be generated by more than 70 active contributors.

A more efficient collaboration and knowledge sharing approach facilitated problem-solving discussions online, the collaborative creation of numerous industry assets, and an increased awareness of roles and responsibilities within the System z team.

Satisfied employees cause higher performance and satisfied customers.

Published in: Business, Technology
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Social Network Analysis - IBM Case Study - 2nd European Headquarters Congress 2014

  1. 1. 2nd European Headquarters Congress Social Network Analysis – Case Study at IBM March 21st, 2014 Patrick Bartl Senior Consultant © 2014 IBM Corporation
  2. 2. Executive Summary © 2014 IBM Corporation 2Social Network Analysis – IBM Case Study – 2nd European Headquarters Congress 2014 The case study is based on an internal consulting project carried out in 2012 at IBM in Germany for the IBM System z Hardware, Software, and Services Organization. IBM System z is a mainframe server platform and premium product of IBM that meets highest requirements with regard to scalability, availability, and security for e-business and enterprise computing. The responsible team is established across all business units to drive and lead System z growth initiatives aimed to result in higher revenue achievement, a better pipeline, and the foundation for growth. The IBM D-A-CH group, consisting of the country organizations in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, belongs to one of the world’s largest units for System z related hardware, software, and services today. The domestic core team in Germany comprises about 300 employees from Hardware-, Software-, Services-, and Support-functions. A cross-brand Social Network Analysis was used to analyze the collaboration patterns across the brands and facilitate the creation of a high-performance team. The analysis has been conducted anonymously on a job role / function basis as required by the domestic works council to meet concerns regarding employee data privacy. The results served as input for a strategic workshop with cross-departmental focal points to agree on actions that would improve the overall collaboration efficiency and promotion of information sharing and knowledge management. A better integration of the different job roles into the System z opportunity-to-order sales cycle should bring teams closer together and finally increase the client value and satisfaction. Based on 190 survey responses (72.2%), the following major challenges could be identified:  Hardware and Software teams are not well aligned  Roles and responsibilities are not transparent  IBM Consulting Services are not leveraged  R&D and IT Specialists are not well integrated into the System z team and sales cycle  Software functions tend to be isolated from the rest of the team  Pricing functions tend to have a far too centralized role within the System z team indicating a focus on price-driven deals inhibiting value discussions In order to address these challenges, the team decided to enhance the quarterly on-site deal workshops by bringing all relevant parties together and following a defined methodology to identify opportunities that increase the perceived client value. Moreover, an internal System z ‘IBM Connections’ Community was set up to serve as the central collaboration platform. Within one year, the community grew to 1,440 members mainly across Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. 15% of all members were people manager. During this time, 130 blog entries, 6,600 blog views, 11,900 file downloads and many forum discussion could be generated by more than 70 active contributors. A more efficient collaboration and knowledge sharing approach facilitated problem-solving discussions online, the collaborative creation of numerous industry assets, and an increased awareness of roles and responsibilities within the System z team. For these reasons, the time needed to find the right people for a certain matter significantly decreased. Moreover, employees and managers could start to refocus on driving the business and care about its development. Satisfied employees cause higher performance and satisfied customers.
  3. 3. Problem Statement © 2014 IBM Corporation 3Social Network Analysis – IBM Case Study – 2nd European Headquarters Congress 2014 The old divisions between departments and roles are finally to be solved! We cannot continue to work for a common goal or product while trying to achieve own advantages to the detriment of all others. We have to be aware that we sell the premium product of IBM – System z (Hardware, Software AND Services) This only works if we work together and not against each other! „“ „“Survey participant
  4. 4. © 2014 IBM Corporation 4Social Network Analysis – IBM Case Study – 2nd European Headquarters Congress 2014 How to build a high-performance team at IBM System z in Germany?
  5. 5. Methodology – High Level © 2014 IBM Corporation 5Social Network Analysis – IBM Case Study – 2nd European Headquarters Congress 2014 As-is Peripheral Player Subgroup Central Connector Workshop Discuss results and perform further analyses if necessary Execution & Measurement Execute actions Network Density Efficiency Satisfaction ▲ ▲ ▲ ... Data Gathering Analysis & Visualization Role 1 Role 2 Role 1 high no Role 2 med low Role 2 Role 1 Role x Hardware Software IT Services Financing Finance R&D System z Organization Services A Services B Collect social data (anonymously) Define target group 2 3 Transform data 1 4 Agree on strategy and next steps 5
  6. 6. Distribution of Team Members by Business Unit and Work Location © 2014 IBM Corporation 6Social Network Analysis – IBM Case Study – 2nd European Headquarters Congress 2014 Berlin Frankfurt Mainz Munich Mannheim Duesseldorf Cologne Hannover Hamburg Bremen Dortmund Dresden Leipzig Erfurt Bielefeld Wuerzburg Chemnitz Muenster Saarbruecken Stuttgart Target Group 263 Survey Participants 190 Participation Rate 72.2% 26% 41% 5% 6% 6% 16% Hardware Software IT Services Financing Finance R&D
  7. 7. Interaction Pattern between Job Roles (Anonymized) ≥ 1x per week © 2014 IBM Corporation 7Social Network Analysis – IBM Case Study – 2nd European Headquarters Congress 2014 Interaction How often do you interact? Visualization of interactions ≥ 1x per week Job role - Shape size by average outgoing interaction frequency Role relationship - Tie strength by outgoing interaction frequency
  8. 8. Interaction Pattern between Job Roles (Anonymized) ≥ 1x per year © 2014 IBM Corporation 8Social Network Analysis – IBM Case Study – 2nd European Headquarters Congress 2014 Job role - Shape size by average outgoing interaction frequency Role relationship - Tie strength by outgoing interaction frequency Interaction How often do you interact? Visualization of interactions ≥ 1x per year
  9. 9. Major Challenges Identified © 2014 IBM Corporation 9Social Network Analysis – IBM Case Study – 2nd European Headquarters Congress 2014 Weak interlock between Hardware and Software Business Unit (esp. Sales) Hard- ware Soft- ware Software functions tend to be isolated from the rest of the System z team Hard- ware IT Services Financing FinanceR&D Soft- ware R&D and IT Specialists show a high interest in being more integrated into the System z team and sales cycle Pricing functions tend to have a far too centralized role within the System z team indicating a focus on price-driven deals avoiding value discussions There is no distinct advice network within the System z team Consulting Services do not have an active role within System z R&D IT System z O2O + ? Consulting Services System z Value? System z Roles & Responsibilities are not transparent to the team Client ? ?? + +
  10. 10. Collaboration Options © 2014 IBM Corporation 10Social Network Analysis – IBM Case Study – 2nd European Headquarters Congress 2014 Communities (asynchronous) Personal Information Management Presence (synchronous) Corporate CMS (Teamroom) Wiki Blog Phone Mail Chat WebConference AppSharing To Do Calendar Address Profile Bookmarks Videoconference IBM ConnectionsDocuments Files Activities Discussion
  11. 11. Internal System z IBM Connections Community – Since Q4 2012! Germany integrated with Switzerland and Austria! 1,440 community members © 2014 IBM Corporation 11Social Network Analysis – IBM Case Study – 2nd European Headquarters Congress 2014 10 7 2
  12. 12. Usage of Internal System z IBM Connections Community – FY 2013 Summary © 2014 IBM Corporation 12Social Network Analysis – IBM Case Study – 2nd European Headquarters Congress 2014 Key Facts:  1,440 members Geography  87% German  7% Swiss  2% Austrian  4% Other Hierarchy  15% Manager  85% Non-Manager  130 blog entries  6,600 blog views  87 files  11,900 file downloads  109 bookmarks  37 forum contributors  5% total contribution
  13. 13. The IBM Strategy © 2014 IBM Corporation 13Social Network Analysis – IBM Case Study – 2nd European Headquarters Congress 2014 We are making markets by transforming industries and professions with data We are remaking enterprise IT for the era of cloud. We are enabling systems of engagement for enterprises. And we are leading by example. We are making a new future for our clients, our industry and our company. 01 02 03 30,000+ 250,000 300,000 200,000 IBMers active in Client Collaboration Hubs for our top 300 accounts Employees collaborated in an online Jam to shape nine practices that distinguish IBMers Active IBM users on our Connections social platform Connections communities established by employees for projects, areas of expertise or general interests
  14. 14. Contact © 2014 IBM Corporation 14Social Network Analysis – IBM Case Study – 2nd European Headquarters Congress 2014 Patrick Bartl Senior Consultant IBM Deutschland Nahmitzer Damm 12 12277 Berlin E-Mail: Patrick.Bartl@de.ibm.com Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/patrickbartl

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