Case Study 1: CIT within Belgian Government
Continuous Process Improvement
Creating a culture of continuous improvement of key business processes via a BPM methodology.
Our client is an arm of the Belgian government that delivers services on behalf of 19 other agencies, for day-to-day and emergency conditions. It has over 10,000 staff that serve 1 million Belgian customers over the age of 65, helping them to become or remain self-sufficient, while supporting those in need.
Employment numbers and the programs devised to assist those seeking employment are also of concern. Even small increases in the unemployment rate cause a considerable increase in work throughout the company’s network.
A third driver is the role the company plays in times of national emergency such as floods. It must respond quickly with resources and people during difficult circumstances. This stands to become a growing issue in the face of climate change.
To address these concerns, the company decided to undertake a continuous improvement (CI) initiative focused on their business processes. Zerwaste played a key role in assisting the company to operationalize these aspirations.
The Continuous Improvement Team
In February 2017, a Continuous Improvement Team (CIT) was established to operate as a core business function within the client’s business process design branch. Its role was to develop, implement, and continuously improve a standard methodology for selected business processes throughout the company.
The CIT identified four key requirements for achieving this goal:
- A formal CI methodology to identify and prioritize initiatives
- A centre of excellence, framework, and governance
- Continuous improvement participation at all levels
- Proof-of-concept CI projects
BPM Training Program
Zerwaste started by delivering business process management (BPM) training to staff at all levels of the company. Topics included:
- Principles of business process management
- Introduction to business process modelling, analysis and design
- Information gathering facilitation for business process projects
Methodology Integration and Proof of Concept
The CIT and the Zerwaste developed a process improvement methodology that fit with its existing Deming Cycle approach of “Plan-Do-Review-Act.” Two proof-of-concept projects were commissioned:
- The first addressed benefit recipients’ need to advise the company of changes in their circumstances, such as a change of address. These notifications trigger processes that can delay delivery of payments.
- The second focused on a specific payment type that absorbed significant resources while imposing unnecessary demands on customers.
The projects achieved the following benefits:
- Consistent process improvement and management thinking
- Clear methodology and shared language for process improvement
- Integration of CI initiatives into existing governance
- Two proof-of-concept projects for further training and improvement
- A community of practice around continuous process improvement
- Documentation of the CI methodology
- A regular survey of BPM maturity to track longer term CI changes
- Senior executive involvement and oversight mechanisms
Through this assignment the client established a sound basis for a CI-based culture in which staff remain engaged through a consistent methodology that is itself the subject of ongoing review and improvement. These developments have assisted the client in dealing with increasing demands on its resources including those related to an aging population, changes in employment levels, and national emergencies.