Information Management Recordkeeping


Our Lean process empowers departments and agencies to increase the value, productivity and engagement of their employees.

The Organization

Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD)

DFATD is the lead department for Canada’s diplomatic and consular relations, international trade, development and humanitarian assistance.


The Challenge

Compliance with the TBS Directive on Recordkeeping while amalgamating two departmental IM Strategies

The recent consolidation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and Canadian International Development Agency, brought about new challenges to the organization to unify their Recordkeeping and Information Management processes. The two organizations had differing systems and approaches, as well as a differing scope of operations and back end platforms. The department also needed to ensure that the unified approach was compliant with the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) Directive on Recordkeeping and would meet the deadline of March 2015 for implementation.

The Solution

Improving the Business Intake Process

The solution was to develop a single approach that would be acceptable to all participants and improve efficiency and service levels for clients. A Kaizen Event was held over 3 days with key participants, to allow teams to discuss the process and work together to establish a single approach to meet the needs of the department and adhere to the new TBS Directive.

Mapping out the current state

With a commitment from the Executive Director to have key stakeholders involved, BP&M facilitated a Lean Value Stream Mapping exercise to create a visual representation of the current state from end to end. Assessing the process from the client point of view, teams were able to highlight areas of waste and inefficient processes.

Identifying Waste

Waste areas were identified in several stages of the process. These included overproduction of reports; waiting for approvals; excess motion requiring clients to travel between buildings; and reassessing the business case as reports and documents were transferred along the way.

Streamlining and consolidating

The first step in streamlining the process was to have the client deal with a single point of contact who would communicate with each of the teams involved. This eliminated the need for different reports and simplified the identification of Information Resources of Business Value (IRBVs) and their associated risks all in one step. The teams also relocated closer to the client base to reduce travel time.

The Results

A reduction of over 30% in the number of steps needed

There were also improvements in the streamlining of the process. Client satisfaction was enhanced as requests were actioned more quickly. Complex projects were identified in advance and sent to a Project Team for appropriate processing. Service Level Standards were established and published to provide management with a benchmark for performance, and changes can now be identified to make further improvements. Further, employees feel more engaged and focused on client satisfaction and team performance.

Capacity for Continuous Improvement

Since both sides assessed the process together and developed the future state together, the event acted as a team building exercise. A sense of unity was developed in the newly combined team, which helped to define the way forward. Roles and responsibilities are now clearer, deliverables are simpler to identify and reporting to management was improved.

The numerous enhancements were presented in a concise Action-Out Report carried out incrementally over 30/60/90 days with many of the improvements being made within the first 30 days. This laid a foundation for staff to continue making improvements well into the future. Due to the success of the Recordkeeping initiative, the department is now employing the methodology for broader application to streamline other processes in the organization.