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The banking jobs: Efficiency and quality project manager
Derek Jones describes his job as “Helping people help themselves”. A certified Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma—a methodology for continuous improvement—this proponent of change joined BNP Paribas Securities Services Australia in 2006. Now he is Process Excellence Manager in the ACE Continuous Improvement team in Luxembourg. Let’s meet this Australian living in Europe.
Tell us about what you do at BNP Paribas.
We help BNP Paribas Securities Services teams in Luxembourg to improve their processes. To do so, we regularly organise workshops enabling them to identify problems and their potential root causes. Next we help the teams to develop solutions and define an implementation plan. Finally, we check back with the teams after the solutions are in place to assess the impact and take corrective action if needed.
Do you have an example?
Right now I am providing project management guidance and helping identify process improvements for a team planning to off-shore a number of their processes. I am also coaching a colleague to help him better develop and communicate continuous improvement plans for processes in his teams. On top of that, I am involved in initiatives to increase automation in our processes.
On that note, will we see technology playing a larger role in processes in the future?
The best technology is useless if the process is faulty. Our first goal is to improve the way we do things by using the resources at our disposal. Technology solutions are typically proposed as a subsequent step. But yes, of course, technology is becoming more and more a part of our lives.
What made you want to pursue this profession?
My previous positions made me realise how much I like to work on change. That’s why I immediately wanted to join the Group’s new ACE team in Australia, before traveling to hold the same position as an expat in Luxembourg. Working on strategic projects that matter to the company is important to me—and it’s exciting to work alongside so many smart and capable people!
What qualities does it take to do this job?
It helps to be an optimist with a positive outlook and a clear, structured way of thinking. You also need to be open-minded enough to work with all types of people on a wide range of issues. I would add that a good knowledge of new technologies and methodologies—such as Digitalisation, Robotics, Agile, Design Thinking and Lean Startup—is also essential.
You joined BNP Paribas 11 years ago. What attracted you to the French bank?
The bank is very focused on change. And since it has a worldwide presence, the Group also offers many different geographic mobility opportunities. Finally, joining BNP Paribas was the perfect chance for me to improve my French. What I like most about European culture is the team spirit shown by traditions such as eating lunch with your coworkers. In Australia there is no canteen, people often eat alone, or in front of their computers!
What is the biggest challenge you are facing?
Lifting restraints on change within my organization. We want to evidence the benefits of continuous improvement for every team, while taking into account their regulatory, technology and organizational constraints.
“ Keep an eye out for opportunities that arise and make them happen! ”
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