After a two-year tenure as the first chief data officer (CDO) at Direct Line Group, difficulties with realising a step-change in performance led to the appointment of JCURV to lead a transformation. Its Datagility methodology focused on the speed, efficiency and effectiveness of how people in the data office were delivering value, thereby winning more investment.
A five-step programme was put in place from day one, reviewing priorities, how well different strategies were working, and what behaviours the data leadership needed to role model. After a pilot project was scoped, a meeting cadence was agreed to ensure progress and issues would be tracked and resolved.
The second step saw a specific focus on a model that had an important on pricing competitiveness and profit, but which was taking too long to refresh. For the next three months, a cross-functional squad applied agile methodology to develop features and progressively reduce the refresh rate from 30 days to just one, including through the application of automation.
With the function now delivering value to the business, step three focused on developing the CDO transformation strategy. This established the vision, goals, principles and behaviours, as well as the target operating model. The re-aligned the CDO with business outcomes and federated analytics squads out to business stakeholders.
Step four executed on this plan, scaling it out to all 120 members of the function, creating 16 squads to drive business outcomes. These were defined with product owners, as well as the value to be created. Regular reviews as well as governance and portfolio management ensured there was continuous progress and development.
Finally, step five looked to make the transformation sustainable by embedding it through coaching, communities of practice and a learning hub. After nine months, the CDO was able to identify significant potential value delivery from increased revenue, reduced costs, automation, increased productivity and effective ways of working. As a further endorsement of the transformation, Direct Line Group decided to adopt agile enterprise-wide.