Keeping it simple

Keeping it simple

Simple, easy, customer friendly processes are important to create value for our customers. Keeping it simple motivates our people to challenge the status quo, get involved and act on their ideas for improving how we work.

Increasing technology and digital capability

The delivery of information technology projects has accelerated this year with 50 additional digital features newly available to the business, up from 40 introduced in 2017-18. Our IT Delivery team has worked with our change managers to help ensure our people make best use of the technology features being delivered.

In addition, there has been ongoing development and scaling of the agile framework, which is used by more than 35 per cent of our IT projects. This has been well supported by our internal agile coach helping our people understand the mindset and method.

The IT services panel came into effect on 1 July 2018 enabling us to consolidate and better manage and use our suppliers.  The panel provides services for both operational and project activity.

Simple processes

During 2018-19, we worked on 59 projects to simplify a range of processes. Of these, 22 were completed and 25 remain in progress as at the end of June. Among those delivered, we have:

  • Reduced the number of internal sewer overflows experienced by customers by simplifying processes and improving the way we work. We have reduced repeat blockages and known ‘black spots’ in the network, used trenchless repair technology and improved levels of customer service.
  • Developed and implemented Keeping it Simple, an improvement process and system that can be used by anyone in the business. Through this process, 96 improvement ideas were raised with benefits identified for implemented ideas in excess of $2.5 million.
  • Customer Assist process review, for optimised compliance with the Water Industry Act (2011) and regulated reporting requirements. This work led to quicker and easier responses to customers  experiencing financial difficulty who call us; meeting targets for responding to written correspondence; a simpler way to manage some types of customers inquiries; and clearly defined processes for training and skill development for our people.
  • Improved laboratory test turnaround times to meet customer expectations by creating capacity in the team to focus on method development. Results included a 10 per cent increase in productivity in two of our laboratories following a 5S LEAN audit, as well as efficiencies gained through the acquisition of a new instrument and more efficient digital archiving.
  • Improved timesheet processes for our people not yet recording their time digitally, leading to time savings for our Payroll team and district leaders.

Integrating risk management

By simplifying processes related to risk management, we are improving safety outcomes,  operational and capital efficiencies, and better integrating enhanced risk intelligence and behaviours in our business.

In 2018-19 we delivered:

  • Improvements to tools including our electronic risk, hazard and incident register (known as SAAM), and risk assessment template.
  • A completed framework and tool for multi-criteria analysis and integration with our risk  management framework.
  • Updated risk management framework and consequence criteria review.
  • A risk champion network within the business and their guiding terms of reference.
  • An embedded standard risk process which aligns the risk calculation approaches from different disciplines with our corporate risk criteria.
  • Alignment of risk scanning, insights and coordination with our business strategy development, incorporating lessons learnt and risk insights from environmental scans.
  • A review and future state flow chart of risk process integration between health and safety and asset management.
  • One consolidated system for all risk-related information with 30 environmental aspects and impacts registers brought into SAAM.

As a result of these actions, risk management in the business has been standardised, enabling an end-to-end process, eliminating duplication, and facilitating better connection of risk management with business activities and decision making.

Our risk intelligence has improved through consolidating risk data and making it more available. These actions are moving us towards the aim of using risk data to inform corporate performance. Our collaboration on risk is improving as we enhance and harness the value of risk management.

Integrating management systems

This year we focused on nine core quality management system processes with the aim to improve their effectiveness and efficiency. By identifying and partnering with the process owners, we initiated work to collaboratively deliver the design and implementation of improvements.

The nine processes were:

  1. audits and reviews
  2. capability development
  3. customer and stakeholder engagement
  4. improvement innovation
  5. knowledge management
  6. performance management
  7. planning
  8. procurement
  9. risk management.

In 2018-19 we upgraded and expanded our hazard, incident and risk management tool to  incorporate environmental risks. An audit module was added to the system to facilitate audits and ensure findings are captured and managed from one central tool.

Continual improvement of our Business Management System was introduced, applying an agile approach to deliver incremental improvements.

The internal management systems audit schedule was redesigned using risk to define the frequency of audits, ensuring efforts are focused on the areas where most value will be added.

Organisational change readiness

Building on the pilot run in 2017-18, our Leading Change Module – including eLearning, classroom training and one-on-one coaching – was completed by 40 people leaders and 25 IT project managers.

Rollout of five change management approach elements began in 2018-19:

  1. base methodology
  2. consistent change processes
  3. training – leading change
  4. roles and responsibilities
  5. tools and templates.

These were targeted for IT project managers, customer delivery managers and other people leaders managing significant change.

Our people leaders are key to achieving change effectively. Training delivered is a critical part of implementing and maturing our organisational change readiness capability.

Additionally, a standardised induction package for change leads was piloted to ensure best practice is applied consistently, regardless of business demand.

At 30 June 2019, we were considered ‘project level’ mature in our change capability. Achieving this level is part of our progress to be at ‘enterprise level’ of maturity which enables improved customer experiences from a workforce that is ready, willing and able to lead and deliver improvements and change.

Adelaide service delivery into the future

As we continue to evolve to meet our customers’ changing expectations and our regulatory requirements, we have reviewed the way services are delivered for our customers in metropolitan Adelaide.

In November 2018, we notified Allwater that the current contract would not be extended, to enable a new contracting arrangement that reflects the evolving needs of our customers. Preparations are now underway for changes that will come into effect from 1 July 2021 when we adopt a new contract model comprising two components: production and treatment, and field services.

Best practice service delivery models from around the world were reviewed as we developed our new approach which balances local knowledge and experience with the best national and international expertise available.

The procurement process for both contracts is underway and will continue to progress during 2019-20.

  • Major faults

  • Underway

  • Anzac Hwy
  • Glenelg East
  • 15/12/2019
  • Water Supply On
  • 15/12/2019 05:15 PM - We are attending to an incident in Glenelg East with no interruption to the water supply. The safety of our crews and customers comes first, and we always aim to minimise inconvenience by restoring services as quickly as we can. Reference Number WO: 07254795.
  • See all major faults

  • Scheduled works

  • Underway
  • Sprod Av
  • Toorak Gardens
  • 16/12/2019
  • Temporary Supply Interruption
  • Estimated start time and water supply off: 17/12/2019 09:00 AM
    Estimated restore time and water supply back on: 17/12/2019 06:00 PM

    We’re improving your services and undertaking maintenance work in Toorak Gardens. Sometimes our crews need to temporarily interrupt the water supply to our customers and/or manage traffic while they are working. Temporary traffic management may remain in place until reinstatement of the impacted road is complete. We always aim to minimise inconvenience by restoring services as safely and quickly as we can.


  • See all scheduled works