ST Women in Technology - 75

job, and then work on process improvements for
my boss. I started to get under the hood and ask
people, "Why are you doing it this way? Can we
think of a better way to do it?".
Getting involved in these process improvement
activities gave me exposure to the rest of the
organization and started to get me noticed. At
some point, my executive manager suggested I
go to work in economic regulation because they
needed someone to educate the company about
our newly regulated status and what it all meant.
I had no background in training or in economic
regulation, but I picked it up pretty quickly, and I
learned something else about myself: I was good
at being a bridge between people who spoke
technical languages and business.
I stayed in economic regulation for five years.
It was a fascinating area, because it helps you
understand how the business works. You can
connect the big picture with the business drivers,
right down to the ground-level operational
processes.

LEADING A
TRANSFORMATION
PROGRAM
In mid-2015, I was appointed head of our
business transformation initiative, whose aim was
to improve efficiency. We went through a sixmonth diagnostic phase to understand Western
Power's business potential compared to its
peers, as well as to other industries, and to set
our own targets. In early 2016 we kicked off the
program, comprising more than 300 projects,
55 of them technology projects-and it was a
fantastic initiative to be a part of. I hand-selected
the leads for the team and brought on board
the implementation partner. My core team was
pretty small-about 25 at Western Power, and 50
from our implementation partner-but then we
had 300 people engaged from the businesses
at any one time and another 200 from IT and
technology partners.
Despite all those moving parts, the program
was a success, delivered on budget and on time.
We cut our costs by close to 30 percent in two

years and reduced IT staff by 40 percent, while
improving safety and maintaining or improving
reliability to our customers and our community.

FROM TRANSFORMATION
TO INNOVATION
Innovating for growth requires a different
mindset from the one needed for chasing
efficiency, and we've had to be increasingly
open to partnering in order to achieve our goals.
Efficiency-driven transformation and strategic
innovation are very different, yet equally difficult,
undertakings. I have worked out a few tactics
that I think have helped speed up our progress in
both those realms:

MY PEOPLE HATED THIS A LITTLE
BIT, BUT IT'S A GOOD WAY TO GET
THE IMPLEMENTATION TEAM TO
PUT THEMSELVES IN THE SHOES OF
THOSE WHO ARE GOING THROUGH
A MAJOR CHANGE.

Mix up the teams. My people hated this at first,
but it's a good way to get the implementation
team to put themselves in the shoes of those
who are going through a major change. Every
four to six months we would have an internal
restructuring and say, "OK, that delivery model
worked for a period of time, but let's make
sure that we're not getting too stagnant; why
don't we flip roles around?" Or, "Why don't
you now lead this team instead of that team?"
By continually changing their footing, I pushed
the team to learn what it's like to have a stable
foundation taken away and find a new role for
ourselves.
Change the tempo. As a program starts its
merry journey, everyone goes through a very
intense learning and discovery phase. You need
a lot of short daily standup meetings within your
team and weekly standups with your more senior
leadership teams. Later, you can slow down that
rhythm. Maybe a fortnight leadership meeting
would be good enough. Then at some point, if
things go off the rails, you might want to go back
75



ST Women in Technology

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ST Women in Technology

Contents
ST Women in Technology - Cover1
ST Women in Technology - Cover2
ST Women in Technology - 1
ST Women in Technology - Contents
ST Women in Technology - 3
ST Women in Technology - 4
ST Women in Technology - 5
ST Women in Technology - 6
ST Women in Technology - 7
ST Women in Technology - 8
ST Women in Technology - 9
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ST Women in Technology - Cover4
ST Women in Technology - 108
ST Women in Technology - Poster 1
ST Women in Technology - Poster 2
ST Women in Technology - Poster 3
ST Women in Technology - Poster 4
ST Women in Technology - Poster 5
ST Women in Technology - Poster 6
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