The bank did not have sufficient budgets to cover ‘change’ projects and was becoming increasingly frustrated by the fact that expansion plans were restricted by operational capacity.

A proposal to decommission a legacy settlement system was rejected by the management board. An assessment of one option to create an offshore centre of excellence had not delivered the desired results.

The bank was also required to reduce operational costs by 20% year-on-year, exacerbating problems caused by their limited capacity. Head count reductions had already been implemented.

Regulatory measures were resulting in an even tighter squeeze on capital requirements, emphasising the need to migrate systems.

  • The bank’s management team decided to launch a scheme to allow operations staff to propose efficiency improvements within their department, and this scheme was championed and managed by one of our specialists.
  • An ‘efficiency and innovation’ concept was launched at a special meeting, including a dedicated mailbox for staff to submit entries.
  • The project involved significant incentives and it was promoted throughout the company to encourage participation.
  • The bank appointed a committee to identify the top 10 ideas based on factors such as reduced processing time, cost reduction, control improvements and revenue potential (this was an on-going process).
  • The committee held process mapping workshops to identify quick wins from the top 10 ideas.
  • Activities in IT were prioritised and given precedence if they involved less than 5 FTE days of work.

The programme was a resounding success and over 250 ideas were implemented within the first 12 months

As a direct result of the project work carried out, the bank achieved an estimated cost saving of €5,000,000 (through revenue increases, head count reductions and fewer errors).

As the programme was incentivised and implemented successfully, ideas received public aclaim (posters, scorecards, etc.) and the initiative gained popularity over time such that the volume of ideas gradually increased.

The project also delivered a number of unexpected benefits:

  • some larger projects received the required funding, as process mapping and analysis established that there was a robust business case
  • the systems migration project successfully delivered process improvements by drawing on process mapping and analysis