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Organizational design and visualization for banking: How Allied Irish Banks drives organizational changes with Nakisa HR Suite

Org design software for banking: Nakisa HR Suite and AIB story

About Allied Irish Banks (AIB)

Allied Irish Banks, or AIB, is one of the pillar banks in the Republic of Ireland. Operating predominately in Ireland, AIB also has SME operations in the UK and a small office in New York. AIB is a retail and commercial bank that offers a range of personal, commercial, and corporate products to customers. It has a total workforce of up to 14,000 people, including external workers. As an organization, AIB has undergone significant transformation in its HR processes over the past few years. 

Let’s give a word to Brigín Walsh, a Senior Organization Effectiveness Consultant at AIB. Brigín is responsible for organizational shape and strategic people change and transformation. Here is what she says about Nakisa HR Suite:

Dublin, Ireland
~ 14,000
“We started implementing Nakisa in 2019 and it saved us a lot of time. Instead of manually creating org charts in PowerPoint, we use Nakisa to generate them automatically and instantly. Nakisa also helps my team with scenario modeling, succession planning, and talent sessions with our executives.”

Brigín Walsh

Brigín Walsh, a Senior Organization Effectiveness Consultant at AIB

The challenge before Nakisa: Visualizing external workforce data and creating org charts

AIB has traditionally maintained a conventional bank organizational structure, centered around branches, where branch managers held senior positions with assistant managers. However, as the organization diversified and embraced digital transformation, functions such as  data analytics, risk management, and technology became much more important. Consequently, traditional bank and career structures needed to be modernized.

From 2008 to 2019, AIB utilized various HR platforms and tools to enhance its internal organizational structure, providing employees with greater clarity and mobility across the organization while optimizing its HR processes.

By late 2019-2020, AIB had established a clearer career structure with foundational elements that facilitated clarity and mobility for employees. However, the organization still lacked a comprehensive understanding of its entire workforce. Previous tools and solutions worked well for the bank’s internal employees but didn’t analyze external partners and consultants who contributed to AIB’s overall workforce.

The Total Workforce Framework initiative marked the beginning of efforts to gain a broader perspective of the workforce. The AIB team aimed to understand the composition and balance between the internal and external workforce and analyze types of external workers, including partners, daily-rate contractors, and consultants. Rather than grouping them together, Brigín Walsh and her team wanted to understand when and for what activities AIB engaged each type of external worker. The bank sought to visualize data about their external workforce and make informed business decisions based on the insights. For instance, they aimed to determine the ideal ratio between internal and external workforce and establish mechanisms for tracking it.

“We were looking for a tool that would help us with what we call org diagnostic. We wanted to be able to look across the organization and see things like our composition in 10 years, or levels across layers. We struggled to do that ourselves internally at the time. We created org charts manually in PowerPoint and we were looking for an org design tool that could visualize the organization in different ways.”

Brigín Walsh

Brigín Walsh, a Senior Organization Effectiveness Consultant at AIB

The solution: Nakisa HR Suite’s organizational visualization and design software for banking

After exploring the market, the bank chose Nakisa. As Brigín Walsh says: “It has given AIB the capabilities we didn’t have before. It saved us a lot of hours just by creating powerful org charts automatically, so we don’t need to do it manually on PowerPoint. That was our initial use of Nakisa, and it was quite basic, compared to other features Nakisa offers. My team is a center of excellence around org design. Nakisa helped us to pull a diagnostic on the organizational structure so that we’re starting our engagement with the business, showing that we already understand them and the organizational trends.

We also have been using Nakisa for scenario modeling. While restructuring any department, we use Nakisa to create a future state of the team. This way, we can show the business what that future state would look like and what the impacts would be on the whole company.

As time went on, we built a great relationship with the Nakisa team. They were always very open to listening to our business problems, and we would often talk about different challenges that we were facing and how Nakisa might help us to solve them. AIB has explored a lot of things with Nakisa, and we have an open mind to what the tool can do for us”.

One example of successful collaboration between Nakisa and AIB is talent management. Prior to using Nakisa, the AIB team manually gathered all the information and added it to PowerPoint files to share with executives during succession planning or talent sessions. With Nakisa’s succession planning software, in addition to the default fields, the support team provided AIB with custom fields and RAG status indicators. This has enabled the AIB team to view talent data and bank organizational structure together, facilitating a better understanding of succession plans for various positions.

AIB and Nakisa success story: What’s next?

The next AIB challenge is dynamic workforce planning, traditionally known as strategic workforce planning. While AIB now has a comprehensive understanding of its workforce, both internal and external, the team is still not able to see what the workforce in the future would and should be.

Today, there’s growing momentum to move towards dynamic workforce planning, driven by lessons learned from the Covid-19 pandemic. Businesses now need to consider proactive approaches rather than reactive ones and focus on dynamic workforce planning and agility. AIB has been collaborating with the Nakisa team to explore functionality that could support AIB’s agile journey.

For the future, we’re looking to a better way of workforce planning. We want it to be flexible and iterative. Our strategic planning cycle is a three-year cycle, but we don’t want people to think that once the strategy is created, it is done for the next three years without the need for updates and iterations. We are working on this with Nakisa, and we hope that it will greatly help us throughout this new journey as it has helped us face previous challenges.

Brigín Walsh

Brigín Walsh, a Senior Organization Effectiveness Consultant at AIB

Do you need organizational visualization and scenario modeling software for the banking industry?

Nakisa is a global leader in cloud-native organizational design and workforce planning solutions, providing enterprises with the tools to enhance agility and adaptability. Interested in learning more? Let’s have a no-obligation call! Our experts with 20+ years of experience will be happy to assist you and tell you more about Nakisa HR Suite. Book a call with us or explore various products of the Nakisa HR Suite! 
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