Capabilities-Transformation and Optimization

Transformation and Optimization Capabilities

Our transformation and optimization activities focus on radical improvement of major business functions.

    • Sales and Marketing, such as adding digital touchpoints
    • Operations, typically gaining leverage from automation technologies
    • IT, moving from a utility to a solutions provider
    • Product development, accelerating time to market

Transformation – Client Onboarding, Global Banking 

The client is a global bank and one of the ten largest in the world. Onboarding clients is a key process but presents significant challenges.  The Change Management executive stated that he “needs what Actionable Strategies does” after an internal referral from the business.  Actionable Strategies met both the stated needs of the client as well as a plethora of unplanned requirements.

Client Profile

The client is a global bank and one of the ten largest in the world.  Formed over 150 years ago, it operates nearly 4,000 offices in 67 countries.  The bank has over 40 million customers. 

Business Challenge

Onboarding clients is a key process but presents significant challenges.  While the basic process is easily understood, the intricate details and permutations experienced by a large financial institution introduces significant complexity.

The client was establishing a global Center of Excellence headquartered in New York to ensure that onboarding was efficient, timely and met the myriad compliance regimes required around the world. 

A Change Management program was established to ensure that the rollout successfully addressed all aspects of implementation.

  • Process
  • Technology
  • Compliance

The Change Management executive stated that he “needs what Actionable Strategies does” after an internal referral from the business. 

Transformation Services

In addition to bringing expertise in process, technology and banking compliance, Actionable Strategies met other needs expressed by the client:

  • Client interaction including executive and front-line presentations, and leading workshops
  • Financial analysis and budgeting
  • Project management including project and program planning

Actionable Strategies engaged with numerous stakeholders across the bank.  These stakeholders operated at all levels of the organization.

Examples of specific interactions with diverse functions include the following:

  • Budget management including cost tracking reporting to the CFO in London
  • Consulting in Transformation including Analytics Development and Presentation
  • Change Management workshop delivery
  • PMO integration
  • Process development including reconciliation across sub-processes
  • Business requirements specifications for asset management

Actionable Strategies met both the stated needs of the client as well as unplanned requirements.  Based on the knowledge, experience and specific results delivered, the client made several referrals within the bank and to peer institutions.

Optimization – Global Technology and Operations

This global bank engages in a range of activities including safeguarding assets, lending money, making payments and accessing the capital markets on behalf of clients.  The bank sought to improve performance and rationalize costs on a worldwide basis.  Global Technology and Operation believed operations and maintenance spending was crowding out new investments in both technology and other areas.

Actionable Strategies was engaged to tie together the strategic program delivering a target state operating model, transition processed, program plan, and metrics to measure progress and subsequently sustain improvements and cost savings.

The optimization initiative was an all-around success, but unheralded because it was not disruptive.  Program planning and iterative executions de-risked the initiative and delivered early, quantifiable results. Initial optimization delivered $27.6 million in savings with improved service delivery.  Funding was freed up for innovation and change-the-bank initiatives.  Additional optimization produced recurring savings exceeding $15 million annually.

Client Profile

This global bank engages in a range of activities including safeguarding assets, lending money, making payments and accessing the capital markets on behalf of clients.  The institution is 200 years old and has connected millions of people across hundreds of countries and cities.

Business Objective

The bank sought to improve performance and rationalize costs on a worldwide basis.  As a global financial institution, technology investments are essential.  As time passes, ongoing operations and maintenance spending can become an overwhelming portion of budget and crowd out new investments in both technology and other areas.  Naturally, one of the largest budget areas that required scrutiny was the Global Technology and Operations organization.

Given the size and scope of the organization, assessing the opportunities for optimization were quite complex.  Cost takeout was a consideration, but analyses needed to be conducted around the employee effects, internal customer impact, risks and change management.  The executive in charge of the program engaged Actionable Strategies to help him tie together the many activities and convey it as a strategic program to executive leadership.

Project Overview

Optimization focused on ongoing “run-the-bank” activities related to technology such as infrastructure engineering and application maintenance and support.  The target was to free up half of the RTB budget to fund additional investments in innovation and new applications.

The project had two distinct phases:

  1. Definition
    • Assess resource models
    • Transition process design and division of responsibilities
    • Program plan and milestones
    • Metrics development for transition and steady state operation
  2. Execution
    • Milestone reporting to executives on progress and savings
    • Monitor transition as each tranche is optimized
    • Ongoing inspection of service delivery quality and cost.

The engagement structure appears below.

Definition Phase

Definition provided three outcomes for the client.

  1. Validation: Ensure that the target state operating model is achievable considering many factors including:
    • Reported time allocation
    • Estimated future resource requirements
    • Internal customer request flow and backlog
    • Work absorbed in other areas that must be reclaimed
    • Changes in overhead and coordination efforts
    • Vendor models of effort
  2. Prove-out: Accurate calculation of an achievable ROI factoring in estimation variance and unplanned P&L impacts
  3. Planning: Detailed planning to enable the client to execute on transition with particular focus on definition of:
    • Transition process included steps for all roles involved
    • Human capital model included changes in responsibilities or organizational structure
    • Milestone definition
    • Metrics for reporting and ongoing monitoring

This target state operating model was critical to successful execution.  The optimized operating model was expected to last for many years.  Benefits would be recurring and anticipated to be large, enabling innovation and change-the-bank activities without new investments.

Execution Phase

Execution involved the transformation of individual functions grouped into tranches.  These tranches were managed and monitored separately using a structured process defined in the definition phase. 

Because of this structured process, execution went exceptionally smoothly.

  1. Milestone reviews flowed metrics into dashboards enabling the client to:
  • Track savings
  • Demonstrate progress
  1. Monitor transition activities within each tranche
  • Inspect and verify of reported results
  1. Post-transition, inspect ongoing activities
  • Confirm and ensure savings
  • Report on additional breakthrough opportunities

Key Takeaways

While broad in scope, this initiative had similarities to other complex projects with diverse stakeholders.

Program Management

The PMO expended significant effort managing vendors and individual projects, necessitating the use of Actionable Strategies at a strategic level to link program activities and results to senior executives.

Operating model

The target state operating model was critical to success as with any transformational project.  The key in this case was the focus on ensuring Service Delivery did not decline and that optimize would yield improvements.

Change Management

Transition planning combined with effective communication simplified the significant change in underlying operations.  Planning to minimize disruption for internal customers enabled better results.

Effective Metrics

Implementing a measurement model focused on results facilitated effective management during transition and steady state operations.  Managing transition by outcomes rather than feel ensured that the target state operating model was implemented.  Ensuring ongoing success was enabled via meaningful SLAs that directly drove compensation.

Financial Modeling

Actionable Strategies applied experience in financing for infrastructure projects at the national level.  This involved modeling both budgets and net cash flows.  As a bank, this type of financial analysis was critical in evaluating the program.

Business Results

The optimization initiative was an all-around success, but unheralded because it was not disruptive.  Program planning and iterative executions de-risked the initiative and delivered early, quantifiable results. 

Initial optimization delivered $27.6 million in savings with improved service delivery.  Funding was freed up for innovation and change-the-bank initiatives.

Additional optimization produced recurring savings exceeding $15 million annually.  This led line-of-business CIOs to adopt a similar strategy.

Actionable Strategies benchmarked initial spending and the ratio in the target state operating model.  The client moved from lagging in new development/innovation to achieving industry norms.

Digital Marketing Transformation in Cloud Software 

Click here to view the case study Digital Marketing Transformation.  For this Cloud software company, Actionable Strategies created an end-to-end digital marketing and integrated sales process on the leading CRM and digital marketing platform. 

Revenue is now forecast with greater accuracy.  Metrics such as Customer Acquisition Cost and Customer Lifetime Value facilitate better investment decisions.  This transformation will enable the client to grow and scale up both marketing and sales activities without constraints.

Telemedicine – Digital Transformation 

Click here to view the case study on Telemedicine.  Digital Transformation as used by the Government of Romania to deliver healthcare efficiently to historically underserved areas of the country.  The majority of the population lives in rural areas or remote areas of the country with limited access to healthcare.  The project resulted in funding for the initiative which initially saved several rural hospitals from closure and led to broad adoption of telemedicine.

Transformation – Cloud Computing in Financial Services 

Click here to view the case study on IT Transformation achieved by global implementation of Cloud Computing.  The global, multi-asset class broker/dealer engaged Actionable Strategies to formulate the strategy and create the transformed operating model, financial models and risk assessment.

The CIO stated: “Actionable Strategies partnered with us to synthesize a crisp business case from a large set of global business considerations.  We used their planning framework to define a strategic roadmap that encompassed an aligned business and technology model.  They brought a knowledge of financial services and depth of technical experience that enabled us to work effectively together.”

Real Estate Investment – IT Transformation

Click here to view the case study on IT Transformation.  Actionable Strategies developed the strategy and led the implementation of the transformation for this Real Estate Investment firm.  The client successfully completed the transformation and addressed the key gaps: Strategic Alignment, Human Capital, Governance, Analytics and Budget.