Building a best-in-class communications function

Global Professional Services Firm: Building a best-in-class communications function

Challenge:

At a time of deep economic uncertainty and increasing competition in its four major lines of business, a professional services firm’s communications function was at a crossroads. Over time, declining resources and siloed service areas had created real and perceived challenges to the function’s effectiveness and efficiency.

Faced with increasingly complex internal client expectations and demands, our client asked us to assess their communications organization with an eye towards yielding greater client value and delivering higher strategic value to the corporation.

Actions:

  • Assessed vision, demand drivers  and service gaps through qualitative research with over 30 senior business area leaders (clients) and over 20 communications professionals.
  • Created an infographic that communicated the function’s current reality and outlined a road map for change.
  • Facilitated a workflow analysis of over 50 general activities and 130 underlying tasks self-reported by communications professionals in order to identify perceived effectiveness and opportunities for strategic realignment or consolidation.
  • Created a gap analysis that uncovered nine areas with the greatest potential to yield both real and perceived improvements in client services.
  • Developed blueprint and prioritized road map of activity for building the future communication organization.
  • Facilitated cross-functional workshops to reach consensus on the kinds of service activities that yielded the highest (and lowest) strategic value to clients and the firm.

Results:

  • Provided fact-based case to support recommendations for organizational realignment and reinvestment.
  • Uncovered 30 activity areas that could be redesigned to yield efficiencies within the function.
  • Communication leaders reported an increase in colleagues’ alignment around the overarching goals of the function.
  • Provided communication colleagues with the tools and resources to work closely with their clients to negotiate service-level agreements, helping to balance client demands with the function’s finite resources.

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