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C01: Multiple Admin and Operations Productivity Reviews

Case Study C01: Multiple Admin and Operations Productivity Reviews


A large agency with regional centres needed to find productivity savings in a range of areas including frontline administration, recruitment, finance, call centres and training. Whether to centralise was a key issue. This case study reviews a series of projects performed over 18 months.


  • Identify and verify headcount savings
  • Identify practical ways of managing activities to allow headcount reductions
  • Maximise effective use of technology
  • Improve existing process accuracy and turnaround times
  • Determine if centralising was the most efficient option.

Method & Approach

We designed nine projects over two years that were small and achievable.

We used data-driven techniques to identify wasted time, bottlenecks, rework, doublehandling and other productivity-killers in administrative and operational areas.

We consulted extensively and worked with management to maintain service delivery and quality, and to keep staff informed.


In nine small (less than 20 day) projects we:

  • Identified savings of $14m pa and once-off savings of $3m (organisation constraints reduced realised savings)
  • Provided a topline Return on Investment of 66:1 in one year for annual savings
  • Provided a Return on Investment of 50:1 for once-off savings of $3m.

Four of the nine projects did not result in quantified savings. However, they did deliver headcount reduction and improved effectiveness, meaning actual savings would be more.


This project validated our model of small, high return projects that allow our clients to manage political issues, do things at their own pace and build necessary coalitions to make the projects successful.

Note that some savings may no