I initially looked to Ernst and Young to find a Programme Director for such a large and complex programme, pending the identification and acquisition of a suitable internal candidate. Phil Summerfield filled this role to great effect and then eventually worked alongside the Barclays appointee to ensure maximum impact and traction during the critical phases of the programme. I remained an active sponsor throughout the programme and worked closely with Phil on a weekly basis. The programme was judged to have been a success and during its formative phases, this was in no small measure attributable to Phil’s contribution, who brought an experienced, steady and resolute influence to the work and formed vital working relationships with key Executives, including the FDs of the Retail and Barclaycard businesses.
Specifically, the key areas of skill and experience that Phil brought to the programme were:
- Strong and supportive Programme Directorship
- Broad experience and skill across the whole Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and SAP spectrum
- Development and influence of lasting relationships from Executive levels downwards, both within Barclays and their suppliers (eg SAP, IBM)
- Strong focus on the Business Benefits and clarity on the needs and means of ensuring delivery of these.
- Used his skill, experience and tenacity to help us face up to internal IT dogma on the hardware platform. Phil undertook a detailed assessment of the market and our needs, which delivered a solution at a capital cost of less than half the cost of our normal suppliers proposal of £24 million, saving us £12 million.
- Strong independent voice with a client-side view, eg quickly removing the cost of consultants when there was a reduction in value added.
- Helicopter view covering Programme and Change Management, software and hardware issues and wide ranging business factors. Internally there were many levels of interest and competence; systems and processes had evolved over many years in a varied and unconnected manner across the business units. Phil was able to help us identify and manage the gaps and overlaps and to differentiate value added from vested interest.
Although I am now retired from Barclays, I recall clearly Phil’s valuable contribution to a very challenging, but successful programme, which I believe is regarded as a benchmark SAP programme in the Financial Services Sector.
(The SAP programme covered a wide range of business units (SBUs) embracing all retail and corporate banking in theUK,Europeand certain other overseas locations. It also embraced Barclaycard. The programme had huge scale and complexity (many autonomous SBUs with their own FDs and finance staff, together with procurement functions, with a wide variety of software and hardware platforms and processes, all at varying levels of efficiency). The UK Banking SAP programme cost in excess of £30 million and even as an “infrastructural” programme delivered sustainable annual benefits of over £50 million.)