Improve Business Practices Through Business Process Redesign
The Department of Human Resources Development (Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC)), has responsibility for a wide portfolio of social services. Its Income Security Program (ISP), including the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Old Age Security (OAS), CPP Disability and other services, provide income supports to all retired Canadians meeting certain criteria.
Clients access services through various channels when applying for ISP benefits. These services include telephone client service, mail client service, regional offices, and Operations at National Headquarters. Its mandate is to provide high quality income security-related services. The ISP is administered by ISP Mid-Ontario and First Contact Centre at the Scarborough Town Centre.
HRDC’s ISP is a large and complex administrative organization that is dependent upon efficient business processes, committed staff, and effective accountability and control system. It was reorganized to accommodate a new processing technology through the ISP Redesign project. The implementation of the new system was not completed and ISP decided to commission an organizational and operational review of HRDC’s income security programs. The objectives included:
- A review of administrative and operational processes related to the Income Security Program and its requirements,
- A review of current ISP Mid-Ontario organization and ensure that functions are efficient, effective, and accountable,
- A review of administrative and communications within and between ISP Mid-Ontario organizational units for optimal function, and
- Develop organizational and operational improvement recommendations.
Visual8 Corporation and GCA • Management Consultants were contacted to conduct an organizational and operational review of HRDC’s income support programs. The review was carried out in three phases:
- Review Operations and Prepare Diagnostic Assessment
- Develop Organizational and Operational Improvement Options
- Describe Preferred Organization/Operational Options and Recommendations
The first phase was completed by reviewing organizational charts of the different divisions within ISP, as well as data and statistical reports and process maps showing the processes of the management and delivery of Income Security Programs. Tours, questionnaires and interviews were conducted to further familiarize the team with existing operations.
The second phase was completed by further interviews with Managers and Team leaders to detail the issues affecting Processing, Mail Operations and Program Services. Visual8 developed simulations of CPP and OAS processing using SIMUL8 and based on four months of historical data and various input parameters.
Finally, based on the reviews and simulation results, the team developed recommendations and finalized improvements in phase three. The simulation tool was capable of modeling the typical flow of incoming applications and enquiries into ISP from mail, telephone and the Internet, with the resultant workload on the processing units. The model was also capable of examining the interrelationship of work in one unit to the backlog in another.
The diagnostic assessment determined strengths and weaknesses of the operation. Business practices and behaviours that ensure a high level of client service were identified. It pointed to the importance of ensuring that information systems monitor and report processing activity against service standards.
The simulation of business practices supported the analysis and helped the team develop recommendations for improvement. A number of issues and opportunities for improvement were identified in the following ISP:
- Processing Center,
- Program Services,
- Disability Processing Center,
- Telecentre and
- Corporate Services.
Recommendations for improving CPP/OAS Processing Center Operations, Program Service Operations, Disability Processing Center Operations, Telecentre and Corporate Services Operations were also provided. The report assisted ISP Mid-Ontario and the First Contact Centre to improve both the effectiveness of its client services and the efficiency and productivity within its operations.