Client Case Study:
Super Retail Group
Super Retail Group (SRG) is a speciality retailer, listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX: SUL) and headquartered in Brisbane Australia. SRG is known by most Australian and New Zealand customers through their flagship brands: Supercheap Auto, Rebel, and BCF. Its store network extends to 700 plus retail stores and over 12,000 team members.
Like many retailers with a large store footprint, there is pressure to remain relevant as an increasing number of customers move their shopping preferences to digital channels. SRG’s ability to adapt to their evolving customer’s needs is critical to the success of the company. Group CEO, Anthony Heraghty, told the Australian Finance Review, “SRG’s online sales are growing as much as 41 per cent for brands such as Rebel” [https://www.afr.com/business/retail/new-super-retail-group-ceo-wants-to-grow-customers-rather-than-stores-20190718-p528k2].
The retail customer’s evolving behaviour combined with the state of the economy has seen a softening of customer buying patterns. Customers are becoming far more astute and informed about their purchases and what they can expect to pay. With downward pressure on price, the cost to serve has also become an increasingly important metric for the organisation. These growing external pressures drove SRG to look within to find ways to reduce the cost and time to deliver value to its customers.
Whiteboard People were engaged to assist in the design, delivery and embedding of new ways of working to ensure SRG had the right mindset, processes and supporting practises to reduce the time from “idea to value”.
Whiteboard People co-created the SRG Delivery Approach utilising a combination of Design Thinking, Lean Start-up and Agile techniques. While there were many aspects of this approach that helped to improve delivery there were three areas of change that have accelerated SRG’s performance.
1. Shift from outputs to outcomes.
Each team commenced with clear problems statements, outcomes to be achieved and metrics to measure success. To ensure teams were delivering the “right product” the Ideate stage was supported by “test and learn” enabling teams to quickly and cheaply iterate on defined and undefined problems and solutions and then retire or grow ideas accordingly.
2. Pitching for value
Next was introducing the concept of teams needing to “Pitch” for value creation. Pitches were accompanied by fit for purpose documentation which was a move away from one size fits all stage gates of the past. This step was key to unlocking value sooner, particularly when teams required funds for experimentation through “test and learns”.
3. Replacing project steering committees
Finally, the shift away from steering committees which governed scope, schedule and budget to advisory boards designed to trust, validate and guide the value creation.
Having defined the new way of working, Whiteboard People then designed and led an interactive capability uplift program to embed new ways of working including safe practise of techniques in the context of the products and services the teams were delivering. Breaking down work in ways that realised value earlier was a key focus during the training. Where required Whiteboard People also embedded Iteration Manager/Coaches into teams for a short period which fast-tracked the adoption and delivery.
The engagement concluded with a consolidation of the earlier work enabling Whiteboard People to work with the Group Portfolio Management Office (GPMO) to build a single view of the portfolio. The single view of the portfolio was achieved by bringing together disparate data sources including Jira (for work item data like initiatives, features, risks, change impact and dependencies) and Anaplan (for financial data like budgets and benefits) to a presentation layer (Microsoft Power BI) that could be viewed via the organisation’s intranet.
The single view of portfolio provided a close-to-real-time status of the portfolio and showed progress to value through the delivery of initiatives and features. It also provided the much-needed overall portfolio insights about the value delivered for the investment made to date. The real-time insights enabled leadership to pivot on the portfolio and maximise benefits.