Case Study: Global Capability Assessment Project

Development and Implementation of a survey system for a global bank


Our client, a major organisation in the Financial Services industry, is undergoing an Organisation Effectiveness programme which is being rolled out globally, one function at a time.

As part of the programme, every job role has had to be clearly defined and integrated into new job families. A validated capability framework has been developed from which each capability in the framework is attributed to the job role at one of five levels. The new job families and job roles together with the capability framework provides the global consistency across the operating model that had previously been
Our client was looking to implement a solution that would develop a flexible, yet consistent survey tool that would allow Line Managers to assess the levels of capability across their teams; the outputs of which would lead to a more informed and objective discussion about individual capability strengths and critical development gaps.

Furthermore, an aggregate of all data points across the organisation would be analysed to uncover overall capability strengths, gaps and correlations. The power of this data cannot be underestimated: for the first time, the organisation has a global and forensic view of where capital could be put to the most efficient use. The data can be sliced by region, country, grade or indeed function.

The client approached IDG because of our subject matter expertise in capturing organisational capability data and our established track record of building and delivering tailored Capability and Competency online surveys for other functions across this particular global bank.


The Executive Committee had previously communicated to the global population of various functions that a number of people initiatives would be implemented from 2013 onwards, beginning with the Capability Framework and the use of a 180 survey tool to help benchmark the organisation.

It was felt that there was insufficient subject matter expertise, capability and resource internally to help certain functions develop the survey tool concept across their global footprint. It was late November 2012 and they wanted to commence the project in January 2013 in order to hit a “go live” date at the beginning of June 2013.

IDG was asked to:

  • Project manage the end to end process from the client’s provision of the capabilities, their levels and the mapping to each job role, to the completion of the survey and our provision of the final aggregate output.
  • Help to construct the communications package, project plan and support plan.
  • Build practical tools that would enable Line Managers and individuals to assess their own abilities and personal qualities against those required for the role.
  • Ensure the platform performs across 28 different countries in 8 different languages.
  • Provide flexibility so as to comply with legal regional differences (unions, etc…) yet ensure output homogeny (i.e. consistent individual reports and “big data” outputs).
  • Design, develop, test and implement new features in accordance with additional requirements.
  • Provide all team members with a very clear definition of what is required in terms of the minimum level of proficiency for each role – allowing further development to focus on the enhancement of skills levels and capabilities.
  • Help uncover where investment could be directed in each function that would bring quantifiable return and benefit to the brand and the business.
  • Work through a number of different functions with a total of 70,000 individuals. The project is ongoing.

The solution has been to design and build a flexible yet robust 180 tool than that can accommodate different languages and dozens of different surveys (each sent to thousands of participants) aimed at participants with different proficiencies whilst retaining a single, easily understood mechanism that works across the entire business and whose output serves at an individual and organisational level.

However, it is the additional development specific to each function within the organisation that makes the offering so compelling and unique. For example, a new step to a 180 process was developed in conjunction with the client to encourage participants to book a development meeting with their managers in order to agree on a set of final ratings. This stemmed from meetings between IDG and the client with the objective of answering the question “now what?”.

Another example is the creation of a process for the French region which was traditionally left out of global capability surveys because of strict employment laws. Bringing France into the fold has been hugely beneficial to the client in terms of building a more detailed, global picture of their business.


As part of the core team for the project, IDG has been instrumental in coordinating the Capability programme across every function and has often been the responsible for centralising much of the collateral.

To date, IDG has captured the data of over 70,000 individuals for this organisation and has provided analysis and insight to support decisions, such as budget allocation for L&D or HR in the direction of recruitment direction.

The fundamental benefit to the capability tool is the individual report received by participants. These reports are the foundation of good development conversations with managers which would otherwise not have occurred, particularly in regions previously unreachable because of non-compliant software. We are working to quantify the benefit of each individual discussion but IDG and the client believe they positively impact engagement, career development, leadership, retention rates and the achievement of functional and organisational strategic objectives.


Industry: Financial Services
Location: Global
Duration of programme: Ongoing
Solution: 70,000+ 180° surveys