Westpac Case Study

WESTPAC IMPLEMENTS AWARD-WINNING ENTERPRISE PROCESS LIBRARY, WITH MICRODYNAMICS  

As one of Australia’s top four banks, with distributed locations throughout Asia Pacific, it is essential Westpac have consistent, current, and well-documented processes at every level, and in every department.

In 2004, Westpac engaged MicroDynamics to review the bank’s existing process structure – and design, implement and support a centralised and comprehensive Enterprise Process Library.

Working closely with Westpac stakeholders, MicroDynamics helped Westpac build a robust and smart solution which utilises iGrafx as a process mapping tool, is backed by Process Central, and is designed in accordance with Six Sigma methodology. 

MicroDynamics worked alongside Westpac to design and implement the solution. Since, they have been providing ongoing training, technical support and strategic consulting to improve the system on an ongoing basis.

The Manager in charge of Enterprise Project Execution and Governance, BTSS, at Westpac, said: We developed a strong relationship with MicroDynamics – to the point where you could say a close partnership and absolute trust developed”.

Over 30,000 employees now have access to this Enterprise Process Library via a user-friendly web interface. The library acts as a central repository for key process documents across several of the bank’s departments, and includes home loan application processes, call centre sales processes, human resources processes and much more. Importantly, the system has in-built intelligence to enable performance of the processes to be measured and reviewed on an ongoing basis.

Through close and ongoing consultation with Westpac stakeholders, MicroDynamics has helped ensure the ongoing success and uptake of the Enterprise Process Library – which is now the largest of Westpac’s process repositories throughout Asia Pacific.

In 2007, the Enterprise Process Library was recognised at the prestigious SAI Global Awards, Australian Business Excellence Award for Quality Management Systems Excellence for its success in driving sustainable process management and institutional knowledge sharing across the Westpac group.

SITUATION

Prior to engaging MicroDynamics, Westpac were facing some key issues with regards to their process management.  Specifically:

  • Lack of consistency. Westpac is a diverse and multi-faceted organisation, with varying models and philosophies across locations, departments and countries. As such, there was considerable variation in terms of organisational business processes.  Documents were housed in diverse locations and often, were composed in different formats.
  • Unnecessary duplication. In many instances, processes were unnecessarily duplicated, or continually written from scratch across rather than simply updated from a single source.
  • Lack of currency. Due to the lack of a centralised process repository, some process documentation was quite dated and did not reflect current operational standards.
  • Lack of confidence. Due to the inconsistency and outdated nature of some of the processes, employees were unsure whether they could trust existing documentation – and often composed their own options anew, without consultation with other departments.    
  • Time consuming. An inability to access centralised process documentation meant that it was often quite time consuming for staff to get their jobs done in the most efficient manner possible. 

 

On a strategic level, Westpac wanted a specialist process consulting firm with deep knowledge and expertise who could provide a solution to these challenges. They were seeking a technical partner who could provide strategic guidance, technical training and support, and who could help ensure buy-in across the organisation. Westpac were also looking for an affordable and transparent solution that met budgetary requirements.  

THE SOLUTION

To help Westpac overcome their process challenges, MicroDynamics worked closely with key stakeholders to design and deliver a robust and strategic Enterprise Process Library.

The solution supports over 40-50GB of data and is accessible (on a read-only basis, via the company intranet) by 30,000 users. It utilises iGrafx and Process Central for process mapping and updating.  For maximum efficiency, has been designed in accordance with Six Sigma methodology.

Since it was implemented, the Library has grown to become largest centralised process repository in Westpac across Asia Pacific. Currently, it’s used across Group Operations, Wealth, Pacific Banking, Corporate, IT, Human Resources, BT, and in New Zealand’s call centres. For maximum efficiency, in-built filtering ensures that employees only see information that is relevant to them.

To ensure the system continues to grow in an accurate and controlled manner, the Library includes in-built tools and features to enable process management and review. In addition, process authoring is restricted to a very small team, with strict processes in place to ensure nothing is updated without review and appropriate approval.  

MICRODYNAMICS: STRATEGIC PARTNERS

The Manager of Enterprise Project Execution and Governance, BTSS, at Westpac said of MicroDynamics: “...a stand-out is their after-sales service. Anyone can sell you something – but whether or not they can support it is another story. MicroDynamics were available, from day one, at any time, to help us deal with any issue”.

He also added: I have dealt with many vendors in my time, and too many IT companies promise the world, and then don’t deliver. However, if MicroDynamics said it could be done, it would be done.”

Specifically, in ensuring the success of the system, MicroDynamics contributed:

  • Strategic Guidance. MicroDynamics delivered an initial proof of concept for the Enterprise Process Library, helped carry out due diligence, and on an ongoing basis, provides strategic assistance and support for the system.
  • Ongoing training and support. Although the Library is incredibly straightforward and easy to use, MicroDynamics continues to provide ongoing training and support to ensure maximum uptake amongst employees. This is particularly important when new staff join the company. According to Mr Nowakowski, MicroDynamics’ “training was almost without exception in the top 5 outcomes” of the project. MicroDynamics also readily answer any ad hoc technical or functional questions which arise on an ongoing basis.
  • Help in ensuring buy-in. For a business as large as Westpac, ensuring buy-in with all senior management, and ensuring uptake amongst employees can be quite challenging. However, by providing ready advice and technical support, MicroDynamics helped ensure Westpac’s new system was incredibly popular, and successful. As Mr Nowakowski said, “MicroDynamics’ training consultants have the unique ability to engage a room of people they’ve never even met. Even using web conferencing, they could gain credibility for the solution internally.”
  • A trusted partnership. In designing the Enterprise Process Library, it was necessary that MicroDynamics were exposed to all of Westpac’s internal processes – something which required a high degree of confidentiality. Mr Nowakowski said: “We were able to sit MicroDynamics in front of our IT and processes and have absolute confidence and faith that our systems would be treated with privacy and respect”.
  • Technical expertise. MicroDynamics also contributed an in-depth knowledge of, and experience with, the solutions’ underlying iGrafx software. This helped ensure the technology was deployed with minimum hassle, and that it was utilised in the best way possible.

RESULTS/OUTCOMES

Since it was deployed, the Enterprise Process Library has been enormously successful and very well received right across Westpac.

Specifically, the Enterprise Process Library now provides Westpac with:

  • A single, enterprise-wide repository. Mr Nowakowski said:  “you can’t put a value on that. To be able to have organisational IT in one, single database that everyone can see across the whole organisation is fantastic”.
  • Enhanced staff knowledge – through training and support. MicroDynamics has successfully trained between 500 and 600 people in using the tool, meaning uptake has been considerable at all levels of the business.
  • Appropriate filtering of information. Thousands of employees use the system on a weekly basis, while over 30,000 have the potential to access it from the intranet. A small team of authorised personnel have authoring access in the event that a process needs to be updated or changed, and all organisational staff can now easily locate and view current approved processes.
  • Single source of truth. Employees now know that if a process is in the repository, it’s correct and they can use it. There is also easily identified ownership of each approved and signed off process map stored in the system.  
  • Greater efficiency. The system makes employees’ jobs faster – as they know where the information they need resides. As Mr Nowakowski said: “you can simply push a button and off you go”. The system also enables greater collaboration – which makes employees’ day-to-day roles more efficient.
  • Enhanced customer service. The system also has the potential to reduce customer complaints – by enabling staff to provide more consistent, timely and accurate service to Westpac’s end customers.
  • Greater accuracy of information.  If documents are out of date, employees can now easily identify this and arrange for them to be updated.  
  • Reduced IT burden.  The Library reduces the need for Westpac to store and support multiple servers or individual PCs for process map storage. Instead, there is one IT Server required for storing all information in a single, web-based location. 
“MicroDynamics gave us 110% at every step of the way, which was just fantastic.”

“By the greater majority, the solution has been received very well indeed. Logically, people look at it and think, wow, it makes sense that we have this”.

Manager Enterprise Project Execution and Governance, BTSS, Westpac