Reed Integration Mission and New Level of Performance:
Reed Integration, Inc. practices what it preaches. As a leader in systems engineering, program project management, business process innovation, and risk management, Reed recently was challenged to take their IT systems to a new level of performance.
Reed is a woman-owned, 8(a), SDB company that is accustomed to meeting stringent, performance based requirements. Ethical business practices are highly regarded, as an OCI (organization conflict of interest) free trusted partner for public agencies and private industry.
The company's growth vision was laid out using Balanced Scorecard strategic planning that would include implementing IT systems to support growth.
Reed graciously shares their lessons learned with us to illustrate project elements, at the same time acknowledging development of a model approach to building on IT system strengths.
The company's public facing website was designed in RapidWeaver. But as you will see in the following sections, the images of the company's intranet, as built in Office 365, show structure and continuity that is built from the outside in to reinforce their performance goals.
Reed's corporate values, knowledge management, and employee engagement are driving the company's vision of transparency and seamless operational excellence.
Reed's Custom Branded Intranet in Office 365 Matches External Website:
Pictured above is Reed’s home page on the intranet that opens with the Message from the President, Becky Reed. A role model for employees, Becky Reed is the 24th person in the world to achieve the coveted credential of the International Council of Systems Engineering (INCOSE), Expert Systems Engineering Professional (ESEP).
The business case for Reed’s intranet, therefore, became clear that the workspace would need to nurture its culture of service excellence and core methodologies in systems engineering and project management.
But, the question became, where to start an IT growth initiative? Parallel to its inherent way of thinking, Reed conducted a trade study of cloud based services that it felt would be able to grow along the company. Reed’s requirements included feature rich applications for creating and maintaining documents to support high performance business processes and activities.
As the company decided on a combination of Office 365, E1 and E3 for cost efficiencies, according to Steve Waddell, Vice President, its’ baseline approach would have to support people and knowledge. The balanced scorecard, as previously mentioned, represented the blueprint for future internal processes.
Reed's Knowledge Library is a Technological Advantage:
Reed hired a Microsoft Gold partner to help implement the custom branded intranet to match the public facing website. The knowledge library, the cornerstone of its IT initiative built in SharePoint Online, relies on the technological advantages of document management and cloud collaboration capabilities.
Steve Waddell added, “The SharePoint cloud is so much more valuable to us. As a true knowledge management solution, collaboration and version control are built in.”
To model a particular example, the company designed an asset management template in SharePoint. Employees from different departments of the company log equipment usage, life cycle expenses, and purchasing that has also automated configuration management. The standard process, in the long run, is expected to pay off by providing tax accounting methods as well as operating efficiencies.
In fact, Reed quickly migrated its’ entire infrastructure to Office 365 as soon as it became available. The decisions that he and other team members tasked to see the implementation through were much more than a leap of faith. The company’s expertise in systems engineering would make a difference in creating a balance for IT systems growth.
Reed Employee Club Designed Around Corporate Culture:
Reed’s Employee Club as pictured is a takeoff on social networking. Fostering the company’s culture of service excellence, the intranet team site designed in Office 365 gives employees lots of space. The company encourages internal traffic to the site, for employee social networking and community building.
For example, the company supports employees' participation in professional societies, like INCOSE. In the Employee Club, you can see posting of recent chapter events.
Internal communication policies may also lend support for growth of discussion forums in the Employee Club. Office 365 offers the ability to further customize features and design sub sites like Reed’s Employee Club, a virtual meeting place for your employees.
Reed's Corporate Intranet is a Game Changer:
Reed’s intranet of library assets incorporates the company’s standards of excellence. As a one-stop tool for company related resources, Reed further engages with employees through regular news and announcements.
For example, Reed is an active supporter of the Hampton Roads Rotary Club in southeastern Virginia. In the Employee Club, site pages are designed to complement activities, including shared documents and calendars.
Other shared documents include Becky Reed’s standard weekly president’s meeting notes to help employees stay in sync who are unable to participate due to work schedules or field activities. Steve Waddell shared with me that the company is starting to take advantage of Lync Online, which enables them to conduct and support enterprise level collaboration requirements through live meetings.
But does collaboration need to be simultaneous or synchronous? Not necessarily. Reed establishes a framework for asynchronous collaboration through on-demand access, reporting, and feedback with all levels of the organization.
Our case study demonstrates Reed’s superbly designed intranet supports their highly structured work processes for collaboration and employee engagement. As Steve Waddell summed it up, “Our corporate intranet is a game changer for us.”