Lisa Caldwell

Using technology to reimagine how things can be done


 

Lisa is one of our colleagues leading the charge on innovation at the Group, having spotted an opportunity to change long-winded processes with new technology.

Lisa Caldwell

When I first got started with this I was working in the Risk Innovation team, looking for new technologies we have at our fingertips that we could use to improve difficult processes and automate time consuming tasks. I stumbled across the Microsoft 365 Power Platform – Power Automate is an app which makes it really easy to build automated processes without needing to be an expert coder.

I got permission to run a proof of concept to see if this would work. It can be difficult in such a large organisation to change established processes, but I took this as a challenge because I'm like a dog with a bone. If someone says you can't do it, I’ll make sure I do it. And I did.  

“It can be difficult in such a large organisation to change established processes, but I took this as a challenge because I'm like a dog with a bone."

Trying something new

After getting set up with what I needed, it was simply a case of asking colleagues for ideas of processes that can be improved or simplified, or areas where they spend a lot of time updating information manually or repeating the same process over and over. We then pulled all the ideas together and prioritised them in terms of changes that could be made at pace, and which would make the biggest difference.

One of the ideas on our list came from an Industrial Placement student in Private Banking. A frustration he and his team had was how straightforward overdraft requests from clients had to be manually assessed, taking up to three days. Fast forward a few months, with great collaboration between various teams, and we’ve put in place an automated process.

We can now make a risk-free automated decision within an hour, with the overdraft made available on the same day. We’re providing great service to high value clients. And with 80% of requests now going through the automated platform, more than 420 hours each year have been freed up for our people to focus their time on more complex cases.  

“I think it’s all about being bold and challenging the way we’ve always done things – getting stuck in and being curious.

 

Work through what works, what doesn’t, fail fast, learn from it, and move on.”

Lisa teaching a group of colleagues, talking and pointing to someone's laptop screen

Making a difference

Another colleague in my team has recently launched a new Power app that has dramatically reduced the time it takes to complete a complex assessment form. Intuitive logic has been built into the app so that you only have to answer questions that relate to your own process, rather than answering loads of questions that don’t relate at all. It’s saving each person who completes it 30 minutes each time and it’s saving the team who manage them 1,500 hours a year.

It is an absolute game changer and something we feel really proud of as a team, because we’re making a difference to people and the way things are done across the business. The value that Power Platform brings is incredible, especially in moving to faster, more agile ways of working. 

Learning and culture change

My team and I are hungry to learn; I would say that’s been a big cultural shift for us because now we’re in the mindset and habit of always learning. We access the free learning available in the Group, as well as through YouTube, Google and elsewhere. And it’s so important to me to be able to share that learning with others. I can relate to a lot of people because a year or two ago, I didn’t know any of this stuff either, and so I want to make it accessible to other people like me.

I think it’s all about being bold and challenging the way we’ve always done things – getting stuck in and being curious. Work through what works, what doesn’t, fail fast, learn from it, and move on. It's amazing what can be achieved when we work together and are bold! 

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