Hi, I’m Craig Westbury, a Process Improvement Specialist living in Adelaide, South Australia.
I am passionate about enabling excellent Organisations.
The Start: Born and schooled in South Australia.
Completed 5 years at the University of Adelaide to get a double degree, Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Commerce. Although I went to University to do Computer Science and become a Systems Analyst, I walked away with a well rounded view of technology and it’s application in organisations.
While at University I ran a Bulletin Board System (BBS) called “The Dominion BBS” which led to starting a business with 3 colleagues, “Dominion Software Designers”. Our objective was to develop niche software applications, however we quickly discovered the world of computer retail and within a few years we were doing a reasonable trade in custom computer hardware with a high level of personal service.
ABS Canberra: As we all finished our studies, Dominion was left behind as we headed off into the corporate world, or in my case, the government world. I took up an Information Technology Officer position at the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in Belconnen, Canberra.
My time in the Canberra was spent in the Client Platforms team. I evaluated desktop hardware and software that was requested by business users, which was great fun as I got to select which colour printers to test, arrange demonstration units from vendors and then find lots of great pictures to test them with!
My team was also responsible for the desktop operation system, and so I soon got recruited into a nationwide upgrade from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95. This involved visiting every PC, performing some kind of hardware hack to get it to boot and run the windows upgrade script. Within no time I was helping to troubleshoot and improve the process.
ABS Adelaide: After only 9 months in Canberra I was offered a position back in Adelaide – which I took eagerly so I could return to my friends and family.
Working in the South Australian office infrastructure team was a great experience as I was able to work across many areas of Information Technology. This is when I was trained to administer Banyan Vines servers (are they still around?) and develop a high level of expertise supporting desktop computers. During this period I also earnt my MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) and CLP (Certified Lotus Professional) qualifications.
An opportunity to work on an Application Development project started me on a long journey working with Lotus Notes / Domino. During this period I developed a number of database and work-flow applications, including a number of applications for social / personal use – such as an administration database for my local Surf Lifesaving Club.
ABS Knowledge Management: The next couple of projects I worked on involved the development and roll-out of a Lotus Notes team collaboration database developed inside the ABS. The Workgroup Database (WDB) provided a powerful way for teams to manage their documents and collaborate. These databases were so well utilised that they supported the best Knowledge Management and Records Management environment that I have witnessed in any organisation.
Although I did not know it at the time, this was also the first time I really tackled process management. I was re-developing the electronic records management system because it was not being correctly used and consequently important records were not being captured. I analysed the problem and looked at it from the customers perspective, especially the users and managers that really did not understand records management, however they were vital to making it work. The solution was to design the process to capture records as a by product of normal work, a simple concept which was difficult to implement. It took a couple of years to get the technology right; however once it was in place it was very effective.
ABS Software Management: Unfortunately once a couple of key projects completed Knowledge Management lost focus and I was left looking for something different to do, this led me to run a project to automate the delivery of software packages across the organisation. This was meant to be a quick 3 month exercise to take 900 applications, package them up, ready for the next Standard Operating Environment (SOE) roll-out. As is the case with these things, it wasn’t that simple, it took a while to master the technology and a lot of work needed to be done to design and implement the processes to support the software packages that were being produced.
At the peak of the project I had 15 staff, working in 5 offices across the country, madly packaging software in time for the roll-out. The task was so under-estimated that there is now a permanent team that provides on-going operations.
ABS Business Process Management (BPM): At the start of 2007 I had completed my work on Software Management and had also been involved in a major office move (which was a unique experience), when there was an opportunity to lead the Business Process Management team. Although the team had been working for a number of years, I had not heard much about BPM; however I was soon to learn that it was a perfect culmination of everything I had previously been doing.
In my role leading Business Process Management at the ABS; this lead to me working in the Professional Practice Program. This broadened my responsibilities to include supporting and expanding the Project Management Framework, Software Development Life-Cycle as well as the framework and tools for developing Business Processes.
Over this period I was fortunate to get involved in a number of really interesting areas of BPM, including attending training and getting mentored by the Process Renewal Group, joining the Australian BPM Round table and presenting at a number of different BPM conferences; including the 5th International BPM conference in 2007.
I was able to work with a couple of leading professionals, especially Roger Burlton on BPM frameworks and building an organisational model for the ABS and John Smyrk, on Project Management and contemporary best practices on iterative project development.
At this time I felt I had reached a ceiling at the ABS and that I needed a broader experience base to really be a process professional.
Process Improvement at BHP Billiton: A big change lead me to a small role in a big company. Within the Financial Services group I started developing a process improvement framework which as it developed took on more of an Issue Management purpose and a focus on systems for tracking requests, issue and improvements. This was very beneficial as I had not thought about the management of the exceptions and issues in processes as a way to examine what needed to be improved in processes.
Another amazing part of working with BHP Billiton was an opportunity to work with people from across the globe and to travel. I do not miss the conference calls at odd hours (to line up all of the timezones); however I did get the amazing opportunity to work with people from America and Chile and while developing case management software and delivering the training; I was able to travel to Malaysia and South Africa.
Leading Process Management at APA Group: At this stage of my career I really wanted to be leading Business Process Management, and I took up an opportunity to do this at APA Group. In a new role for the organisation, I started developing a framework for BPM “Best Practice”.
A part of this role was to develop the organisation’s current technologies to deliver BPM, this was my first real exposure to SharePoint and Software AG’s Webmethods suite. This was also an opportunity for me to realise the need to get a good balance between the capabilities of the technologies and the strategy of the organisation. I especially enjoyed delivering a BPMN modelling standard that focussed on delivering process diagrams that “real people” could access and use.
Change was progressing very slowly for Business Process in APA and it was clear that my role was not going to last, so when an opportunity came knocking at Westpac, I was moving again.
Back in the Knowledge space at Westpac: Knowledge Management was an area that I had previously enjoyed at the ABS, and now with a process focus, I was looking at the methodologies for sharing knowledge across Westpac Group Operations, including the processes, procedures, training and support material required to ensure that everyone knew “Where to GO, for the knowledge to do their job”.
This is where I started thinking about how process and knowledge are key and how often a project develops really good resources that do not get maintained by the business. Unfortunately Westpac decided to cut staff and I spent a few weeks out of work.
ABS, back home: My next role was back at the ABS as a contract Business Analyst working on implementing ITIL processes for both the IT and Corporate Services businesses. I developed great Service Management, CA Service Desk and Business Objects skills; however I also learnt that at this stage in my life I was not comfortable contracting.
The next chapter, RAA: Recently I joined the RAA, a member driven motoring organisation and iconic South Australian brand. As the Manager of the Business Analysis team I am looking forward to performing a key role in developing organisational change….
Where to find me..
Open my profile to see an excellent summary of my work history and affiliations. If you are on LinkedIn please feel free to send me an invitation to connect.
Find me on Facebook as well.
Finally check out our family homepage for all the social stuff!