Helen Smith
Consulting Partner

Helen Smith

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.

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