Port Stephens upgrades from Visio for time and cost savings.

Time efficiencies resulted in annual savings of AUD $6,500 for new process creation, and AUD $28,600 for reviewing and modifying processes.

Business benefits.

  • Cost savings

  • Time efficiencies

  • Increased collaboration and communication 

  • Easier to identify and follow the correct process

  • Reduction in number of out-of-date processes

Population growth, combined with increasing development and tourism in the Port Stephens region in New South Wales, continue to place pressure on the environmental integrity, character and attributes of the  local government area. 

Port Stephens Council had adopted the Australian Business Excellence Framework (ABEF), an integrated leadership and management system that guides organizations to sustain high levels of performance. It also helps to assess and improve different aspects of the  business from leadership, strategy and planning, to  people, information and knowledge, safety, service delivery, and bottom line results.

As Craig Robinson, business excellence officer at Port  Stephens Council, explains, ‘We had adopted the ABEF.  One of the core categories of this is an understanding of  process management, improvement and innovation. We  wanted all functions and activities within the council to  have their processes mapped, managed, reviewed and  continuously improved in order to deliver an agreed level  of output to both internal teams as well as external  residents.’ 

Time to make a change.

The council’s existing Visio software was increasingly unable to  support the scale required for ABEF, nor could it provide a  systematic approach to process management so that teams  could map, capture and record both existing and new processes.

Following a comprehensive market review of available solutions,  the council opted to deploy Nintex Promapp’s cloud-based business  process management software to document processes and support business sustainability.

Nintex Promapp was selected based on several critical components,  including its robust integration with council IT systems and its  ability to map individual processes end-to-end across the  organization. Nintex Promapp integrates with the council’s SharePoint platform and has automated links to its TRIM records  information management making processes accessible, usable  and rapidly changeable.

‘It also complements our Lean, Six Sigma approach which  enables us to work smarter and improve efficiency by  streamlining workflows.’ 

A phased approach to deployment.

During the first phase of the Nintex Promapp implementation, the  council focused its efforts on securing senior executive support.

‘Buy-in from senior management was vital, and their commitment needed to be clearly communicated to all staff,’  says Robinson.

Effective ownership needed to exist from the very top of the  council through to front desk council staff. Extensive training was  put in place to clearly explain why the shift to being  process-centric was required and the benefits this would deliver. The council staged a four-day planning workshop which focused  on the critical aspects of strategy, governance and  communication.   


‘We felt that the ownership of processes needed to be  decentralized and communicated. Each group needed to understand that it owns its own processes and is responsible for  constantly improving them,’ says Robinson.

In the second stage of deployment, all processes were  transferred from Visio into Nintex Promapp. This included attaching  supporting documentation to relevant processes. During this  time, the council also continued to focus heavily on training and communication, and on winning the continued support of senior  management.

‘For the initiative to succeed, staff needed to believe in what  they were doing and the methods they were using to do it.  Process management needed to become more than just the  documents, but a new way of operating,’ says Robinson. 

Cost savings and service excellence.

Port Stephens Council now has hundreds of active users on  Nintex Promapp and process improvement is a mandatory topic for  discussion at all official council meetings.

They have more than 1,300 processes mapped in Nintex Promapp,  covering everything from development application approvals  to customer service requests and corporate annual reporting,  to support the council’s key strategies for  customer service and business improvement. These are key  leadership processes that all employees must follow.

Since going live, Nintex Promapp has fueled increased collaboration  and communication between different departments. Staff now have clear accountability and a better understanding of  where their processes start and end.

In addition, processes are reviewed every 12 months. Out-of- date reviews continue to improve with 93 percent of process  reviews completed each year. Group reporting is boosting  accountability while staff can now easily identify and follow  the correct process.

‘With Nintex Promapp we have realized clear savings to the council.  Time efficiencies have resulted in savings of AUD$6,500 per  year for the creation of new processes while AUD$28,600 is  being saved each year in reviewing and modifying processes.

‘What we got with Nintex Promapp is a premium product that was  delivered professionally. People now understand what we do,  who is responsible for it and when it needs to be completed.' 



‘The key to a good business process management deployment is to have a really good training framework and a  clear reporting mechanism to senior management. You  need to get people to believe in and value the processes they  own. Nintex Promapp’s simplicity integrates well with our vision to have engaged people, working together, delivering  valued services,’ says Robinson.

Their new approach seems to be working. Port Stephens  Council has been recognized as employer of choice at the  annual Career Development Association of Australia awards.

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