Accelerating sponsor skills across an international investment bank

Our London New York and Tokyo sponsor skills programme was rolled out to nearly 250 staff firm-wide across finance and risk functions

Organisational structures are only part of the performance puzzle. Without accountability for roles and responsibilities performance can, and will, fall to pieces.

The challenge

Our client was the Head of Operations & Change at an international investment bank. She had oversight of an investment portfolio worth half a billion dollars and was increasingly concerned that change and technology personnel were being held to account for delivery and benefits. Traditionally, business function leaders were sponsors of a programme.

Our client had initiated a programme with sponsors within operations to increase their awareness of their roles and responsibilities. With a desire to increase the effectiveness of her initiative, she brought us on-board.

We were briefed to produce a set of one-day workshops for programme sponsors that not only increased their knowledge around roles and responsibilities, buy also developed a common language and tools to engage more effectively with the change and technology teams.

Our approach

We created and conducted a set of one-day workshops called ‘Sponsor Skills’ for Operations and Operations and Change personnel across three different regions: London, New York and Tokyo.

The content for workshops was derived from our own CMP90 framework, which is based on research into over 300 development programmes run within banks and details key success and failure criteria.

Building on this, we developed a bespoke set of workshops based around four powerful themes:

  1. Roles and expectations of a sponsor
  2. Understanding three critical distinctions
  3. Creating the conditions for success
  4. Active governance

In addition to the actual workshops, we also created a series of tools and a set of ‘action alerts’ designed to extend sponsors’ learning into actual intervention.

Our impact

Our workshop series was a great success. Every single sponsor across both Operations and Operations & Change developed a new, improved understanding of what their role entailed, and how they should be executing it. This was a first for the client.

To maintain the initial progress, we designed and delivered tools and a common language sponsors can refer to at any time during future programmes. This enables sponsors to review and remediate a programme and improve its chances of success.

More telling, is the fact that our initial workshop series has been championed and rolled-out right across the client’s organisation. To date, a total of nearly 250 people within both risk and finance functions have benefited from our work.

Note: This case study was first published by Catalyst prior to the Sionic merger

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