Effective Problem-Solving skills applying Lean A3 methodology

Online Course

15th, 17th & 19th May 2023

Leading in Lean Transformations: To inspire your team and reach extraordinary results

Online Course

24th - 25th May 2023

The Business Operating System

Online Course

5th, 8th, 12th & 15th June 2023

Operational Excellence for Profit & Profitability

Online Course

28th, 29th & 30th June 2023

The Largest Premier Gathering of Cultural Transformation Leaders & Senior-Executives sharing key solutions to current & future CT challenges

Virtual Event

The Largest Premier Conference brings together business professionals for unparalleled insight into how the use of AI.

Virtual Event

The Largest Premier Gathering of RPA & IA Industry Leaders & Senior-Executives sharing key solutions to current & future RPA challenges.

Virtual Event

The Largest Premier Gathering of Enterprise Architecture Leaders & Executives sharing key solutions to current & future challenges

Virtual Event

Effective Problem-Solving skills applying Lean A3 methodology

Online Course

15th, 17th & 19th May 2023

Leading in Lean Transformations: To inspire your team and reach extraordinary results

Online Course

24th - 25th May 2023

BTOES Insights Official
March 28, 2021

Digital Transformation Workplace Live - SPEAKER SPOTLIGHT : Efficiency, Visualization and Change Management: Beyond Spreadsheets

Courtesy of Metrolinx's Steve Sarafinovski, below is a transcript of his speaking session on 'Efficiency, Visualization and Change Management: Beyond Spreadsheets' to Build a Thriving Enterprise that took place at Digital Transformation Workplace Live Virtual Conference.



Session Information:

Efficiency, Visualization and Change Management: Beyond Spreadsheets

The presentation will focus on two digital transformation case studies at Metrolinx where the first case study will provide an overview of the Operations division’s journey of moving from a paper shift sign-up process to a digitized and automated online platform for a workforce of ~ 800 employees located across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The initiative was a success despite the various challenges such as opposition to change by the unionized workforce. This accomplishment was possible due to the change management efforts from the project team including detailed process review & gap analysis, extensive stakeholder engagement and training, proactive communication to users and continuous improvement efforts.

The second case study will provide an overview of how a similar change management approach was applied to develop and create streamlined data visualizations known as the 5 Year Resource Plan for the Capital Projects Group (CPG) in Metrolinx, which is delivering the one of the largest Transit Infrastructure projects through Public Private Partnerships.  This initiative was an astounding success with the Senior Management Team and Board of Directors as it provided insights and transparency into the various stages of the hiring process on an online platform which previously was not possible due to the use of spreadsheets and outdated processes. As a result of this transformation, key performance indicators aligned with the organization’s strategic objectives can be created and actively monitored to assess the division’s performance. This is only the first step in digitizing resource management in CPG as business intelligence tools and process improvements will continue to shape and transform the future for Metrolinx.

Key Takeaways:

  • Importance of detailed process review and gap analysis
  • The role of KPI creation and monitoring
  • Data integrity
  • Importance of relevant training
  • The reality of continuous improvement

Session Transcript:

At the to the world we have with us is Steve .... Hello, there is Steve. Great to have you with us.

Hello, how are you?

Doing great! Steve is a natural leader that began his career on the front lines of the transit industry and has progress his versatile background for his experience in, Operations Technology, Project, Management, transit, Scheduling, and Resource Management.

He has a vision for efficiency through digitization and has led many projects and initiatives that have transformed the workplace, resulting in an efficient processes, and reduce costs. Steve, this is a real privilege to have you with us. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your expertise with us.

Thank you so much, Josie, and thank you for having me. Thank you for everybody that's, that's logged on and taking some time to talk with us today.

What we're going to be discussing today is what I call Efficiency and visualization and change management beyond spreadsheets.

So yeah, as as Josie said, I've been in the transit industry for the better part of my career. Always looking at efficiency is always looking at doing things better, always trying to bring the best in what we can and make the best use of technology.

So what we're going to do is I'm going to start off with a little bit of an introduction on today's topics.

I'll give you a little bit of background on metrolink as an organization.

And we're going to discuss two case studies.

one case study is going to be regarding, go transit and the driver online sign-up.

The second case study is going to be regarding the Capital Projects Group, which is a division within Metro Links and the resource planning solutions, and then we'll have some time for your questions.

Just some background, metrolink's as a crown agency of the Government of Ontario, essentially responsible for commuter transportation services and regional transportation, along with the infrastructure needs for the greater Toronto Hamilton areas.

steveThere's three operating divisions.

They are go transit, which includes, bus and commuter rail.

Presto, which is our Bair collection system.

And we have our up express, which is the Union Pearson Express, which provides services from downtown Toronto to the Pearson International Airport.

The first case study that we're going to be discussing is specifically within the division of co transit Bus Services.

And it's regarding the digital online sign-up.

Go transit, one of the operating divisions of Metrolink Bus Services has an approximate ridership of around 11 million passengers per year. So there's about 850 drivers, about 510 busses. and it serves the greater Toronto Hamilton areas.

Now remember, let's just keep in mind that these are all pre corvid pandemic numbers.

So, this was the problem that was faced at the at the time.

Now with with such a service area stretching 11,000 square kilometers.

You can imagine that there's multiple garaged locations and a lot of the administrative challenges that comes along with those locations such as the, what we referred to as the driver sign-up.

This is a process in which, together with the local union drivers select the shifts that they would like to perform within a designated, we call them schedule, period, or board period. That's just essentially due to manage the driver demand throughout the throughout the year.

Which, of course, you know, everybody's travel patterns, the whole way of going to work, that will change definitely overtime.

And, this will definitely facilitate that.

So, as you can imagine, with 12 garage locations and doing a sign-up strictly on paper that is electing the choice of shifts on a paper slip and then submitting it to to administrative services or to a supervisor.

There's a lot of room for error due to manual processing.

We have a very large carbon footprint.

What this process?

And there's an in person sign-up that is very time consuming and it requires drivers to actually physically come to their garage locations to submit their preferences, which are then per award it to them based on seniority.

This is an example of what something like that looks like.

So, over here, we have the sign preference form that drivers would write their selections in, and then these are the choices of shifts that, that they would have within any given period.

And this had a high administration cost, as you can imagine, there was a lot of paper submissions. There was a lack of transparency, and it was a time consuming process.

The lack of transparency comes in the actual transferring of the information.

When an individual or a user, an employee, makes their recommendations or submits their choices, then that is, again, by hand recorded on, maybe a larger leger sheet.

Btog CTAThen, again, brought to a centralized administration area for processing.

So, the journey to improve this process involves a lot of stakeholder analysis. We needed to survey different locations. We needed to survey drivers. We need to look at a cost analysis.

I was why we're doing this in the first place and we needed to really focus on training and what we were going to do in terms of rollout.

KPIs were also established to monitor our progress and make sure that we had enough users to make this system via.

So, if we look at the users, it's 850 bus drivers, approximately, we're looking at office staff as well, too.

process the information.

There wasn't a T U, which is the amalgam Malcolm, made a transit union, local union for bus services in this particular location. Raise some issues because of the change to the paper process.

They felt that it was an ingrained process that was in the collective agreement, and that we needed to negotiate any different process. So together with our union partners, we actually agreed to start the process on a pilot basis and making it voluntary.

We have to look at enough computer kiosks and printers. We have to look at system upgrades. What kind of testing are you going to be doing in terms of bug fixes.

Then we get all of the technical components in place, then it's the most, in my mind, the most challenging and that's the change management course portion, in, know, convincing all of the drivers, supervisors, and support staff that, that this is actually in their benefit. Building trust with any new system.

In sharing that the proper results are provided with the system and that the correct driver in terms of seniority is awarded the desired choice of shift that they had requested.

This involved a lot of info sessions, job aids, video tutorials.

I mean, if we look at the training portion of, of this, we really need to keep in mind that the workforce, as such, are, are not particularly computer savvy.

Let's say there is no requirement for a bus driver at that time to have any computer skills, or software knowledge. So in many cases, there was people that had long tenure with the transit agency.

And, they were used to doing this process for 20 plus years, that was almost part of their life.

and changing that routine and something that's so fundamental to a driver's license, such as what type of shift they're going to be working for the next 6 to eight weeks. That really needed some care in terms of education. In terms of showing benefits. And, in terms of trust.

So, this is where we worked with our local union as well and we decided to take a phased approach and roll it out at a few garages at a time until we reach a critical mass.

And so, that brings us to where we are now, and we have a 91% uptake in the system.

We have all of the information is accessible through a Web portal and all the relevant information for any driver to make.

The choices for their upcoming work selection is very easily managed, Much easier than with the paper forms.

We have reduced resources for sign-up 80% reduction in staff due to this automation, and it's not only the cost in the in the staffing, in the process.

We looked at increased efficiency as well, because the people that were actually administering this process, we're the frontline supervisors of the drivers, which in turn now with this increased efficiency, where are the inputs?

90% of the time are going directly into the system.

Bypassing many work duplications and many work overlaps and many process overlaps that allowed for increased numbers of supervisors to be freed up to assist our customers and the frontline drivers and there was a reduction in 80% of our paper forms, thus, reducing our carbon footprint, and even with the paper forms, the logistics, just, I'd like to share with you some of the challenges of the logistics of providing those paper forms, is that we needed to make sure to travel throughout the service area, to make sure that every single driver had multiple forms to be able to fill in.

Event Email Graphic Virtual Conferences (1)Well, one of the key takeaways of this was those paper forms didn't need to be replaced as often as they were in the past, and all of these incremental advances, really, really, in the end, contribute to an efficient operation and contribute to the bottom line.

So, how did we get, from August 2018, to 70% overall to April 2020. 90% overall, as I'm displaying on this slide.

What we did is, if you see this very colorful chart here that I'm sharing is that we establish a target of 80% across the board.

And we looked at each Garaged area as we were rolling them out, and compared which ones were meeting the threshold, and which ones were not.

And the area chart in the back here is basically the distribution of the drivers within each garage location.

So what we did is this view, and developing these KPIs for each area, allowed us to really take a deep dive and have a look into the different garage locations. And where we were doing things right, where we were doing things wrong. We would survey people that managed to reach the 80% threshold.

And then we would take the same survey and look at the people in the lower threshold, such as the 46 and the 60%.

And then what we would do is compare their answers and compare where the stumbling blocks were.

So we had a concerted effort with a project team working on this.

And as a result, we have a break down, and we've seen more huge improvements through all of the garage locations, and all of the different sign-ups. So, you could see here that every single location that we had did show an improvement.

The initial rollout of this wise was viewed by a lot of skeptics, you had a lot of people, again, long tenure in the job, very resistant to change.

And actually proving to, to them that something like this is, in their benefit, even showing them how they could access their selections on a smartphone.

I mean, that was, that was something, you know, truly, truly special and actually, it was one of the first ones in North America that rolled out with this particular software solution. And you know, I mean, you can go to any, you know, software vendor and such.

And you can come up with solutions, but the real real part of it and I've heard it in some other presentations earlier on today, is the people part of the change management part. And and how are you actually going to implement this new system?

How are you going to implement this change while reaping all the benefits?

Speaking of benefits, we now have a system that is flexible, it's automated, we have reduced processing time, it's easier to use. And it and it literally, it transformed not only the process of the workplace, but it actually transformed the visual of the workplace. If you walk into any garage location right now, within Google Transit.

The one thing that stands out is, is computer kiosks, all over the place. There's reminders.

There's job aids on a button next to each computer that is the drivers portal for, for communication now, especially when it's dealing with sign-up.

We want to also expand this to include other processing, such as your time off requests and such as your O management, essentially four, for the drivers, daily functions. So.

one key thing about these types of solutions is that you're not really ever complete.

So I have a slide here. What's next?

So we have enter enterprise resource planning. We have employee, increased employee, web functions, optimized, employee work assignments.

Transit scheduling is a bit of an art, as you can imagine, you have services out there that are about 12 hours, are running for about 12 hours and you have to break them up into eight hour shifts. What manner do you do that? You know, what's best for the workforce.

Those types of questions were very difficult to answer in the past, especially when you only had written documentation.

Are you only had records that were either, you know, stored in in entered, in an Excel spreadsheet, or, or written down. It was very hard to do those, those analytics.

So, that was, that was an explanation of our case, study, number one, regarding a workplace transformation, how we went from a paper sign-up to a full digital sign-up.

Now, for my next case study, this isn't another operate. This isn't another division of Metro Links.

So, the first case study focused on the frontline, the driver's operating.

I transit system, on that, preparing them for the day of operation.

In the second case study, using the same approach, we could use these methods and apply them to a bigger resource planning in this case. So, my job title currently, a senior manager of program resource planning and optimization for the capital projects group.

Screenshot (4)Capital Projects group is another division of metrolink's, and ended responsible for last I checked was a $40 billion portfolio which involves multiple Goe expansion projects for subway extension projects: four L R T, and BRT Projects, and that $40 billion number, I think that's that changes quite often. The last time, A couple of years ago, it was $20 billion, and I believe that's just going to increase.

So, what wasn't needed in my role as resource planning and optimization, was we needed a holistic approach to resource planning.

There was multiple resource work streams, data sources, policies, and procedures.

There was manual and time consuming data provisioning processes, and there's a delay in reporting capabilities.

What's the goal with the resource planning and optimization area within CPG is to essentially taking a project management term, resource level, all of the different requirements on the multiple projects and programs that are all ongoing areas where we need the same type of expertise on different projects.

A really good example of this is the Subway projects.

one key, as you can imagine, what one key skill for our engineers in the subway projects is tunneling experience.

So those types of individuals with tunneling experience, they're not readily available on the market. So what do we do?

We have to plan our resources in such a way that those capabilities are maximized across different programs and projects, and that's very difficult to do.

When you're looking at three separate reports from different sources, you're looking at four days to manually process information.

There was literally the spreadsheet in the middle of your screens there, that was literally what was sent to our senior management folks for reporting on vacancy numbers, through different projects and different delivery teams.

There was a lack of visibility into into the hiring processes.

Every year, the project, for the past couple of years, the province actually mandated and approved many large scale projects. Many teams were ramping up saying, you know, I'm going to need X amount of resources.

We rely on our contingent workers as well, but there was a very difficult time in, in getting up to date, almost near time, real-time information, So, we needed to do, was, we took a project management approach initially to solve this problem, we looked at all of the different considerations that we needed for the resource plan, And that was skills and development training, consulting, contract management, resource management, our Workspace management, program schedule management.

So, the program schedule management needs to be tied to the overall $40 billion program rollout.

Our Resource Management is what each area, in terms of resource skills and capabilities need. Our skills and training development is we need to work closely with our training partners to ensure that the training that we provide to our staff is relevant.

steveThe training, we anticipate what needs we're going to have in the future, and we develop training for those, as well. And workspace Management, And we're going, we're going through a huge transition right now, in terms of how we work.

What our workplace looks like, And I'm sure everybody on this call is going through the same thing.

So, all of these considerations needed to be to be brought together into a very, very concise and or very accurate plan. The very first step on this was to make sure that we had the right stakeholders.

We initiated a steering committee. We made sure that we had the project management plan, scope and requirements.

All out loud.

We needed to look at the, the quality assurance and the communications. We needed to look at the quality of the data, essentially, That, that, that was the key here. To make sure that we had quality data.

And then we looked at, you know, different different mechanisms of rollout. We needed some business intelligence tools.

But in order for you to get that, you have to build up the data to a certain quality in order for you to report the way that concisely for your leadership, too.

For it to be valuable to your leadership, excuse me.

So, this is where we are now.

We have established, uh, I'm methodologies and established processes to be able to report on KPIs on a weekly basis, but most still ever be updated right now is something like four days, which is a huge achievement.

When before it took so much time to compile all of the information, It was very difficult to keep that information up to date, as the processes forbear an annual.

We have a five year Resource Plan that both includes or contingent workers, our contracted workers and our full-time employees.

We also have being, uh, progressive organization. We also, we acknowledge the fact that we need to have certain targets, and we need to have a certain makeup of our workforce. So, we're able with this, with this process to be able to examine what type of applicants we're getting.

How do we increase our gender balance, um, where, where are we doing? Well, where do we need some improvement?

We also have detailed hiring plans, every single vacancy, there's about 350 of them, current time that are, that are ongoing and this is a huge influx for metrolink's as an organization, as they've never had to hire.

This many, you staff with such unique, and specific skill sets.

So, we also have our retention and our attrition data.

This one is very interesting, because we find out that, you know, by the skill sets being so unique, that we find that we're promoting internally quite a bit.

And in turn, what happens is you create a bit of a churn in your, in your vacancy levels. So having having really, really detailed insight into the business allows us to address those types of problems.

And here we also have a detailed vacancy dashboard that breaks down what the vacancy is for each delivery team, how long it's taking for those people to be onboarded and hired and what effect is that going to have on the project delivery itself.

So, the benefits, with this sort of rollout, as you can see, we have business insights we didn't have before.

We're able to have conversations that we're just not, We're able to ask questions That we didn't have the data to asking them in the first place. It seems that the more data we give our leaders, the more questions come back.

well, you know, if you can find out, you know, how long it took to higher employee X, well, you know, how long will it take if you no change 2 or 3 aspects of the process?

So, we, we actually transformed the way that we look at the resource planning.

We have much more visuals, we're able to see when projects are close enough, where perhaps you don't need as many employees, and we're able to identify where new projects are starting up.

And we can start matching those skills to those new projects.

This was something that was, again, very challenging to do in the past, just because of the data collection methods that were in place.

So, again, as I've said, in my previous case study, that it doesn't stop there.

So we always look to what's next.

So we're looking at predictive forecasting right now.

We're looking at scenario building.

How do we build different scenarios for our project teams, too, to be able to react to changing situations within the programs themselves?

We're looking at enhancing our business intelligence tools.

The one I think I might have mentioned before that we used for this project was Qlik Sense.

But we have such a detailed and such an accurate database or a data source right now that we're set up in such a way that the Business Intelligence tools don't really matter.

We're able to, basically plugging into various different tools, and we're looking at more system integration. We want to bring in different data points.

We want to bring in the progress a project delivery team has had. We want to look at the success of projects.

We want to look at some challenges the projects are having, did a project was delayed because there was not sufficient resources, is the project adequately resourced?

Event Email Graphic Virtual Conferences (1)We have the baseline right now to be able to answer those detailed questions and we keep building on from there.

We've established an analytics roadmap that is going to be the driver for CPG moving capital projects, moving into the future.

As the projects become more, more, and more mature, we're going to need to identify those skill sets that we're going to need through various phases of the programs. We're building up are descriptive analytics right now, getting into the diagnostics.

The next step is going to be doing that predictive analysis.

Getting those scenarios, Being able to draw out if, you know, a project closes early, what are our options, if for a political reason? 1 of 1 of the projects this is canceled. We had one a couple of years ago, the Hamilton light rail transit. That was being ramped up. There was a change in government. There was a change in direction and now we needed to.

And that program no longer was suitable or viable, and at that case, we had a lot of resources that we needed to deploy.

So that that predictive analytics, we need, we need to incorporate into our program. And finally, sort of what we, what we call as, the holy grail, if you will. That's what I refer to. And that's the prescriptive analytics. This is where we start talking about artificial intelligence. This is where we bring in those different data sets.

And this is where we really, really have systems basically coming up with, with the most optimal solutions that we weren't able to to come up with.

So, in closing, um, thank you, everybody, for, for your time.

Some key takeaways that I've had here for everybody, is, make sure data is, is accurate when you're moving towards projects such as these.

Make sure most importantly, is that you have support from your leadership. That's what I've found time and time again with large organizations.

When there is change involved, the support needs to come from from the top and I'm ready for For questions.

Now, I believe, over to you, Joe, Thing?

Terrific, Steve, Very, very good.

I'm gonna come back on here, and let me change my background to set the theme. So, Steve, one of the questions that has come up as you're, as you're discussing, the couple of case studies is, why did you pick those two areas, that maybe they were not the very first ones you worked on? But tell us a little bit about the prioritization of this digital transformation, the organization, how, how some of these areas were selected. What kind of process, if any, you followed to get there?

So for, for the first one, Essentially, there was increasing if you call it Labor Challenges, labor issues with the with the bus drivers in relation to the sign-up. Dava sort of essentially the problem that that started.

There was, we wanted to do more insights. We wanted to look at what type of drivers were selecting, what type of shifts.

And you know, I heard somebody one time say to me, Oh, well, you know, that's going, or I think it was a union person said, oh, that's going to be a logistical nightmare. And with technology these days, there is no real logistical nightmare, as there was in the past.

So what we were trying to do is, essentially, to fix, reduce our costs, especially on overtime costs because the sign-ups were irregular events throughout the year, which would require somebody to come in outside of their normal schedule.

And, and we wanted to normalize that, we wanted to make sure that we had frontline staff that were actually out on the frontline and doing this.

And then, not behind an office where the individual has to be able to on the road.

So, separating that administration and providing a much more streamlined approach.

The, the second case, study.

Resource planning, and management for the subway programs that I, that I mentioned, and some really big infrastructure projects in the greater Toronto Hamilton area.

That was a dire need, that was really something that we cannot function without, because we needed to have that specific skill set.

I hope I answered that, I think.

No, absolutely. And then, as you, as you talk about your roadmap, and what, what may be ahead for metro links, How are you going about deciding, there is a bit of a again, a roadmap that you show in your presentation, but how do you go about identifying the specifics?

Maybe project opportunities, if you will, on that road, on that journey, how you're doing that?

So, um, that's actually a really good question, and, you know, it's, it's basically, uh, a balance between our priorities.

And I'll be quite honest.

You know, sometimes there's some low hanging fruit that you could just, you know, get there. The, the financial impact might not be huge right off the bat. But, I mean, if we can, you know, find something, you know, we're constantly looking at different ways, You know, to bring in for information to our, to our people.

So, you know, something could be, I'm not supposed to share it, but I will, but, I mean, like, we're looking at an app, for example.

If, if somebody, you know, one of our leaders could get all of their KPIs, all the information that they needed, just sort of touch, really, a smartphone? You know, those are the kind of goals that we're looking at.

A key thing in our priority thinking is, how do we best bring information to the person that needs it, rather than the person searching for the information?

Screenshot (4)Sort of if you think of, I like to use the analogy of the pure labor guy, he's got everything on his little machine. He goes hotels, and that's giving him the information.

He doesn't have to call anybody and say, OK, Where do I go next, that, that type of analogy. And what's ever possible with our IT partners as well, within the organization?

Very good. Steve, give us a sense of how long you have been on this journey on this transformation. How, how many years ago, or maybe months ago, this has really, maybe not started, but really kind of taken on a, on a on a bigger relevance for you and for the organization?

Yeah, sure, so I, throughout my whole career, I've been really interested in this.

It started with a rollout of a customer, or, sorry, computer assisted dispatch, an automatic vehicle location, and really getting into the technology end of it.

So believe it or not, the first case study, the online sign-up, that actually took four years, and the reason it took four years is because these are irregular events that happen throughout the year. You only have, like, a window of opportunity of maybe four times a year.

And also, we did have challenges from our local union.

Quite frankly, they, they outright refused at the very beginning to, to have any change to their work. They just said, No, we're not doing it. This is not part of our collective agreement.

We don't trust management. We're not, we're not doing it.

So there was a, you know, a lot of negotiations. We didn't get it. Right. The first time we had, you know, we had a failure to launch once as. You know, people in this industry, that, you know, that happens, the software wasn't, wasn't quite ready and that just gave an excuse again for, you know, being taken this. To say, Well, see, we know we told you, you're not ready for it, so that. one That, one took quite. a quite a bit, but, actually, when the ball started rolling, so to speak, it, it really increased. So, we, we managed from 20 19 to 20 20 there to make some leaps, huge leaps.

And the second case study, the visualization and optimization that was.

Yeah, that's, that's one of the, no feathers in my cap, I'd like to say that. I made the move from operations to the capital projects group. Totally new group.

I use the same thinking that I've used it.

Operations, and that's why I thought it was relevant Because I did transform the workplace in two very different areas within the same company, using, using the same approach.

And that one, I was in the role last year.

And it, the transformation took about 10 months.

I would say. I was fortunate enough to have great leadership supporting me. I draw it. A team that. I needed. I had, I had the individuals in mind already, and I had, you know, after seeing the problems, I've made my vision a reality. And we haven't looked back since then. We're just, we're looking at different.

Different solutions, different technologies, which it's just always a continuous improvement ongoing.

Excellent. Steve? I have a comment and a question to follow up on that first, and the comment first of all, Congratulations for what you have done. And I think the audience is supporting that as well, talking about your presentation. and the end our discussion here as great, because this is a real practitioner: reveal of digital transformation and that. And thanks for your openness and sharing that. This was a four year project.

And the reason for that is that a lot of people don't share those things, right? It's all like this three month project that save $50 million. And nobody is like, wow, that was great. So I'm never going to talk about my four year project, right? So thank you for the openness and because that's the reality of actually great enduring organizations. Because it sounds a bit contradictory. But the reason I'm going to say that is that, as we have looked across hundreds of cross industry, organizations that have undergone major transformations, and it's specifically when it comes to improvement and innovation programs, about 50% of them, 50% of them, started with a bang.

And then within three years, they're gone, and that, 99% of them die within five years.

So, you had a four year project, so meaning that, that alone, you survived, you know, quite a bit, because most organizations as a whole die, their innovation improvement programs die within those five years.

And I think speaks loudly about stewardship, about having someone who have purpose, passion, discipline, and a whole lot of resilience to continuously lead improvements in innovations. Through all, through all this turbulence, because a lot of four year projects. They just die on year.

1 or two.

So, with that, that was kind of the preamble.

Congratulations, that's terrific, and it shows it speaks loudly of your stewardship and others in the organization of having that resilience. The real question is now.

Looking back since you have been on this road, for sometime now.

What do you know now, that you wish you knew back then, when you're rolling these things?


I'm gonna say it again. It's the whole, it's the whole. It's a whole people aspect.

one thing that, I think I've, I've learned through this. Through this whole journey, and even through throughout my career, right?

Um, two things, no matter how much you, you communicate, you probably have done enough communication, Right, and not, not everyone might not be as eager as I am, too.

Change things, I mean, I know at the beginning, I know, I'll be totally honest, what, the unlike sign up at the beginning, I thought, hey, no, I started my career on the front lines.

If I had this tool, Oh, my God, Am I likely to be so much easier, but, people didn't really Share that. Thinking with me.

So, I'm taking a little bit more care and consideration that, and that those are the pipes up experiences that have led to my, my successes, even in my, in my current role.

So, never, never, never minimize the impact of the, uh, of the care and the detail of the communication and the training that you have to provide.

We were actually providing some training but the big but basically showing patients and saying, OK, this is how Windows works. This is how, you know, a file works.

And I mean, this is I'm not trying to be disparaging 10, people haven't haven't used it, They come from a generation where where those types of things did it, Then it happens. So, that was a little bit surprising for me, I think.

And if I would've known that, what I know now, I'd probably we probably could have could've saved a little bit of time on the input.

Maybe I would've got it right, the first time. And I just wanted to say something about both the resilience question that Becky said, and thank you for pointing that out.

I was a really firm believer in, in, in that project, and we actually went through 2, three directors, actually, during this time, a lot of leadership changes, but it was their resiliency. And you're and you're absolutely right. They would have been so easy to say, oh my God, with all of this, no opposition to what I'm doing, I know I'm doing the right thing, but even sometimes you question yourself, Is it really worth it? Is it really?

But now, we're in a situation, I mean, because of covidien everything where a solution like this, it's, it's really good that they had an in place. Because there's so much restrictions on how many people can come into a building.

There's so many restrictions, you know, along those ways, but looking back, it was a very successful project, and it was through resilience, just like you said.

Oh, I think, I think you're muted or, Yeah, I'm sorry, go ahead, go ahead and toggle your camera back on because your camera came off off.

So assuming that your camera is still OK, if you can toggle on the goto Webinar interface there you go, that was my thought. Sorry about that.

Well, listen, I sometimes mute myself so that I can hear what you're saying, and what the speaker is saying, my last session, for those of us who are here in the, in the last session with me. I was muted and the whole last portion, because I mute my microphone. They realized that I thought it was Muti, another speaker who had a phone ring in the background and I ended up muting myself. So I spoke for a couple of minutes, there's no, nobody could hear what I was saying, so don't feel bad.

So this is great, this part of the learning, right, learning through failure, learning through four years of hard work and things that work and things that don't work, and you adjust, know, as you as you continue the journey. So that's terrific. I wanna go back to the audience here because there's a there's another question. This one coming from Lauren Marino, and thank you Laura for your question. And her question. First of all, she says, Steve, Great presentation. And then the question is, how do you and your team, stay ahead of the curve on new solutions to continuously enhanced in this process? I may, you show the roadmap there, I'm, I'm not sure which curve you, stay ahead off, but I guess what? What do you, how do you keep pushing and pushing them that roadmap forward?

To tell the honest truth, for the past, I guess, 10, 10, 10 years, I guess.

I've hired a lot of students. I've kept a lot of students, technology students. I've hired a lot of students from the University of Waterloo, which is really one of the best tech schools around, and to tell you the Honest truth, I've learned so much from students making sure that you have a couple of bright students. And letting them speak. letting me share their ideas. You know, staying ahead that way. I'm constantly researching all the time.

I always like I mean, anytime you know, I'm looking at you know Something always plugged into things like you know, and Gardner Consulting things and and just trying to, you know, I feel that's my job as the leader of the group to be living in a space a couple of years from now, and my team is working on on the day to day. For now, it's almost my job to go out and see what's cutting-edge To go out and see how other places are doing things.

Event Email Graphic Virtual Conferences (1)And I mean, there's there's there's no shortage of that.

Another thing I've taken a lot of advantage of throughout my career is I've gone to many conferences. Things like this, exchanging, ideas.

Networking, because, you know, at some way, no matter what industry it is, no matter what you can always find some common problems, and unique solutions, and how to solve those, That's right. See, if you know, ultimately to accelerate innovation. We need to create and work in environments where great people and great ideas can connect in that way. And we are so thankful for you as a great leader of innovation and improvement for the organization, took your time to, took the time to be here with us, and share your knowledge, and participate in this community with us. So, thank you very much for taking the time, and sharing your insights, and great journey with all of us.

Thank you, Suzanne, thank you for having me. And thank you, everybody, for staying up.

Thank you, Steve. Ladies and Gentlemen, that Steve, ..., leader of improvement and innovation, and digital transformation at At Metrolink's. Lauren says back. Thank you, that is my role as well.

Wonderful, Lauren. Thanks for your question, again. Ladies and gentlemen, we are completing Day one of digital transformation workplace life. I hope the sessions were useful for you, that they are applicable to what you're doing, your context. If you have comments, if you'd like to share your opinions, if you want to follow up on anything, no. Log on to the LinkedIn posts that we have. You can look under my name, is Joseph Paris, on LinkedIn. And under that, you can see the comments. And I'm gonna put, put a post an update, sometimes this afternoon here, US time. But, go ahead and make comments share alike and, and keep the discussion going.

Tomorrow, we have tremendous presentation is going on tomorrow from, again, these are transformation leaders and practitioners. We're going to just as a quick overview for you. We're gonna start with 3 M 3 M company and the leader for improvement innovation lean, six Sigma and the discussing, the leader's role in cultural transformation and sustaining the gains directly from the three M company, and Michael Muhlenberg, who has been with the company for over 25 years, maybe 30 years. As a matter of fact, as I look at his bio and, and, Michael, to be to be specific. He has been there for 34 years, that's the actual number, and he's going to share the experience of Digital Transformation. S three M. He is a Lean expert and the leader for the organization, and we very much look forward to that.

We're also going to have a very cool presentation from April Boyden ..., who is the president of the Cyber X, our Coalition. She's going to push the boundaries of technology with us in digital transformation. And she's going to talk about the Top four Rules of Engagement for Digital Transformation for human centered Design. And just one more highlight for what's going to expect that what's waiting for us tomorrow. We're going to have Harris opposed to follows Boost, the Chief Transformation Officer, four PM for the PMO Global Alliance. These, so transformation danger in the new normal, so excited to have all of those great speakers with us tomorrow.

They're excited to have over 2000 registrants with us participating, engage in asking questions that are meaningful for your context in our journey tomorrow. So thank you again for being with us, today, and I look forward to seeing you tomorrow.


About the Author

more (28)Steve Sarafinovski,
Senior Manager, Capital Projects Group,

Steve Sarafinovski is a natural leader that began his career on the front lines of the transit industry, and has progressed his versatile background through his experiences in operations, technology project management, transit scheduling and resource management.

Currently, as a strategic leader in Resource Planning and Optimization of the Capital Projects Group division at Metrolinx, a crown agency of the Government of Ontario, Steve does what he does best which is exploring and finding opportunities by implementing efficiencies and automated processes within his projects portfolio.

Being a recipient of the Innovation Award at Metrolinx, as well as being awarded the “Top 40 Under 40” honours from the transit industry, achieving success in implementing new and more efficient processes, has been the cornerstone of his career. Steve is also the Founder of KJS Group, a consulting firm that offers expert management consulting and strategic planning advice for small to medium businesses.


The Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Industry Awards

The Largest Leadership-Level Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Event



Proqis Digital Virtual Conference Series

View our schedule of industry leading free to attend virtual conferences. Each a premier gathering of industry thought leaders and experts sharing key solutions to current challenges.

Download the most comprehensive OpEx Resport in the Industry

The Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Industry Awards Video Presentation

Proqis Events Schedule

Proqis Digital

Welcome to BTOES Insights, the content portal for Business Transformation & Operational Excellence opinions, reports & news.

Submit an Article

300x3001c (1)
Access all 75 Award Finalist Entires
Subscribe to Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Insights Now
ATTENDEE - Proqis Digital Event Graphics (2)-1
ATTENDEE - Proqis Digital Event Graphics (1)-1

Featured Content

  • Best Achievement of Operational Excellence in Technology & Communications: IBM
  • Best Achievement of Operational Excellence in Oil & Gas, Power & Utilities: Black & Veatch
  • Best Achievement in Cultural Transformation to deliver a high performing Operational Excellence culture: NextEra Energy
Operational Excellence Frameworks and Learning Resources, Customer Experience, Digital Transformation and more introductions
  • Intelligent BPM Systems: Impact & Opportunity
  • Surviving_the_IT_Talent_deficit.png
  • Six Sigma's Best Kept Secret: Motorola & The Malcolm Baldrige Awards
  • The Value-Switch for Digitalization Initiatives: Business Process Management
  • Process of Process Management: Strategy Execution in a Digital World

Popular Tags

Speaker Presentation Operational Excellence Business Transformation Business Improvement Process Management Business Excellence Continuous Improvement process excellence Process Optimization Process Improvement Award Finalist Case Study Digital Transformation Leadership Enterprise Excellence Change Management Lean Premium Organizational Excellence Lean Enterprise Lean Six Sigma Execution Excellence Capability Excellence New Technologies Changing & Improving Company Culture Insights Article Agile end-to-end Business Transformation Enterprise Architecture Execution & Sustaining OpEx Projects Leadership Understanding & Buy-In Lack of/Need for Resources Culture Transformation Adapting to Business Trends Changing Customer Demands Failure to Innovate Integrating CI Methodologies Lack of/Need for Skilled Workers Lack of/Need for Support from Employees Maintaining key Priorities Relationships Between Departments BTOES18 RPA & Intelligent Automation Live BTOES From Home Financial Services Process Mining Technology Customer Experience Excellence Healthcare iBPM Healthcare and Medical Devices Process Automation Culture Customer Experience Innovation Cultural Transformation Webinar BTOES Video Presentations Exclusive BTOES HEALTH Strategy Execution Business Challenges Digital Process Automation Report Industry Digital Workplace Transformation Manufacturing Robotic Process Automation (RPA) IT Infrastructure & Cloud Strategies Supply Chain Planning Automation BPM innovation execution AI Lean Manufacturing Artificial Intelligence Oil & Gas Robotic Process Automation IT value creation Agility Business Speaker Article Systems Engineering RPAs Insurance Process Design Digital Speaker's Interview data management digital operations Awards Business Process Management thought leaders BTOES Presentation Slides Cloud Intelligent Automation Machine Learning Data Analytics Digital Transformation Workplace Transformation Banking and Capital Markets Data Finance Professional Services Education IT Infrastructure IT Infrastructure & Cloud Strategies Live Blockchain Interview BTOES Solving Cash Flow with AI White Paper investment banking BTOES19 Consumer Products & Retail Enterprise Agile Planning Government Operational Excellence Model Project Management Algorithm Analytics Insight Automotive and Transportation Banking Business Environment Digital Bank Hybrid Work Model Primary Measure of succes Relationship Management Sales business expansion revenue growth Adobe Sign Agile Transformation CoE Delivery solution E-Signatures Electricity Enterprise architecture as an enabler Global Technology HealthcareTechnologies Innovation in Healthcare Transportation Accounts Receivable (AR) Big Data Technology CORE Cloud Technology Cognitive learning Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) Logistics Services Operational Excellence Example Risk Management business process automation transformation journey Covid-19 Data Entry Digital Experience Digital Network Digital Network Assistant (DNA) Digitization Drinks HR Internet Media NPS Net Promoter Score Program Management Portal (PgMP) Reduce your RPA TCO Six Sigma Sustainability TechXLive The Document is Dead The New Era of Automation Automated Money Movement Banking & Financial Services Biopharmaceutical Blue Room Effect Building Your Future Workforce in Insurance Capital Market Creative Passion Digital Transformation Workplace Live Digital Workforce Digitalization ERP Transformation Effective Change Leaders Finance Global Operations (FGO) Financial Services Software Frameworks Hoshin Planning Human Capital Lean Culture Natural Gas Infrastructure Natural Language Processing Organizational Change Pharmaceutical Pharmaceuticals & Life Sciences Project manager Supply Chain Management Sustainable Growth The Fully Automated Contact Center Transformation Initiatives Workplace Analytics eForms eSignatures 3D Thinking BEAM BFARM BTOES17 Big Data Processing Business Analytics Business Growth Business Process Governance Centralized Performance Monitoring System Communication Creativity Digital Technologies Digital Technology Educational Psychologist Energy Management Health Insurance Health Maintenance Organizations Hospitality & Construction Human Centered Design Integrated Decision Approach Integrated Decision Making Intelligent Document Processing Kaizen Medicare Moodset for Excellence Natural Language Processing (NLP) Offering Managers Oil and Gas Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Pharmaceuticals and Life Sciences Photographing Price and Routing Tracking (PART) Process Design Document (PDD) Product Identifier Descriptions (PIDs) Python Quote to Cash (Q2C) Resilience SAP Sales Quota Team Work Telecommunications Text Mining Visually Displayed Work Culture master text analytics virtual resource management

Proqis Digital Virtual Conference Series

View our schedule of industry leading free to attend virtual conferences. Each a premier gathering of industry thought leaders and experts sharing key solutions to current challenges.



Delivered by Progressive Thought-Leaders


Watch On-Demand Recordings For Free

Watch On-Demand Recording - Access all sessions from progressive thought leaders free of charge from our industry leading virtual conferences.

Best-In-Class Training

Delivered by the industry's most progressive thought leaders from the world's top brands.
Start learning today!

BTOES From Home - On-Demand

The premier Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Conference. Watch sessions on-demand for free. Use code: BFH1120

Proqis Digital Virtual Conference Series

View our schedule of industry leading free to attend virtual conferences. Each a premier gathering of industry thought leaders and experts sharing key solutions to current challenges.



Delivered by Progressive Thought-Leaders


Watch On-Demand Recordings For Free

Watch On-Demand Recording - Access all sessions from progressive thought leaders free of charge from our industry leading virtual conferences.

Best-In-Class Training

Delivered by the industry's most progressive thought leaders from the world's top brands.
Start learning today!

BTOES From Home - On-Demand

The premier Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Conference. Watch sessions on-demand for free. Use code: BFH1120