As one of the largest insurers in the United States, the company has a large IT organization supporting its diverse portfolio of products and services, with an annual budget exceeding $700 million a year.
The company’s budget consists of two parts: an annual run budget to support ongoing operational expenses, and a multi-year investment budget to fund project work for strategic initiatives.
The IT leadership team believed that improving the company’s budgeting and planning process could increase IT value and drive better business outcomes. Their objective was to shorten their annual run and grow planning cycles and conduct forecasting on a monthly basis, unifying legacy processes and leveraging multiple vendor teams.
In addition, the leadership team wanted to unify their annual technology planning process between the Finance and Technology organizations. Their objective was to create a new process to conduct annual planning for technology spend because the current process was highly complex, time-consuming, disjointed and unable to adapt to changing business needs. The new process would align teams into value streams and enable the IT leaders to define capacity by headcount and allocation and assign Minimum Business Increments (MBI) to teams instead of prioritizing everything simultaneously.
But before they could do any of this, the company first needed to improve communication and collaboration between the IT Finance team and the Technology team.