Live from SAPinsider Studio: Rolf Scheuerer on Global Governance at Wrigley

December 29, 2014

Rolf Scheuerer, Senior Manager of Global Governance at Wrigley, visits with SAPinsider Studio during the Project Management 2014 event in Atlanta to discuss how Wrigley's goverance processes became the template for a global goverance roadmap for business segments at parent company Mars. Topics of this discusssion include:

  • The creation of functional capability groups tasked with blending functional business requirements with technological roadmaps for Mars various business segments
  • How global governance increased visibility of the organization's overall systems portfolio
  • The importance of having global governance processes that integrate strategic planning with portfolio management and enterprise architecture

View the video, and read the transcript of the conversation here:

Ken Murphy, SAPinsider: Hi, this is Ken Murphy with SAPinsider, and I am at the SAPinsider Project Management conference 2014. I am pleased to be joined by Rolf Scheuerer, who is the Senior Manager of Global Governance for Wrigley. Rolf, welcome.

Rolf Scheuerer, Wrigley: Hello, Ken. Nice to meet you.

Ken: You as well. I was hoping we can start off if you can give us an overview of global governance at Wrigley, and I’m curious if the Wrigley technology roadmap is aligned with Mars?

Rolf: Before I start talking in details about the governance, just for your information Wrigley was bought from Mars six years ago, and the way Mars is operating the business is by the different business segments, and Wrigley as a gum and confection company is one of them. So when we talked about how can we somehow align the different business segments and aspirations and requests of the different business segments, it came back to the question of how do we understand what is the real demand of the different segments? And Wrigley had already very good mature governance process in place which is now rolled out to the other Mars segments as being the role model for future governance. In general, when we’re talking about governance there are two areas you need to talk about. One is the organizational part of it, and the other one is the process part behind it. So from an organization, what we built last year is we have business leads, so the CFOs, CMOs and so on, being a member of what we call the functional capability group. So what they are doing really is talking about the business strategies for Mars Inc. in general, not only for Wrigley. And defining what they called functional manifestos. So this functional manifestos we tried to blend from a Mars IT perspective with the technology roadmaps we’re working on. Which means I think very interestingly at this conference a lot of topics around mobility, analytics, collaboration and social media. These are the kind of technology roadmaps we are working on and that we try to blend with the functional business requirements for Mars Inc. Nevertheless, Wrigley still has its own business strategy of course. And what we are doing is also looking for segment specific roadmaps and portfolio.

Ken: What was it about the global governance structure at Wrigley that was enticing for Mars? What problems or challenges was Mars having that they wanted to look at Wrigley’s model?

Rolf: So the biggest problem for Mars, or for the Mars IT organization, was in general they didn’t have a clear visibility on the portfolio. There were a lot of local and regional initiatives rolled out which were not really consolidated on a global perspective, so a lot of different – I think Mars is one of the biggest buyer from all software licenses around the world, so they even don’t know which solution they have in place at which location. And the second biggest challenge is still there was a kind of distraction from the business when they planned the projects for the next year. So there was not a clear guidance what is the business case and the business value for when we’re running and deploying these projects?

Ken: So you mentioned here at this conference there is a lot of talk about cloud, in-memory; are these things you’re taking away for use at Mars?

Rolf: Yes, the way how we implement governance processes is kind of a blend of five different processes. One of these is the enterprise architecture process, which plays a huge role in understanding business strategy and translated and transformed into the technology trends which appear at the moment and on the horizon. So a very simplistic example, the whole discussion about big data is something we from an enterprise architectural standpoint try to prove with some proof of concepts at the moment, putting social media data from Facebook in our analytics environment, and see how the business is working with that.

Ken: How do you manage consistency for the entire global governance structure?

Rolf: The consistency, I’ve been working in SAP environments now since almost 28 years, so one of the topics I really learned out of SAP is the benefit of integration. So consistency around your governance processes means you have to integrate the different parts of this processes, like strategic planning, like portfolio management, enterprise architecture and the way you run the projects. The consistency we ensure in our organization is by having clear responsibilities in this whole process, but also by having  a great tool developed; it’s not an SAP tool, it’s based on Microsoft Sharepoint which enables it when the first idea, and the first discussion with the business pops up, already this idea is recorded in this tool and then by getting more maturity behind the idea and putting it in annual planning, this tool is driving then the discussion with the business. When it comes then to the real project, then you just copy this information and this tool to a real project demand and you start the financial approval process behind it, and when the project is in delivery then you document the project health also in this tool. So a complete, consistent process in this tool.

Ken: And so obviously a lot of moving parts, and ongoing; can you provide an example or two from your organization of some tangible benefits from this?

Rolf: I thought about this when I created the presentation, and for me one or two of the tangible benefits are No. 1 is within Wrigley we are hopefully or for sure this year the first time in a row when we really met the targets of our portfolio; so we get a limited budget for the overall portfolio and we really manage every year across to these portfolios so we are not spending more than we originally said. The second part is, especially within Wrigley our number of solutions in our solution portfolio is very limited. Most of them are really from a global perspective, so we have one global SAP instance and this shows also that this enterprise architecture process within governance helps us a lot to really keep the systems to a minimum.

Ken: Rolf, thanks for visiting with us today.

Rolf: Thank you Ken. It was a pleasure for me to be here.

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