PEX Awards finalist: CA-CIB

Craig Sharp

The annual PEX Awards are next week, hasn’t time flown? And with the finalists having been recently announced, we continue our ongoing series highlighting some of the finalists project that have made it through to the judging round!

The annual awards, which have become a staple in the process excellence calendar, highlight some of the most ambitious, inventive and successful Process Excellence projects of the year. It’s our opportunity to celebrate the continued evolution of Process Excellence and the ingenuity of those who continue to push change forward.

This entry comes from CA-CIB, who have been shortlisted in the "Best Process Improvement Project Under 90 Days". Here, they tell us about their CA-CIB Operational Efficiency Program.

Tell us about your project, why did you launch it?

This project has been launched as part of the global CA-CIB Operational Efficiency Program. Based on the Bank process roadmap drafted 4 years ago, this project has been first submitted by the sponsor, then selected throughout a dedicated project selection tool to be launched with operational people.

What were the key objectives? Did you have an end game in mind?

Key objectives were split into:

  • Quantitative:
    • Reviewing and optimizing the Market Accounting P&L production and reconciliation processes within Product Control Division in order to improve P&L quality, reduce operational risks and perform savings.
    • Productivity gains expectation : 30% of the Product Control Division 52 FTE baseline.
    • Reduce operational risks by eliminating recurring manual adjustments.
  • Qualitative:
    • Reviewing and clarifying the organization of the Product Control Division to improve efficiency by braking the brakes to flexibility , reducing cycle time and upgrading ways of working.
    • Implementing a Continuous Improvement culture within operational teams.

Beyond the 36% of Productivity gains (instead of 30% initially targeted), the implementation of the Continuous Improvement culture is a key victory because it led to create a new transversal team in charge of:

  • Monitoring actions plans to maintain a high level of quality on production and processes.
  • Helping managers to change their way of working thanks to Visual Management tools and Problem Solving Sessions.


What were the key challenges you faced during the project? How did you overcome these?

The challenges we faced during the project were:

  • Too heavy and inefficient processes with very high volumes of reporting (220/month), consuming manual reconciliations (6 FTE).
  • Too many non value added tasks performed to mitigate operational or IT deficiencies.
  • A keep on increasing number of portfolios to consolidate.
  • Too many silos within the organization and heterogeneous processes leading to a lack of flexibility and an important operational risk to cope with.

These challenges have been overcome by:

  • Understanding Customer requirements (through interviews, workshops, observations…).
  • Active and collaborative customer participation throughout the project with interviews and workshops.
  • Defining the transformation with the Customer and the Employees (through Brainstorming and Kaizen workshops).
  • Aligning teams and management visions.
  • Promoting employees as transformation leaders to help conducting the Change Management from the very beginning of the project and start very early the Continuous Improvement culture implementation

Did any unforeseen benefits come out of the project?

Quantitative benefits overcame the target expectations by 20% (36% efficiency gains vs. 30% expected) but the key victories mainly came from qualitative benefits with the capacity for employees to become leaders of their own transformation and promote the Continuous Improvement culture.

As the management became aware of the benefits of these new ways of working, a new team has been created to keep on monitoring actions plans with more flexibility and pragmatism.

What’s next? Is the project ongoing or are you looking to the next one?

As this project was only part of a more global Program, the contribution of the DOT (Department of the Organization and Transformation) project team took and end as a project but a "Tour de Contrõle" has been setup on a quarterly basis to ensure that actions plans are followed up, activities owners get committed, IT developments are conform with users requirements.

Other projects with other expectations have been launched and our objectives remain being pragmatic to cope with sponsors’ expectations by implementing innovative approaches to generate not only quantitative but also qualitative solutions that people can "make in their own" to not only doing their job, but also continuously improving the job they do.

What does it mean to be selected as a finalist for a PEX Award?

This is our third year being nominated, and it’s always a great honor and a pleasure to be a finalist in such an event. It’s very interesting and encouraging to meet people coping with the same kind of challenges and share with them ways of working, tools to customize, objectives and expectations/projections for the coming years.

What would your message be to others who’re looking to begin a PEX project or who are unsure where to start?

If I had to address a message, I would say that a PEX project is a huge opportunity to share experiences with a lot of people coming from different businesses and countries.

As Excellence is our common language, it is very useful to see how this motto is offered by other programs/projects and how best practices can be shared and improved to serve our clients and cope with their expectations.

I would just say to people who are still hesitant - "Just try it!"