Conference Day Two: Wednesday, 26 July 2017


8:45 AM - 8:50 AM Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Creating a culture of Operational Discipline is essential for the achievement of Operational Excellence.
Organisations often launch an Operational Excellence initiative and ignore culture, focusing solely on implementing management systems or continuous improvement methodologies such as LEAN or Six Sigma. It is up to the OPEX leader to embed this culture of excellence within the entire organisation to ensure the best ROI and employee engagement.
Top 5 To Discuss and Solve:
  • Everyone talks about the importance of culture, but how do you actually achieve success in embedding it?
  • How do you get the best from your employees and ensure a continuous improvement and innovative mindset?
  • Encouraging and enabling strategic thinking at all levels of the organisation
  • Empowering employees to make positive changes within the organisation


Jurgen Rammesmayer

Chief Operating Officer
Arthur J Gallagher

Charles Weiser

Chief Experience Officer - CX Innovation Lab

John Biedry

Senior Director, Global Lean Enterprise

9:30 AM - 10:00 AM Using Change Management and Culture as the Backbone to Your Transformation’s Success

Penny Cortez, Director, Cultural Transformation and Change Management, Chevron
Change management and culture are crucial factors to ensure your transformation is a success, as people are the driving force behind any operation. Chevron have placed a major focus on this element of OPEX and have, as a result, driven an impressive continuous improvement culture.
Key Question: How do you shift staff mindset to align with your strategy and vision?
Focus: Aligning people and process, change management, culture of excellence, transforming mindset from just cost reduction and efficiency, setting the vision, leadership, buy-in

International Keynote:


Penny Cortez

Director, Cultural Transformation and Change Management

10:00 AM - 10:30 AM Commercialising Transformations and Gaining More Influence With the CEO

Preeti Bajaj, VP, Strategy & Transformation, Schneider Electric
Having an excellent transformation and/or Lean Six Sigma team is great, but if they can’t relay the cost benefits and ROI in the boardroom, then there isn’t much influence and ability to transform the entire organisation. Developing a commercial purpose and mindset and understanding what advice the CEO is looking for is what has taken Schneider Electric’s transformation to that next level.
Key Question: How do you develop influence as a leader and commercialise your transformation?
Focus: Strategy, leadership skillset, senior executive buy-in, commercialisation, future of transformation roles, simplifying and leveraging data, scaling changes, hiring for customer-centricity


Preeti Bajaj

VP, Strategy & Transformation
Schneider Electric

10:30 AM - 11:00 AM Sponsor Case Study

11:00 AM - 11:30 AM MORNING TEA

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION/AUTOMATION: Leveraging Digital to Increase Transparency, Visibility, and Control of the Value Stream

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM Transitioning IT to a Maintenance Organisation to reduce technology downtime on Operational Technology

Brendan McCarthy, Head of Production Systems Operations, BHP Billiton
BHP Billiton has transformed its entire vertical structure to become horizontally aligned to support business processes, like fleet management, business analytics, etc. Having mastered Six Sigma, 30 teams are now using level 1-4 performance boards, with a COE in the centre of the structure.

  • Using SAP Work management for planning integration for Operational Technology
  • Focusing on Data Integrity at the source
  • Use of Performance boards to drive continuous improvement and prioritisation
  • Implement process health monitoring to reduce the MTBF (Mean time between Failure)
  • Implement 24/7 process centric capable teams to reduce MTTR (Mean time to Resolution)


Brendan McCarthy

Head of Production Systems Operations
BHP Billiton

CUSTOMER CENTRICITY: Reengineering Operations to Keep Up With Rapidly Changing Customer Demands And Become Customer-Centric

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM Combining Customer Centricity With OPEX For A Bottom Line Impact

Charles Weiser, Chief Experience Officer - CX Innovation Lab, Optus
Customers are increasingly turning to their mobiles for entertainment. This is the cause of the shift for Optus’ entire operations and focus on creating a holistic CX. It is building a viral brand and moving away from the end product; creating an ecosystem where customers buy into the whole interface.

Key Question: How do you design the right KPIs to bring about the desired change and align process with people to transform CX?

Focus: Customer retention, data, pivoting brand positioning and market promise, culture, strategic importance of experience, building a viral brand, BPM, aligning strategy with operations

Biggest Hurdle Overcome: Transforming the culture internally to understand the new vision for the business


Charles Weiser

Chief Experience Officer - CX Innovation Lab

PROCESS EXCELLENCE: Integrating Lean Six Sigma into an Agile and Data Driven Environment to Foster Innovation

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM Think Tank: How Does Six Sigma and Lean Fit Into an Agile and Data Driven Environment?

Oscar Lira, Head of Process Excellence, Woolworths Food Group Col Duck, Head of Gas Operations, AGL
Is Six Sigma nearing the end of its lifecycle? Six Sigma and other efficiency seeking approaches can dramatically reduce variance and inefficiency in an organization. But if you’re not careful, innovation and growth may be swept away in the process. Many organizations are operating at very high levels of efficiency but are now discovering that the very culture of little to no variance that allowed them to achieve their efficiency goals is suffocating their growth potential.

Top 5 To Discuss and Solve:
  • Striking a perfect balance between efficiency, lean and innovation
  • Where to from the current Six Sigma state?
  • Reinventing the wheel: how does six sigma fit with agile and the world of data analytics?
  • The evolution of Lean: where is this headed?
  • How do you build cohesion between lean, agile, and design thinking


Oscar Lira

Head of Process Excellence
Woolworths Food Group

Col Duck

Head of Gas Operations

12:00 PM - 12:05 PM TAKE 5


12:05 PM - 12:35 PM Sponsored Case Study


12:05 PM - 12:35 PM Sponsored Case Study


12:05 PM - 12:35 PM Case Study Sponsored by Promapp

Details coming soon!

12:35 PM - 12:40 PM TAKE 5



12:40 PM - 1:10 PM Reinventing your IT Infrastructure and Technology Capabilities Through Cloud and DevOps

Katherine Squire, GM Application Development and DevOps, ASX
The ASX has adopted DevOps to automate manual processes, break down siloes, encourage information sharing, and inject rigor into the workflow. It has also moved to the cloud, re-architecting a margin optimisation application to fix performance issues and forged a template for what it can and cannot take to the cloud in future. It automatically identifies and executes opportunities to reduce ASX Cleared derivatives margin costs for members and their clients.

Key Question: How do you move to a Cloud based platform with minimal risk and disruption to operations?

Focus: Cloud security and regulatory assurance, automation, rigor, continual progression towards a DevOps model, building your own Docker platform, containerising the Atlassian tool stack

Biggest Hurdle Overcome: Ensuring better communication and stronger understanding between infrastructure and DevOps teams


Katherine Squire

GM Application Development and DevOps


12:40 PM - 1:10 PM Driving and Embedding a Continuous Improvement Culture to Improve CX

Tara Heylin, Business Improvement Manager, ANZ
ANZ has selected and embedded ‘champions’. It’s all with the end game of delivering a consistent continuous improvement culture, with customer experience the main target. Detailed training and ongoing support is provided to the 150 champions who have been nominated across ANZ, with just over half of these located in our Hubs (Manila, Bengaluru, Chengdu, New Zealand and Fiji).

Key Question: How do you drive a continuous improvement culture across every one of your locations to improve CX?

Focus: Customer Experience, continuous improvement , culture, leadership, buy-in, champions

Results to Date:
  • FY16: 300 CI ideas implemented (1 per 2 FTE), 50% of these focused on improving CX
  • Reduction in annualised TAT across a number of processes of over 400K hours
  • Significant increase in retained revenue through customer focus

Biggest Hurdle Overcome: Time commitment with champions spanning most areas of the business


Tara Heylin

Business Improvement Manager


12:40 PM - 1:10 PM Understanding the Underlying Pain Points and Targets of Your Transformation

Gary Downes, Former Transformation Director, Serco Global
With so many improvement methodologies, it is easy to get caught up in the technicalities. A successful transformation isn’t just about the methodologies, but understanding the underlying reasons companies have a particular problem.
Stripping back the detail and looking at why, how and what you are looking to achieve is a critical element of success.

Key Question: How do you strip back, understand and convey the transformation vision and ensure engagement from all levels of the organisation?

Focus: Senior executive buy in, leadership, getting to the root cause of a problem, passing over ownership to teams and leaders, standardisation

Gary Downes

Former Transformation Director
Serco Global



2:10 PM - 2:40 PM Aligning Technology and Operations and Identifying Areas for Improvement to Deliver Substantial Cost Savings

John Halligan, Master Black-Belt / Former Head of Operational Change and Improvement, ME Bank / Sky TV
Key Question: How do you go about delivering substantial savings through process efficiency and identify discrepancies?

Focus: Streamlining process, reengineering, technology and operations alignment, SaaS, removing bottlenecks in IT

  • Re-engineered appointment processes, implementing a SaaS solution. Achieved industry-best miss rate saving £2.5m p/a
  • Delivered SaaS project end-to-end, saving £190k in development costs and achieving £86k in annual savings by reducing missed appointments at multi-dwelling units by 2/3.
Biggest Hurdle Overcome: Organisational inertia and the misuse of compliance rules to manage the customer experience


John Halligan

Master Black-Belt / Former Head of Operational Change and Improvement
ME Bank / Sky TV


2:10 PM - 2:40 PM Embedding Customer-Focused Teams to Drive Strategy

Alex Plummer, Head of Digital Delivery and Operations, Newscorp
Newcorp has transformed from a traditional service organisation to an Agile, customer-focused delivery and product and platform teams. The teams have been a critical factor in the shift – the success has been in connecting them to strategy and priorities. They have also embedded and significantly scaled up Agile to respond faster to customer demands.

Key Question: How do you go about setting up and running high performing, customer-focused teams to enable your strategy?

Focus: Customer centricity, Agile, high-performing teams, autonomy, employee engagement, digital operating model, funding teams and projects, prioritising culture and technical innovation

Results to Date:
  • Increase in delivery output
  • Improvement in alignment with customers


Alex Plummer

Head of Digital Delivery and Operations


2:10 PM - 2:40 PM Reinventing Vodafone Australia: Their Continuous Improvement Roadmap

Carole Rollings, Head of Business Effectiveness, Vodafone Irfan Ali, Master Black Belt - Continuous Improvement, Vodafone
Vodafone Continuous Improvement Journey
Vodafone has undergone a significant transformation in how it’s deployed practices that are fundamental to the culture of the business. They’ve been using visual management boards (VMB) and huddles, problem solving, standard work, and rather than relying on a report, going to the problem and understanding why it’s happening and having a senior leader sponsor the piece of work.

Key Question: How do you embed a culture of continuous improvement and reduce siloes to boost efficiency and accuracy?

Focus: Lean, efficiency, continuous improvement, VMBs, problem solving

Results to Date: To be released shortly!


Carole Rollings

Head of Business Effectiveness

Irfan Ali

Master Black Belt - Continuous Improvement

2:40 PM - 2:45 PM TAKE 5


2:45 PM - 3:15 PM Formalising Processes and Simplifying Cross-Functional Operational Efficiency

Hannah Marsden, Principal Coordinator, Lines, Yarra Trams
Yarra Trams operates the largest and oldest tram network in the world. With 410 trams on the road to deliver 31,500 weekly timetabled services, the invisible ‘Depot Starters’ play a key role in meeting key production targets and handover between operations and maintenance. An ‘agile’ software upgrade has supported a transformation from old paperbased thinking into real time data.
Key Question: How to you improve, digitise and control processes that are shrouded in ‘oral histories’ and latent knowledge and analogue practices?
Focus: Front-line staff modernisation, changing staff mindset, improving tools, providing visibility, consistency, refined and updated job roles, selective recruitment and training.
Results to Date: Great new performers in the role
Targets: Reduction in depot incidents, reduced asset downtime, reduction in tram service cancellations, process optimisation
Biggest Hurdle Overcome: Making daily operations more visible to reduce complexity of procedures. Lifting the profile of work to boost frontline operator mindset


Hannah Marsden

Principal Coordinator, Lines
Yarra Trams


2:45 PM - 3:15 PM Blending Process Improvement, Agile and Change to Achieve Optimum Engagement and Adoption

Nikki Alberts, National Manager, Implementation & Change and (Acting) Process & Accountabilities, NBN co
Process and change management need to be combined to deliver true success. At NBN co, they have realised the importance of aligning the two throughout the transformation and organisational change is now supporting Agile in addition to Six Sigma. This is having some significant implications for tools and teams.
Key Question: How do you align Agile, Six Sigma and change management to deliver and embed a seamless transformation?
Focus: Change Management, capability, people & process, Lean Six Sigma, embedding change management into BPE teams, CEO support, training and support
Results to Date: CEO sponsorship, change capability model and ‘change for everyone’ approach defined
Targets: To embed change into all BPE, BA, PM roles and to have metrics at the program and project level to capture adoption and proficiency of new processes/systems and impacts on ROI
Biggest Hurdle Overcome: Building change capability and frameworks across the enterprise while supporting the need for change teams to deliver large and complex programs


Nikki Alberts

National Manager, Implementation & Change and (Acting) Process & Accountabilities
NBN co


2:45 PM - 3:15 PM Panel: Strategic Alignment of OPEX: Using Operations as The Engine to Drive Transformation

Top 5 to discuss and solve:

Strategic workforce planning: where current responsibilities and talent within PEX/OPEX are headed

Deciding on what the future of your business will look like, aligning this vision with strategy, and using OPEX to enable this
  • Creating an integrated set of tools that are aligned to company objectives
  • Embedding and sustaining change: auditing and coaching methods and their effectiveness
  • Ensuring that the organisation can be agile enough to adjust as the business strategy evolves

3:15 PM - 3:20 PM TAKE 5


3:20 PM - 3:50 PM Transforming Your Service Operations With Minimal Disruption to Business

Dean Burgess, Head of Service Operations, Origin Energy
Origin Energy has undergone a significant transition in the operations space over the past 9 months as part of a broader transformation program to improve its service and boost customer-centricity. It has optimised all operations to deliver a significant increase in performance and availability.

Key Question: How do you roll out an entire operations transformation without disrupting BAU?

Focus: Cloud, stakeholder engagement, leadership, SAP virtualisation, end to end process management

Results to Date:
  • Reduced SAP footprint by 70% with no business impact
  • Call Centre time increased by:
  • Performance improvement:

Biggest Hurdle Overcome: Rolling out the new systems with minimal disruption to business and customer service


Dean Burgess

Head of Service Operations
Origin Energy


3:20 PM - 3:50 PM Think Tank: Listening to the Customer: How Can We Model Agile Operations Around The Future Needs Of The Business And Our Customers?

Janelle Merckx, Head of Service Quality, Westpac Damien Constantinous, BPM Practice Manager, Accident Compensation Corporation
Insight and flexibility are quickly taking over where the cost imperative was once our driver. Customers want greater transparency into processes and even want to design their own experiences, meaning organisations need to take a good hard look at internal business rules no matter how engrained they are. The new market requires closer collaboration with customers and employees to help design, innovate and create process experiences that work for them.

Top 3 to Discuss and Solve:
  • Understanding how to capture consumer needs and reengineering your process accordingly
  • Becoming agile: rethinking the design of systems and processes to allow for future rapid change in order to keep ahead of the competition
  • Reorganising from the ‘outside in’ to focus your outcomes on CX


Janelle Merckx

Head of Service Quality

Damien Constantinous

BPM Practice Manager
Accident Compensation Corporation


3:20 PM - 3:50 PM Adopting an Ultra Lean Approach and Embedding a ‘Lean Culture’

Guneet Sawhney, Head of Project Delivery, Bupa
Bupa has been finessing Lean since 2014 to improve CX. Three years later, it has created the foundations of a movement that cuts across all their markets and functions.
It has brought together best practices of Lean, Human Centred Design and other approaches, providing a consistent company-side approach to continuous improvement, transformation, design, innovation.

Key Question: How do you take Lean Six Sigma to the next step in an agile environment to ready your organisation for easy technology integration?

Focus: Streamlining business process before introducing technology is key to our success.

Results to Date:
  • Hundreds trained and mobilised across the globe
  • Dozens of projects delivering tens of millions in benefits globally
  • Lean thinking connected into major change programmes

Biggest Hurdle Overcome: Changing the behaviours within the organisation to lead change


Guneet Sawhney

Head of Project Delivery

3:50 PM - 4:30 PM Chairs’ Insight

Seeing as you can’t be in 3 places at once, we’ll bring you all back into the one room - our three chairpeople will recap on the most helpful mistakes, successes and lessons shared over the last two days, while also integrating their own personal opinions on what has been discussed. This regroup will hopefully spoon feed some gems of wisdom and experience that may have been missed or overlooked.