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.
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Reduction in number of out-of-date processes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.