On-Boarding Experienced MBA’s: Technology

Getting Experienced New Hires On-boarded 2x Faster at a Global Technology Company

Client Case Study

Situation

Microsoft Corporation is engaged in developing, licensing and supporting a range of software products and services. The Company also designs and sells hardware, and delivers online advertising to the customers. It operates in five segments and th Company’ products include operating systems for personal computers (PCs), servers, phones, and other intelligent devices; server applications for distributed computing environments; productivity applications; business solution applications; desktop and server management tools.

Microsoft wanted to:

  • Get new experienced technical consultants up to speed to add value on client projects as fast and efficiently as possible while having a sense of excitement to be working at the company
  • Apply the technical skills that they have learned in the previous 6-8 weeks
  • Know what it is like to work on a typical client project using common company technologies, frameworks, and resources so that new hires add value and do not make a significant mistake.
  • Understand how to effectively consult with customers, project team members, managers, and sponsors in typical project scenarios including, but not limited to scope creep, politics, working styles and personalities, technical, time, budget, and quality challenges, decision making and team dynamics, feel what it is like to have success.

Complications

  • Blind Spots: Microsoft’s’ experienced new hires were at the top of their class from the most prestigious Business Schools around the globe.  They thought that they :already knew everything.”
  • Speed: It was taking too long (9-18 months) for experienced new hires to hit the quality and utilization targets required by the company, team leads and the client.

Approach

  1. Definition
    • Definition of Success including: List of key business objectives, learning objectives, and project success metrics; Description of standard roles, responsibilities, and expectations for new candidates in the first 6 months of their job; Definition of New Hire Target Audience; Resume factors – education, experience, knowledge; Performance factors – intellectual, interpersonal, motivation; Defined alignment with overall on-boarding process; High-Level Design Approach based upon best practices; Project timeline and action plan.
  2. Design
    • Overall Design document.
    • List of content.
    • Agenda, roles, and responsibilities.
    • Pilot project scenario and associated “performance test.”
    • Modules, activities, objectives, timing, and resources.

    • Final Design

    • List of suggested next steps.

Approach (cont)

3.  Delivery

  • Coordination and finalization of dates, location, and participants.
  • Creation and coordination of a participant disposition letter to set expectations.
  • Material ordering, coordination, and shipping.

  • Communication of room and equipment requirements.

  • Facilitation, evaluation, and continuous improvement.

4.  Measurement

  • Level-1 Satisfaction Measurement and Summarization.
  • Customer Success Cycle Meeting to review results and discuss Next Steps.

Interesting Design Features

  • Completely revamped lecture-based approaches of the past
  • Required no SME prep time and incorporated company executives for performance tests
  • Utilized real internal projects for simulations and case studies
  • Focused on intense “pressure testing” and mirrored client project scenarios, pace, and personnel

Results

  • 100% client satisfaction
  • 100% client loyalty
  • 50% decrease in speed to ramp (from months to weeks)

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