– SILVER WINNER OF THE 2017 EXCELLENCE IN PRACTICE AWARDS –
The Engagement Managers transformation programme has united Capgemini’s main delivery roles with a common global curriculum, certification framework and community to drive a greater competitive edge
In early 2013, Capgemini’s senior “engagement managers” (EMs) met to share their views and agree on the direction for an integrated global EM community.
Drawn from countries and business units spanning the whole Capgemini Group, their task was to make sure the global engagement managers’ community was aligned with Capgemini’s strategic objective of reaching the “Champions League” of global IT service companies.
They concluded that bringing together the roles of project managers, service delivery managers and transition managers to create a common community in terms of training, certification and knowledge sharing would improve Capgemini’s margins, revenue and global footprint.
The actions identified to do this were based on the alignment and integration of the professional journey, curriculum and training delivery, certification, criteria and processes and one community with related mobilisation and communication needs.
In close consultation with Capgemini University, the EM community agreed to embark on the implementation of a series of actions for the professional journey, including building a common framework for the unified curriculum, identifying competencies at each level, mapping training and certification to the professional journey and communicating the plan to (and mobilising) the community.
Together with the EM community, Capgemini University took the lead to make plans, create deliverables, share progress with the wider community and their local leadership, help with localising and translating content and drive the implementation of the EM transformation across the whole Capgemini group.
The new EM certification framework defined competencies across five levels, from Foundation to Level 4, which were cantered on the four key principles of sales, delivery, finance and people. The training and certification criteria were then added to create the professional journey. The chosen metaphor was the EM “Tree”, consisting of roots, branches and a crown:
- Foundation modules (the roots): common for all roles, with some specialisation for different types of engagements
- Level 1 and Level 2 (the branches): core and specific modules for the different roles, which take into account the increasing complexity that the engagement manager faces
- Level 3 and Level 4 (the crown): common to all roles, including the most complex and challenging engagements
While the “foundations” level of this certification is primarily curriculum-based (mandatory modules and a multiple-choice exam) the four other levels are performance-based, meaning that candidates must not only answer knowledge and scenariobased questions but their performance in the field, including feedback from peers and managers, and contribution to the community and development of others, is also part of the assessment.
Curriculum and community-based learning
Capgemini University delivers learning interventions in the EM curriculum using a full range of learner-centric mechanisms. The certification modules of the EM curriculum consist of classroom programmes, blended learning journeys, elearning modules and exams.
In addition, the wider training curriculum features skills and content boosters, classroom programmes, elearning modules and the “EM Contribution Game,” a challenge over six weeks that pits teams of EMs against each other as they run a business game simulating a real project.
The skills and content boosters are userdriven (social learning) content developed by the EM community that are aligned to the four EM principles (sales, delivery, finance and people) and address market and business priorities.
The university has worked to upskill senior EMs to become university-qualified facilitators (in addition to their day-to-day responsibilities), capable of delivering effective training that is closely linked to real engagement experiences and which drives business outcomes more effectively.
Capgemini University has also capitalised on community-based learning through regular campus events. Each year, the university brings together around 200 top performers from the global EM community for learning and mobilisation events in France and India. Participants network, collaborate on challenges, build community plans and take away best practices to pass on to their respective units. In addition to building the EM community, these events are also used to develop new content for use in the wider community.
The implementation of the EM programme has driven a significant increase in the number of certified engagement managers across the group. Starting from a base of approximately 1,800 in 2013, Capgemini reached just over 5,000 certified EMs by the end of 2016. The EM programme has also delivered a positive contribution to the group’s profitability on key engagements. nResults clearly show that having certified engagement managers correlates to a higher degree of profitability on a larger number of engagements.
In addition to a common curriculum and certification framework, Capgemini has also built one of the largest internal communities in the group over the past four years, driving a culture of knowledge sharing and common language among its members. The impact is a more rounded EM that has a broader understanding of the many different types of engagements the group delivers while providing a culture of better standardisation and productivity and ensuring improved client satisfaction ratings.
Key success factors
From the outset, the decision to put the EM transformation programme in the hands of the EM community has served to put the learners at the centre of the programme’s design, content creation, delivery and upkeep. Some other key successes factors include:
- Using a common metaphor for certification – the tree – has given everyone a shared vision and a common goal;
- Listening to the regions and investing time to understand and accommodate local variations has removed potential obstacles to adoption;
- The use of community-based learning through campus events and facilitators from the community has created opportunities for best practices to spread across regions.
Four years on, new engagements are staffed based on the required certification level for that engagement. Engagement managers know that they cannot run a prestigious project without the necessary certification and the group’s leadership knows that they need to staff new projects with certified EMs or run the risk of encountering delivery problems.
The EM transformation programme has empowered Capgemini’s engagement manager community to deliver a true win-win: better results for Capgemini – and its clients.
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