Blog Archives

Development Bank of Jamaica

By Paige Pulaski Jones

On a scale of effectiveness, our process went from 1 to 10. It is so much easier! Every strategic meeting we go into now is more efficient and informative and our reporting takes so much less time. We’re always looking for other opportunities to upload plans in AchieveIt and whenever we meet with our counterparts in other Government agencies we tell them they should be using it!

Candice Williams

Strategy Manager

About the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ)

The DBJ is the only development finance institution in Jamaica and is committed to supporting local entrepreneurs in the productive sectors to spur economic growth. The Bank does not only support businesses through the provision of access to financing, technical assistance, and a partial guarantee program, but it also facilitates the development of an enabling ecosystem for private equity and venture capital. It also facilitates investment in publicly-owned entities by entrepreneurs while simultaneously allowing the Government fiscal space by giving up management and operations of companies that are more efficiently and profitably run by the private sector.

The Challenge

Candice Williams is the Strategy Manager within the Strategic Services Division. She’s responsible for developing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating corporate strategies across all 10 divisions within the organization. After the development of the Bank’s corporate plan, Candice assists with the creation of operational plans for each division and assigns Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure progress.

Not only was the organization struggling with creating comprehensive, leadership-level reports on a monthly and quarterly basis, but it was also nearly impossible to see the impact of daily activities on organizational goals. Logging plan updates in Microsoft Access or Word was a back and forth process that flooded email inboxes and spanned weeks. Extracting the data and manually uploading it to an Excel dashboard often led to discrepancies in information with no process for quality control. Candice would then need to analyze all the metrics and recreate them again in a presentation format for the Board.

“On a scale of 1-10, it was extremely painful. A 9.5! The entire process took six weeks to prepare a report. Our operational plan data was already outdated by the time we pulled it together, which really hindered our decision-making. We were looking at KPIs monthly, and it took 2 days and more than 11 people just to ensure that all of our info was accurately compiled – which was a nightmare if track changes were not used.”

The Solution

It wasn’t until Candice joined us for a webinar that she saw the Development Bank of Jamaica wasn’t alone in the battle for better plan execution. AchieveIt’s strategy execution software and execution excellence team were able to solve the bank’s issues with dashboards and automatic reports, and also optimize their processes so they could spend more time focusing on strategy and less time generating reports.

The user-friendly platform was extremely important for quick adoption, as was the AchieveIt execution consulting team coming onsite to train and share best practices.

“Our Customer Success Manager (CSM) and Execution Consultant have been very accessible. They always respond in good time and help us refine our process to accomplish more of our goals.”

The Results

“The biggest improvement for us has been effective implementation and better decision-making regarding the status of our strategies. We’re finally using one single platform for all of our KPIs and operation plan tracking, and we don’t have to spend time manually reporting. Everyone has been able to use the platform very easily. We can provide updates easily and in a short time frame. It’s been a huge improvement.”

The Development Bank of Jamaica has since created many new plans, keeping all their KPIs in one central location instead of in disparate Excel spreadsheets. All their historical information is in one place, so they can analyze trends to plan for the future.

Utility Companies

By Paige Pulaski Jones

We needed to be more consistent and transparent as we monitor, track, and report on projects and activities across our plants. AchieveIt gives us the ability to easily and consistently access project information, address weak spots, and share status updates across the organization. Now, we can focus on the work and not spend hours compiling information.

Senior Executive from a Large Utility Company

About Utility Companies

Successful power, water, natural gas and other utilities providers are looking to improve operational excellence and risk management tracking across multiple plants in a region. Through working with some of the companies at the forefront of this movement, AchieveIt has been able to change the way thousands of employees are kept safe on the job and is helping realize huge efficiencies in risk management processes.

The Challenge

Those in the utilities industry are tasked with the challenge of tracking compliance adherence and risk management across several plants. This can be cumbersome, especially with the pressure and necessity to consistently develop more efficient and safer processes.

In most companies, this responsibility lies with one senior executive, who is often overwhelmed by leading these initiatives while still serving customers. Typically, this data exists in monstrous Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint slides that someone has to manually compile and analyze in order to see which initiatives are struggling and what adjustments should be made to get things back on track.

Utility companies across the globe struggle with viewing initiative progress as part of a bigger picture. With complex and inefficient reporting practices, the language of success is difficult to understand. Oftentimes, longer-term strategic projects can’t even get off the ground because so much time is consumed just by trying to get a snapshot of progress.

The Solution

The obligation to find a better solution to track plan execution is becoming more evident with the increase of competing priorities.

Now, utility leaders are finding more time in status updates meetings to address items that need help, instead of spending time trying to understand their current positions. The uniformity, standardization, and consistency AchieveIt provides is helping teams reclaim and reallocate valuable time.

The Results

A handful of utility companies using AchieveIt have even found other use cases. These organizations now use AchieveIt to gain a higher level of transparency between plants in other regions, enabling the exchange of ideas and best practices.

These organizations have made the cultural shift toward execution. Across the board, plant managers and others responsible for reporting have saved countless hours, and are applying that time to executing their plans.

“AchieveIt has made it easier for our teams to quickly get to the information they need, when they need it.”

Prominent Coffee Chain & Other Brands

By Amanda Shelley

It’s hard to focus on forward-looking growth strategies when you’re wasting time wading through project updates in your inbox. Our processes just weren’t scalable – and it was impacting the scalability of our organization as a whole. I realized we were just wasting time.

Senior Director, Operational Strategy & Execution

About this Food & Beverage Company

With five brands operating under the parent company, this coffee chain has grown to be one of the largest in the US. Yet with tremendous growth come growing pains for departments like the Operational Strategy and Execution group.

Reporting to the Chief Operations Officer, the team drives initiatives that impact retail locations across all brands in the company’s portfolio. Today, every program or initiative that impacts field operations must first pass through the Operations Strategy and Execution group. This process has successfully reduced field turnover and improved execution of corporate, operational, and strategic initiatives.

However, while achieving growth, success, and increased visibility, the team faced a new set of challenges.

The Challenge

Because the company is growing multiple brands, it faces a significant volume of both large and small initiatives. In the beginning, the team tracked projects in Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint.

In managing substantial growth across operations, the team needed increased visibility across initiatives, organization-wide.

The Senior Director of Operational Strategy and Execution needed a simple way to get an overview of the status of each high-level initiative, deadlines, and milestones, as well as each team member’s workload that Excel wasn’t providing.

“We needed to free up our employees to focus on higher-level work, which meant freeing them from the hours they spent tracking their work in Excel or PowerPoint. It was a time suck – we were spending too much time collecting and analyzing data, time that could be better spent executing.”

The Solution

AchieveIt gave this company the one one source of truth they needed that gave visibility, insights, and clarity at a glance. They can now access not only key metrics, but also the context that goes along with them. AchieveIt helps them streamline the data collection and reporting process, which helps employees spend more time on execution.

“AchieveIt gave us exactly what we needed. It’s simple to use, and provides the context, clarity, and the level of insights I was looking for.”

The Results

The team has since been able to cut our time spent tracking down to a quarter of what it used to be, which has freed up a lot of time across the team. Without spending hours fitting data into manual, standardized reporting formats, AchieveIt has saved the organization 1500 hours a year in tracking and monitoring their operational growth plans.

CHRISTUS Healthcare System

By Amanda Shelley

Aligning our organization around a common structure, being able to drive accountability, speak the same language, and measure results were the fundamental principles behind implementing the new planning framework. Ensuring the execution of these new strategies was extremely important.

Tina Barker

Vice President of Strategy

About CHRISTUS

The CHRISTUS healthcare system has a rich history as a Catholic healthcare ministry dating back to 1866. CHRISTUS Health was formed in 1999 after two large, historic Catholic health charities came together with a unique mission in the modern health care market: to take better care of people.

The Challenge

Strategic planning is something in which CHRISTUS invests heavily. The strategy management team works as a liaison between CHRISTUS’s 10 ministries and the health system’s headquarters.

Even after implementing the balanced scorecard methodology to standardize the planning framework, they still needed help managing strategy execution, tracking, and accountability.

CHRISTUS adopted a tool that met their needs initially, but eventually determined they required a more flexible and more robust reporting system. The tool was difficult to navigate, so users were resistant to entering data into the system. Tina’s team then spent hours combing through disparate data sources to find the updates they needed, and still spent hours compiling manual reports.

The process was time-consuming and inefficient.

The Solution

When CHRISTUS decided to evaluate alternative solution providers, there were two main factors they were looking for: user-friendliness and finding a system that could support the level of detailed analytics and reporting needed to truly hold people accountable.

AchieveIt gave the strategy team at CHRISTUS the ability to efficiently report on strategy execution performance, collaborate across groups, and streamline business processes.

The Results

CHRISTUS currently uses AchieveIt to track three main types of plans. Each ministry uses AchieveIt to track their portions of the organization’s strategic plan, aligned to their three-year directional objectives, initiatives, and measures. They also use AchieveIt to track their business development and operational plans.

Our team has saved a lot of time. We’ve been able to track our performance in a more sophisticated and comprehensive way. Being able to see not just how each hospital or ministry is performing, but how the health system as a whole is performing has been valuable.”

The UW Health Transplant Program

By Amanda Shelley

Having AchieveIt helps us do that documentation in a quick, efficient way has been revolutionary in terms of being able to refocus on our core objectives.

Dina Steinberger

Program Director for Performance Improvement within UW Transplant Program

About the UW Health Transplant Program

The stakes are high with organ transplants. One of the most important and inspiring areas of healthcare delivery is Organ Transplant and Procurement. Since there are upwards of 130,000 people on waiting lists and only 15,000 organs available each year, the UW Health Transplant Program must do all it can to increase the success and benefit of transplantation.

The Challenge

Before AchieveIt, UW Health’s teams used Excel spreadsheets to track the projects and complex documentation they were working on. However, the day-to-day complexity of their efforts and density of their compliance legislation paperwork made it near impossible to monitor, prioritize, and execute beyond the day-to-day.

Dina Steinberger, the program’s Director of Performance Improvement, knew that if they were going to successfully prioritize their long-term improvement initiatives, they needed something that could lighten the workload for everyone.

The Solution

The transplant program now uses AchieveIt to provide structure to their many tasks, ease the burden of Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) documentation, and add transparency to all aspects of their Performance Improvement programs.

AchieveIt makes it easy to brainstorm and prioritize initiatives in compliance with CMS’s design and scope requirement.

Custom dashboards with live updates ensure the team has the data they need to monitor the program, keep efforts compliant with CMS standards, and be able to quickly address potential concerns along the way.

The Results

AchieveIt has alleviated the administrative burden of compliance documentation, which allowed them to keep the focus on patient care. Perhaps more importantly, AchieveIt has also improved organizational transparency for both internal teams and external CMS Surveyors.