I was recently asked to review and then deliver a Solvency II programme of work via one of my associates. The programme had been under way for some time and a rapid turn-around and acceleration was required. All the work associated with all three ‘pillars’ needed to be delivered. January 1st 2016 is the date by which all insurance companies throughout Europe need to be compliant with the Solvency II Directive (2009/138/EC).
The first thing that struck me was that the programme was organised primarily on a pillar basis – 1,2 and 3. This did not feel right because on a significant business change such as this there are always impacts on a. people, b.process and c.technology. The regulations are also quite strict on the need for data to be complete, accurate, and appropriate and when you throw data lineage into the equation along with the need for a solid data integration capability to get source data from legacy systems through to a proposed target reporting application I felt that d.data also had to be highlighted as a separate stream. Add in a fifth commercial stream and I then had 5 streams running across three pillars. That’s more like it! From my perspective the programme was now fully joined up across all three pillars, and covered all the key items – time to get going.
Now armed with a simple programme structure it became important to alocate project managers to each stream based on their relevant strengths, weaknesses, and experiences. I was lucky to have a good team of Project managers and a solid procurement manager to help deliver the programme.
The next 4 weeks were spent planning our approach to delivery, determining the budget, the resources needed, and figuring out the high level scope. We decided early on that the potential for various impacts was high. We developed a programme plan that allowed us to model resources – internal verses external so we could iterate around budget before getting to a figure that the sponsor and CEO would accept. Having a pragmatic sponsor who likes facts, ‘warts and all’ helps and I count myself fortunate in this regard.