People, process and optimisation
Defence and Industry

Building organisational capability in business process improvement and innovation using Lean

Embedding lean thinking and practices in complex organisations requires a sustained effort to build capability and drive adoption and cultural change. This case study demonstrates how Prominence helped build lean capability and drive process improvement outcomes through a three year program of project facilitation, program design and coaching.
Project background
Our defence industry client needed to address a large number of processes to improve service delivery and achieve cost savings. They had a process improvement program based on Lean methodologies and required support to facilitate Lean projects, refine the methodology over time and design new capability building activities. Internal marketing of the innovation program to senior leaders and managers was also needed to promote benefits, achievements and alignment with strategic direction.
Our approach
Prominence provided highly experienced Lean and Six Sigma specialists to support the client with both expert advice, design and facilitation of business process improvement initiatives. This included:
  • facilitating Lean and Lean Six Sigma projects – to deliver process improvement outcomes with staff and key stakeholders through the learning and applying of Lean skills and ways of thinking
  • providing Lean Six Sigma training
  • embedding learning and building capability through delivery of a practical Lean Coach the Coach program to guide new internal facilitators
  • strategic review and updating materials for Lean project workshops
  • designing an initiative to develop knowledge and skills of current and potential process improvement champions
  • benefits realisation and ROI assessment of selected projects
  • development of an internal program marketing plan and collateral
The following skills were critical to meet client objectives:
  • strong program and project management
  • flexibility and responsiveness
  • ‘fit for purpose’ solution design to match business maturity
  • collaborative and integrated team approach
  • rapid assimilation of client’s operating environment and culture
Our client reported significant benefits from the Lean projects in financial and non-financial indicators including quality, consistency, timeliness, accuracy, visibility, waste reduction. The majority of projects achieved a significant return on investment in the short term. Feedback also showed that people were applying the knowledge, skills and ways of thinking to other work they led and managed.

These results were achieved through Prominence’s hands-on delivery of:
  • over 20 Lean process improvement projects
  • Green Belt training, certification and coaching over a 6 month period to leads for 12 Lean Six Sigma projects
  • Yellow Belt course delivery and certification for project team participants
  • a review of processes for capturing ROI and benefits realisation information and development of improvements including
  • process elements, tools, templates and training workshop
  • multiple innovation champions workshops across Australia