Improving PMO value in a global retail transformation programme

Organisations need to deliver an excellent experience for customers that is simple, easy to use, and informative, to create engagement and drive growth. Our customer a global FMCG organisation, was no different, however their ranking as “supplier of choice” had dropped.

 

To address this, a global transformation programme was initiated with an objective to become the number one supplier of choice, as voted for by their customers, providing a superior experience for both customers and employees.

 

A key element of this transformation is to deliver an up-to-date, standard suite of tools and processes across the end-to-end customer journey. To deliver this outcome the technology stream must deliver consistently, minimising customisation and driving adoption from the initial engagement, through transition, to business as usual.

 

In order to achieve this, they approached Project One to help uplift the capabilities and effectiveness of their technology Transformation Management Office supporting the multinational platform replacement programme.

Challenge

Although the programme had been running for two years, the customer expressed concerns over the robustness of reporting, governance and control. These concerns were founded on the number of “unforeseen” issues requiring leadership attention:

 

  • Projects moving from green to red status in the final testing phases with subsequent delays
  • Lack of confidence in reporting accuracy which provided little understanding of progress or risk
  • Blockers were not clear or addressed quickly
  • Gaps in key controls, for example no dependency management or proper change impact assessment existed between delivery verticals, negatively impacting decision making.
Approach

As we embedded support to the existing Transformation Management Office, the first step was to work with colleagues to put the basics in place to restore confidence in the information provided by the team. Our objective was to enhance the customer’s current processes and standards, only introducing new where they did not exist. This approach was key to facilitating acceptance across multiple teams and stakeholder groups.

 

With these fundamental capabilities implemented and adherence across the global teams, we were then able to move forward and address some critical control gaps identified in our initial information gathering, including financial control, value delivery and improved prioritisation, and decision making.

 

 

What the PMO team did

 

Addressing the quality and accuracy of basic status reporting was critical to enabling earlier identification of issues to be unblocked and reducing stakeholder tensions.
Areas of focus were:

 

  • Creating a “single source of truth” that underpinned delivery status reporting that was accurate, up to date and complete through publication of standard definitions, and more robust, structured update meetings
  • Introducing critical control processes and standards, e.g. risk and issue management, change control, plan reviews and tracking actions
  • Revision of formal governance structures, including a committed adherence to a regular cadence and structured agendas.

 

Consistent adoption and improvement in quality and accuracy was driven through the education and coaching of contributing teams. As these fundamental capabilities became consistent in application visibility and improved insight, the number of “surprises” reduced, and stakeholder confidence increased.

 

Whilst improving these basic capabilities provided a major step forward, some critical control gaps remained, namely financial reporting, benefit tracking, technology adoption and a more strategic approach to scheduling and prioritisation. Through building close relationships with the finance team, finding and reviewing business cases and addressing governance issues, we are now providing visibility of financial performance, both spend and value. This insight has enabled proactive prioritisation and decision making to support areas of greatest benefit.

Outcome

Through a combination of formal education, coaching and rigorous attention to quality and accuracy, the output and insight provided by the Transformation Management Office has improved significantly. For the first time, the Leadership Team and the technology steering group are provided with consistent reporting that includes a consolidated view of financial performance, risk and delivery progress.

 

Having proven value in key markets in each continent, the programme is moving forward across remaining geographies with a focus on increasing speed to value. Project One continues to support day to day operations of the PMO whilst continuing to improve its capabilities.

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