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The Reengineering of BFDSs IT Department

peopleĀ³ helps Boston Financial Data Services find hidden strengths and new ways to attract, retain, and develop its valuable IT employees.

January 8, 2002

Boston Financial Data Services (BFDS) is an established and progressive leader in the financial services industry, providing state-of-the-art automated shareholder record- keeping to a wide range of mutual fund management companies. BFDS employs over 3,800 people and boasts a client base of more than 16 million shareholder accounts. BFDS's IT organization employs approximately 250 people, who support a full range of internal IT needs, as well as cutting-edge products and services to accommodate their clients' financial data processing needs.

With the recent reorganization of the IT organization, it became apparent that there were a number of "people-related" issues, the most critical being employee recruitment and retention. Lured by outside opportunities, longtime employees were leaving at an alarming rate. Although BFDS was interested in retaining many of these key employees, they found their hands tied by the following:

  • There was no formal career-development program.

  • They did not compensate to current market value.

  • The organizational culture was not supportive enough.

As a result, increased employee turnover, and growing discomfort with the current way of doing things, left the IT organization with low morale and with inadequate resources to achieve business goals and objectives.

The approach by people3 was to first conduct a Human Capital Assessment. Through intensive interviewing, research gathering, and analysis, people3 identified career development, reward and recognition programs, and organization structure as the three areas requiring immediate attention. Issues surrounding culture, work processes, and leadership were cited as "areas to keep an eye on." These findings were significant for the following reasons:

  • Career development and compensation were validated as being critical issues for employees.
  • It was originally thought that culture was an area that needed immediate attention.
  • The fact that employees genuinely liked their jobs was something the organization could use for recruitment and retention purposes.

On the basis of the assessment, people3 took the following steps:

  • Provided executive coaching to leadership and refined the Mission, Vision, & Values statements.

  • Developed job descriptions for the entire IT organization that reflected BFDS's current state, future desired state, and Gartner best practices.

  • Established Project Management & Business Systems Analysis job families.

  • Designed a career-development program.

  • Developed a reward strategy that aligned with the overall business and with performance expectations for the IT organization.

Bottom Line

  • Turnover of high-performing employees decreased from 40 to 0 percent within six months.

  • Salaries are now competitive, and a compensation plan has been created to reward changing critical technical skills.

  • IT processes have been refined, documented, and communicated, and roles to support these processes have been established, which allows projects to be completed more quickly and efficiently.

  • A career-development program to provide career paths and identify targeted training for all IT employees has been established for staff and leadership.

  • Internal customer satisfaction has moved from a rating of "below average" to "above average."