At Ventia, we're obsessed with doing things better than we've done them before. 

Challenging ourselves to make improvements is something we do every day.  A recent challenge was around reducing the number of extension of time (EOT) requests for work done in asset maintenance across the Defence bases Ventia maintain for our client. 


Innovation that transforms

We were set a challenge to reduce the percentage of work orders requiring an extension of time (EOT) beyond the agreed standard service level duration. The team devised a Work Order Management Optimisation Strategy which brought together people, process and technology initiatives to deliver a significant reduction in work order EOT from an average of 20% to 11% over the past eight months. 


EOT improvement program

The team came up with a solution to deliver a significant reduction in work order EOT from 20% to 11% over the past eight months.


Collaboration to succeed

Under the guidance of program leader Matthew Pitt, we gathered together a core team that included representation from process improvement, business analysis, quality assurance and subject matter experts from the operational zones across the country. We utilised process improvement methodology and data analysis to provide discipline and structure to performance understanding and to identify critical causative/contributing factors. 

"Use of data allowed for evidence-based improvement initiatives and a level of 'myth busting' of perceived causes," Matthew said.


Visual Management Centre 

Matthew explained that weekly meetings were established in each zone to analyse the previous week's performance and keep the spotlight on the need for improvement. 

We extracted data from core systems and reporting and presented in a simple-to-use template that allowed the team to easily recognise challenge areas.

"To facilitate performance monitoring throughout the week, 'role-based dashboards' were created with specific data targeting the leading indicator metrics to allow early intervention should issues start to arise," Matthew said.


Critical Factor Identification

We also worked with subject matter experts across the sites to identify critical factors, including subcontractors, trade types, sites, zones and activity task types. A dedicated report was created in Microsoft Power BI to monitor each factor and we were able to identify trends or outliers to understand the drivers in context.

General Manager Asset Management Andrew Bartlett said building trust with the operational teams early was a key to success. 

Providing confidence that the goal was not to expose poor performing sites meant that transparent and honest conversations could be held.

"Allowing a deep dive into the root causes of the challenges in order to make meaningful change," Andrew said.

Andrew explained that a key finding was that some subcontractors were overwhelmed with work, and rather than reject work, would use extension of time requests until they could undertake the work. To help address this issue, a data tool was created to show the current workload volumes, delivery times and extension requests for each vendor.  This tool allowed the scheduling teams to make data-driven decisions on where to allocate work, in turn ensuring appropriate workload levels were maintained for each vendor.


EOT improvement

A data tool was created to allow the scheduling teams to make data-driven decisions on where to allocate work.


Significant results

As a result of the project and the efforts displayed by the operational teams, the performance of extension of time requests was reduced from an average of 20% of work orders requiring an extension to around 11% at present. 

"We're committed to continuous improvement," emphasized Andrew.

We will work to see this result improve further, so watch this space!