Hear CEO Craig Reid Speak at The Australian Payroll Association Conference in Melbourne on Thu 23rd Oct

Almost 400 delegates attended the 2013 conference making it the number one payroll event in Australia.  This is what some of them had to say about it.

"A fresh new approach to payroll topics.  The APA conference gets better and better each year" - Debra

"Great conference, so much information that is relevant to our business at the current time.  Thank you APA" - James

"Excellent conference that provides practical and valuable presentations. Not only do you learn what's new and ensure solid foundations with reinforcement of current best practices, but also a great way to get motivated in your business hearing what other companies are doing" - Nicole

"A very worthwhile day with informed and interesting speakers and great content in their presentations.  Love how you are working on a paradigm shift" - Leonie

"The 2013 conference was great!  Full of informative speakers with fun along the way.  It has been great meeting new people, thanks heaps APA" - Belle

"What a fantastic conference.  It has cemented my belief in APA, with Tracy and her team.  I have enjoyed every minute and it was so nice to meet passionate payroll professionals.  Together we can make change and drive systems, software and legislation feedback.  Thanks for being an empowering body" - Michela

"Once again APA has put on an excellent conference with top notch speakers and first class content very well targeted to payroll professionals" - David

"My first APA conference, well organised, knowledgeable speakers, great venue.  I'll be attending every year" - Joe

"I enjoyed all presentations and was able to take a lot of suggestions and procedures back to my workplace" - Margaret

"Great conference, we'll definitely be back next year" - Pauline

"I would thoroughly recommend all who are involved in payroll services to attend the Australian Payroll Association conference in the future.  Enjoyable and enlightening day" - Bernadette


Theme: Where compliance meets efficiency, payroll magic happens

Date: Thursday 23 October 2014, 8.00am to 5.00pm

Venue: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

Agenda: Check out the full agenda at our website.

Structure:  Three presentation streams.  Delegates receive slides from all 18 presentations.

Recommended for: Anyone working in or managing the payroll function in Australia

To secure early bird tickets BOOK NOW.  Member discounts apply

For bookings of three or more delegates, please contact Kylie for a discount code which entitles you to a free ticket for every two tickets purchased. 

We look forward to seeing you there.

July 14, 2014

2014 Report: The Pursuit of Process excellence in Asia Pacific


Thanks to the guys over at The Process Excellence Network I'm able to share this report with you.

A survey on process excellence was recently conducted across Asia, Australia and
New Zealand, featuring insights from 105 respondents in more than 19 industries.
This report, produced by PEX Network, explores the challenges, trends and efforts
across the Asia Pacific (APAC) region to reduce costs, meet changing customer
demands and support business change.

I hope you enjoy it.



April 24, 2014

Organizational Surveys: How to Create a Process Maturity Benchmark

Analysts often approach assessing organizational process maturity by running workshops or “walking” processes. These approaches can be time consuming and it’s often difficult to consistently measure the maturity of the processes.

In this paper I look at a way to measure organizational process maturity using simple, web-based survey tools.

In summary, I explain:

  • Why a process maturity benchmark is of value
  • What web-based survey tools can be used and their key features
  • What questions to ask to get meaningful results
  • How to use the survey on an ongoing basis to quantify improvements

Click here to download

April 15, 2014

Have Your Say On My New Book!

I'm currently researching the writing of my new book and I'd love to have your feedback on some of my ideas for the book title and content.

The central question of the book revolves around the following:

"Why should my organisation embrace business process improvement and what will happen if we don't?"

The book is not intended to be an academic text or overly focussed on methods - it's designed to be a rallying call to leaders of organisations to say "here's what will happen if you embrace the business process revolution, and here's what will happen if you don't".

I am currently considering the following titles and would appreciate if you can pick the title that resonates most with you. Also if there is any specific content you'd like to see covered in the book, please leave a comment.

Pick The Title That Resonates With You Most
pollcode.com free polls 



April 04, 2014

Webinar With The Process Ninja: Register Now!

I'm delighted to announce that I'll be hosting a webinar on the 29th April at 2pm Australian Eastern Standard Time with the guys from Bosch SI to talk about my latest whitepaper "Achieving Organisational Effectiveness and Agility with Smart Process Applications".

Register for the webinar by clicking here.


Today’s latest evolution in business process technology takes us another step further in the ability to respond to our customers and their needs. The focus on organisational efficiency remains but the emphasis has started to swing towards a new goal – effectiveness. Allied with the need for large organisations to be faster to market with new offerings in order to remain competitive, smart process applications are delivering the functionality to achieve organisational agility and effectiveness. This whitepaper explains these key challenges and explains the benefits that smart process applications can deliver.



March 18, 2014

Free Whitepaper - Achieving Organisational Effectiveness and Agility with Smart Process Applications

My latest whitepaper "Achieving Organisational Effectiveness and Agility with Smart Process Applications" is now available for free download from the Bosch Software Innovations website.

Click here to download (sign-up required).


Today’s latest evolution in business process technology takes us another step further in the ability to respond to our customers and their needs. The focus on organisational efficiency remains but the emphasis has started to swing towards a new goal – effectiveness. Allied with the need for large organisations to be faster to market with new offerings in order to remain competitive, smart process applications are delivering the functionality to achieve organisational agility and effectiveness. This whitepaper explains these key challenges and explains the benefits that smart process applications can deliver.



January 14, 2014

Start Your 2014 Process Improvement Initiatives The Right Way

The difference between success and failure is often a lack of expert guidance. 

With over 10 years experience in all aspects of business process improvement I can help your organisation get results quickly

Whether you want help for a day, a week or on a longer-term basis, I'd be delighted to have an obligation free discussion with you.

Please contact me on +61400731029 or craig@theprocessninja.com.

Details of my current services and industry experience are available on my consultant profile.


Craig Reid - The Process Ninja

P.S. I am also available for speaking engagements or writing process related content for your organisation.

December 17, 2013

Customer Onboarding - Your Most Important, Worst Process?


Improvements to customer onboarding are all the rage these days. Why so? Probably because most organisations do it so badly.

Firstly even by it's name we make the process of becoming a customer sound like something that will require herculean effort to achieve - boarding a ship with your luggage strapped to all limbs. Unfortunately for many firms the blood sweat and tears of the sales pipeline are washed away when the customer finds out that it's "just too hard" - and takes their business elsewhere.

So what do companies do that makes the process so hard? How should it work?

1. Single channel, not omni channel

In an age where we have almost limitless technology in our pockets customers are still plagued by companies asking them to fill out bits of paper and "send them back". Customers today expect to do business their way, not the way that suits the company - and that is omni-channel - phone, fax, web, smartphone, in person (or even on a bit of paper). What's more, they want it without delay.

2. Antique business rules and policy

"Our policy is that we need you to..." - words of death for a blossoming new customer relationship. Too many firms simply gather unnecessary information at onboarding because it was decided 20 or 30 years ago that it was required. Antiquated business rules need to be questioned, challenged, eliminated or they become a catalyst for complexity and errors.

3. The sales breakpoint

So your customer has been wooed and wowed, the sales funnel has given birth to a beautiful new baby and then you hand it over. And wait. And wait. "No-one has contacted me" cry the customers. The breakpoint between the sales process and the often laborious customer administration piece often creates delays, confusion and frustration. The cure? Wherever possible capture customer data in the sales process and re-use to minimise back office processing.

4. Duplicate effort

More often than not data will be entered several times by several people into several systems (and more than likely entered incorrectly). Each keystroke is time and money that could be saved and staff that could be directed to use their time more effectively (like getting new customers, perhaps?) Technology today has the capability of "glueing" systems together to pass data to disparate systems - so if staff absolutely have to enter the data themselves, they at least only have to enter it once. 

5. The Customer Experience

Organisations have a tendency to think that once the sale is made, the hard work is done. The truth is that the onboarding of a customer sets the tone for the relationship. A bad onboarding experience is a bit like getting married, carrying your partner across the threshhold then telling them to wash the dishes. The customer experience has to be nurtured for the longevity of the relationship to be sustainable.

The key to customer onboarding is minimal customer effort through the channel of their choice - data entered once and passed through the process. Customers don't care about being "onboarded" they just care about your products and services - so don't keep them from using them by putting process roadblocks in their way.



November 21, 2013

Ask The Ninja! What would YOU like to read about in my next whitepaper?

image from www.sxc.hu
I'm currently creating a list of ideas for my next set of whitepapers for Orbus. Given that I've been writing regular posts of my blog for the last 5 years it gets increasingly hard to come up with new concepts to write about that are related to process.

So, I'm throwing it open to the floor...What would YOU like to read about in my next whitepaper and why?

Please leave a comment or reply to the email with your suggested topic. I will publish all suggestions in my next blog post.



November 18, 2013

Business Requirements - The End is Nigh

image from www.sxc.hu
Documenting business requirements is one of those pieces of work that sends a cold shiver down my spine, particularly when preceeded by the word "detailed". Some of the worst work on the worst projects I've ever seen has been achieved primarily due to the laser focus on creating phone book sized documents of "detailed business requirements". Our reliance on them is a slavery to an old religion of business that needs to end. Thankfully the end is nigh.

Agile software development is playing a big part in that due to the high business contact of the method. Fact of the matter is, the more often you can show the business what the end result will look like, the more feedback you'll get and you'll get closer to what they need. Waterfall development kills all of that stone dead - high customer touch up front then the project dissappears into IT land only to emerge as some transmogrified beast that no-one wanted.

The other factor that will lead to the demise of the dreaded business requirements is the continued development of BPMS'. Most BPMS vendors strictly push an agile implementation pathway, with the focus on building the processes and screens. Having worked with both Pega and Appian in recent projects, this really is the best way to go and almost totally eliminates the need to write business requirements. In my experience, whole processes and screen layouts can be built in a couple of days, demoed to the business and an iterative, agile cycle follows. If it sounds simple, that's because it is.

Process isn't just about challenging the way the business operates, it's also about challenging our own holy cows. It's time to challenge the concept of business requirements.



P.S. Need help with your process improvement initiatives? Drop me a line to explore how I could help your organisation.

November 12, 2013

10% 20% 30% What's a "Good" Process Improvement?

image from www.sxc.hu
I'm often asked by clientswhat levels of improvement they can expect from my work. Clients are fascinated by pinning a percentage on each process so that they can show this to senior managers and say "We've saved 30% of the total cost of the process!"

But let's clarify a few things here...

Firstly - what time are we measuring? Is it elapsed time or actual effort time:

  • Elapsed time refers to the total time from start to finish of the process from the customers point of view.
  • Effort time means the actual amount of time your staff take to do work in the process

A classic example is that it may take 2 minutes for your staff to write an email (effort time), but if the email sits in an inbox for 2 hours that is adding to the time of the overall process (elapsed time).

Both types of timings are important depending on the goal - elapsed time has a greater customer impact ("OMG! Why is it taking so long!") whereas effort time is a more telling diagnostic for efficiency. Of course a reduction in effort time also decreases elapsed time - and it is still possible to have a process which is efficient in terms of effort time but a laggard in elapsed time (watch out for those sneaky ones). My tip is to measure both for whatever process you look at.

So what is a "good" level of improvement? Well it's not quite that simple. A 0.5% elimination of effort time can be a fantastic improvement - it all depends upon one very crucial ingredient: volume.

A small improvement upon high volume can result in huge savings - take the example of a company that receives millions of calls to it's contact centre - shaving even seconds off a call can be a huge cost saver. Converesly, if you can save 75% of effort time off a process that is only conducted 200 times a year, the costs of implementing the process change may outweigh the benefits.

So to answer the question, there's no such thing as "good" percentage improvement in terms of effort time - it has to be measured along with volume. But to quash the fires of curiosity I've achieved effort time reductions on processes up to 75%, but commonly from 30-70%. If we look at elapsed time, a percentage reduction on its own can be a useful measure - but again transaction volume should be taken into account as part of the cost / benefit analysis.



Looking for an experienced consultant to boost your process improvement initiatives?

Please contact me for an obligation free discussion.