Q: Can you talk to us about how you’re managing the governance for all of your digital initiatives? What’s your org. structure? How do you go about making the investment? Is there a pool of funds that you know that’s signed-off of the border?
Timothy: That’s probably a full hour topic on that front! I spent a lot of time on that early in the process, because governance, especially across our digital properties, was a little all over the map and there wasn’t good correlation between the financial investments and the results and whether those results were achieved without financial investment and how that investment got added, was ad hoc.
So, we came up with a good idea. I spent a lot of time besides inventorying and consolidated rationalizing to figure out what the right governance teams were and finding the right senior leaders that should be part of what we call the G9 — the top nine leaders that are engaged in approving both, funds and prioritization. It’s an interactive model where they’re engaged. They’re the Steering Committees you find historically which are here, but the people on it aren’t showing up to the meeting. They weren’t engaged and they didn’t know that they needed to be actually rolling-up their sleeves and being embedded in this. They actually got to put in that energy and engage in it. If they did not engage, they’d be replaced with another who wanted to engage irrespective of seniority.
It wasn’t enough to engage, they also had to be empowered to make decisions. If we needed to make a decision on something, we didn’t need to go to somebody outside of the G9 to ask, “Mother, may I?” That was a top governance piece.
Below that, my Chief Digital Officer created a Chief Digital Steering or Execution Team that comprised people from IT, the digital team, and every operational area that’s out there. Part of this also was about going to the senior leaders on the G9 and saying, “Hey! Listen, I need a strategic person, an operational person that knows your business in and out. They have to be empowered to be able to engage anywhere and help shape the things that have to be done in that area, whether it’s around their strategies or where they’re heading, or whether it’s operational re-engineering that needs to occur.” So, we created that broader core team that is doing that day-to-day work.
We executed on creating that prioritized portfolio. Now, we have sponsored an Initiative Owner for every initiative in that digital portfolio, which we didn’t have before. There were no sponsors that were engaged or held accountable for being engaged. So now, we have initiative. Now we say, “This is a great idea. If you want the initiative, you must also have a sponsor. Do you have one? Do you have an owner? Here’s the definition of an Initiative Owner. If you don’t have one, we’re not going to approve that.”
So, it’s not just about saying this is the right list; it’s also about checking if we have the right skin in the game to make it successful because you can’t do digital transformation off the side of your desk. It’s a core component that’s all encompassing of people’s time.