Following its acquisition, WSP New Zealand performed an engagement survey which found that while it had world-class systems, the march of time meant some were outdated and in need of attention. As a company constantly seeking improvement – and within the broader context of digital improvements taking place in organisations of all kinds – it set out on a transformation agenda called 'ReimagineNZ'.
“As part of this agenda, Assurity came in and trained a cohort of our people on change management as part of a Process Optimisation Training exercise,” says John Leatherbarrow, Manager – Commercial at WSP Global (right). “As a result of this initial engagement, and as one of the initiatives where we appreciated that change was necessary, was in delegations.”
The issue, explains John, is that Project Management delegations, known as DLAs (Delegation Level Authority) are complex and can be difficult for WSP staff to navigate easily. In fact, while personally working with DLAs daily, he describes them as ‘near impenetrable’.
“This is a major issue because the DLAs sit at the very front end of project engagement and relate directly to risk management. The DLA effectively determines who in the organisation should be approached for advice, insight and approval prior to a contract being entered into. If the DLA isn’t followed accurately at the outset, it can imperil entire projects and even put our organisation at risk.”
Beset with what John calls ‘a lot of contractual small print’, he further adds “They don’t invite you to look in. That means they might not be referenced when necessary or they might be misinterpreted. In turn, that means our consultants might not be getting delegations from the right level and so might miss commercial risks by failing to engage appropriately experienced people.”
A further factor is that executing DLAs isn’t considered a particularly exciting or rewarding component of tendering for a project; any improvement, particularly if it's automated or any part of the process is accelerated, would be highly desirable – alleviating a cumbersome task.