A pioneering firm of the Internet Age, Cisco’s foundation in networking has expanded to telephone systems, virtual meetings (WebEx), security and cloud services. Our role was key to helping Cisco transition from the rapid growth of the 90s to build the discipline, efficiency and customer focus needed in the post-bubble era. Working with an executive-led council, we provided various services to turn “process” from a four-letter word into a vehicle for knowledge, flexibility and improvement. These included facilitating leaders to strengthen governance, priority-setting and performance measures; a tailored change management method; training for several thousand people in DMAIC/continuous improvement methods; and extensive consulting/coaching for IT and process change initiatives, including marketing, finance, HR, facilities and systems engineering. Essential to success was our ability to challenge ingrained habits that had worked in a period of skyrocketing growth—when the emphasis was on minimizing contact with customers—to a more focused and dynamic management system. With leaders’ support, we were able to shift attitudes by showing how teamwork, smart problem solving and simplification made the company more nimble and effective.
- Several hundred million dollars in reduced rework and improved efficiency.
- Establishment of a cross-business process management system to reduce silos and align priorities.
- New emphasis on understanding and delivering on customer needs with high levels of service and responsiveness.
- A dramatic shift from “seat-of-the-pants” operations to a sustainable, continuous improvement-driven culture and capability.