Case Study – Standard Bank and their journey to QPR

Standard Bank

  • Is one of the four major banks operating out of South Africa.
  • Is the largest of the four by Asset Value (±€100 billion) and Earnings (> €1 billion).
  • Was established in 1862 and is currently 147 years old.
  • Is one of the most recognized brand names in South Africa.
  • Is a public company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).
  • Is 20% owned by the largest bank in the world, the International Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).
  • Is represented in 17 countries on the African Continent (with over 6000 points of representation) and 21 countries abroad.
  • Employs around 50,000 people worldwide, of which 34,944 are based in South Africa.
Personal and Business Banking
  • Personal and Business Banking provides banking and other financial services to individual customers and small to medium-sized enterprises in South Africa, the rest of Africa, and Argentina.
  • PBB contributes around 34% of the Standard Bank Group’s earnings.
  • The centralized Operations area consists of just under 5000 people and is responsible for all aspects of operations within Personal and Business Banking.
  • A Performance Measurement Capability within Business Operations is responsible for the measurement of people and processes.
The Journey of SUE

In 2005, our business faced numerous challenges that hindered our operations, such as inefficient processes, limited access to data, communication barriers, and a lack of automation. To overcome these obstacles, we implemented various solutions, including process improvement initiatives, automation tools, and the adoption of cloud-based technologies. We also utilized communication tools such as video conferencing and instant messaging to improve collaboration and productivity.

We deployed CRM and ERP software to improve data accessibility and streamline operations, enabling us to track customer interactions, automate workflows, and manage inventory and supply chain processes more effectively.

Today, we have made significant progress in addressing these challenges. The widespread adoption of cloud-based technologies has enabled us to operate more flexibly and efficiently. We also use advanced analytics and machine learning tools to gain valuable insights and make better decisions. Collaboration software and project management platforms help us work remotely and enhance team productivity.

The tools and solutions we implemented in response to the challenges of 2005 have helped create a more streamlined, efficient, and collaborative business environment. By continuing to leverage new and emerging technologies, we are better equipped to overcome future challenges and succeed in today’s ever-changing marketplace.

The Challenges we Faced
In 2005 we faced major challenges in the way we ran our operations.
  • In 2005 we faced major challenges in the way we ran our operations.
  • Silo-based and product-centric operations. Massive duplication.
  • No single view of customers.
  • A large number of processes.
  • Processes that catered for exceptions.
  • Poor measurement systems.
  • Excessive error, rework, and waste.
  • Checkers checked the checkers.
Things needed to Change
So we looked for companies that were doing it right …
… and challenged our own thinking at the time; that Banking and Manufacturing were two very different industries.
In Spite of the Sceptics …
We Embarked on a Journey

White Belt training (5k)

Yellow Belt training (40k)

Green Belt training

Black Belt training

contributes 12% to the Balanced Scorecard at Executive level

2005 yielded Fantastic Results

Our Six Sigma initiatives were successful in achieving hard savings of nearly €6 million. However, we soon faced a new set of challenges that impeded our progress. We had no common process repository, which made it difficult to manage and share information across the organization. Version control was also lacking, making it difficult to ensure consistency in our processes. We had no established standards, which led to inconsistency in our work output. Moreover, governance was poor, leading to challenges in decision-making and management.

Our measurement systems were also inadequate, making it difficult to track progress and measure success accurately. We were getting stale, and it was evident that we needed to adopt new and innovative approaches to improve our processes and ensure continued success. We recognized the importance of overcoming these challenges and realized that we needed to adopt a more comprehensive approach to process improvement, which included establishing a common process repository, implementing version control, and setting standards.

We also recognized the importance of good governance and measurement systems, which would enable us to make informed decisions and track our progress accurately. Finally, we realized that we needed to adopt a culture of continuous improvement to ensure that we remained agile and responsive to change.

So when traction started slipping …
… we branded and re-launched the beast!

Simplicity … Urgency … Excellence

We went back to basics


Process Mapping. Scorecard Building. User Management.

Enterprise Architecture


  • Development.
  • Testing.
  • Production.
Change Control.




Definitions. Standards.


Solution Requirements
Very specific requirements for software solution
Must enable methodology
  • From strategy to process management
High-Level Requirements
  • Scorecarding and Dashboarding
  • Process Management
  • Collaboration
Single User Interface
Technical Requirements
Searching for a Tool
Search Internally

SAP, QPR, Cognos

Went out on Tender

Shortlisted SAP and QPR

Pilot QPR

6 month Pilot

Testing done before IIS optimisation
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Testing done after IIS optimisation
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We found QPR
Process Guide
The results were Great
Six Sigma initiatives in the Operations space banked hard savings of over R90 million in 2006, R130 million in 2007, and R158 million in 2008.
  • Mapped to a standard.
  • Stored centrally.
  • Visible to the users.
Performance Measures.
  • Aligned to Objectives.
  • Realistic and Achievable.
  • Talked about daily.
To cut a long story short
To keep the Enthusiasm Going
… we re-branded and re-launched a second time!

Simplicity … Urgency … Excellence

Get a quick overview so you can spend your time improving your processes.

You can easily define and set up processes according to your own needs using a convenient layout tool. In addition, since all types of workflow processes can be managed, you get all case management in one single system. 

Analyses, statistics and reports give you an unbeatable overview with real-time status and division of responsibility. Nothing has to fall through the cracks anymore and you always have an accurate and up-to-date base for decision-making.

CANEA Process is a tool that allows you to model and share business processes in an easy-to-use graphical web interface.

Seeing is understanding

Visualisation gives all employees an understanding of the organisation’s processes, activities, responsibilities and information flows.

Living processes

Identifying working methods while making it easy to update is the basis for continuous improvement of processes.

Create a complete picture

Linking together documents, information and tools with clickable process maps create an intuitive and comprehensive management system.

CANEA Workflow is an IT solution that automates, quality-assures and speeds up administrative workflow processes.

You can easily define and set up processes according to your own needs using a convenient layout tool. In addition, since all types of workflow processes can be managed, you get all case management in one single system. 

Analyses, statistics and reports give you an unbeatable overview with real-time status and division of responsibility. Nothing has to fall through the cracks anymore and you always have an accurate and up-to-date base for decision-making.

By creating executable processes in CANEA Workflow, you get both better control of the situation and smoother processing.

Streamlining the work

Ensure compliance and that handovers are done correctly and with the right information.

Correct decision support

You get an unbeatable overview of the processes in real time, with both clear reports and clear diagrams.

Improve processes continuously

Our process support can be constantly adapted to changing needs and requirements. In this way, we give you the best possible conditions for your daily work.

A document management system without complicated folder structures.

CANEA Document combines simple and intuitive search features with powerful features for managing documents from a life cycle perspective.

Maximum availability
Search and find information quickly based on what you need, not where it is stored.

High security
Ensure accuracy, changes and access to all information – with high traceability.

Fulfils requirements
Manage information according to standards, legislation and other requirements for document management.

CANEA Document supports everything from production, publication and modification to archiving and deletion – with full traceability and version management.

CANEA Document provides secure management of all types of documents – in one place. Tagging the information with metadata creates a virtual, multidimensional folder structure. This means that a document appears in multiple locations at the same time, with authorisation-controlled access. The right information in the right place for the right users at the right time!

You can usefully add your company’s process-oriented management system to CANEA Document. All production and distribution of documents is quality-assured and streamlined. In addition, your employees always have access to the most up-to-date version of the documents – directly via intranet, tablets and mobile phones.

Improve the performance of your project activities

CANEA Project is a comprehensive project tool with integrated support for all types of projects and parties– such as management, resource owners, clients, project managers and project participants. CANEA Project gives you an excellent overview of your entire project portfolio, including profitability and status, making it easier to prioritize and make decisions.

CANEA Project shares all important project information with both internal and external members.

Let your project manager focus on management rather than administration and distribution of the information.

Gather all project information in one place and make it available to both internal and external members.

Helps you with prioritization of projects, resource management and analysis of portfolios and programs.

Make reality of the strategy

CANEA Strategy makes it possible for organisations of all sizes to create a unique common thread from the strategic work to the daily operations. We do not just provide performance management tools but rather a completely new generation of IT support for strategy activation. The system guarantees and provides support throughout the chain from strategy to execution. You get no results without action. CANEA Strategy makes it possible in practise! 

CANEA Strategy ensures and provides support throughout the entire journey from strategy to execution.

Create a shared understanding of the strategy, the goal to achieve and how.

Gives management an unbeatable overview of what’s happening, how it’s progressing, and why.

Creates a clear common thread from the strategy to project, initiatives and actions.