In any modern organisation it is almost
invconceivable that processes can take place without some sort of
interaction with computer systems. Throughout my career I have been an
active participant in both 'communities', as head of Management Information
Systems for a bank in the City and working in the business in line
management. When I review a process, either with a view to improving
efficiency or in order to understand the inherent risks and identify
appropriate controls, I focus on the interrelationship between the process
and the systems that support it. The converse is, of course, equally true;
if I feel that a particular step in the process would benefit from being
supported by a system, this will form part of my recommendations.
I always approach such a review by assuming
nothing and ensuring, by drilling down to the detail, that I really
understand what the process is trying to achieve. Only if you understand
what the deliverables are, can you fully appreciate whether or not each step
in the process is adding value. Because I adopt a creative, no-holds-barred
approach to redesigning processes, my recommendatuions will often contain
radical suggestions for improvement.
I am strong believer that recommendations are
not made lightly and am always prepared to work with clients to implement
the changes that I have suggested.
Below are some examples of how I have
assisted clients to improve their business processes:
This assignment included the following process
reviews and implementations:
the bank’s response to the FSA’s Factbook initiative, a regime aimed at
improving the ability to weather the storm of a systemic financial crisis.
documentation of all processes within the Compliance Policy and Regulatory
implementation of a database to cover many inter-related aspects of
implementation of a new approach to the taking and recording of
whistleblowing calls within the Group.
here to see a
testimonial from the Group Director Compliance and Operational Risk.
At this client I carried out, in parallel, two
and implementation of a risk-based Health Check regime for all (both
IT-related and business change) projects and programmes across the whole
company (HBOS Financial Services). This looks at many ‘components’ of
projects, including governance, communications, risk management and
adherence to the company’s integrated end-to-end process. The rating of
each component is based on a maturity banding with target maturities set
for each phase of the project. The company had a track-record of project
costs spiralling beyond initial budgetary estimates with little
appreciation of the root cause.
An overhaul of the company’s approach to
estimating projects, introducing a ‘funnel’-based progression with level
of confidence based on risk and benefits. The effect was to introduce more
rigour into the estimating process and less opportunity for costs to get
out of control.
(now part of L+Q Group)
I was asked to conduct a Health-Check of the
Information and Communications Technology (ICT) at Threshold.
Paul Rydquist, Chief Executive of Threshold
"Colin Stringer was recommended to us as
someone who would take an independent, impartial look at the use of
technology within our organisation and identify areas where it is out of
alignment with our declared business objectives. He put in a very
professional and comprehensive proposal for an Information and
Communications Technology Health-Check, which was then delivered within the
estimated budget and timetable. Our management team was impressed with the
thoroughness of the review and how quickly he came to understand our
business processes and the strengths and weaknesses of our existing ICT
infrastructure. The report, which he presented to our directors and to our
board, presented a very thorough picture of the challenges that we face but
also contained appropriate, pragmatic suggestions to resolve some of these,
both in the short and longer term. It was clear to us, from the
outset, that Colin is not of the ‘advise and run’ school of consultancy and
we subsequently commissioned him to effect some of the changes that he had
suggested in his report."