Farm Credit Illinois | Human Capital Management

Redesigning team roles and structure leads to 60% fewer redundant tasks

Redesigning team roles and structure leads to 60% fewer redundant tasks

What We Did

Farm Credit Illinois, a farmer-owned and directed agricultural lending cooperative, was modernizing its lending process. Before the institution invested in new loan origination technology, it wanted to identify and make key process and operational improvements that will prepare it to realize maximum benefit once the technology is in place. That’s why it turned to West Monroe.  

Together, we: 

  • Analyzed every activity and role across the lending process 
  • Used a RACI (responsible, accountable, consulted, informed) matrix to identify overlap, redundancy and waste—and then reorganize roles and activities for the future 
  • Moved certain roles into a new centralized loan operations function

Even before beginning implementation of the nCino loan origination platform, Farm Credit Illinois has seen measurable impact.

60%

reduction in overlapping, redundant, and duplicative tasks 

50%

reduction in the number of tasks assigned through a RACI by providing role clarity

36%

faster loan cycle time for sales support personnel by realigning roles and tasks

Project timeline for second phase of total project spanning 10 weeks

1
week
Identified all roles and tasks in the loan lifecycle. Developed a preliminary RACI matrix.
2
weeks
Compared employee assessments of roles to the RACI matrix. Identified redundancies and overlap.
2
weeks
Realigned task assignments and created three new job descriptions
1
week
Created an organization design – optimized for efficiency, and accountability

The Opportunity

As a pre-requisite to technology modernization, Farm Credit Illinois asked West Monroe to review its operations and identify improvement areas. Bottlenecks within the underwriting and loan processing stages of the credit origination process caused delays and affected member experience. The association knew that by correcting these issues upfront, it could realize greater value from its new technology. And it knew we had the right combination of industry and organizational design expertise for this challenge. 

We reviewed roles and responsibilities across the lending process, identifying 15 discrete process enhancements. Farm Credit Illinois asked us to assist with addressing two of the most important: standardizing roles and responsibilities across the organization, and designing the optimal organizational structure.

An Undeniably Different Approach 

Our multidisciplinary approach enabled us to look at the problem from various angles. We paired our unique transformation experience in the agricultural lending and farm credit sector with human capital and organizational change management expertise—including direct experience designing and implementing role and responsibility changes for other lending organizations.  

We didn’t just give best practices. We used data and analytics to provide fact-based recommendations—balancing quantitative and qualitative analyses to tailor the solution to the association’s operations. The quantitative analysis focused on operational efficiency. Qualitative analysis helped us balance responsibilities and workload by role to influence both employee experience (e.g., career path progress, timely and positive activity completion rates) and customer experience (e.g., consistent response times).  

We collaborated with senior leaders throughout the project to make sure the association had consensus and consistent understanding around process and role changes.

Outcomes 

  • Analyzed expectations and responsibilities for each role in the lending process 
  • Measured activities to identify areas of overlap and role confusion 
  • Used Lean six sigma principles to remove waste and inefficiency and alleviate bottlenecks 
  • Reassigned 252 tasks across 17 roles, using a RACI (responsible, accountable, consulted, informed) matrix to create clear definition of roles and responsibilities going forward 
  • Established a new centralized loan operations department to handle certain activities 
  • Aligned spans and layers of control across the credit and loan operations team structures

Returns You Can Measure 

Our work has greatly improved member experience. Reorganizing activities eliminated handoffs that previously caused bottlenecks—reducing queues and improving loan processing speed. It has also increased capacity. Shifting credit and servicing tasks to the central loan operations team allows business development personnel to focus on what they do best: build and expand relationships.

Clarifying responsibilities and simplifying processes has also improved employee experience. Team members can complete tasks faster, making them more successful in their daily roles.  

This exercise also equipped Farm Credit Illinois with useful experience and tools such as the RACI matrix that it can use to redefine and realign other groups across its organization. 

Want to learn more?