Project One and the Co-operative Group had previously led the divestment of the Life and Savings business, a massive separation programme. So, when the decision was made to separate The Co-operative Bank from the wider Co-operative Group and General Insurance company, Project One were well positioned to undertake the next challenge of the Joint Separation Programme between the Bank and Group.

The separation programme attracted a great deal of scrutiny from internal and external auditors, and the regulators, as data had to be separated from 76 IT applications and 26 million records.


There were a substantial number of ‘shared’ IT applications in use between the Bank and the Group which needed to be remediated to facilitate the exit of each organisation.

The full extent to which either the Bank or Group were dependent upon these ‘shared’ IT applications was not known, so it was also critical that the data belonging to each entity was identified and separated. 

The programme would also attract a great deal of scrutiny from internal and external auditors and the regulators.


Key to the success of the separation was getting the Bank and Group to make decisions quickly and effectively and enable them to work closely to reach their outcomes. Project One provided the leadership for the Joint Separation Programme, which was jointly run and governed between the Bank and Group, with all decisions made jointly between the two organisations, taking account of the interest and stake for each.

Alongside this, it was key to ensure all senior stakeholders were engaged with the programme, always clear on what was happening, and all pushing in the same direction.

Having the leadership capability and programme management disciplines, underpinned by strong technical expertise, and establishing the right team culture, was also vital to the success of the programme.

“We took our learnings from the Life and Savings divestment and refined our approach. Having the right PMO, structure and documentation in place and checkpoints at the right time. There was a lot of scrutiny, and internal and external audits. It’s testament to the team how well we came out of these audits. It was an extremely well ordered, controlled and organised programme.”

Andy Maher, Head of IT, CFSMS, The Co-operative Group.


  • 1 month ahead of plan
  • 37% under budget
  • Separated 76 applications
  • Separated 27,000,000 correspondence records
  • Separated 400,000 complaints

What does this mean for the business? The Bank and Group’s General Insurance business can now go on their own transformation journeys, taking their own applications and data, and neither is hindered by the other.

This programme successfully delivered the separation ‘treatment’ of 76 shared applications, one month ahead of the original plan and well under budget. It was held up as a very big success within the Group and the Bank. The team received great feedback and strong recognition from both Executive bodies.

“Please pass my thanks onto all of the team for a brilliant achievement. I took great pride in telling the Group Board today that you had separated 27 million correspondence records and 400,000 complaints – they were suitably impressed! Well done to everyone involved.”

Simon Bourne, Group CIO, The Co-operative Group.

We asked Andy Maher what he was most proud of;

“I’m more than pleased with the result. It was a highly visible, regulated project, separating two regulated entities. We delivered on time and under budget, which is a great testament to the team and capabilities working on the programme. It was key we had the continuity of the Project One team, bringing the skills, depth of expertise and core capabilities needed to deliver the complex outcomes we wanted. Project One are different – they work with you, understand you, and are easier to work with as they’re on board with what you’re trying to do. We work towards the same outcomes together to deliver the right thing. 

Andy Maher, Head of IT, CFSMS, The Co-operative Group.


POSTED BY: Hayley Saich - Head of Marketing

Get in touch