IT Leaders are Using TBM to Create a Positive Future

TBM is adding a positive twist to an old saying about teaching new tricks: businesses are never too old to learn how to add value to IT. In the case of two well-established customers that presented at last month’s TBMC20 – 400-year-old Thames Water and 174-year-old Church & Dwight Co., Inc. – TBM is helping in their quests to be a future force for good.

Thames Water

Thames Water has an extremely important job: As UK’s largest water and wastewater provider, the utility supplies around 2,600 million liters of drinking water to over 15 million customers across London and the Thames Valley … every single day.​ “Our purpose is to deliver life’s essential service so our customers, communities, and the environment can thrive. That’s why we need to improve our management of the most underrated resource on Earth – water,” said Tony McCandless, CIO, Thames Water during his presentation, Flowing Forward with Technology. He emphasized his region could run out of water in the next 25 years due to a growing population and changing climate, and Thames aims to prevent such an event.

To be a successful custodian for such a precious resource, McCandless said the Thames Water digital team is helping Thames become a digital-first water company. Thames’ strategy, he said, is to “deliver brilliant customer engagement, invest in resilient assets and systems, and generate public value.”

Technology is key for Thames’ ability to manage its 125,000km network and improve operational performance. “We use technology to constantly gather data, and to measure, predict, and adjust our activity based on two of the most unpredictable factors on Earth – weather and human behavior,” he said.

When McCandless joined Thames in 2017, the company was struggling with a wave of “grey IT,” uncontrolled spending​, and assessing the value to suppliers​. How is Thames resolving this challenge with accountability?

McCandless says the company has taken accountability by:

  • Renegotiating the alliance with suppliers.
  • In-sourcing critical functions across key areas.
  • Establishing a Thames Water-owned toolset consisting of Apptio, ServiceNow, and AppDynamics.

Today Thames is working differently by:

  • Implementing business service lines to talk about IT in business service terms.
  • Moving suppliers into service towers, which are managed by Thames Water Service Integration & Management (SIAM).

With these efforts, McCandless said, the Thames in-sourced team has begun to better understand costs, but continues to improve.

To listen to the details of Thames’ TBM journey, simply register here where you’ll find TBMC20 content on demand.

Church & Dwight Co.

In his TBMC20 presentation, 4 Insights to Accelerate Your TBM Program​, Brian A. Bell​ – director, IT strategy, planning & shared services at Church & Dwight Co., Inc. – lays out how his organization was able to build a sustainable TBM program, “and, more importantly, generate the CFO buy-in that is so critical.”

Founded in 1846, and with nearly $5 billion in revenue, Church & Dwight is one of the oldest American brands. The company makes products for fabric care, health and well-being, home care, and personal care aimed at helping its consumers live their best lives.

As an organization, one of the Church & Dwight’s points of pride is financial management, which had become a focus area of improvement for the IT organization. “Consumer focus and innovation were examples where our IT organization was excelling at reflecting elements of our company’s business model,” said Bell. “The problem was that one of the most foundational capabilities that our company leverages to compete, superior financial management, was where we lacked wholehearted effectiveness.”

Adopting a successful TBM program proved to be the solution to this challenge. Bell offers these four steps to matching Church & Dwight’s TBM success.

Lesson 1: Vision is pursued … not discovered. “Having a specific vision that is inspiring and measurable is the most significant indicator of the success or failure of your TBM effort – it’s really your north star for navigating the journey,” said Bell. The future-state, he said, must be:​

  • Specific enough to be tangible​
  • Inspiring enough for others to ‘opt-in’ OR ‘buy-in’​
  • Measurable enough to know when you’ve arrived​

Lesson 2: Go beyond the theory. “We had to get clear on how we were going to apply the TBM models, the taxonomy, and leverage the platform in the context of how our company operates,” said Bell. To do so, he recommends the following considerations and approach:

  • Insight: The TBM Model and taxonomy provide a framework, not a prescription.
  • Action: Take time to understand what you are implementing.
  • Insight: The Apptio architecture and user interface is robust but has a learning curve.
  • Action: Map out the intended information and process workflow​.

Lesson 3: “Don’t let the SaaS fool you”. “We live in an age where there’s a consumerization of IT – where we assume it’s going to be quick, just sign up for the service, load some data, and just start using it,” said Bell. To ensure the solution is executing as intended, Bell recommends the following considerations:


  • End-to-end testing still matters
  • Integration and interface quality are critical
  • There will be new work to support the TBMO


  • Define a credible plan to truly validate your solution.
  • Establish an organization and support model.

Lesson 4:​ Adoption is all about experience! “Adoption is all about a person’s experience vs. what they expect. Being able to set expectations up front, and ensure that people’s experience is positive, particularly in the beginning with the platform, is critical.” Bell recommends the following approach to ensuring success with experience:


  • Leverage ‘Design Thinking’ principles to accelerate adoption.
  • Create ‘moments of truth’ for stakeholders to build credibility​.


  • Narrow what users must see, know, and do.
  • Ensure roles and authorizations are pragmatic and that they work​.
  • Leverage pilot/co-pilot sessions to make ramp-up fun.
  • Have a game plan and timeframe for value hunting.

To get more the details on Brian Bell’s session, simply register here where you’ll find all TBMC20 content on demand.



Additional Resources