The Co-operative Group is the UK's largest consumer co-operative, with a diverse mix of retail operations, including food, financial services, and funeral care. Priding itself as an ethical retailer, today it has over 4 million active members.
With six diverse lines of business, all had very differing needs, risk profiles and investment lifecycles. Governance and financial control were therefore recognised areas requiring improvement. Key issues included:
Investment opportunities were difficult to compare across the group
Mixed governance models created an inability to aligned initiatives - this was particularly relevant for group-level activities
Lack of standardisation in project planning cycles created challenges around resource coordination
Continuing in this way was not an option - diminished return on investments and compromised resource planning were creating bottlenecks and delays. A challenge to create a group-level view of investment and progress was issued by the Chief Executive through the group transformation office after poor MI at board discussions of the transformation progress.
bedigital was selected by the Co-op to implement a unified project lifecycle framework - providing a common, outcome-based approach to project and investment governance abstracted from the specific line of business project methodology.
A governance body was implemented, with delegated authority within the Operating Companies to oversee the portfolio of project and coordinate oversight and reporting.
bedigital personnel coordinated the delivery and undertook a capability development with the teams involved to align understanding as well as train staff in the approach. bedigital initially provided resources to supplement the governance organisation, mentoring teams until the framework was embedded.
In total 3 bedigital personnel were involved for 9 months, supporting over 500 personnel involved in projects across the organisation.
10% reduction in contract resources
Through improvements made to resource planning and overall ability, bedigital were able to create a reduction in contract resources by 10%.
Improvements in board reporting
Board reporting was overhauled and embedded, showing progress across the investment portfolio - 10% of investments were postponed or stopped as a result of improved information and governance.
15% increase in overall outcomes
An estimated 15% increase in the outcomes achieved was seen (through a reduction in failed projects).
Co-op Group sees better project outcomes, through improved governance and financial control