RBS Establishes Consistent, Reliable Data to Inform Financial and Resource Decisions
RBS is a UK-based banking and financial services company, established in 1727 and headquartered in Edinburgh. RBS provides a wide range of products and services to personal, commercial, and large corporate and institutional customers through its two main subsidiaries, The Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest, as well as through a number of other well-known brands including Ulster Bank and Coutts. RBS serves over 30 million customers globally.
Challenge: Inconsistent and Incomplete Data
RBS has a rich history, yet recently, it found itself in headlines that put pressure on the bank to significantly reduce its costs. Organizational change was only the first step in the restructuring of the company. Establishing a single enterprise-wide view and reporting of consistent and accurate data was the next step in reducing costs.
With so many brands, RBS required a complex data integration. For example, they had three million rows of data to migrate. Different legacy applications meant data was in different formats with no consistency. Sajad Shah, Program Manager at RBS, was tasked with finding a technology solution that would help consolidate project and portfolio management (PPM) tools and establish a single source of truth that could be relied upon for critical business decisions.
“We had 20 business areas, each with their own PPM tool,” says Shah. “Hundreds of users had joint projects they were managing in their own systems, yet people were surprised with all of the cost overruns. Nothing was integrated, we had a fractured enterprise and bank-wide investment governance framework, and inconsistent and incomplete data.”
RBS was trying to manage information and metrics in hundreds of spreadsheets, userdeveloped tools, multiple templates, and with too many support teams. The inefficiencies were driving bad data, which, in turn, drove misguided decisions. The EPM Program Management group was responsible for vetting different solutions and choosing one that could shape the current business, drive future strategic investment decisions and manage all bank-wide change under an aggressive timeline.
Change, however, rarely comes easy. Users are notoriously resistant, particularly when the past efforts to implement new technology and processes have failed. RBS also experienced challenges in ongoing organization changes at RBS, and large, diverse, and siloed stakeholder groups.
Solution: Data Consistency and Reliability Using One PPM Solution
RBS narrowed the field of PPM vendors based on functionality, reporting capabilities, user experience, and cost benefits. The RBS requirements and business model, ease of implementation, risk, and ease of integration to RBS financial accounting tools were all considered as part of the selection process. “Planview was chosen unanimously,” recalls Shah. “It wasn’t just the technology but the people at Planview that shaped our decision. They honestly told us what the application does and doesn’t do. I have led many implementations around the world, but the Planview implementation is one I consider the most successful because our achievements were remarkable.”
The Planview Portfolios SaaS model sped up delivery and eliminated the need for RBS to manage an infrastructure. Within months, a small internal team along with a group of Planview consultants were able to retire dozens of legacy systems that drained resources and move 12,000 active users to Planview Portfolios, from the Board level to the manager level. In fact, Planview Portfolios is now the single system of record and is plumbed throughout the RBS enterprise strategic architecture.
Project budgeting, forecasting, and resources are all managed in Planview Portfolios that pulls data in from existing internal systems, such as Oracle and PeopleSoft. Planview Enterprise required no customization, something RBS had as a requirement. Out-of-the-box reports from Planview Portfolios were available, making only minor configuration changes to fit it to the bank’s specific needs. Working closely with Planview subject matter experts, Planview Portfolios was implemented and delivered with success and benefits realized immediately.
Besides removing the reliance on an internal infrastructure by utilizing Planview’s SaaS solution, RBS was able to achieve delivery in their tight timeframe by establishing a few ground rules, such as having a steering committee meet every two weeks to make decisions, and having clear scope and guiding principals led by a strong delivery team with clear roles and responsibilities. RBS leadership and executive support was essential.
Today, Planview Portfolios is being used for this year’s investment budgeting process. RBS Management and Board members depend on the data from Planview Portfolios to monitor enterprise-wide investment spend and to make strategic decisions. The data is so reliable, Shah says unless it comes from Planview Portfolios, management believes “it doesn’t exist.”
“We achieved all of our goals and the benefits we realized using Planview Portfolios have exceeded our expectations,” says Shah. “We finally have a grip on our data regarding financials, resource demand, and supply. We can see where our total portfolio is, the program and project view, where our resources and financial spends are, who has them and who is hoarding them, all in one place. This is the type of data transparency that leaders need to make decisions and help us achieve our goals to reduce costs. I don’t believe any other bank has the kind of visibility like we do now.”
“We finally have a grip on our data regarding financials, resource demand, and supply. We can see where our total portfolio is, the program and project view, where our resources and financial spends are, who has them and who is hoarding them, all in one place. This is the type of data transparency that leaders need to make decisions and help us achieve our goals to reduce costs. I don’t believe any other bank has the kind of visibility like we do now.”
– Sajad Shah, Program Manager at RBS
Since implementing Planview Portfolios, RBS has
- A single enterprise and bank-wide tool that replaced and decommissioned 35 legacy systems, 50+ user-developed tools, and hundreds of spreadsheets
- Consistent, reliable data and reports to inform financial and resource decisions
- Quantifiable results such as significantly reduced costs in each business area
- Non-quantifiable results such as improved transparency, added controls, data consistency, simplified architecture, project hierarchy and framework, and standardized reporting
- Delivered on business case, benefits, and ROI within 12 months
To learn more about what Planview® solutions can do for your organization, visit Planview.com