Life certainly was complicated enough for Tony Teague, Director of Group Project Management, faced with steering Abbey National through the unprecedented period of cultural and regulatory change which coincided with the advertising campaign convincing consumers to simplify their finances by entrusting them to the first building society turned bank.

We reduced delivery time scales by as much as half

With the dot com era in full swing new technology was changing the face of retail banking. There was a need to take advantage of the technology to deliver new products and services to the customer in more effective ways - easy for the dot coms with no legacy systems but less so for established players with customer data locked into them and management mindsets to match.

Meanwhile the regulator, in the shape of the FSA, was introducing exacting new rules for the new products and services on offer. Systems and culture had to change fast to maintain Abbey National’s corporate reputation and market share. This need for change spawned change management projects. With over 70 in progress, each due to take between 1 and 2 years to complete and a danger of new line managers ‘bumping into each other’ instead of getting together behind the new goals, it was time for innovative project management to ensure Abbey National didn’t fall behind having taken the market lead.

Tony Teague called in Eddie Obeng of Pentacle to cut the change management task down to size and make it happen. Describing him as "the best deliverer in this space", Tony selected Eddie for his ability to ‘chunk up’ projects, motivating the managers and deliverers involved to prioritise resources effectively, take the necessary decisions, prepare for uncertainty, organise and evaluate the action and communicate results where it mattered.

Pentacle worked at three levels with Abbey National staff, getting them together behind the programme with a mass motivational address, working within project groups to help them define, innovate and deliver and coaching key individuals.


Pentacle’s support achieved the overall goal of cutting delivery time. This was done by helping those involved to identify and deal with priorities using objective experience of successful ‘new world’ change management practice, tailored to their needs to inspire innovative solutions.

Commenting on the success of the working partnership with Pentacle, Tony Teague points out, "There are plenty of consultants out there who understand projects but few who could get to grips successfully with such a monolithic change management challenge. Eddie Obeng’s innovative chunking up process was just what we needed to cut the challenge down to manageable proportions. With Pentacle on the team we reduced delivery time scales by as much as half by smarter management. We opened our minds to innovation. We outsourced systems provision and general insurance. We took our services to the customer with branches in stores and supermarkets and we brought other services, such as coffee shops, into our branches. We built a delivery culture and got staff at all levels to understand the benefits and get behind it".

For further details please contact Sheila Hart on 01386 438681 /  07786 266585