Reengineering Excellence at Ministry for the Environment

To assist with continuous improvement, we documented end-to-end process maps and engaged in business process reengineering to pave the way for a robust funds management process at MfE.

By way of context, Manatu Mo Te Taiao - Ministry for the Environment (MfE) works with partners to accelerate change and improve environmental outcomes for both the economy and society. MfE is the public service department of New Zealand charged with advising the government on:

  • Policies and issues affecting the environment
  • Relevant environmental laws and standards.

As part of MfE’s Policy Implementation & Delivery (PID) Division’s Continuous Improvement programme, a need was highlighted for improved business process documentation used by fund teams across 8 funding programmes. Also highlighted was the need for reengineering of current processes.  

Our work enabled current documentation to be more comprehensive, better aligned with the work undertaken by the investment teams, and to support consistent processes across PID wherever relevant. To achieve this, we drafted 8 end-to-end process maps to capture the unique processes being used by the different fund teams to manage funds. We also revised existing standard operating procedures (SOPs) to support these and included sections not previously documented.

Further, the reengineering work helped streamline processes, improve efficiency, reduce risks, and pave the way for a robust/optimal process that focussed on fund recipients and a high trust approach.  

In addition to this, we undertook exploratory work to identify ‘quick wins’, i.e. business process improvements that could be easily implementable. We also identified ideas for future efficiencies.  

Several challenges presented themselves during the project, including:

  • Outdated source information (dating back to 2021)
  • Lack of clarity as to what information was to be documented
  • Issues with/lack of access to systems that compromised information accuracy/screenshots
  • Insufficient access to SMEs for input/review, as fund teams were busy and under-resourced
  • Lack of full understanding/consensus to the meaning/relevance of a ‘high trust approach’.  

However, we overcame the hurdles through open dialogue, solid teamwork, and good relationships with the stakeholders. We were able to bridge the gaps and gain sufficient understanding to deliver what we promised. These included:  

  • 8 end-to-end process maps
  • 3 subprocess maps
  • 4 new SOPs to replace existing SOPs
  • 1 condensed fund process map merging 8 individual maps into one to allow for comparison/contrast  
  • 2 streamlined fund process maps, one each for contestable & non-contestable funds
  • 1 robust/optimal fund process map (proposed) that incorporates both recipient focus and high trust approach  
  • Quick Wins Register recording ideas for ‘quick wins’, future efficiencies, and the optimal fund.

Our documentation work produced the following benefits:  

  • Strengthening of processes  
  • Consistency around processes  
  • Transparency of processes
  • Guidance for processes
  • Clarity of commonalities & differences in processes used by teams
  • Visibility of possible gaps in documentation to be addressed
  • Buy-in from teams for process improvements, and on a continuous scale as well.

Furthermore, our reengineering and exploratory work gave rise to the following:

  • Streamlining of processes
  • Ideas for process improvements
  • Visibility of risks involved
  • Draft of optimal fund process that would be controlled yet robust enough to handle varying levels of recipient confidence and risk tolerance.  

Thank you both for taking on this work with us! We’re in a hugely improved position with our current processes and to develop an optimal process.






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End-to-end process maps.


Standard operating procedures.


Sub-process maps.


Condensed (8-in-1) process map.

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