Nationwide Building Society Taps Planview Solution to Underpin Agile Transformation Initiative
All companies are technology companies in the digital revolution, and Nationwide Building Society needed to respond to that challenge. Increasing competition in the financial sector, an uncertain economy, and evolving consumer behaviors all contributed to the Society recognizing the need to align business outcomes from top-level strategy to product delivery in an effort to fortify its sustainable flow of value.
The implementation of Planview’s Enterprise Agile Planning solution enabled Nationwide to move beyond disparate systems and siloed information into a new world of integrated data and transparency. With a single line of sight across the entire organization, it was able to transition from fixed scope projects to constantly evolving products, empowering teams with the insight to deliver against the Society’s business outcomes.
“Having seen our flow of work, productivity, and enjoyment of getting the right outcomes grow, we will continue to explore more ways to utilize Planview®.”
– Caterina Notarbartolo, Senior Methods & Tools Architect
Über Nationwide Building Society
Nationwide isn’t a bank; it’s the world’s largest building society with a heritage dating to 1884. Being owned and run by its members means that it thinks about business differently, balancing the need to be profitable with the things that matter most to its members: building a more robust, kinder society for the mutual good of all.
Challenge: Increased Digitalization Stokes Demand for Change and Value at Pace
One could be forgiven for thinking of Nationwide Building Society as a bank. It offers current accounts, savings, mortgages, credit cards, loans, insurance, and investment products. In fact, 1 in 10 current accounts in the UK is held at Nationwide. But as a building society, Nationwide is a mutual organization; owned and run for the benefit of its members and founded on the differentiating belief that striking the right balance between profitability and meeting the needs of the society it serves will drive sustainable success. Under this model, Nationwide has achieved a significant amount, particularly in the past five years where it has grown its membership to 16.3 million, helped hundreds of thousands become firsttime savers, and enacted a program to help 250,000 members by their first home by 2025, all while remaining number 1 for customer satisfaction.
Like any ordinary bank, however, Nationwide must still maneuver to keep pace within a highly mutable landscape of shifting consumer behaviors. Over half of the Society’s members have converted to active mobile users, and 76% of all product sales are now made through digital channels. Competitors are challenging the industry to bring products and features to market sooner, and the demand for change will continue to grow.
“Like many other organizations, we are continually learning and adapting our ways of working to become more agile and value-focused,” says Chris Scott, Methods and Tools Architect. “We need to respond to these challenges and increase the pace at which we deliver and do that in a way that allows sustainable flow of value.”
In the broader context, the world continues to become more digital and more agile. While Nationwide provides financial products, they also recognize that they are now part of the technology industry. “Historically, we’ve had challenges with disparate systems and the flow of data between them. And how it can be extracted and used for decision making,” offers Caterina Notarbartolo, Senior Methods & Tools Architect. “We need a technology platform that allows us to try new things to see what we can and can’t do and what works and doesn’t work for the Society.”
Solution: Data Transparency Leads to Informed Decision-making Linking Strategy and Workflow
Thinking about how to best use Nationwide’s business outcomes to drive change, leadership made the decision to shift from a fixed scope project methodology to a constantly evolving product approach with a focus on delivering value at scale and on pace. Leadership wanted to know that they were focusing their efforts on the most critical and advantageous opportunities and that the Society as a whole was on strategy. “We needed to demonstrate that our teams are working on the right things and provide them with the clarity and confidence that the work they do is adding value to our overall business outcomes,” remarked Chris.
From a tooling perspective, recalibrating the system to meet these operational objectives falls within the purview of Caterina and her team, who are accountable for the roadmap, delivery, and run of the technology that supports the Society. Nationwide needed a solution that could align business outcomes from top-level strategy to production, organize cross-functional teams to deliver against these outcomes, and track the return on investments of capital and capacity, enabling the organization to reprioritize or change course as necessary. Caterina adds, “We were looking to make this real-time and on-demand.”
Caterina turned to Planview’s Enterprise Agile Planning solution to drive Nationwide’s agile transformation. Planview’s solution enables organizations to embrace new ways of working, evolving how they connect strategy to delivery while providing a single line of sight across the entire organization. Additionally, the Nationwide teams were able to leverage Agile Program Management practices to visualize, plan, coordinate across dependencies, and deliver the Society’s most significant initiatives quickly, efficiently, and with clear insight.
Results: Operational Excellence Tied Together with a Golden Thread
With the proper tooling to underpin Nationwide’s ambitions in place, the Society was able to reimagine its processes. “Switching to something that is more able to look at driving factors, decisions, transparency of data – it enables us to make informed decisions more quickly. We’re much more flexible in the products that we’re delivering both to our colleagues internally but also externally to our members,” says Caterina.
The implementation of Planview’s Enterprise Agile Planning solution also enables Nationwide to be more cost-efficient – adapting a continuous funding model approach to support a new workflow that can now quickly enact change. “We constantly need to evolve our products and features, and therefore we need a funding model that supports that,” continues Caterina. “We now are able to look out one, three, five years times and understand the impacts of any changes coming our way.”
Integrated data and transparency have enhanced speed to market by empowering teams to make decisions in the flow of business that link from the individual pieces of work being delivered across the organization directly to the Society’s top-level strategy. Nationwide calls this the “Golden Thread,” which Caterina explains is the “relationship that takes us from strategy to workflow and back again linking in all the controls and critical data for decision making that allows us to focus on the right outcomes. It provides our colleagues with the evidence and a level of autonomy to make decisions in the moment that best aligns to value.”
Caterina concludes, “This is an ongoing journey that we’re excited to be on knowing that we’re building our capability and forming a collaborative partnership with an organization in Planview that understands our motivations and supports us in this journey; providing applications that are growing with us as we learn and experiment.
Future: The Journey Goes Beyond Technology into Mindset, Principles, and Shared Understanding
Nationwide looks at the capabilities provided by Planview as an ongoing learning process that will take many iterations. Caterina and her team acknowledge that this journey isn’t only about technology. To create the most engaging and robust solution, culture, mindset, and principles have to co-evolve with the technology. Updating the narrative from fixed project thinking to discussions around fluctuating outcomes and needs forms part of almost every conversation her team has with colleagues.
“We need to realize we’ve been delivering change in the same way for many, many years. Probably decades,” says Chris. There’s a process we need to go through here where people first understand the concepts of agile delivery and what we’re trying to achieve and make that mindset shift to constantly evolving products and delivery with agility and pace.”
Allowing team members to engage naturally with the solution and leveraging innovators within the organization to drive adoption through results, Nationwide continues to see increasing levels of buy-in throughout the Society.
“People almost get that level of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) where they want to be a part of it now that they can see that it’s working,” says Caterina. “Having seen our flow of work, productivity, and enjoyment grow from getting the right outcomes, we know that we’re on the right track, and we will continue to explore more ways to utilize Planview.
To learn more about what Planview® solutions can do for your organization, visit Planview.com.