DC Thomson Media is one of the UK’s leading content creators, whose brands have been at the heart of everyday life for generations. DC Thomson Media is passionate about creating delivering and fulfilling, inspiring and relevant content that enhances the experiences of their consumers.
Meeting strategic goals, and proving it, is vital to the work at DC Thomson Media. As time passed, their original strategic reporting process became labor-intensive and time-consuming for their strategy team, requiring 4 days among their team of 2 each month. They recognized the need to change their process. The transition to ClearPoint allowed them to automate their process and reduce this time by 75%. Now, with that time back, they can focus on finding new ways to meet goals.
Managing Strategy in Spreadsheets
In its earlier days, DC Thomson Media had two individuals who manually oversaw the strategy management process for their different businesses. Amanda Sangster, Head of Business Programme, and Jacqui Gray, Project Manager, managed Excel spreadsheets with up to 200 rows of data. These spreadsheets were a roadmap of projects for the various businesses DC Thomson oversaw. Every month, they sat down individually with around 20 different senior team members for a 30-minute meeting to get updates on the various projects. Then, they’d update the spreadsheets accordingly.
Together, the two spent 4 days a month making updates to the spreadsheets. These Excel documents were sent out as a pre-read before every board meeting, with each leader making a PowerPoint presentation detailing their updates to the group of senior leaders. Any action items that came from the meeting were also tracked in Excel.
This system worked well for their team, but they were looking for ways to automate the process. Amanda understood that they were losing valuable time without the ability to automate and manage all their business’ strategy in one place. Their process allowed leaders to only see the progress of these various businesses once a month. Leaders also lacked an easily digestible view to understand the impact of their projects on their objectives.
In March of 2017, DC Thomson Media partnered with ClearPoint to automate their strategy management process. They began tracking their strategic objectives for each business and developed projects to help meet those objectives. DC Thomson Media now tracks those projects alongside their objectives in ClearPoint to ensure the projects and goals are aligned.
Automating the Reporting Process
Amanda and Jacqui no longer spend 4 days a month prepping for board meetings. Now, they spend around 8 hours per month with all their new dashboards in place pulling together their reports, and only 10-15 minutes per business to export the reports and send out the pre-read. They’ve decreased the time it takes to prepare for their monthly board meetings by 75%. Now, Amanda and Jacqui can focus their time on helping the other DC Thomson businesses meet their goals.
Leaders have a one-stop location to update their business projects, and can easily access their data – before, after, and during the meeting. Agendas and action items are setup and tracked in ClearPoint, increasing transparency and accountability. By automating their process in ClearPoint, DC Thomson Media no longer worries about version control, or an incorrect Excel formula.
DC Thomson align their strategic projects to business objectives and this alignment allows them to understand which projects they are undertaking that are impacting their business goals.
Every year, DC Thomson finds new ways to update and automate their process with ClearPoint. They recently created dashboards for each department within the businesses. Their new Red-Alert Summary Reports allow leaders with measures that are behind to easily explain why these measures are not performing well, and what the team is doing about it. With ClearPoint, DC Thomson can review their strategy and projects easily in one place.
ClearPoint now allows all strategy information to live in one place. Every leader knows where to review action items from meetings, has access to the performance of each business regularly, and can easily make updates within the tool. ClearPoint has helped DC Thomson automate their strategy reporting process and continue to see success in their various businesses.