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Staples is the world’s largest office products company with annual sales of $25 billion, ranking second in the world in ecommerce sales with a presence in more than 26 countries. So how does Staples create a process excellence culture with more than 2,200 stores, 90,000 employees, and 7,500 SKUs, plus a copy, print, shipping, and tech center?

Create a Process of Excellence Culture with PPM

Creating a culture of process excellence requires a solid foundation, combining technical infrastructure with a network of people who share common processes and language. Building that foundation and keeping the process culture thriving is a challenge many organizations face. Staples met that challenge.

The Staples Process Excellence program now has over 400 active projects and has contributed to the bottom line since 2006. According to Cathy Wisniewski, Staples’ Process Excellence Manager, they built their community based on three foundational process excellence pillars:

Community Building. Create awareness through openness, sharing success stories, face-to-face networking opportunities and continuing education programs conducted three times a year. Communication tools, such as annual surveys and internal process excellence blogs, also help foster a sense of community across the company.

Leadership. It is not enough for senior management to send out a memo or to post scorecards. Process excellence leaders build culture through communication, data, and accountability. Experts lead and train their departments and become process excellence evangelists for the rest of the organization.

Project Portfolio Management. With over 400 projects, 16 Deployment areas, 70 Black Belts, 80 Green Belts, 11 Black Belt Waves, and 8 Master Black Belts, how does Staples keep track of it all? With PowerSteering’s Project and Portfolio Management software. Or, as Cathy refers to it, “PowerSteering for the people!”

PowerSteering for the People: A PPM Solution

To be successful, a process excellence community requires information transparency so that everyone is aware and on track. Visible data helps Staples ensure project accountability. Their use of PowerSteering allows their teams to roll up project data into dashboards, scorecards, and reports to quickly aggregate and validate information. Most importantly, reliable data about project results allows financial leaders to quantify the value of the Process Excellence program, build executive support and secure ongoing investment. The Staples experience demonstrates that building a global Process Excellence culture takes time and a commitment to openness and collaboration. PowerSteering Software helps enable this community, but it takes the commitment of people like Cathy to bring it to life.

Deployment Highlights:

  • Positive Bottom Line Impact Since 2006
  • 400+ Projects
  • 16 Deployment Locations
  • 8 Master Black Belts
  • 10 Black Belts
  • 80 Green Belts