Case Study: First Central Group

Target Operating Model and Change Maturity Project


First Central Group (FCG) is a successful and increasingly influential Guernsey-based UK motor insurance provider. Established in 2008, with an ambition to out-compete established brands through technology-based agility, it sold its millionth policy in 2013.  It currently employs over 500 people.

In early 2014, FCG’s Group Technology Services division (GTS) completed the implementation of Focus, an award-winning new insurance management platform. This enabled FCG to significantly cut operational overheads, and offer better-targeted products to customers, faster than its competitors.

FCG commissioned CBO to define and support the implementation of a new target operating model (TOM).

CBO’s Work

To develop a target operating model for GTS, CBO adopted a process based on four deliverables:

  • as is analysis
  • high level target operating model
  • detailed target operating model
  • implementation plan.

CBO’s first steps was to conduct to conduct an as is analysis. The purpose of this was to build a rounded understanding of which elements of GTS’ current ways of working supported the new direction of travel articulated by the CIO, and which were not aligned with it.

Data from the as is analysis informed the second step of CBO’s work, the creation of a high level Target Operating Model. The development of this TOM was primarily undertaken in a day-long workshop, attended by GTS’ management team and senior representatives of their key customers. In this workshop, practical elements of how GTS should work were worked through, using tools such as RACI matrices. Questions about GTS’ desired culture were also addressed, using a Change Maturity Matrix to structure conversation and turn abstract concepts into measurable targets.

At this same workshop, the participants also co-created an initial draft of a plan for the development of a detailed TOM. This included detailed work on processes, role profiles, and use of information systems – details which some consultancies do not include in organisational strategy work but which CBO believes is beneficial to help ensure that a TOM is easily implementable. Work on the detailed TOM continued outside of the workshop, and eventually articulated 35 key changes that needed to be made to GTS’ ways of working to deliver the vision that its management, staff and customers now shared.

First Central Group drew on CBO’s pedigree in project and programme management to develop an implementation plan for those changes. We subsequently project managed their delivery, and embedded in this process two ‘review and direct gateways’. At these, GTS managers and key customers undertook structured reviews of work to make the target operating model real, agreeing minor amendments to their vision, and the implementation approach, in reaction to learning ‘on the ground’.

CBO’s Impact

GTS’ new operating model has now been successfully implemented, underpinned by significant changes to its organisational culture. This has been proven to support First Central Group to deliver system improvements quickly, without compromising the day-to-day support of Focus’ 500 users.

As a result of this success, GTS has grown.  Since the project’s initiation, it has grown from c. 15 to over 30 staff. This growth reflects the increased trust and reliance that the rest of First Central Group places on this team and its work.

Pete Johnson, FCG’s Chief Information Officer, says of CBO’s work that:

Pete Johnson, Chief Information Officer, First Central Group, says:

"1st Central has, in our first 6 years, built an incredibly successful technology enabled insurance business.  To build on this success we very quickly realised that our approach to technical development and change needed to mature at a faster rate than the rest of the business.  We approached CBO both for professional advice on our future operating model, and also to bring some discipline to the implementation of this new model.  I can honestly say that we wouldn’t have achieved what we have over the last 12 months without their continued guidance, and I now view them as an essential part of my management team."

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