Termination is a sign of strength
Having embarked on a strategic programme to radically improve their CRM capability costing several million pounds our client, a leading UK financial services organisation, had reached a crossroads in terms of commitment to the delivery of necessary benefits.
The programme, sponsored by the Chief Executive, was identified as mission critical to sustain their leading specialist market sector position. It had been running for 12 months under strong and competent leadership and was beginning to consume considerable resource. Both the programme and its constituent project were well defined, planned and organised. The quality of the delivery team was excellent and comprised competent and enthusiastic project leaders.
However, a groundswell of internal opinion was rising amongst the stakeholders that the benefits were unclear and perhaps unachievable. Also, the people who were expected to deliver the benefits were either not committed or appeared hostile to the programme.
The client team understood the value of benefit planning but did not possess the capability and know-how to apply the process.
What Verdandi did
The client called Verdandi in to organise a benefit workshop. Our first observation was that they were addressing benefit planning late in the delivery cycle. Significant resources had been committed to specification and design without the commitment of benefit owners to the benefits. The client acknowledged this as an issue.
Verdandi prepared for the workshop by briefing the attendees in the process and dealing with questions and establishing the enterprise's strategic imperatives.
The workshop lasted one full day and involved most stakeholders. The stakeholders responsible for significant parts of the benefit delivery declined to attend. The workshop established that:
Verdandi consolidated the workshop output, circulated this to attendees and facilitated a follow-up session with the client delivery team to review the consolidated workshop output, complete a Stakeholder Analysis and finalise the Benefit Plan.
- Areas of scope were not supported by benefits
- Some benefits being created were not required by the business
- Benefit owners of required benefits were not identified and signed-up to benefit realisation
- The benefits appeared to be of insufficient strategic value
- After soul searching, the client sponsor decided that there were insufficient, measurable benefits to warrant the scale of the investment - the programme was terminated and replaced with an array of improvement initiatives in critical CRM areas.
- Awareness was created across the client's business of the value of conducting independently facilitated benefit workshops early in the delivery definition and planning cycle.
- The client now practices early benefit planning of initiatives and is ruthless in terminating initiatives that do not readily demonstrate measurable and needed benefits.