Enterprise Process Improvement ft. Special Guest Dr. Kristie Collins

Enterprise Process Improvement ft. Special Guest Dr. Kristie Collins

Published By : Cydney McCollum September 27, 2022

Enterprise Process Improvement ft. Special Guest Dr. Kristie Collins


On this episode of Bots & Thoughts, our host, Jimmy A. Hewitt, sits down with Dr. Kristie Collins, Former Sr. Process Engineer at Edelman, to discuss why process improvement is essential to developing and evolving your business. Collins discusses her background, her experiences and provides tons of insight and guidance in the process improvement space. This episode is one you can not miss!

Watch Episode 13 interview now!

Follow along with the episode now!

Guest Background:  Dr. Kristie Collins, Former Senior Process Engineer at Edelman

Decorated and experienced process improvement professional

Goal each day is to learn something new

Process allows her to do that

Been doing process for entire life

Grandmother’s typesetting and print shop

Grandmother’s cooking

Donut shop

Retail stores



How to start working on a process: say “Tell me a story”

  • Degrees and certifications:
    • Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education
    • MBA
    • PhD in Knowledge and Business Management
      • All about where you find information
      • Seven different process practices
    • CAP (Change Acceleration Process) certified
      • GE’s (General Electric’s) Jack Welch’s version of Change Management
    • ASQ (American Society for Quality) Black Belt
    • ASQ Master Black Belt
      • Carries the knowledge and experience of Six Sigma methodologies, tools, and processes
      • Mentor people interested in becoming yellow and green belts
      • Help people to understand that process is not as complicated as it may seem

Experience: Worked for Sprint Nextel in the 90s

  • Education: enabled her to help others help themselves
    • “Education is something nobody can take away from you”
    • “Constantly be learning”
    • Kristie continues to go to conferences and seminars, be a part of discussion boards, read new articles, takes new classes, etc.
    • Always add tools to your toolbox
    • Learn what other people in other industries are doing

Process documentation:

  • Use what you have available to you to get the information down
    • Don’t wait for the future to have a program installed
  • Good documentation is important
    • Have that baseline conversation with someone to get the information recorded
  • The first step in process is the scariest step
  • Get it visually represented

Process Mapping:

Challenge: Kristie was looking for a way to collaborate with her team on the processes that she documented on her computer without having to print out the information and gather in a conference room

Lombardi Software: began to work with Kristie


Salient Founder and CEO worked at Lombardi and IBM acquired Lombardi several years ago

  • Lombardi developed Blueworks Live, and Kristie was the guinea pig
  • Started going through the new employee onboarding processes, did a lot of roadshows and captures within Excel, and Lombardi built a product (Blueworks Live) on the fly for Kristie
  • Blueworks Live: Has now become Kristie’s favorite process improvement tool
    • Able to capture everything they wanted in a process and make it shareable
    • Gives her the ability to collaborate and to be able to see a process
    • It becomes a living, breathing document
    • One of the key pieces of process
    • Continues to evolve and can be updated
      • Very important
Change Management
  • Kristie works with Prosci, the Global Leader in Change Management Solutions
  • Change management is always an important part of process
  • You will either get more or less buy-in depending on the communication involved
  • People just want to be communicated with
  • Help people understand why changes are being made and what it is going to do for them
    • WIFM: What’s in it for me?
  • Make sure you are communicating all the time
  • Remind them it is not always about headcount reduction
    • Oftentimes, employees see process people as people who are coming in because a layoff is going to happen, which is not the case in many situations
  • Real Goal: looking for cost savings, efficiencies, how to automate processes, etc.
  • Process does not discriminate depending on the industry it is in
  • Change management is the bridge from your current state process to your future state process

Aspects of Change Management:

Help them understand what you are trying to accomplish

Important with ALL levels of the organization

Evaluate where they are at from a change perspective

Some will champion change, and some will submarine change

Getting excitement behind a project is sometimes what jumpstarts a program or project

Cannot forget about the people-side of projects

Process perspective: Change management can come in and help kickstart a project

Executive sponsorship

Advice: Don’t miss the benefits that help justify automation projects and get the excitement behind those projects

You can improve cycle time or wait time, but also ask how the change is going to affect people

  • Ask:
    • What impact does it have to my internal employees?
    • What impact does it have to customer experience
  • Example: You reduced cycle time which means you will save $3 million, but it also means that clients are able to execute processes 6 days faster than before
  • You have to understand from the person that does the job on a day-to-day basis to fully understand a process, not the executive

Process Improvement and Business Automation:
  • Catalyst: COVID-19 Pandemic made people realize there are a lot of processes that could be done differently

    • Not out of want but out of need
    • Process change was not impacting customer experience, it was making customers happier
  • Challenge: companies tried to change too much too quick
    • Advice: ALWAYS prioritize how your employees and customers experience the change
  • Process improvement:

    • Ask “Why?”
    • Get the information, story, editorial behind every process first
    • Find the pain points
      • Pain Point: Focus on what is so common and happens so often, not the most recent inconvenience or something only applicable to your life
    • You can’t have process without good data
    • You can’t have process and good data without change management and visibility
  • Management should prioritize the low-hanging fruit, in addition to big projects, to make their employees day-to-day work better
    • Employees will not always see the effect of a shorter cycle time
    • Improving employee morale is sometimes just as important as giving them a raise
Use Case:
  • Kristie was on an effort called “The 20th Century Workplace”
    • 1990s
  • Challenge:

    • Find better ways to include and involved people who were on conference calls but could not be in the office
    • There were notes captured in the office that employees on the phone could not see
    • Work on a same project with people in different time zones and global regions
      • Build relationships with people of different cultures
  • Solution:

    • Transformed teleconferencing experiences through process improvement and automation
      • Example: Blueworks Live
    • With automation, Kristie and other employees were able to establish real, genuine connections
Overview: Advice from Kristie
  • Keep it simple
  • Never stop learning
  • Blueworks Live is a valuable tool for mapping, collaboration, and evolution of processes
  • Change management is the bridge from your current state process to your future state process
  • Prioritize your employees and customers in the change
  • Every process has an opportunity to improve
  • Sometimes the best process is that one that can be automated and complemented by some type of people interaction
  • Ask “Why?”
  • Digital Business Automation allows employee and customer experiences to be easier and flow better, not be replaced
Watch Episode 13 Interview with Dr. Kristie Collins Now

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