WorkWatch was born out of a desire to create a single work tracking tool within one of our client’s operations to provide an end-to end-view of the work item lifecycle, therefore providing insight into the end client experience.
This included capturing the effort and wait time to provide full visibility of inventory at all stages, and bringing several legacy systems and processes onto a single platform which provided enhanced visibility of all effort expended across the operation.
This project was initiated in March 2016, between the core team, made up of operational representatives based in Norwich and Pune, a development team, also based in Pune, and another project management team, based in Mumbai. All areas worked extremely well together and delivered the core system by June 2016.
The operation across those two sites – Norwich and Pune – employs about 1,000 staff members across three divisions:
- Placement services
As with any project of this scale, working together posed a number of challenges to the teams; however, they all remained positive, adopting a can-do attitude and working to resolve issues efficiently, which helped make this project a success.
During this project, a number of emerging opportunities to innovate a standard workflow management tool enabled us to develop it into a bespoke workforce management tool which offers:
- Integration with our client’s work instruction system, thereby automating work creation within client’s operations
- In-built work allocation logic based on user configuration
- Internal query management that enables all internal queries generated relating to processing to be raised within WorkWatch (e.g. processing queries raised by our colleagues in the Pune office are passed directly to Norwich technicians), and provides data capture that informs of training/process gaps
- Quality management, with the client operations quality framework embedded within the WorkWatch application giving us real-time insight into possible failures and opportunities for improvement
- Time management that tracks how our effort is spent, so we can ensure that we were all aligned and focussed on the appropriate priorities
Our client’s operations are set up in a Citrix environment, which complicated the integration of WorkWatch into their system, because WorkWatch had to be packaged and hosted within the Citrix environment. To achieve this successfully required engaging a number of IT teams from the client side (database architects, project managers and analysts) to firstly establish the hosting and secondly implement a framework for BAU support.
Testing was completed in November 2016 and the application was rolled out in January 2017, at which point ownership was transitioned to the operation.
There was no disruption to the service during the roll-out. The cutover plan to move existing work onto the new platform and set up user profiles was executed over the weekend prior to going live, meaning that when users started using the system, it replicated the closing work position exactly.
User engagement has been key to making this operation a success; we had champions across the business who understood the value of WorkWatch and how it benefited the client and the Operation as a whole. WorkWatch is not just any management tool – it provides insights around the additional demand on users’ time and is not limited to what is deemed our “core” activities. This was not previously recognised, which is informing a number of initiatives to improve the efficiency of the operation.
The Placement Services version of Workwatch has around 470 non-concurrent users and writes more than 2 millions rows of transactional data a year, which required a robust load test to be undertaken.
The user feedback has been extremely positive when compared to previous system roll-outs. Numerous working groups were formed to agree best practice and to scope out ideas for enhancements, which are currently being reviewed.
Scott Weaver / Aviation Broker Support Team Leader
In my team, to begin with, there was resistance to any kind of work tracking software for fear of repeating previous failed systems; however, once the team were involved and proper training had been provided, they were able to see the benefits and it was soon embraced. I feel that whilst the system was not completely without issue, closely working with members of my team, creating action groups and having appropriate super users has meant that not only were these issues overcome, but that this was achieved with the buy-in and assistance of those actually using the system.
As a manager, the system has greatly benefitted me. It has meant that I am properly able to see where best to place resources and can identify any anomalies in how people are processing work. It has also allowed the team to better allocate tasks amongst themselves, and has provided me with a tool to provide useable management information back to my team so they can take an interest in their own individual performance.
Jane Warden / Aviation Technical Services Team Leader
As a newly arrived manager in the business, I felt that I did not have an overall feel as to the productivity of my team and how workflow was managed overall. WorkWatch has given me that info at my fingertips on a real-time basis – with the ability to see work, move work around as needed and also to track its end-to-end journey. As a lot of work is also placed offshore, I am able to see that workflow as well, and can move work between Norwich and India easily.
My team were resistant to a new system at the start, but by talking it through with them and sharing the outputs on a monthly basis, they have come to see the benefits of it. By using a champion in the team, they have been able to give feedback and see changes.
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