A lockdown. A client project on cusp of delivery. A determined set of people. This is the story of how a determined team at one of our Consultant Partner in India faced a unique challenge in March 2020.

The Challenge

The team had been working with the HR team of one of the largest Indian Banks to prepare for the launch of an assessment center process expected to cover 11,000 managers in the Bank. This was a difficult and critical process even in the best of times. And then the pandemic stuck. The Indian Government notified a countrywide lockdown which ultimately lasted for almost 3 months. The choice with the Project team was clear – postpone the initiative till the situation improved or figure out a way to deliver the process in the middle of the lockdown. In balance was a super-critical client project with direct sponsorship from the Bank CEO as well as the large delivery-based fee for the Consulting firm.

The Project leaders in both teams agreed that this was a critical initiative and a solution needed to be created. Thankfully, the assessment processes at the Consulting firm had already been transitioned to the digital platform. This allowed the firm to quick get its entire team of 10+ Project Managers and 50+ Assessment Consultants online. The two teams also worked together to create a set of communication collaterals for participants to explain how to access and complete the different exercises. The entire flow of information – from user orientation and communication to internal project updates to exercise scoring and report creation could happen on the Platform. The Consulting firm also created a robust user support process to address issues reported by participants.

11,000 participants completed more than 40,000 exercises which were then evaluated by 50+ Consultants to create Individual Feedback Reports.

The Result

11,000 participants completed more than 40,000 exercises which were then evaluated by 50+ Consultants to create Individual Feedback Reports. 1-on-1 feedback sessions and webinars were conducted to ensure that all participants assimilated actionable feedback inputs from their Reports and create their IDP. Detailed cohort-wise insights were created to help the client team identify further inputs for their talent management processes. All of it delivered within 90 days.

The Learnings

In our conversation with the Project leaders from the Consulting firm, there were four key learnings that came up.

  1. Digital can be a great enabler to consulting firms for delivering services at scale.

  2. The power of digital is best harnessed when you bring your entire delivery ecosystem – participants, project managers, and assessors – on the same Platform.

  3. Communication plays a key role in going digital. In this case, for example, clear and structured participant communication played an important role in supporting the process.

  4. Organizing participant support effectively through multiple channels – self-help knowledge repository, timely email support, phone support for HR teams – is important to ensure that any participant issues, especially in WFH context, can be easily reported and quickly resolved.

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