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Cultural fit - a critical success factor

A great cultural fit and aligned expectations were central to the success of this project.


SBAB explain how they went about selecting and implementing their brand new HR system:

Our business at SBAB is based on innovative thinking and being a digital organisation, and we have the same high ambitions towards our employees as we do towards our customers. Looking at how employment and organization data is handled is therefore an obvious focus area for us, but it had little attention in 2017 - either from an HR or an employee perspective. Master data on an employment and organizational level was handled in different systems, with little or no integration. The goal was to find a solution where this data and associated processes could be managed by - and available to - HR, employees, and managers - all in one place. A single point of entry for information on individuals and the organization.

Before the procurement process began, we defined several requirements both for the system solution and for the supplier, but the most important were for the system to accommodate solutions for several strategic HR processes, and for the supplier to work with an agile project plan while matching our culture and entering into a partnership - not a traditional "purchaser-supplier" relationship.

In addition, the solution would need to satisfy the following sub-areas:

  • Transparency and availability: By creating a secure and compliant source of master data for the management of identities and employment conditions.
  • Regulatory compliance: By managing sensitive and confidential employment data in a more controlled and secure manner, with the possibility of implementing audit trails.
  • Streamlining: By automating manual processes and simplifying internal administration and integrations.
  • Costs: By creating a more efficient and advanced control of employment and personnel data with the possibility of detailed cost monitoring.
We looked at the process as a change that entailed the introduction of a system, new workflows for the management of employees, and a new internal digital structure for user data. Therefore this wasn't just a technical project, but a change journey for employees, managers, and HR alike.

Now we've completed this journey, we can see all our goals have been met. The cultural fit between us and CatalystOne - as well as an aligned view of how the partnership would function - turned out to be a crucial factor in this project being such a success. As a result, we reached our goals despite an extremely tight schedule. We therefore want to communicate that HOW is at least as important as WHAT, and that this should be defined up front during procurement before any agreements are signed.

Another success factor was that we chose to see the system implementation as an introduction of a work and behavior-related change in the organization - not solely as a technical implementation.

About SBAB Bank

SBAB Bank AB (publ) started operations in 1985 and is wholly owned by the Swedish state. SBAB's business concept is to offer loans and savings to private individuals, tenant-owner associations, and real estate companies in Sweden, with innovative thinking and consideration.

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“An important part of the procurement process was to find a cultural match between us and the supplier and to enter into a mutual cooperation rather than a classic "client-supplier" relationship. It turned out that this approach was critical to the success of the project. We therefore want to communicate that HOW is at least as important as WHAT - something that needs to be included as an evaluation point in the procurement of new suppliers.”

– Camilla Fagerberg, HR-Project Manager, SBAB

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