Elliott’s experience in the design, transition & operation of large scale projects has been gained through his impressive body of work at leading resources and energy multinational, WorleyParsons in both Canada & Australia.
From 2012 to 2016, Elliott worked with WorleyParsons on a global IT transformation journey that matured the internal IT offering from a reactive / firefighting service provider to a trusted business partner. IT partnered with global vendors who specialized in outsourced IT Solutions (e.g. Telecom, Server, Exchange) to increase both the capability and maturity of these offerings for the organization. This drove a complete overhaul of our IT operating model and how it delivered services and solutions.
His role was to act as a change agent for the IT Transformation. He was accountable for working with his customers (Finance, HR, Marketing, Systems) to ensure their requirements were understood by IT, Integrated into the future state operating model and that the future state operating model was adopted so that they didn’t revert back to old practises. The IT transformation project delivered a net headcount reduction of > 50 FTE and savings of 30 million in the first 24 months
The really eye opening experience for Elliott was that he was actually one of the people who needed to change. Realising that the way in which he thought he was adding value to the business was no longer fit for purpose in the current business climate, Elliott was about to demonstrate his personal transformation and able to lead others and become what he today refer to as a change agent.
"What enabled me to do this was a combination of fair and balanced feedback from leaders and peers, as well as fair and critical reflection on myself."
This was confronting and not easy, but it was after going through this process and seeing the value adds, he now know he has what it takes to act as a change agent and lead others.
Another interesting observation is business is business, don’t get caught up in the technicalities of the industry just understand what moves the bottom line and the processes associated. Often when this is unclear for a business or a department within a business, it’s indicator that something needs to change.
Over a 3 year period (2011 to 2014), Elliott was engaged by WorleyParsons Global Finance team to lead implementations of technology solutions that would enable them to transform their globally distributed delivery model into a centralised delivery model. The heritage model saw services like Accounts Payable, delivered using varied processes, manual / erroneous processing techniques and physical storage.
Project goals included:
- Standardisation of Global Process
- Increased efficiency and effectiveness of processing techniques
- Transition from physical to electronic storage
Two major efforts delivered these goals for the finance team. The first phase was the “Invoice Scanning Solution” which saw the implementation of Kofax which provided WorleyParsons with a centralised invoice receiving, processing and validation solution. Kofax is a scanning technology that automated invoice data capture and validation. This left exception handling as the only manual process allowing the finance team to greatly reduce headcount whilst improving information accuracy and processing time. The second phase “IPM Phase 1” saw the implementation of Oracle IPM (now known as Web Centre Imaging) which provided a global electronic storage facility. This removed the requirement for the majority of physical storage locations, saving significant operational costs associated with facilities and labour.
The diagram below is intended to explain how these solution improved finance operations by centralising and standardising:
The Double Diamond (fig 1) is the diagrammatic representation of the Design Thinking framework. Each diamond is used to emphasize divergent and convergent phases that require design teams to spend time not only finding the right solution, but ensuring they understand the right problem. Conventional schooling teaches us that when we are presented with a problem, we should perform the appropriate analysis, apply deductive logic and identify a solution (Udacity 2013). Design Thinking challenges this traditional approach and the work done in the left diamond enables design thinkers to re-frame the problem statement before moving into solution mode.
From our starting point or “Trigger”, Design Thinkers employ empathy in their study of both people and the environment to produce a view of reality (Life Hacker 2017). Gathering broad feedback from different perspectives enables design thinkers to get an unadulterated picture of the complete eco-system. Design Thinkers can then take their empathy a step further by interacting with these environments and performing exercises like “walking a mile” (Innovating for People 2017) to understand what it feels like to be a person in a prescribed situation. In order for Design Thinking to achieve this level of insight, designers need to be moved up the value chain and be involved from the initial trigger point (Brown 2008). Next Design Thinkers take these learnings and converge to identify opportunities which ultimately result in the formulation of a problem statement (Design Methods for Developing Services 2007). It is only after this point that the team moves into the right diamond to begin brainstorming ways in which a problem or problems could be addressed. In order to ensure design thinkers do not lapse and perform traditional convergent / deductive approaches for solution ideation, we again wish to adopt divergent thinking in solution discovery. In order to do this, we need to remove bias from the brainstorming process and impose a game like environment that encourages people to take risks and think creatively. Approaches like setting aggressive time limits and large idea volume output targets, forces people to come up with ideas they would normally dismiss. A high quantity of varied and unconventional approaches is more likely to position the team to define an innovative solution. Once these ideas are externalized, we add some structure to the information by grouping related ideas into larger offerings, for example the team may distil 60 ideas into 5 different offerings or themes. Each of these themes offering a value proposition that addresses one or more customer needs. Once these offerings are distilled, we apply the design thinking triple constraint of Desirability, Viability and Feasibility (TED 2009)
The triple constraint above assesses:
- Is the solution desirable? – e.g. is this something a person would want? And how much would they want it?
- Is this solution feasible? – is it technically capability to deliver this solution? If not, what would it take?
- Is the solution viable? – Is the proposal something sustainable from a business and wider environmental impact perspective?
After taking some time to assess triple constraint assumptions using techniques like prototyping and testing, a designer thinking team will be able to reach a conclusion as to whether or not they can recommend a solution or whether they may need further iterations to refine their offering. In the event they have landed on a solution, we have reached the end of our double diamond.