2022 TBM Council Award Winner:
Lowe’s Companies, Inc. has experienced tremendous benefits using Technology Business Management (TBM) to drive its agile transformation. Lowe’s has transitioned from a rigid, hierarchal operating model to an agile one centered around nimble development teams and product-aligned decisioning. By moving to an agile operating model, understanding product spend and funding product teams remained challenging. Through a strong partnership between Technology and Finance and leveraging TBM principles, Lowe’s produced a total cost of ownership (TCO) report to focus on delivering the business value, understanding cost with transparency, and aligning to a strategic plan. This Product TCO report has allowed Lowe’s to modernize their annual investment planning process by changing from funding at a project level to funding product teams with specifically targeted value.
Lowe’s Companies, Inc. is a FORTUNE® 50 home improvement company serving approximately 19 million customer transactions weekly in the United States and Canada. With the fiscal year 2021 sales of over $96 billion, Lowe’s and its related businesses operate or service nearly 2,200 home improvement and hardware stores and employ over 300,000 associates. Based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe’s supports the communities it serves through programs focused on creating safe, affordable housing and helping to develop the next generation of skilled trade experts.
TBM has provided insights into departmental spend, software expenditures, and infrastructure costs at Lowe’s since 2017, including moving to an agile operating model. Through their TBM practice, the Lowe’s team realized during the annual investment planning process that a gap existed in understanding spend in the context of products. The team needed to provide transparency at a heightened level to inform this new way of funding, resulting in the need for Product TCO.
Lowe’s modernized their annual investment planning process by changing from funding at a project level to funding product teams with specifically targeted value. Utilizing the TBM discipline and best practices, along with , Lowe’s established a sustainable process for interpreting large data with intricate relationships and provided a shared vocabulary for stakeholders to understand and adopt the cost model results.
Under the leadership of Seemantini Godbole, Executive VP, Chief Digital and Information Officer, Lowe’s technology teams have made tremendous progress in fully embracing an agile delivery model. The product-structured organization and agile development have allowed technology teams to execute business requirements with incredible speed to market. A close partnership between technology and Finance and merging product cost and value conversations at every leadership level have been keys to their success. The partnership with technology and Finance has enabled the organization to be product centered.
Lowe’s TBM model allocates approximately 80% of technology spend to products. Lowe’s created its TBM model when ITIL and services dominated the thinking around technology service delivery. However, this was not a blocker for the Lowe’s team to shift to a product organization due to the nimbleness of TBM principles. The Product TCO Dashboard created in Apptio allows Godbole and her team to understand investments and trends at the Portfolio level. Furthermore, VPs can see investments and trends at the Product level, and lastly, Product Managers can see the investments and breakdown of their product costs. The drill-down capabilities allow one dashboard at all levels. Beyond the technology organization, Finance can center all financial conversations on products rather than departmental costs using the Product TCO Dashboard in all monthly financial reviews. With the OKR (objectives and key results) Dashboard, Lowe’s leaders can simultaneously discuss the value products deliver and the cost it takes to deliver that value.
In 2022, all Lowe’s technology organization members learned to use the Product TCO and OKR Dashboards, ensuring that TBM is embedded foundationally into the organization’s culture. By presenting the value products and related investments deliver, along with the cost to deliver, product owners are empowered to be good financial stewards, and Lowe’s leaders can make more informed decisions.
By funding products instead of projects, Lowe’s technology teams were able to respond to immediate changes in customer demand due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. In April 2020, Lowe’s deployed a curbside pick-up application to support the instantaneous demand for contactless purchasing. As a result, in 2021, sales through digital platforms rose by 25%. The combination of TBM and the agile operating model enabled Lowe’s leadership to respond to market demands by quickly redeploying capital to the appropriate product teams.
As Lowe’s continues to invest in technology to advance its transformation, TBM has helped Lowe’s Technology better connect its costs to business value, cultivate operational excellence, and surface insights to reap expense optimization benefits quickly. With TBM, Lowe’s has reduced 10% of legacy applications, contributing to margin improvement. Additionally, Lowe’s has reduced 25% of cloud costs via rightsizing, increasing elasticity, and reservation management.
As the 2022 TBM Council’s Agile Evolution Award winner, Lowe’s TBM team offered advice to teams implementing TBM programs. First, get started so that you can deliver value with the data that you do have. Kelley Wendelborn, Sr. Manager of TBM, shared, “use the data that you do have and capture the value you’ve created with that data. As you capture the little value, they start to snowball into bigger and bigger value, and those turn into bigger and bigger wins.” Additionally, the Lowe’s team encourages new organizations to prioritize the Technology and Finance relationship. Lowe’s attributes much of their TBM success to the vital partnership between Technology and Finance, “We came together, we built a charter, and we made decisions on who would own what… it’s been vital to our adoption of TBM.”
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The winner in this category has made a shift from project- to product-centric investment models and empowered agile teams to innovate within an overall financial investment framework supported by Finance and the TBM and/or Lean Portfolio Management (LPM) program. The winner uses the facts, tools, and processes of TBM (and LPM) to make investment decisions, track all resources (labor and non-labor) spent against their investment plans, and measure the results of investments over time (i.e., via OKRs or other KPIs and reports).
Join Origin Energy’s Adrian Thivy, GM, Enterprise Technology Services, as he shares how TBM is creating complete confidence in their spend-to-value ratios across IT and the broader company, allowing a rapid response to the market forces driving significant pressure on the “cost to serve” customers. A finalist for the 2022 TBM Council Award for TBM Pacesetter, hear how their TBM practice was built in record time, including lessons learned as they developed business capabilities and managed a significant cloud migration and transformation.
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Many organizations aspire for a cloud-native posture, however few have the time, resources and budget to transform into 100% public cloud operations. Equifax has broken through those barriers to modernize its infrastructure globally — driving faster innovation for customers, more business agility, and stronger cybersecurity. Hear from Manav Doshi, GM, Technology Solutions on how the Equifax team is rebuilding a century-old company, with a real-time approach to optimizing cost and revenue growth in the cloud.
Transport for NSW is the winner of the 2022 TBM Council Award for TBM Pacesetter, which recognizes significant progress and value with TBM in a relatively short period of time. In this session, hear how the merger of Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) and Transport for New South Wales resulted in the fastest consolidation of TBM data, models, and reports into a single TBM practice. Hear from Poonam Kataria, Sr. Manager of TBM, as she shares how TBM is driving Transport’s three key strategic outcomes: connecting a customer’s whole life; successful places for communities; and enabling economic activity.
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Discuss how TBM supports visibility of investments across the enterprise to support setting best practices and standards for managing the impact of environmental, societal, and governance strategies by IT departments and organizations.
The TBM Council Standards Committee has built out TBM integration models with other IT disciplines, including Enterprise Agile and Product Thinking, as well as ServiceNow CSDM. Current findings will be shared to drive group discussion, experience, and feedback.
Public cloud strategies are often embraced for the promise of rapid scalability, on-demand agility, and best-in-class security, resiliency, and features. However, public cloud adoption presents significant financial challenges that, when not addressed, inhibit any firm’s ability to exploit the promises of public cloud.
To address these challenges, customers need to simultaneously resolve current inefficiencies and build capability to ensure avoidance of waste in the long term.
In this session we discuss a detailed framework combining TBM-Cloud with FinOps, allowing customers to understand how to implement a program to overcome these challenges and financially succeed in the cloud.
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A look back at 10 years of TBM leadership and community building.
Introduced more than 10 years ago, Technology Business Management (TBM) was born out of the need for CIOs to have a management system to drive their technology operating strategy. At its core, the TBM discipline gives visibility into technology spend to provide common ground and enable a collaborative partnership across teams for prioritizing resources and achieving business outcomes. In this session, the TBM Council Standards Committee Chair, Atticus Tyson will share how over the past few years TBM has evolved to ensure leaders are able to accelerate digital initiatives, embrace the cloud, and communicate today’s complex technology landscape. TBM enables organizations to frequently and quickly evaluate projects, platforms, and investments to address the needs of the modern enterprise.
Atticus Tyson and Phil Alfano will guide the group through an executive discussion to capture “What is digital success to you?”. Is it how your organization creates new business capabilities? The elimination of legacy processes and systems? Funding innovation? Or all of the above as long as it drives an improved customer experience? Discuss with your table mates, as an overall group, and capture learnings and takeaways to bring back to your own team.
How does a 170-year-old financial institution deliver a new, fully modernized technology strategy while supporting 24×7 service to their customers across a multitude of platforms, including point-of-sale, mobile, and web services? Mike Brady, Nicole Holmes, and Chad Schmidt will share how at Wells Fargo, they are creating a Technology Infrastructure team founded in the TBM discipline and responsible for aligning with internal partners to adopt an automation first approach for accelerating the delivery of services and deploying enhancements at speed. All while remaining compliant, secure, and agile.
It’s been two years since the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a global pandemic. To re-imagine employee and customer experiences, every company was forced to speed up their shift to digital from multi-year project plans to instead creating, executing, and delivering new business models in a matter of weeks. As we emerge from this crisis, we recognize this shift is not slowing down but exponentially increasing as businesses continue to respond to societal expectations of anytime, anywhere. In this session, Sunny Gupta will share how the companies best positioned to quickly respond to changing market conditions and hyper competition have a holistic view of their technology spend so they can be agile in their investment decisions, use the cloud as a competitive advantage, and align their resources to product delivery models and continuously measure value.
Spinning up a cloud-native posture is a desired strategy for many organizations, however few have the time, resources, and budget to achieve 100% public cloud operations. In 2018, Equifax set a 5-year goal to achieve this, striving to provide their customers with faster innovation, more flexible business agility, and stronger cybersecurity. Hear from RJ Hazra, SVP & CFO, Technology on the lessons and successes the Equifax team has found along their journey, and what remains as they cross into their final year of their company-wide digital transformation.
The cloud is a significant shift in computing and companies need to get maximum value from it. FinOps is the evolving cloud financial management practice that empowers organizations to track and maximize cloud spend and enable tech, finance, and business teams to collaborate on data-driven spending decisions. In this talk, J.R. Storment, Executive Director of the FinOps Foundation will explore the intersection between TBM and the FinOps practice and the benefits achieved. Session discussion topics include:
In this engaging conversation, executive leaders will share both the challenges and best practices realized on their journey to embrace product-based innovation.
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Session abstract coming soon
TBM empowers hundreds of decision makers with the facts they need to execute a digital strategy faster, without bias, and in alignment across business units. This includes technology consumers, service and application owners, LOB CIOs, enterprise PMOs, compliance leaders, budget coordinators, and many more. What are the fundamentals of developing and executing a successful TBM practice? In this session, experienced practitioners will share the lessons and foundations they’ve learned delivering business value for their organizations with TBM.
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