Write a Hand Drawing rich picture based on the Case Study bellow;
The Talentset Gateway Case Study
For over fifteen years Talentset Gateway Ltd (TG) has been the largest provider of skills training in the country. They are used by many employers to provide training for employees in a wide range
of administration, IT and Finance/Accounting areas. Their courses range from hands-on training (such as introduction to Excel, Advanced Access) through to professional qualifications such as
Microsoft Certified Professional, Cisco and the ACCA accounting award.
The TG Head Office is situated in the West End of London. Head Office contains the Managing Director and associated admin team, Finance, Human Resources and Operations, Sales and Marketing,
Administrative Services, Course Management and ICT.
The Senior Executive Board (SEB) is made up of the Executive Chairman, Managing Director, the Finance Director, the Sales and Marketing Director, The HR and Operations Director and the ICT
Director. This is the key decision making body for TG. The Head of Course Management and the Head of Administrative Services are not part of the SEB but are consulted when necessary.
TG has 10 fully equipped training centres across the country where their employee training courses take place. Each training centre is managed by a Training Manager and he/she is responsible for
coordinating the day-to-day management of the centre and recruitment of local trainers to deliver the training material. Each Training Manager reports to the Director of Course Development and
meets once a month with him at Head Office.
IT at TG
Over the past few years, TG has invested heavily in IT and at the centre of this IT infrastructure is an online booking system known within the company as eBook. eBook schedules courses at the
training centres and is able to take bookings online directly from an employer or individual client. Sales staff can use ebook to make bookings on behalf of individual clients or employers. The
eBook system is also used to take payments, register attendance and produce certificates at the end of the course.
TG has recently invested a lot of money to develop ‘the learning gateway’. The learning gateway enables an individual to register/pay for, and study, appropriate courses online. The learning
gateway is currently being tested and will hopefully go ‘live’ next year.
2. All change at the top
At the beginning of 2015, Tom Talent, the Managing Director (MD) of TG retired after twenty years of service within the organisation.
Tom Talent’s approach to management
Tom played a key role in making TG a first class training organisation and he had a reputation for being a dynamic yet fair employer. Tom believed that “if staff are happy in their work then they
will be productive and committed to the firm.” As a result of this, TG operated flexible working hours, a family friendly policy and excellent company benefits. In 2008 Tom introduced the concept
of an ‘employee engagement committee’ into the organisation. The committee consisted of employee representatives from across the organisation. The committee met monthly and was chaired by Tom
himself. The committee meetings enabled representatives to discuss employee issues and employee ideas directly with the Managing Director and Tom made changes within the organisation where he felt
it necessary. TG employees really liked the idea of the employee engagement committee as they felt their voices were listened to ‘at the top’.
The operational staff at TG were sorry to see Tom retire and hoped that the new MD would maintain the organisational culture that Tom had developed.
However, several of the executive board members felt that Tom’s retirement would give them the opportunity to makes changes. Asif Khan, Director of HR and Operations, felt that the organisational
culture was ‘too soft’ and that employees took advantage of Tom’s approach to staffing issues. Winnie Yip, the Director of Finance, also felt that a new MD was needed. Her argument to the board
was that although finances were currently healthy, profits could be increased further by greater cost control. She also felt that there were a number of opportunities for expansion and growth which
the board should be considering.
A new Managing Director is appointed
In March 2015 the new MD, Fiona Santander, was appointed. The board interviewed some very strong candidates. At the end of the selection process the executive board was divided about who to
appoint. Georgios Savvas, the IT Director and Mike Hutchinson, the Sales and Marketing Director wanted to give the job to Lisa San who clearly supported Tom Talent’s approach to management and
leadership. Asif Khan and Winnie Yip were keen to appoint Fiona Santander for the reason that she came from a financial accounting background and had been involved in a number of company
reorganisations . As the board was split the executive Chairman, Lanre Akinola, had the deciding vote. Lanre voted in favour of Fiona Santander as he felt that TG could do with a ‘shake up’ and
‘that expansion would be an interesting project for the future’.
Fiona promised the board that her first aims were to improve profits and raise the company profile nationally by introducing cost efficiencies.
By the end of the selection process, the board had appointed a new Managing Director but two of the Directors were unhappy about the appointment and concerned for the future of the organisation.
3. A new way ahead for TG
At the first board meeting with Fiona in charge, Georgios and Mike expressed their concerns about making too many changes too quickly, but Fiona made it very clear that the sooner changes were made
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
The idea of key performance indicators (KPIs) is very popular in industry today. KPIs are usually introduced to measure the performance of an employee, department or overall organisation in a
particular way. KPIs are measured over a given time period (for example, weekly, monthly, yearly). A KPI for a university, for example, could be something like number of students who pass a course
or number of students who withdraw from a course. Senior management will set the target for the KPI (for example, an 85% pass rate for a course or a 10% withdrawal rate). In order for KPIs to work
there must be way to easily collect the data that will show whether the KPI has been met. (For example, an exam board report will show how many students passed a course).
Cost efficiencies and KPIs for training centres and courses
As a part of Fiona’s strategy to improve cost efficiencies she decided that the performance of courses needed to be considered so that poor quality or unpopular courses could identified. To do
this, Fiona introduced a number of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for each course.
Examples of the KPIs Fiona produced are: number of students booked on course, number of students who attend course, number of students who complete course, number of students who pass the course
(where appropriate), number of students who would recommend this course to a friend, number of employers who book more courses.
Fiona explained to the board that based on her review of TG’s current systems the data for some of these KPIs could be captured from the eBook system (with some enhancements to the software).
However, some of the data would have to be captured from a ‘feedback form’ that all students would now asked to complete at the end of their course. Employers who book training courses through TG
would also be asked to complete an ‘employer feedback form’ at the end of a course.
The course trainers and the training centre managers were very unhappy about the introduction of the KPIs. They felt that management did not understand how difficult it could be to deliver a
Cost efficiencies and KPIs for the Sales team
Fiona announced that she also intended to improve cost efficiencies by reviewing staffing levels across the organisation. At the first employee engagement committee meeting attended by Fiona she
explained to the staff representatives that her staffing level review would begin with the sales department.
She told the committee that each member of the sales team would reviewed against weekly/monthly sales targets and key performance indicators.
The employee committee was angry about this and demanded that further discussions were held before these targets were put in place. Fiona refused to do this and said that details about the new
sales monitoring process would be introduced within the next month.
Later that week, Fiona produced her ‘Sales productivity’ document. In this she identified the KPIs that were to be collected by the sales department. Examples of these are:
KPIs for the telesales executive team: number of phone calls answered per week/month, number of phone calls resulting in a course booking, number of emails answered per week/month, number of
emails resulting in a course booking, number of follow up phone calls made, number of follow up phone calls resulting in a course booking.
KPIs for the employer executive team: number of meetings/phone calls/emails with employer per week/month, number of training courses booked per week/month, number of new courses booked by employer
per week/month, total number of employees trained per week/month.
Read about the Sales department at TG in section 4 below.
Pilot scheme for KPIs
Despite opposition from the Sales team, the course trainers, the training centre managers, some of the board members and the employee engagement committee, Fiona decided to go ahead with her ideas
for cost efficiency.
She announced to the board that a six month pilot study for collecting KPIs relating to both courses and sales would take place and at the end of the pilot study an external consultant would be
engaged to review the results and suggest a way forward.
Fiona agreed that TG did not have information systems in place to collect all of the KPIs she needed.
She reminded the board that the collection of course KPIs would be possible through data within the eBook system and through the feedback form given to clients and employers at the end of a course.
Fiona told the board that she had been working with the Director of Finance, Winnie Yip, to find a way to record and analyse data resulting from the collection of the Sales Department’s KPIs.
Together they had created a spreadsheet that would be given to each member of the sales team. This spreadsheet would allow staff to record their daily activities and also record any sales they had
made. At the end of each week each member of the sales staff would email their spreadsheet to the Sales Director’s Personal Assistant who would check and forward them to the Finance department.
Fiona had also agreed with Winnie Yip that a member of her staff in the Finance department would be given the responsibility of processing the spreadsheets and producing weekly and monthly sales
figures. For the purpose of the pilot scheme, this activity would have to be undertaken manually, using spreadsheets to help In the future, Fiona hoped that a Management Information System would be
developed to make the process easy.
Fiona also told the board that Winnie Yip had agreed to give a member of the Finance team the job of collating and analysing the course KPIs.
4. The sales department at TG
There are two sales teams at TG: the Telesales executive team and the Employer executive sales team. They are both responsible for getting leads and selling courses but both teams work in
The telesales executive team performs two key tasks. (1) The telesales staff take telephone enquiries from individual clients, advise them on the courses available and, hopefully, convince the
client to make a booking. Courses are booked through the ebook system by the telelsales executive and the details are generated and sent to the client by the system. (2) The telesales staff also
make follow up calls to enquiries that have been made by email, via the TG website or phone. They also phone clients who previously have completed a course to tell them about new courses or
The employer executive sales team works exclusively with medium/large size employers who hold ‘training accounts’ with TG. Each executive looks after between two – ten employer accounts (depending
upon the size of the employer and the amount of training courses they tend to book with TG).
Each executive works closely with their employer(s) to encourage them to book courses for their staff and to advise them about new courses and special promotions.
Tom Talent didn’t believe in performance targets for sales staff. He felt that if sales staff were pressured into meeting targets, they would, in turn, pressure their employer clients into booking
courses that they didn’t really need. Tom believed that sales executives should build up a good relationship with their clients. Mike Hutchinson, the Sales and Marketing Director, agreed with Tom
Talent’s approach and had worked hard to create a positive and fun culture within the sales department. Before joining TG in 2003, Mike had worked in a traditional sales department where all sales
staff were given targets and were under a great deal of pressure to meet those targets. Mike was proud of the sales environment at TG and firmly believed that their approach to working with clients
and employers (which didn’t involve a ‘hard sale’ of courses) was one of the reasons that TG was such a successful training provider. He was angry about the changes being imposed by Fiona and made
his views very clear to his sales staff, to the other board members and to Fiona herself
5. The Pilot study review
At the beginning of 2016, Damien Cornwell, an independent business analyst, was recruited to review the KPI pilot study.
Firstly, he interviewed key staf at Head Office who were involved in the KPI pilot study in some way. Next, he interviewed members of the Sales department. Finally, Damien visited one of the TG
training centres – the Canterbury training centre to interview staff there.
A summary of the interviews he held can be found in Appendix A.
Appendix A –The Pilot Study Review Interviews
The following are extracts from a number of interviews that took place with staff from TG.
Interviews with Head Office staff
Fiona Santander (Managing Director)
The last six months, while the KPI pilot study has been taking place, has been a difficult time for me. I really don’t understand what all the fuss is about. I was brought into make changes and
take TG forward and that is what I intend to do. It’s not only the staff whoare constantly moaning – some of the Directors are so negative as well.
Personally, I think that the pilot study has gone well. I do agree that it has been quite difficult to collect all the data I specified for the KPIs and some of the staff have been quite upset
about it. But, really, they need to stop moaning and get on with it if they want to keep their jobs.
I know that this review will show that I am right. The analysis of the KPI data so far has shown me that the Sales staff are a lazy bunch and could bring in a lot more sales if they spent less time
chatting with the employers/clients and spent more time pushing the courses that we run.
The analysis of the course KPIs has also shown me that some of the courses are very unpopular and some of the tutors appear to be much better than others. I am going to do a more detailed review of
the training centres later in the year. I know that I have agreed this review of the pilot study but, to be honest with you, I think that I know the answers already so the sooner you finish your
interviews and write your report the better!
Winnie Yip (Finance Director)
I’m really happy to have Fiona Santander on board. I felt for a long time that Tom Talent’s approach to staff management was far too easy. The staff felt that they could do as little work as they
liked and it didn’t matter. I really like the idea of KPIs. In the future we could set every member of staff targets and then review their work against those targets. It would certainly make staff
work harder! I have had some complaints from the two members of staff in Finance who are collating the KPIs and analysing them. I had a meeting with them both several weeks ago and the main
complaint I heard was that the sales staff are not completing the spreadsheets completely. Sometimes they don’t complete it at all and just don’t respond to emails asking them to send it. I’ve
tried to talk to Mike Hutchinson about this but he isn’t interested in disciplining his sales staff. He says that his staff have enough work to do as it is and that this is only a pilot study so
it doesn’t matter.
Mike Hutchinson (Sales and Marketing Director)
I am so cross I don’t know what to say to you. Fiona Santander is useless. She doesn’t know what she is doing and she is going to destroy my sales department unless she changes her mind about the
KPIs.. Until Fiona started as MD the Sales Department was a happy place to work. My sales teams worked really well together and very few people ever left because they enjoyed their work so much.
Many sales environments are very pressured and staff have to meet targets all the time. Tom and I deliberately made the needs of our employers/clients the focus of our sales strategy. We didn’t
want to be known as an organisation that pressured people into buying training courses that they didn’t really need. Since the pilot study began, five of my sales executives have left. They’ve told
me they don’t like the way they are being treated and feel like they are being watched all the time.
The rest of my staff are really unhappy about completing the spreadsheets. They say that they are really difficult to complete and take up a lot of time. They are fed up with receiving reminder
emails from my PA – but he is only doing his job.
Fiona hasn’t discussed any of the KPI results with me so I don’t know what plans she has for the department. My staff are really anxious about their jobs in the future and this is affecting their
work as well.
Lisa Banda (Head of Course Management)
Unfortunately, I am not a member of the executive board so I am not part of the decision making process in this organisation. It seems ridiculous to me since running courses is what TG is all
about. I’m very concerned that Fiona is going to make cuts to the courses we currently run and that she may also close down some our training centres if she doesn’t like the results of the KPIs.
I meet with the Training Centre Managers once a month – they come to Head Office in London and we spend a whole day discussing issues that affect all the centres.
The Training Centre Managers tell me that things have not been going well since the pilot study started. Firstly, since some of the KPIs relating to the courses and centres are being taken directly
from eBook the centre managers don’t know whether they are meeting the KPI targets or not. Nobody has told them, or me anything. All the staff at the training centres are concerned for their jobs.
They’ve also noticed a number of clients complaining that the course they have attended did not provide the training that they wanted. This must be because the sales staff are encouraging clients
to book the wrong courses.
My course tutors are not happy about the feedback forms being used by Head Office. As one of my tutors said recently, students often use the feedback forms to complain about the wrong things. For
example, if a student doesn’t pass a course with a professional qualification they will say that the course was badly run even if it was their own fault. A number of the course tutors have resigned
in recent weeks because they are unhappy with the way in which the pilot study is being run. This is a real shame as all of the course tutors are highly qualified and it is difficult to find
Georgios Savvas (IT Director)
I’ve worked for TG since 1995. It was a small organisation then and I’ve seen it grow into what it is today. I pride myself on knowing what’s going on but recently I feel that I’m being ignored.
Nobody has listened to my views about the KPI pilot system. I was really annoyed to hear that Fiona is talking about making changes to the eBook software to support the KPIs in the future. She
hasn’t even discussed this with me and I’ve heard rumours that she is going to bring in a software consultant to make the changes even though we have our own in-house developers. I’m also unhappy
about the way in which she is slowly changing the culture of the organisation. I really supported Tom Talent in his approach to management – I thought it really worked. I knew Fiona’s appointment
would be a disaster.
Amanpreet Gill (Finance administrator)
I have worked for TG for five years. I really enjoyed working here to begin with and I am the Finance department representative on the Employee engagement committee. The committee was horrified
when Fiona revealed her plans for the Sales department KPI pilot scheme. Fiona won’t listen to anybody else and expects people to do what she says without question. Staff at TG are really unhappy
now and a lot of people have left already. I would leave as well but I’ve got two school age children and the flexible working hours at TG mean that I can take them to school every morning. If
Fiona makes changes to the family friendly working policies that TG has in place then I will definitely look for a job elsewhere as I have a lot of experience in Finance.
Anyway, I expect you really want to interview me because Winnie Yip asked me to manage the collection and analyse of the KPI data for the sales staff at TG.
To begin with it was really difficult to collect the KPI information and analyse it – this really needs to be made part of an information system and then it will be much easier. During the first
few months of the pilot scheme I worked out a process that would work and since then I have managed to do the job well although I hate doing it. The biggest problem I have is getting the
spreadsheets from the sales staff. Every week I have to chase up Johnny, the PA, asking for spreadsheets that haven’t been submitted or sending back spreadsheets that have been completed properly.
This is the process I follow:
Each Monday afternoon I receive an email from Johnny Greenwich, the Sales Director’s PA, which has a Zip file attachment containing all the spreadsheets he has received from the Sales staff for the
I unzip the file and print off each of the spreadsheets. (The original idea was to merge these spreadsheets together with my spreadsheet but it didn’t work properly and caused too many problems).
I check the spreadsheets against my list of sales staff (there are 15 sales staff) and if any are missing I email Johnny and ask him to chase them up for me.
I then check each spreadsheet for errors and if there are any problems I email them back to Johnny and ask him to sort things out.
Although there is only one spreadsheet for the sales staff to complete it is divided into two sections – one section is completed by the Telesales executives and the other section is completed by
the Employer sales executives. I manage each section separately.
Firstly I deal with the Employer sales executives spreadsheets as these tend to be easier. I have my own spreadsheet that I maintain for their KPI data and I enter the required data from their
spreadsheet into my own spreadsheet. The data that they submit on their spreadsheets is mainly related to the number of meetings they have per week with their employer clients, the number of new
course bookings they have made, the number of repeat course bookings they have made etc.
During the first month of the pilot scheme I realised that some of this information should be available via eBook. For example, when an employer booking is made on eBook the sales executive’s name
is recorded against the booking as the contact. I found a report on the eBook system that lists the bookings made by each employer client each month so I add this information into my spreadsheet
as well. I have to print off the ‘employer book report’ using the eBook reporting menu and I then manually enter the data into my spreadsheet.
Once I have entered all the information into the spreadsheet, I check to see what spreadsheets are still missing (either I didn’t receive them at all or the data was incorrect as I explained to you
earlier). At the end of the first month of the pilot scheme I was so fed up with waiting for staff to complete their spreadsheets that I got an agreement from my boss, Winnie Yip, that Tuesday 5pm
is the cut-off date for any late spreadsheets to be returned to me. If a member has not submitted their spreadsheet by this cut-off date then zero is entered into the spreadsheet columns for that
week. After the deadline, I produce a report showing the sales staff who have not completed their spreadsheets and I email this directly to Fiona.
I deal with the Telesales executive spreadsheets in a similar way. The main difference is that I have to collect different data about them so I have a different spreadsheet that I use. The type of
data I record about the telesales executives relates to the number of phone call enquiries they have taken per day, the number of follow up calls they made to online enquiries and the number of
bookings they have made as a result of this etc.
I also found a report on eBook that helped me gather some of the data required. There is a report called ‘individual client booking’. This report lists the details of clients who have booked
courses within the last month. If the course was booked by the sales executive, or if the client used a promotional code as a result of talking to the sales executive, then it is possible to see
that information. Unfortunately the report also lists all the bookings made by clients via the internet so I have to go through a lot of records that aren’t needed.
Each Thursday, I produce my analysis of the previous week’s KPIs and email the reports to Winne Yip and to Fiona Santander. For each of my spreadsheets, I run a macro that was written for me by
Winnie. Somehow it reads the data from my spreadsheet and produces a number of graphs. It is the reports from these macros that I email across. I also print out a copy of my spreadsheets and the
graphs and file them in my own filing system.
As you can see this is really time consuming and I can’t wait until this is turned into an information system which will make my life easier!
Kofi Kankam (Finance administrator)
The process for collating the Course KPIs is much easier for me than it is for Amanpreet. At the beginning of the pilot study I realised that there were 30 courses running at each of the 10 centres
which meant that I would need to collect data about 300 different courses on my spreadsheet I spoke to Winnie and Fiona and they agreed that I would collect data for three courses only. These three
courses all run at least once a month at each centre.
Winnie helped me set up a master spreadsheet in Excel to enable me to collate the data by centre, course and date of course. It is quite a big spreadsheet now and I will be glad when the process is
At the beginning of each month I use our eBook system to print off a ‘monthly course start report’ This report lists the courses that are running at each of the 10 centres during that month. I then
have to go through that list and highlight the three courses involved in the study. I then set up the spreadsheet for the month by entering information such as the start/end dates of the course,
number of individual clients booked on the course, number of employers who have booked their employees on the course (and how many), whether the course has a final examination and the course tutor.
I also set up my outlook calendar to show the start and end date of each course in the month as a reminder to me. At the end of each course I get a notification from my outlook calendar and I then
print a ‘course completed report’ from ebook which shows me how many students started the course, how many students completed the course, and how many students passed the final exam (if there was
I enter this information into my spreadsheet for the appropriate course.
At the end of the course, I receive an email from each centre which contains the completed questionnaires from the clients. I print out the questionnaires and then I enter the data into a section
of my spreadsheet that Winnie set up for me especially for this purpose. I keep the printed questionnaires in a folder in my cabinet.
If the completed course had bookings from an employer, I find out the employer contact details from the ebook system and I email the employer an ‘employer feedback form’.
Once I have collated all the information about the course I run a macro that Winnie wrote for me and this produces a report and some graphs that show how the course has performed at a particular
At the end of each month I email the reports to Winnie and Fiona. I don’t know what they do with them after that. I also print out a copy of the reports and keep them in a folder in my cabinet.
I’m really glad the pilot study is over as we really need an information system to do this. It takes up a lot of time and most of these processes could easily be done by a computer.
Interviews with Sales staff
Johnny Greenwich (PA to Sales Director)
I am really unhappy about having to collect all the spreadsheets from the Sales staff each week. I’m always having to chase the staff up for them. It is a complete waste of my time.
Lau Ho (Tele Sales Executive)
I think the whole thing is stupid. I feel like management are spying on me and I’m not happy about it. I try to fill in my spreadsheet on Monday morning as soon as I arrive at work but sometimes
this is not possible. Sometimes I have had to estimate the number of phone calls I have made during the week as I haven’t had time to log them. We really need a system that will log phone calls for
Jenny Smith (Employer Sales Executive)
I feel under a lot of pressure as a result of this pilot study. It is difficult to find the time to fill in the spreadsheet each week. I also feel under pressure to try and sell my employers
courses that they don’t really need. One of my employers has noticed this and is quite angry with this new approach. Their training manager has told me that they are thinking of using another
training provider in the future.
Interviews with Training Centre staff
Tahrima Ahmed (Training Manager – Canterbury Training Centre)
I don’t mind asking the clients to complete a feedback form at the end of each course. It is actually quite interesting to read some of the comments. The problem is that some of the negative
comments aren’t very fair and we don’t get a chance to reply to them. For example, last week there was a power cut in the town and our systems weren’t working for about two hours. The clients all
complained about missing part of the course but it wasn’t our fault.
I am unhappy that a number of our course trainers have resigned. I have spoken to Lisa Banda about this. I have had to cancel two courses this month because I don’t have the staff to run them.
Martin Carter (Course Trainer – Canterbury Training Centre)
I was a professional IT consultant before becoming a course trainer. I have worked for many of the big banks in London and I could easily return to a software developer role. I’m really unhappy
about the feedback forms being sent to Head Office. Nobody asks me what I think about the clients! A number of staff have already left and I’m also thinking about finding a new job.