Project facts

  • Client
    The Rijn and IJssel Water Board
  • Location
    Netherlands
  • Period
    2018-2019
  • Challenge
    Creating a new IT strategy to improve performance at WRIJ
  • Solution
    A robust transformation strategy built on Novius’ Business Transformation Framework.
  • Jeroen Cloo

The challenge

A new digital strategy

In 2018, the Rijn en Ijssel Water Board launched an initiative to draw up its new digital strategy and improve business operations and processes. But, as an organisation whose core expertise is water management, conceptualising an IT transformation proved a challenge. 

The scale of this challenge became apparent when an unveiling presentation for the new strategy was met with silence. Whereas a strategy should be stimulating, not one person present asked a single question, which was enough for WRIJ’s management to realise it needed specialist support. 

Soon after, WRIJ’s Director and CIO, Rudi Gerard, saw a presentation by Novius, a company of Royal HaskoningDHV, at a local water board event. The presentation wasn’t about IT, but was instead about managing the core tasks of a water board, and how information provision can contribute to that.

Rudi was impressed enough to contact us and ask for help with WRIJ’s transformation. 

The approach

Planning transformation with Novius

WRIJ’s relationship with RHDHV began with ‘Battle of Disruption’, an interactive game designed to help highlight the water board’s digital development possibilities. The insights that came out of this game formed the basis for its new information strategy.

“The game was a great way to create awareness among management and the board,” says Rudi. “Digital transformation became a lot more tangible for us. It provided insights into why we had to become more digitally effective, and how we could achieve that.”

This was a vital step to driving engagement within the organisation. “These insights created a real commitment among management,” Rudi continues. “Everyone cleared their agendas to participate in follow-up workshops.”

During this process, the water board’s long and short-term ambitions were translated into a robust strategy and defined change agenda. 

But before it put the plan into practice, WRIJ first needed to establish some key factors from an organisational perspective. It needed to decide how it would implement a more digitally decisive culture, how best to connect the business and IT, and which parts of digital transformation should be managed at board level.

The focus of our partnership was immediately shifted to target these issues. 

After four months of working together, the work we did as partners resulted in a robust information strategy – in which WRIJ’s necessary digital investments were defined, along with a blueprint for the organisational structure that will support and shape its long-term transformation.

The impact

Creative and innovative change management

The strategy created by RHDHV and WRIJ now forms the basis for the board’s future innovation choices, helping it make the right decisions about its digital investments.

And, because the company’s C-Level executives were involved in the process, these strategies have broad administrative and official support.
Judith Janssen, Policy Advisor at WRIJ, sums up the benefits: “Royal HaskoningDHV works in a goal-oriented way, so an information strategy can be created in a really short time. It’s a creative and innovative approach that unites people over a common goal.”

“It doesn’t come up with a complex IT story,” Judith continues. “But it knows exactly how to make the connection between information provision, business operations, and external developments.” 

To learn how we can help you with your digital transformation journey, click here.