Moore Allison

Director, Learning Solutions

Moore was first certified as a Black Belt instructor in 1999 while working for Motorola and has subsequently trained and coached hundreds of people across a broad range of organisation types at Green, Black and Master Black Belt level.  He led many Lean Six Sigma projects at Motorola including large (>£1M) internal improvements as well as European inter-site projects. Later consulting assignments included a year as an MBB in Norwich Union.

Moore worked in the Advanced Manufacturing Technology group at Digital Equipment Corporation and then joined Motorola where he was Process Engineering Manager responsible for capacity, quality and new product introduction until he assumed the full time role of Continuous Improvement Leader. This involved driving best practice across the business as well as cross-site standardisation and sitting on the global steering committee responsible for Lean Six Sigma strategy. Among specific achievements was a programme to deliver site Sigma/CpK Improvement to 5.7 sigma. This was the best sigma performance worldwide. The success of this project can be attributed to influencing and engaging people throughout the organisation using a wide range of Lean Six Sigma tools such as Change Management, Process Mapping and statistical tools such as Design of Experiments.  The project was presented at the Worldwide Black Belt Symposium in Dublin, March 2000.


On leaving Motorola, Moore founded Six Sigma Scotland, worked as a Master Black Belt for Rath & Strong Management Consultants and then joined Catalyst in 2006 where he is now Director of Learning Solutions. Moore is a Quality Scotland Partner in Excellence and a leader of the British Quality Foundation’s Lean Six Sigma Academy. He has a BSc and PhD in Industrial Engineering, both from Queen’s University Belfast and is a qualified EFQM Assessor. International training experience includes Europe, Asia, North America and the Middle East.

Recent Experience Includes

  • Speaking at conferences organised by Glasgow City Council, Quality Scotland and the BQF
  • Running accelerated improvement projects for a global law firm
  • Designing, delivering and supporting a worldwide process capability programme for a global high-tech company
  • Leading the development of Catalyst’s new products including online training and a simulation based product “Lean Process Simulation” with our partner organisation, SIMUL8 Corporation

Martin Brenig-Jones

Managing Director

Martin is an expert in Quality and Change Management and has worked in the field for 20 years. Prior to joining Catalyst in 2000, he was Head of Quality at British Telecom with responsibility for Quality and Business Excellence across the group of 130,000 people where he successfully lead several BT Divisions to Quality Award Winning level.

In his earlier career he held senior management roles in communications systems, software and systems development. Martin studied Electronic engineering at the University of Liverpool and also has a Postgraduate Diploma in Management. He is a member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers.

Martin is a past member of LRQA’s General Technical Committee, a Trustee of Lloyd’s Register and a past member of the British Quality Foundation’s Executive Committee.

Martin is very experienced in Process Management, the EFQM model and is a Lean Six Sigma trainer and coach. He has trained over 1000 people in Lean Six Sigma techniques and has worked in: Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, Finland, Russia, France, US, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Germany and UK. He is also co-author of the popular book on the subject “Lean Six Sigma for Dummies” commissioned by Wiley Publishing.

Martin is a regular conference speaker on Quality and Business Excellence, for example focusing on the ‘future of Quality’ at the World Quality Congress, building on the EFQM Excellence Model, ISO 9001:2000 and advances in Lean Six Sigma.

Barbara Bird


One of the founders of Catalyst, Barbara’s involvement in Continuous Improvement spans thirty years.

She has worked with top teams to evaluate organisational effectiveness, competitive positioning and strategic development. She has also led the design and implementation of strategic change programmes and critical process identification. She is highly experienced in Lean Six Sigma techniques, having been selected as Lean Six Sigma Trainer for GE across Europe, where she trained over 800 green and black belts. Barbara is a Master Black Belt with the British Quality Foundation’s Lean Six Sigma Academy and oversees their certification process.

Barbara moved to consultancy after a career of considerable breadth with the Information Technology supplier ICL/Fujitsu. Her early career was in project management and her management experience spans software development, customer support and marketing management. As Strategic Planning Manager,she spearheaded a number of change initiatives including core competency analysis and resultant skills reprofiling; business process re-engineering; managing the cross functional teams which replaced 120 processes with a simplified system of 12 key processes; revised investment management processes to align investment with strategic goals.

As Software Commercial Manager responsible for ICL’s annual £60M software procurement and collaborations programme, Barbara established a new commercial/contractual framework to ensure competitive advantage from the third party software and services business. She also ran a large regional purchasing unit and was heavily involved in the development of ICL’s Vendor Partnership Programme.

Barbara is an EFQM Business Excellence model specialist. Key assignments include supporting the rollout of pan-European Business Excellence initiatives for a major financial services organisation and an aerospace organisation; trained assessors; leading EFQM and BQF Award assessments and site visits; devising simplified assessment processes and running many top team self assessments, often linked to policy deployment.

“You have been a great help to us on our improvement journey, and I look forward to working with you again this year.” Jerry Hall, Director, Operations, Rolls Royce Submarines

Barbara holds an honours degree in History from London University and a MBA from Henley Management College, researching the application of EQA self-assessment to strategic planning, goal setting and CI delivery. She is currently completing a diploma in personal coaching.

Recent experience includes:

  • Supporting the use of Lean Six Sigma tools to redesign the service offerings and organisation of the IS department of a major pharmaceutical company
  • Leading a project to reduce by 50% the resource needed to handle software maintenance
  • Mentoring a project to drive IT/SOX compliance through a global supply chain
  • Mapping and consolidating finance processes for a major retailer
  • Lean Six Sigma consulting and training for a telecoms company, an NHS Trust, an aerospace company, a major UK retail chain and an investment bank
  • Running a series of EFQM based self-assessment workshops for Board level management teams for two defence contractors, including action prioritisation and project selection
  • Developing and running the Catalyst open enrolment change management training programme
  • Leading lean six sigma projects for two retail companies

Vince Grant

Chairman and Co-Founder

Vince is an expert in Process Excellence, Continuous and Transformational Improvement. He held international senior executive positions at Hewlett Packard, Cable & Wireless, and in the Financial Services sector before forming Catalyst in 1995.

One of Catalyst’s UK clients recently commended work that Vince had done to develop a Balanced Scorecard for them as ‘an excellent piece of consulting and a major breakthrough in thinking for the organisation‘. A Danish client remarked that a seminar on Lean Six Sigma was ‘inspirational’.

Vince is a graduate from Cambridge University, and obtained his PhD in Physics from Manchester University. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

Recent client assignments include:

  • Leading Catalyst’s support for Lean Six Sigma Deployments for clients in Manufacturing (in Scandinavia), Pharmaceuticals (UK), Transportation (Benelux, Spain and Morocco) amongst others.
  • Benefits Realisation Management for a leading Transportation client in the UK.
  • Business Excellence Consulting (EFQM Excellence Model) for a number of leading multinational companies across Europe and North Africa including two European Quality Award winners (at the time of the assignments).
  • Catalyst’s Account Director for clients including ones in Financial Services, Pharmaceuticals, IT, and Utilities.
  • Training Lean Six Sigma Programmes at levels from Green Belt to Master Black Belt and Executive Sponsors for organisations across a wide range of sectors in the UK, Europe, North America and Asia.
  • Training GE Capital’s original Six Sigma Black Belt and Master Black Belt European courses.
  • Facilitating the development of the Process Management System for a leading UK public sector organisation.
  • Facilitating the development of Business Scorecards for several clients.
  • Strategy Deployment (Hoshin) for a client in the Communications sector.

Jenny Levers

Business Development Manager

Jenny is an accomplished Client Liaison Manager in the field of Business Improvement and Change Management. She is an advocate of Lean Six Sigma as an improvement approach having witnessed the successful implementation of many Green and Black belt projects in both manufacturing and service sectors.

Prior to joining Catalyst in May 2015, Jenny was Director of Services Limited, a small quality management and training consultancy, led by the well known authority on Organisational Excellence, Professor Tony Bendell.

Jenny joined Services Limited as a Bookkeeper/Secretarial Assistant in 1995 and quickly progressed to become full time Client Liaison Manager and in addition a Company Secretary and Director.

With her team of four administrative staff, Jenny coordinated the delivery of all open and in-house training courses, custom-built consultancy projects and organisational assessments. As Liaison Manager, Jenny was responsible for ensuring that clients received clear advice on training and consultancy options, that the selected trainers and consultants were fully briefed and that communication remained effective throughout the term of contract.

Feedback from clients often commented on Jenny’s exceptional service.

Jenny has worked with national and international clients in business improvement areas, across a range of industries and in both private and public sectors, ranging from large organisations such as Rolls Royce, The Ministry of Justice, Leicester City Council, British Gypsum, EE to the smaller SMEs as well as departments of the Abu Dhabi and Dubai governments.

Jenny has helped coordinate many projects including the:

– attendance of hundreds of delegates on open course programmes including Lean Six Sigma up to Black Belt, EFQM Licensed Assessor, Quality Systems, ISO 9001 and Integrated Management Systems

– design and coordination of over 50 Process Excellence Project Sponsor courses for a renowned aero-engine manufacturer across its divisions in the UK, USA, Canada, Norway, Germany and Brazil

– training in Lean culture and methods of some 370 Local Authority officers from 9 Local Authorities in the Midlands

– development of a long-term partnership, over a number of years, with a manufacturing client specialising in extruded plastic tubes in the implementation of a company-wide Six Sigma initiative

– implementation of Lean Operations and inefficiency/waste identification and removal and OEE & Total Productive Maintenance for a local engineering company

Jo Dowdall

Consulting Partner

Jo is a motivated and energetic business improver with extensive experience in developing and deploying Continuous Improvement, Lean Six Sigma, ISO and Excellence strategies across a broad range of organisations and sectors.

A BA (Hons) in History and English Literature, Jo’s previous employers include Masterlease Ltd (Quality Manager) and Investors in Excellence Ltd (Head of Assessment Solutions). Jo’s ability to assimilate and then effectively deploy external standards, eg ISO and IIE, companywide were her hallmark at these two organisations. She successfully trained delegates to become assessors to the standards as well as practicing “what she preached” by assessing organisations to the standards, providing value adding feedback.

“I get a kick out of helping people to access and understand business improvement”, says Jo. “Nothing makes me happier than seeing the meekest of church mice stand up at a flipchart and have a go at a new tool or technique.”

Jo’s customers regularly thank her for demystifying Lean Six Sigma and making concepts easy to understand. Said a recent advocate, “Jo possesses a deep passion for excellence and an insightful knowledge of good business practice which she communicates in the most engaging style”.

James Dwan

Senior Partner

James joins us with a wealth of experience; an expert in Agile as well as Lean Six Sigma, and a rare breed. James has an energetic and charismatic teaching style and a natural drive to solve inefficiency and disorganisation. He has recently pioneered an innovative fusion of Agile and Continuous Improvement techniques to accelerate business results.

Having graduated in Latin from the University of Wales, James became an Agile practitioner in the very early days of Agile whilst working as a software developer at FTSE 100 company Experian. In 2004, he joined Markem-Imaje to help to transform their PC Software activity. James’ first ever Kaizen event was to improve their software delivery process, laying down foundations and a mandate for accelerated Agile and Lean transformation. The results were stunning; in just a few months, the same team of developers who had never delivered on time used a tight PDCA learning cycle to deliver a quality product which customers loved one month ahead of schedule. Building on this, James quickly cemented himself as one of the top facilitators within the European Continuous Improvement team.

In 2008, James was promoted to Global Manager of PC Software, managing staff including in UK and Belgium as well as overseeing offshore resources in Bangalore, India. James led process alignment and improvement initiative (including CMMI Level 3 audit) at a time when Agile in India was still in its infancy. James provided expertise in software development processes to the company in general, leading to Scrum adoption across the entire group.

In 2010, as a Programme Manager, James introduced an Agile mindset to printer hardware development leading to results described by the Executive Committee as the “the new reference for all programmes in the company to follow”. All KPIs green (time to market, quality, gross margin, incremental revenue, project cost).

In 2012, James led a two-year Strategy Deployment programme focussed on improving transactional areas. Using X-Matrix, monthly business review, A3s, Value Stream Analysis and Transactional Process Improvement. The programme delivered multimillion dollar recurring benefits.

Most recently, James held global Programme Office responsibility, working with the leadership team to ensure a Portfolio which supported the strategy, and overseeing the governance for all product and technology development to sustain and improve performance at all levels.

Marie-Helene Vander Elst

Associate Director

Marie-Helene is a highly experienced Lean Six Sigma consultant. She is fluent in English, French and Dutch.

Marie-Helene joined Catalyst in 2002, after leaving General Electric where she was a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt with responsibility for the planning and delivery of Lean Six Sigma training across Europe for European Equipment Finance. During this period she trained over 350 Green Belts. Marie-Helene also coached Lean Six Sigma projects as a Master Black Belt for GE’s Rail division.

In addition to Lean Six Sigma, Marie-Helene has delivered several training programmes including Facilitation Skills, Change Acceleration Process and GE Work-Out.

Marie-Helene’s extensive Lean Six Sigma experience has seen her lead a variety of global improvement projects. For instance at RS Components she led a multi-national and cross-functional project team from the Customer Service function to improve their process resulting in a Euro 0.5m savings. Then at BAE Systems Marie-Helene led a cross-functional team in a Kai Sigma event resulting in a 50% increase of the process capability.

Marie-Helene is a qualified Pharmacist and holds an MBA from the University of Hull.

“Marie-Helene is an excellent trainer, I would highly recommend. Fun, energetic, kept the ‘dry’ parts of the course interesting. I have been on lots of different courses, but really felt that I had learnt something new”. Jenny Clegg, BAA

Recent experience includes:

  • Delivering Lean Six Sigma training, primarily Green Belt, through Catalyst’s open training courses in London
  • Providing Lean Six Sigma training in-house to a range of UK and international organisations from retail, pensions, banking, pharmaceuticals, electronics to transport
  • Marie-Helene supports the implementation of Lean Six Sigma within organisations through a combination of training and coaching, which have included companies from the airline, insurance and transport industries
  • Training Lean Six Sigma within a UK government department
  • Delivering Everyday Operational Excellence training for a utilities company

Helen Smith

Consulting Partner

Helen is a Lean Six Sigma expert and has worked in various roles as a Process Improvement Manager, Project Manager and Lean Six Sigma practitioner in the financial and insurance industries. Her roles involved leading change and improvement programmes as well as delivering training and coaching others through to accreditation.

Helen is keen and enthusiastic about business improvement and relishes working with others to enable change and to achieve sustained improvements. She really enjoys seeing the difference in how people approach and think about change and making improvements.

Helen started her career in financial services where she led various teams including the centralisation of training records and creation of a consistent way of developing people through roles and training which resulted in training matrices created around various roles and improved planning of training; and ultimately the instigation of a programme of continuous improvement using Lean Six Sigma methods and techniques.

From here she moved to the general insurance industry to continue as a Lean Six Sigma practitioner, working across business hierarchies, from front facing operational areas,project teams to strategic planning capacities. For instance, building a programme within business units to change culture and improve processes, resulting in a steadily improving ‘change maturity’ assessment and significant operational savings.

As Planning Manager at Aviva General Insurance Helen ensured that a £53m budget was controlled effectively, working alongside the business leaders in IT, MI, HR, Finance and Marketing to deliver timely recruitment against attrition, budget and workload forecasts.
She supported the business leaders to bring this together and to co-ordinate an improved understanding of business requirements against people needed, resulting in an improved recruitment schedule that could be forecast and agreed based on the reporting in place.

Helen holds a BSc (Hons) in Management (specialism in Human Resources), a post graduate Diploma in Management and an MBA.

Recent experience includes:

  • Delivered Green Belt training in-house to a range of organizations from banking, financial services, pharmaceuticals to government bodies, eg Foreign & Commonwealth. Provided coaching to these newly trained people to enable them to deliver successful projects and achieve certification.
  • Contracted by Electric Ireland, Helen developed a process framework and associated change process. She established a programme of process improvement within the Service Delivery area, actively leading critical ITS (IT Services) projects as well as facilitating customer focus groups to feed into a key company-wide improvement initiative.
  • For a utilities company, training business area managers in Everyday Operational Excellence techniques. She then delivered a project prioritization workshop, followed by facilitating project workshops for the specific process improvement initiatives while coaching the project leads.
  • Leading an end to end review of a customer facing process to understand fluctuating workloads and lengthening timescales, leading to a revised structure with clearer workflows and eliminating significant waste from the current process.