Syngenta is a world’s leading agri-business with more than 28,000 employees in 90+ countries dedicated to its purpose: Bringing plant potential to life. Through world-class science, global reach, and commitment to customers, Syngenta helps to increase crop productivity, protect the environment, and improve health and quality of life.
The Business Challenge
During a time of realignment and reorganization, Syngenta needed to sustain the change it was trying to drive and share the new ways of working among thousands of employees across the globe. Synergy was necessary at every step to make sure employees in every country had a clear understanding of their roles and how they impact the bigger picture.
But the challenge was dual-faceted. In addition to employees grasping their individual roles, Syngenta also needed to broaden the understanding of project, program, and portfolio management and how these disciplines align with and enable product development success. The company needed to share with employees how their everyday work affected these projects, and it had to be done in a way that would provide clarity to the field, while at the same time simultaneously engaging leadership in how they would drive the strategy through their teams.
Syngenta required a scalable solution that could raise awareness among its workforce and get everyone on the same page, while helping them be cognizant of the part they each played in the big picture strategy.
Syngenta decided to create a learning academy – The 3PM (Project, Program, Portfolio Management) Academy – to reach its entire workforce and provide the necessary training and guidance to ensure everyone was working toward the same goal and understood the company’s projects and associated timelines at different levels, from basic awareness to expert level.
The Academy joined forces with Root to create a Root Learning Map® module to raise awareness in portfolio, program, and project management across the entire workforce and provide a basic understanding of it all. It would be used with current employees, as well as in the onboarding of new hires.
The program was initially deployed in January 2013 to Research & Development and eventually extended a year later to all of Syngenta. The Strategic Learning Map® sessions were open to all personnel and, in some capacity, could impact all 28,000 employees across the organization. While there are many projects running across functions – such as R&D, Commercial, Finance, Legal, and HR – the 3PM principles are maintained throughout each project. They gave an inside view into the moving parts of projects and how everything is interlinked.
In the first wave, Root and Syngenta facilitated 79 Learning Map® sessions on a global scale with almost 800 participants and close to 60 facilitators. In the second wave that took place in 2014, the number of Learning Map® sessions was increased to 90, reaching 760 employees and with 37 new facilitators trained.
Syngenta worked closely with Root to coordinate the implementation details for this large, global effort. One 3PM Academy team member was put at the helm to drive the Learning Map® sessions globally. Additionally, regional Learning Map® coordinators were put in place to localize the training and ensure seamless delivery.
To make the registration process to attend a Learning Map® module rollout as easy as possible, Syngenta provided employees with a tool to register on the 3PM Academy website, accompanied by a three-minute video about the endeavor. This registration process helped Syngenta organize the sessions and define the needs from the beginning.
The promotion of the Learning Map® program was handled on three levels:
- Globally by the 3PM Academy
- Regionally by the regional coordinators
- Locally by facilitators and local managers supporting the effort
Following each session, the participants were asked for verbal feedback, while the facilitators were asked to complete a written survey to obtain deeper insight into the training.
Syngenta monitored the participation and feedback to understand how the process was working and whether anything needed to be adjusted. There was a constant feedback loop to handle aspects such as encouraging inactive facilitators, as well as contacting regional heads to gain their support. Syngenta also contacted inactive facilitators to see what the organization could do to help execute more successful sessions.
Currently, approximately 1,800 Syngenta employees around the globe have been trained using the Root Learning Map® program. Worldwide, 90 trained facilitators conducted 200 sessions and the learning material was prepared in English and Chinese.
Because of its success, Syngenta will continue rolling out the Learning Map® sessions to all employees. The 3PM Awareness Learning Map® module has been called the Academy’s most successful course and will be used as part of the formal onboarding process for new employees.
The Learning Map® sessions received positive feedback from participants because they foster discussion among employees. In addition, they are not only learning opportunities, but they also enable employees to express their thoughts and exchange ideas.
Root has provided an effective program using the Learning Map® methodology. It provided clarity to employees on an individual level, while building cohesion throughout the company.