Process automation – change of tenancy

Process automation —
change of tenancy

The challenge

Our client is one of three metropolitan Melbourne’s water businesses owned by the Victorian Government. Our client provides drinking water, sewerage, trade waste and recycled water services to customers in Melbourne’s central business district, inner and western suburbs.

Requests to connect and disconnect water services to facilitate the movement of a tenant into and out of a property involved a large number of manually intensive, laborious tasks for not only our client but also for real estate agents, aggregators and landlords.

Our client would receive either a hand written form, or a typed email with no structure, which would then be manually keyed in to their existing CRM. This resulted in not only data quality issues, but also a growing backlog work, which ultimately led to a knock-on effect of billing errors, missed revenue and compliance breaches.

Our client’s approach to tackling this issue, in line with a major program of work to digitise high volume, high value customer interactions was to run a PoC (proof of concept) to validate the capability of an automation and robotics platform. However the combination of a business owner, and delivery team inexperienced in project delivery, no foundational analysis, and an offshore vendor soon saw the rise of problems with delivery and progress stalled.

At this point Alchemy Solutions (Alchemy) were engaged to fill the capability gap and steer the initiative back on the path towards its key objectives.

The solution

Our initial observations surfaced that all parties involved in delivery were communicating at differing levels, with a lack of a common language to approach such a large and complex initiative that touched multiple departments.

Led by an Alchemy consultant, an approach was adopted to kick-off a series of process-based workshops to focus on two key elements: automation and a web-based form to capture and standardise input with a view to form a common lexicon between the business stakeholders and the platform delivery team.
The starting point was to investigate the “as-is”, and with no clearly defined processed evidence, rapidly moved towards analysis of data required to complete a change of tenancy.

Further analysis commencing at the definition of Level 3 (roles, inputs, outputs and steps required to complete a specific task) processes, then led to detailed SIPOC analysis to flesh out Level 4 instructions and procedures to complete Level 3 process). This allows the vendor to develop their code on the back of the L4 process (i.e. Level 5 work instructions).
In summary the business stakeholders were defining their requirements at L3 and the vendor needed requirements at L4 to make the required development changes to the platform. The establishment of this common lexicon broke the back of the delivery issues and ensured every stakeholder was on the same page.

During this phase of the project it was discovered that there was no provision within the project scope for testing, and the delivery team lacked capability to undertake change management activities. The defined processes were able to inform the testing scope and change impact assessment; which in turn fed into the key communications to the end consumers, i.e. real estate agents, landlords and aggregators.

The results

Within a 10 week timeframe, with a common goal defined, and an understanding of why process is important and how it can help deliver a successful outcome, and an automated solution in place, the following results were achieved:

  • redirection of 5.0 FTE capacity and capability of the current (15-20 FTE) data entry team to focus on exceptions management;
  • significant increase in data quality
  • a positive effect of resolving indirect business process issues;
  • on the back of the processes that were being automated, the data flow was placed under detailed analysis; this highlighted that some of the business rules that triggered the processes were incorrect and required re-alignment;
  • customer experience increased via sending timely and informative notifications, e.g. welcome emails, being sent the right bill.

Final thoughts

To address the delivery issues, Alchemy took on the Process Improvement and Automation leadership role.

By utilising a combination of our proven methods and our ability to educate the team members and stakeholders we were able to save the Automation project from failure.

Alchemy’s process lead and team were able to engage all stakeholders and ensure a common language and approach were utilised supported by the following Alchemy tools and techniques;

  • Alchemy’s Continuous Improvement model – designed to create a purpose fit effective plan to minimise the risk and disruption to people, current process and technology in order to create a climate for change, engage and enable stakeholders and implement and sustain new behaviours.
  • People First – Alchemy brings a distinct and holistic people, process and technology approach to each engagement which helps in identifying and remediating blockages to communication and process flows. The identification and prioritisation of customer and employee journey’s ensures line of sight to what’s important – People!

Creating and operationalising an Agile PMO

Creating and operationalising
an Agile PMO

The client situation

In the state of Victoria the Essential Service Commission (ESC) is an independent regulator that promotes the long-term interests of Victorian consumers regarding price, quality and reliability of essential services. Our client is one of the water utilities that fall under the remit of ESC.
In 2018 the PREMO water pricing framework was introduced by the ESC, focusing on five key attributes: performance, risk, engagement, management and outcomes. The Framework is designed to not only set maximum prices a water business can charge but to also incentivise Water businesses to find innovative ways to deliver greater value to their customers.
In response to the introduction of the framework, our client’s strategy and planning team clearly articulated what their customer goals were and a submission was provided to ESC. In parallel a “Customer First” team was established with the responsibility of enabling the strategy and operationalising the PREMO targets and commitments.

The challenge

Our Client provides water and wastewater services to major parts of Melbourne, the city that has been recognised as the ‘world’s most liveable’. Their service area is one of the fastest growing regions in Australia’s fastest growing capital city, which includes over 430,000 homes and over one million residents of diverse cultures. They also have a diverse business customer base that includes some of Victoria’s largest manufacturers right through to the ever-growing hospitality sector.

The challenge was clear to achieve their commitments in the submission to ESC they had to adopt a well-conceived and detailed delivery approach with Customer First at the centre of everything they do every day.

The solution

It was quickly acknowledged by the leadership team that in order to achieve their ambitious targets our client required:

a) an Agile PMO framework that could help transparently manage project portfolio priorities to ensure that they were doing the right things and resourcing adequately

b) an increased cadence and access to delivery data, and

c) their IT capability had to be capable of supporting a shift in focus and process.

Alchemy Solutions worked with the leadership team to maximise the contribution of the individual Customer First team members through the development of a Prioritisation Matrix and the introduction of hybrid agile techniques such as weekly “rally and mobilise” sessions designed to facilitate an improved flow of important information across the team and to act as an important feedback mechanism for the team members.

Central to these changes was a shift towards a “High Performing Teams” mindset that considered strengths and weaknesses across the teams which resulted in a prioritization areas that needed to be addressed and allowed the sharing of portfolio management knowledge tools, frameworks, business case updates and customer insights.

This was complimented by the introduction of resources such as Microsoft Teams as a central method for communications and to support team members working from remote locations. Wiki’s were also created to share knowledge, processes and information; the team was co-located where possible and this helped drive an improved appreciation of what the teams were achieving and how the shift to the Customer First initiative was starting to gain momentum.

Final thoughts

Operationalising into an Agile PMO the “how”, of how our client meets their customer needs in accordance with the high level strategy of Customer First transitioned the purpose of the customer transformation team from being a team that would just make a project “better”, into aligning the roles and responsibilities of its team members directly to the needs of their customers.

The Agile PMO now revolutionises the way in which our client now runs Customer First projects as they start to “live” the intent of PREMO: “to find innovative ways to deliver greater value to their customer” rather than just “tick-box” requirements

Alchemy’s Agile PMO lead created a plan to execute and engage all stakeholders and ensure a common language and approach were utilised supported by the following Alchemy tools and techniques:

  • Alchemy’s Ei5™ method – designed to be engaging and clear for business and technology resources and identifies business ownership as critical to delivery success. The use of agile techniques, tools and rituals ensure that everyone understands their role and conflicts are resolved quickly.
  • People First – Alchemy brings a distinct and holistic people, process and technology approach to each engagement which helps in identifying and remediating blockages to communication and process flows. The identification and prioritisation of customer and employee journey’s ensures line of sight to what’s important – People!

Automation of buying a car

Automation of buying a car

The client situation

Our client is present in thirty three global markets and operate as a key strategic partner to the world’s foremost premium and luxury car brands providing an effective, well-financed and customer centred route to market for vehicles and parts. They operate across every link of the post-factory automotive value chain for our original equipment manufacturer partners, providing a highly efficient, customer-focused route to market that delivers shared rewards at every stage.

With digital disruption affecting every industry across the globe our client had to act to ensure their shift to a digital era and accelerate its plans to build and automate the purchase of a car online.

The challenge

Building on the Salesforce platform and automating a number of key processes Alchemy commenced a design phase to design and engineer the new car configurator – Key to the solution was the mapping of “to be” customer journeys to streamline and ultimately Automate the processes.

Alchemy were engaged to lead and design the new car configurator and the method of delivery and to suggest methods that could be quick wins to expedite delivery. We provided a complete plan to partner with our client to deliver the car configurator.

The plan involved two clear collaborations to ensure delivery. Both collaborations were hands on and within existing delivery team constructs to expedite knowledge transfer.

1. The utilisation of Alchemy’s hybrid agile method Ei5™ as the delivery method to Automate processes and build the car configurator.

a. to map all to be customer journeys and map out processes to form the design of the build of the car configurator

b. to increase collaboration and ownership and involvement in the delivery of the projects by all global stakeholders

c. to align global sub solution integrators, customer and internal business and information technology delivery resources to a single method of delivery which could easily be communicated and utilised by the projects

d. to create a cadence for the project that allowed for the appropriate levels of engagement in rituals and also working time to achieve results

2. Provision of an Alchemy agile delivery squad to lead, oversee and coordinate all delivery of the global project.

a. squad included the following roles; agile portfolio lead, product owner, business analyst, process automation analyst and a UX designer

b. agile portfolio lead and product owner operated at the executive level of business and customers to ensure buy in and support

c. squad roles and responsibilities included the coaching and mentoring of all global solution integrators, customers and internal business and information technology delivery resources
The urgency of delivery required a priority to be placed on the unification of all delivery resources across multiple global locations and groups of stakeholders. The aim was to create a high performing team where people could work hard on focussed and clear tasks, enjoyed spending time together and felt part of a bigger purpose.

The solution

Building on the Salesforce platform and automating a number of key processes Alchemy commenced a design phase to design and engineer the new car configurator – Key to the solution was the mapping of “to be” customer journeys to streamline and ultimately Automate the processes.

Alchemy were engaged to lead and design the new car configurator and the method of delivery and to suggest methods that could be quick wins to expedite delivery. We provided a complete plan to partner with our client to deliver the car configurator.

The plan involved two clear collaborations to ensure delivery. Both collaborations were hands on and within existing delivery team constructs to expedite knowledge transfer.

1. The utilisation of Alchemy’s hybrid agile method Ei5™ as the delivery method to Automate processes and build the car configurator.

a. to map all to be customer journeys and map out processes to form the design of the build of the car configurator

b. to increase collaboration and ownership and involvement in the delivery of the projects by all global stakeholders

c. to align global sub solution integrators, customer and internal business and information technology delivery resources to a single method of delivery which could easily be communicated and utilised by the projects

d. to create a cadence for the project that allowed for the appropriate levels of engagement in rituals and also working time to achieve results

2. Provision of an Alchemy agile delivery squad to lead, oversee and coordinate all delivery of the global project.

a. squad included the following roles; agile portfolio lead, product owner, business analyst, process automation analyst and a UX designer

b. agile portfolio lead and product owner operated at the executive level of business and customers to ensure buy in and support

c. squad roles and responsibilities included the coaching and mentoring of all global solution integrators, customers and internal business and information technology delivery resources

The urgency of delivery required a priority to be placed on the unification of all delivery resources across multiple global locations and groups of stakeholders. The aim was to create a high performing team where people could work hard on focussed and clear tasks, enjoyed spending time together and felt part of a bigger purpose.

The results

Alchemy successfully designed and delivered the new car configurator by utilising journey and process mapping to automate the online purchase of a car.

Alchemy’s hybrid agile method Ei5™ use ensured common language and understanding for the global team and stakeholders.

The executive team were delighted with the delivery approach and in particular the customer journeys and process maps. These key deliverables not only were utilised for the automation of process, marketing and dealerships also utilised the processes for key campaign and training capabilities.To that they were also impressed with the outcomes and praised the professionalism of the Alchemy team for driving delivery.

Today, the car configurator has enabled significant online sales growth, during a period where purchasers were physically limited from accessing the traditional car showrooms. It has provided customers with the ability, online, to choose their model and any options and accessories wanted, place a fully refundable minimum deposit of $1000 and then wait for a dealer to contact them to arrange delivery either at home or at the closest dealership.

Final thoughts

The Alchemy team have delivered a world class automated car configurator enabling shoppers to purchase a car online, and the Alchemy team now oversees the roll out of the new technology to the Latin America and Asian markets.

Alchemy’s successful leadership of the global team involved establishing a clear delivery plan and approach supported by the following Alchemy tools and techniques

  • Alchemy’s Continuous Improvement model – is designed to create a purpose fit effective plan to minimise the risk and disruption to people, current process and technology in order to create a climate for change, engage and enable stakeholders and implement and sustain new behaviours.
  • Alchemy’s Ei5™ method – designed to be engaging and clear for business and technology resources and identifies business ownership as critical to delivery success. The use of agile techniques, tools and rituals ensure that everyone understands their role and conflicts are resolved quickly.
  • Partnering Framework – Alchemy’s partnering framework ensures a clear pathway for everyone involved to experience success. Alchemy’s people and culture transfer knowledge and provide a collaborative environment and tools for all parties to engage in a safe, visible and positive way.

Alchemy’s key sponsor wrote “The Alchemy team have demonstrated digital leadership and know-how team to deliver the Australian car configurator. The automation of our process through the techniques Alchemy brought to the table have provided us with a powerful set of delivery tools and a configurator that we will roll out globally for our customers. Alchemy will lead the next roll outs to Latin America and Asia and we feel in safe and reliable hands for these implementations”