A leading multinational bank innovates in-house learning processes

A team effort with IBM establishes a symbiotic training relationship

Published on 18-Sep-2013

"Could we have done this ourselves? Yes. But it probably would have taken three times as long." - Global head of learning execution, a leading multinational bank

A leading multinational bank



Trust, transparency, discipline and commitment to a shared goal are the key intangibles that form the foundation of a successful business relationship. And that’s exactly what this leading multinational bank sought when it set out to overhaul its learning operations from end to end and institute a governance process to support strategic planning, communication, global integration and buy-in at the executive level.

Business need:
A bank’s training operations were misaligned with company goals, leading it to transform its learning to better support the business, gain credibility and align workforce capabilities with objectives.

IBM® Global Process Services® helped the global bank create a governance program to support strategic planning and global integration.

Today, the bank delivers innovative, standardized content via a cloud-based, blended learning model that supports business objectives and has reduced delivery costs and redundant processes.

Case Study

Trust, transparency, discipline and commitment to a shared goal are the key intangibles that form the foundation of a successful business relationship. And that’s exactly what this leading multinational bank sought when it set out to overhaul its learning operations from end to end and institute a governance process to support strategic planning, communication, global integration and buy-in at the executive level.

The mandate for change

With a century of history, the organization provides a range of banking and financial products and services to approximately eight million customers in more than 30 countries. In 2011, the bank determined during a comprehensive internal review that its globally fragmented learning model was not keeping pace with the greater business’s strategic imperatives, which included regional growth, core banking capabilities and a superior customer experience. With little concrete direction and no governance program in place, the firm’s learning program had unclear objectives, was inconsistent, involved duplicative processes and was costly. In addition to impeding the ability to drive business outcomes, these operational issues had combined with a lack of transparency to lower the learning organization’s credibility with the bank’s senior leadership.

The learning organization needed to turn this situation around. The global head of learning execution at the bank knew that the learning program should be run like a business to support overall strategic priorities, and that a structured turnaround with the right strategic team would synchronize learning methodologies with business needs. The program needed the right people, processes, infrastructure and governance to work in tandem, with structure and direction, to ensure that workforce capabilities at the bank would align with required business outcomes.

The right fit

The bank executive wanted no less than a strategic teaming to help the 60,000-person enterprise embark on a complex global workforce capability transformation that would span more than 30 countries over multiple years. The bank needed an experienced provider to clearly understand the company’s needs, help evaluate learning requirements, co-own the vision of a completely transformed learning organization and help chart a roadmap with governance oversight to keep the transition on track.

As the learning team talked with potential providers, it took special interest in IBM’s recommendations to improve the bank’s learning management system (LMS), which had limited capability. But it was the people of the IBM team—their passion, empathy, spirit of teamwork, dedication to client satisfaction and industry expertise—that won the client. When the executive evaluated IBM’s business case for change and watched the two teams interact seamlessly in the earliest days of exploring the client-provider relationship, she knew that the bank had found the cultural fit it wanted in a strategic team.

Think big, start small, move fast

The bank and IBM colleagues agreed that the end-to-end transformation should address processes, technologies, vendors, partners, business users and learners. While keeping their desired end state in mind, the team embarked on a fast-moving project designed to yield early successes, earn credibility and buy-in from the business, and set up a six-year journey for the client to fully transform its learning processes.

With a fully engaged governance team, the learning program could shepherd diverse business elements into one interlocking process with sound decision making and strategic planning. IBM guided the bank in instituting an overall governance structure that encompassed colleagues throughout the business and tasked them with evaluating and monitoring strategy, divisional needs and operational and contractual performance. Because they had a voice in governance and a hand in building the program, bank employees became highly invested in the success of the entire project.

The organization’s transformation hinged on standardizing on a single technology infrastructure, consolidating redundant and inconsistent processes and enhancing learning methodologies. The IBM team worked with the bank to implement a comprehensive, globally standardized platform—a cloud-based, scalable Saba Learning Management System with broader capabilities than the organization’s previous LMS.

Primarily responsible for the bank’s learning content development, IBM delivered an innovative, blended learning model that uses a virtual, instructor-led training environment, thereby reducing the costs associated with in-classroom training while bringing best-in-class content to the client. The bank executive notes that IBM resolved the organization’s issues with immature content development and delivery processes by bringing in a highly capable content team and a disciplined approach.

Specialists from IBM also lead ongoing requirements analysis and solution design at the bank, while an IBM facility in Manila, the Philippines, assists the workforce with learning administration, learning application support and Tier 2 help-desk services.

One team, one mission

Less than one year into the engagement, the bank’s learning transformation was running smoothly. The bank executive attributes this state to the goal-oriented, seamless, candid teaming between the business and IBM that gives all individuals and teams the ability to be creative and quickly do what they know needs to be done.

But even with a strong team, and with the best laid plans, operational challenges can arise. The executive attributes the bank’s successful steps toward transformation to the one-team approach, which involves overcoming challenges together and finding workable solutions if an element of the plan doesn’t go as expected.

A fast start leads to quick wins

Having started small and moved fast, the combined team had the learning program functioning in a way that aligned with corporate objectives and yielded results. Seven months into its transformational journey, the bank benefited from:
● A governance model that drove increased innovation in content design, development and delivery, with streamlined course curricula, a 51 percent reduction in unwanted courses, and high-quality, competitively priced IBM-built content
● A single technology platform that supports future growth and innovation and helped the organization not only migrate eight million records from the legacy system, but also achieve an all-time high level of self-service with the new LMS
● An enhanced and transformed learning experience for all employees, with Human Performance Improvement training that boosted team capabilities and provided more transparent career models for employees
● A single set of global policies, processes and procedures, with more than 300 processes made redundant and 70 new global processes implemented; the governance structure identified approximately AUD250,000 in savings through reduced duplication and increased transparency
● A reduction in delivery costs, with the bank saving AUD3 million in the first six months

In addition, several learning programs had a positive effect on the bank’s bottom line, as evidenced by more appointments with customers and higher sales numbers. And there is more to come. The team continually explores greater innovation in learning, including human resources (HR) collaboration functionality and a mobile learning pilot project.

As demonstrated by a recent industry award, the bank is a case study for companies that insist on a relentless focus on the customer. Achieving its vision for the learning program and the enterprise by teaming with IBM, the bank’s success offers further proof that relationships truly are everything.

For more information

To learn more about IBM Global Process Services, please contact your IBM marketing representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/services/bpo

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Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

GTS Global Process Services

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