“If you don’t know where you’re going, how can you expect to get there?”
Strategy Case Studies
The Air Cruisers Company hired Michael Stanleigh of Business Improvement Architects to help them learn how to implement innovation.
“As the Master Lean Six Sigma Black Belt for my company, I was tasked by the upper management team to ‘implement’ innovation. Michael worked very closely with me to tailor a program to meet our exact needs. Over the 3-day session, Michael not only taught our team about innovation but worked with us to develop a complete innovation process, starting with a vision of the program, all the way to the implementation of the innovative ideas. Not only did we learn how to create an innovation strategy, culture and process, but we left the work session with a turn-key solution for starting our innovation journey. Over the course of the 3 days, we worked in groups to actually complete tasks such as: developing a vision, creating plans to reshape our culture, developing the future structure of our organization, and generating innovative ideas. Michael’s innovation ‘work session’ far exceeded all of our expectations and I would highly recommend his services to anyone starting on an innovation journey.”
This chain of convenience stores has worked with Business Improvement Architects (bia™) for over 10 years. bia™ has worked with the executive team on leadership and coaching, including a 360-degree feedback process. We have also worked with staff through major change initiatives brought about by integration of other organizations that Couche-Tard purchased as well as training on a new Performance Management System.
“Business Improvement Architects helped us to significantly reduce the impact of integrating employees between two diverse cultures into one organization. Previously we suffered a loss of staff and a slow amalgamation of processes. Their approach brought significant change in a relatively short span of time.”
Infoway has a complex environment in which employees are hired for their expertise and experience to be a part of a high performing organization. Employees need to adapt to a very influential role for both internal and external clients. Infoway identified a number of leadership skills that were necessary for employees and hired Business Improvement Architects to pilot a 360 degree group program for them.
“Infoway’s unique culture requires someone who can understand our business, our people and the dynamics that are unique to each department. Michael Stanleigh’s approach to each requirement demonstrates professionalism and thoroughness as he evaluates before his recommendations. Michael is an exceptional listener and synthesizer and he delivers an end product that tackles the underlying issues that need to be addressed. His quality of service and dedication goes beyond the expected and he ensures success even at his own cost. The result of his services exceeded our expectation.”
DNR hired Business Improvement Architects to help them implement innovation. We trained most of the employees in the Forestry Branch. They were very excited about the possibilities that Innovation has for them and so we then took a select group of individuals through a session to explore innovation more deeply through a process in which they developed their vision, strategy and culture.
“Taking your advice, we conducted our launch in a ‘Town Hall’ setting, which provided an opportunity for committee members to inform the region about the overall committee structure, ongoing upcoming initiatives, and the process to contribute ideas and get involved. We are excited about the level of engagement we have sustained through this process, and there have been lots of discussions/ideas around improving the way in which we conduct business which, at the end of the day is our main priority.”
The Department of National Defence called in Business Improvement Architects to conduct a mid-term audit on a highly complex project with multiple stakeholders.
“Michael Stanleigh of Business Improvement Architects did an incredible job of assessing all aspects of the project and compiling a detailed assessment of what was working and what was not working. The most valuable information and guidance of this report was not only the identification of all major problem areas, but the substantive recommendations Mr. Stanleigh recommended on how to correct them. This report was invaluable to improving the overall probability of success for a highly complex project.”
The Ministry of Environment was faced with the challenge of defining and documenting the scope of a large, complex and very high profile project. Their concerns centred on being able to develop a common understanding of the projects, its components, schedules, benefits and risks.
“Our experience with Business Improvement Architects and with Janet Williams is very positive and productive. The upfront cost associated with going through this type of project definition and planning exercise is insignificant compared to the potential cost and recriminations of a project gone wrong. The final results exceeded expectations. Janet Williams has helped us document the project in a manner that is professional, complete and credible. This will save us a great deal of effort and cost as we move forward.”
Facilitating leadership development through assessment, coaching, consulting and training, the Business Improvement Architect’s (bia™) team worked with senior executive, mangers and staff to help them build leadership competencies. bia™ stayed with them throughout the process helping them to develop and implement their key strategies and implementation plan.
“Business Improvement Architects has been instrumental in helping us develop our leadership team. Through the implementation of their recommended processes and continuous guidance throughout, they have helped us build a team of successful leaders and together we have increased customer service, employee satisfaction metrics have increased and projects are implemented more efficiently. I recommend bia™ for their strategic perspective, on-going support and practical measurement tools.”
Three separate art facilities in a large city received a mandate from the local government to combine operations in order to better service general public needs and save costs. bia™ was asked to help the management and staff to unify the operation and help the team to overcome their challenges in bringing the exhibits together in one place. As well, staff did not function well as a unified team, rather, they continued to operate as three separate units within one building. bia™ used an “Innovation Process” and “Project Management” to create breakthrough performance for the staff and the organization. The outcome has been highly successful, with most of the innovations having been translated into projects.
“We are impressed at how Business Improvement Architects has very quickly and effectively managed to get us working co-operatively as a team. We highly recommend them to others.”
This manufacturer of computer driver heads in China was looking for a competitive edge to gain revenue and recognized that project management could help them save time and money and improve the level of quality and customer satisfaction. bia™ was called in by the CEO to implement a training program for different levels in the organization in project management. This ensured that the management team, their direct reports and project managers had the shared knowledge to implement a project driven strategy. The strategy has proved highly effective for the organization, leading to acquisition of new multi-million dollar sales contracts.
“Business Improvement Architects has given us much help and guidance in our project management learning. All members of the LAFE team have a keen admiration for bia™.”
Business Improvement Architects (bia™) was brought in to train IT staff in the art and science of project management. Through the process, bia™ has been able to help RIM to reign in and refocus several high profile projects to help them move forward successfully. The result of the skilled knowledge-transfer from bia™ has positioned the IT department to be nearly self-sufficient in project management. Now other areas of RIM are demonstrating interest in working with bia™ to bring project management to other areas.
“Our relationship with Business Improvement Architects has been a wholly positive relationship and an experience which we unreservedly recommend to others.”
Business Improvement Architects worked with this organization of 1200 employees to help create a Project/Process Management Office and implement lessons-learned from a previously failed try. The result has been positive due to our implementation-based consulting process and because we ensured that a solid foundation for change was in place before the implementation was done.
“Business Improvement Architects was instrumental in helping us turn around a project that was in crisis and bring it back in control with their expert processes and measurement tools. They were able to effectively identify the root causes of our problem and then continued to work with us to implement the solution and provide tools to manage on a forward-going basis.”
Brookfield Properties asked Business Improvement Architects to help them implement a Project Management approach that would assist in the execution of their strategic plan. bia™ trained all project managers and project team members as well as those who were responsible for the new strategy.
“Business Improvement Architects successfully helped us apply a sound Project Management process that was effective in helping us execute our strategic plan. We are happy to recommend them to others.”
Business Improvement Architects was asked to develop a customized, standard protocol and methodology that could be used for all of their projects. bia™ was highly successful because we recognized that all levels within the organization could benefit from application of a consistent methodology and our protocol addressed this opportunity.
“Business Improvement Architects drove the process to develop a standard protocol and methodology for all levels of the organization to apply consistently and developed a customized GWL Project Management Approach.”
Recognizing the importance of project management in ensuring the success of quality initiatives, ASQ asked bia™ to facilitate all Project Management training sessions as part of their on-going public and in-house programming. ASQ has continued to use Business Improvement Architects over the past 10 years for Project Management Training as well as training in Process Improvement, Strategic Quality Planning and Creating Visions and Strategies for Government Services. More recently, bia™ has developed webinars and virtual training courses for ASQ.
“bia™ is an organization that continually meets our high quality standards. They consistently rate highly in their delivery, class management, use of applicable and practical examples of concepts to the theory and ideas they are presenting and their knowledge of and experience with the subject matter they are teaching.”
“I literally walked into the class on day 1 with NO project management knowledge. The presentation, exercises and reference sheets have provided me with the confidence and tools needed to be a successful project manager. The most significant thing I learned was how to efficiently manage my time within projects (both small and large).”
CS Business Solutions hired Business Improvement Architects to develop a customized training program for Business Process Management.
“We had an outstanding week of Process Improvement training with Michael Stanleigh of Business Improvement Architects. It was the right blend of lecture and hands-on experience, using our own projects as working case studies. This approach has led to great absorption of the materials, along with the knowledge and tools to begin applying what we learned to our work immediately. It also encouraged innovative ideas for improving our own processes to further bring value to our customers through our existing service capabilities. Michael created a comfortable learning environment with a good balance of fun and effective learning.”
Dubai Customs asked Business Improvement Architects to provide a training program for Business Process Management.
“Your course on Business Process Management was impressive. I particularly appreciated the new techniques you shared, the way you made sure that every attendee stayed engaged, and the range of topics you covered. Thank you for a good course, well-delivered.”
Business Improvement Architects has been on faculty with the Gardener Centre of Memorial University since 2003 and continues to work with them to provide open-enrollment programs.
“Michael Stanleigh of Business Improvement Architects has been a contract trainer for the Gardiner Centre, (Previously Centre for Management Development) of Memorial University in both open-enrollment programs with diverse clients and for client-customized programs around specific client needs. We have used Michael and his associates on many occasions, and continue to contract with them because of their professionalism, the invariably high participant evaluations and most importantly because of repeat request from our clients for their services. Michael’s evaluations have consistently been among our highest.”
Business Improvement Architects has worked with retailer Hudson Bay Company for many years in the areas of Critical Thinking, Impact and Influence, Process Management and Project Management.
“We have worked with Business Improvement Architects on previous occasions and they have always exceeded our expectations. They have demonstrated excellent responsiveness and management of expectations (always got back to you with an answer). It has been a pleasure to work with bia™ overall”
Business Improvement Architects facilitated project leadership and project management workshops for the Schulich Executive Education Centre, Schulich School of Business for almost 10 years. This has included sessions for the Masters Certificate in Project Management, Advanced Certificate in Project Management and the Executive Program.
“Business Improvement Architects…always exceeds our expectations and is a pleasure to work with. They are accommodating to changes and flexible in their ability to adapt their materials to our specific needs.”
When Rogers Communications needed to start a new division, they called on Business Improvement Architects (bia™) to help them to develop the strategic plan and structure. The new VP had been put in place but the rest of the team would be identified as a result of the strategic plan.
“If I did not say it enough already, again, thank you for all your help in developing this for us. I really enjoyed working with bia™ on this project.”
The IT department faced a number of problems and issues not all that uncommon in large IT departments today. They needed a systematic way to approach and manage these concerns. Business Improvement Architects customized the staff training to apply actual situations being experienced by staff. The City of London began to see improvement within several months of the start of the training sessions.
“The training program designed by bia™ was well prepared and motivating and the facilitator was social, professional, intelligent and witty.”
Business Improvement Architects (bia™) has worked in a variety of areas of the Ontario Public Service including several Ministries and Leadership Centers. Our work has covered a broad range of consulting and training assignments including: research on Benchmarking within a government environment, customer service training, coaching project managers and teams through major government initiatives, training the leadership in the areas of quality and project management and training staff on the skills of Kaizen (process management) and project management.
“Business Improvement Architect’s facilitation and processes have effectively met our needs. The training has been engaging as well as practical and informative. We have found that our people are able to apply the learning to their workplace.”
When TD Canada Trust wanted to improve some of their operational processes they asked Business Improvement Architects (bia™) to help them. bia™ provided training that helped their employees to be able to re-examine processes and eliminate or improve them.
“We have enjoyed positive results from your training program, ‘Analyzing Business Processes’. Participants are using the tools and applying the principles in their workplace. They have already eliminated and improved some processes and are starting a root cause analysis. The practical application was especially helpful.”
PC Financial asked Business Improvement Architects to develop training that was customized for them and that used their tools, templates, processes and specific project case studies. We continue to track the usage of the information presented in the workshop and find that the participants have started to shift the culture of the organization to a more productive project environment.
“Business Improvement Architects has done an excellent job of creating a customized training program for PC Financial. Participants have provided highly positive feedback about the training program and the quality of the bia™ facilitators. As a result of this practical and effective training, we are realizing a more productive project environment and a more supportive project culture.”
Business Improvement Architects worked with this organization of 1200 employees to help create a Project/Process Management Office and implement lessons learned from a previously failed try. The result has been positive due to the bia™ implementation-based consulting process and because bia™ ensured that a solid foundation for change was in place before the implementation was done.
“Business Improvement Architects was instrumental in helping us turnaround a project that was in crisis and bring it back in control with their expert processes and measurement tools. They were able to effectively identify the root causes of our problem and then continued to work with us to implement the solution and provide tools to manage on a forward-going basis.”
Nike wanted to create more teamwork and improve overall communication between staff in an effort to capitalize on ideas and suggestions that were always being raised but rarely captured. They brought in bia™ to train and coach staff on a Critical Thinking Process. This led to a number of new ideas being generated and implemented that improved the organizations bottom-line. As well, staff began to use the process on their own, almost immediately, in order improve their own decision-making process.
“The Critical Thinking Process helped the teams to be more strategic in their thinking and improved their overall decision-making and communication effectiveness. Michael’s energy and passion contributed to the overall positive results. We now have a lot of solid decisions to review which will help Nike to continue to be innovative.”
bia™ worked with the IR-Security Technologies to develop and implement a customized Quality Management and Project Management Curriculum for project/process teams and leaders. Attendance, while not mandatory, has been enthusiastic with positive feedback about the direct applicability of the knowledge learned to the workplace.
“Over the years we have found great value in working with Business Improvement Architects because their programs have been highly effective. There have been a number of positive endeavors demonstrated by the participants including applying the project management process to an existing project in order to bring it back on track. Others have successfully7 applied the knowledge directly to a number of new projects.”