Accelerating Value from Your Processes: A conversation with G3 Canada Limited

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Business Process Management (BPM) is the set of skills and methods companies use to examine end-to-end processes and make them better.  In today’s world, BPM underpins Digital Transformation by providing a blueprint for optimization and automation.

Joining us for the webinar is our special guest, Misty Blake-Knox, Process Development Manager of G3 Canada Limited.   The conversation will cover a variety of topics including:

  • G3’s process management organization
  • The evolution of process management at G3 Canada Limited
  • The link between process management and Digital Transformation
  • Challenges
  • Successes
  • lessons learned

 

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The following is a summary of the conversation:

Watch the video for the complete experience, including Q&A from the audience.  The following is a very brief summary of the video.

Audience Survey Results

We polled the audience with the following question:  Does your organization have a formal business process management program?

  • 38% said:  We have a process centre of excellence that drives continual process innovation.
  • 19% said:  Process initiatives are project based and resourced accordingly
  • 33% said:  Process management is left to the various departments with inconsistent results across the organization
  • 10% said:  There is little to no focus on process management at our company, reactive at best

G3’s BPM organization

The process team, under Misty, consists of 4 analysts and a consultant.  The team is part of Technology Development and Services.  Misty reports to the VP of Technology Development.  She is also part of the senior leadership team.  That means that process has great senior level sponsorship within the organization (which is critical).   The team is assigned to work on initiatives as required.

The evolution of Process Management at G3 Canada Limited

G3 was founded in 2015 to create a network of state of the art facilities to set new standards in the fast and efficient movement of grain across Canada and ultimately to customers world-wide.  While the technology was state of the art, many of the head office processes started off manual (which is normal for startups).  As things grew, emphasis was placed on formalizing processes, starting with documenting the as-is.  It didn’t stop there.  The focus quickly evolved to process improvement by working closely with teams and identifying other low-hanging fruit and more strategic initiatives.

The link between Process Management and Digital Transformation

Misty explained that her manager, who is now the CFO,  was adamant that when they do projects, they need to start with the problem they are trying to solve and not with the technology that is being implemented.  This even extends to the name of the project.  They can’t call it “the software x project”, they need to focus on the business problem being solved.  Starting with the business problem and process helps to get clarity on both the current state and where we are trying to go.  “A picture is worth a thousand words”, says Misty, and a documented process provides that picture.

We are about to go live with the first technology implementation in which the process team was involved (made the recommendation).  In addition to the business processes we even created the initial user stories!  We are very excited to see the result of our Labour.

Business Process Management challenges

There were definitely some challenges, says Misty.  The first being that I started 6 days before the COVID lockdowns.  This meant that all the process work was done remotely making it difficult to conduct workshops.  Misty spent time but;d relationships virtually.  It really helped that Misty had extensive experience on the agriculture industry, as she could quickly demonstrate value to her teammates.

One of the other problems she faced was that many of her peers didn’t understand the difference between process and procedure.  Process focuses on the “the what” (technology independent, cross-functional, and business focused).  Procedures focus on “the how” (technology specific, role specific, and detailed work instructions).  Procedures are obviously important, but only the process can provide an end to end view of work across the organization.

Successes

Business Process Management Symbol

Well, the fact that the team was formed, and has grown, speaks to the value we provided.  Also, our first software recommendation is about to go live.  This represents a significant financial investments and we are very proud that it was based on the process teams recommendation.

There has also been a significant number of small wins, where we were able to make incremental improvements to numerous processes.  We’ve got great momentum and things are moving in the right direction, which is awesome!

Lessons learned

Process is not about turning people into robots, it’s not about bureaucracy.  It’s important to me (personally and professionally) that when anybody has interaction with me or the team they’re able to say their life is a bit better because of it.

You need to approach things with empathy for the user’s pain.  I want then to feel that I know where they are coming from and that I understand what they need.  We’re all on the same side here.

Organization change management is key when it comes to business process management.  Listen to people, understand their needs, demonstrate empathy, and show them how things can improve.  That is the best way to get adoption for the processes!


Accelerating Value from Your Processes: A conversation with G3 Canada Limited

David Mainville

David Mainville, CEO and co-founder of Navvia, is a passionate advocate of Service Management and a frequent presenter, blogger and well known member of the ITSM community. With over 35 years of experience, David has held progressively senior technical and management roles allowing him to "connect the dots" between the Business and IT. At Navvia, David leads the charge to bring innovative ITSM solutions to market focusing on Product Development, Marketing and Operations.


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