Transforming Incident Management: Nicole Blackwell’s COE Journey

In the fast-paced world of telecommunications, the pressure to deliver excellence while constantly reducing staff and resources is a familiar challenge. Nicole Blackwell, an Incident Management professional at a leading telco, found herself in a situation where her team’s voice was going unheard. They were pressed to deliver large projects, juggling a multitude of improvements, yet it was hard to remember what they had accomplished.

Significant Challenges Faced

Nicole and her team faced a myriad of challenges.

Resource Constraints: Continual pressure to reduce staff and deliver more with less.

Lack of Recognition: The gut feeling that their concerns and achievements were not being heard or acknowledged.

Project Pressures: Struggling to meet the demands of large-scale projects.

Focus Diffusion: Spreading their focus across numerous improvements, making it challenging to measure progress.

Previous efforts to tackle these challenges resulted in escalating customer concerns and dissatisfaction across multiple business sectors. Though the issues were acknowledged, sustaining momentum for lasting change remained a challenge. What had been missing was the ability to furnish compelling evidence that solutions would yield benefits for both customers and the business.

COE, however, marked a transformative turning point. It introduced a data-driven approach, arming Nicole and her team with the evidence to substantiate their proposed solutions. With this newfound data, they could convincingly illustrate the positive impact their recommendations would have on both customers and the bottom line—a true win-win scenario. The key takeaways from COE became evident:

Data-Driven Decision-Making: Armed with data, Nicole’s team could make more informed decisions and present solutions backed by compelling evidence.

Agile Delivery: Implementing a small, agile approach enabled them to see quick wins and measure progress effectively.

Visual Progress Tracking: Having a visual representation of completed work kept the team focused and motivated.

Key Takeaways and Learnings:

One crucial learning was that not everyone within the organisation was equally invested in the team’s success. However, presenting well-researched data that illustrated straightforward solutions garnered the attention of decision-makers.


COE should be the first course all new leaders take on 

– their teams will be so much better for it!


Nicole’s journey to COE was made possible thanks to funding from another business unit—a stroke of luck that enabled her to participate and create significant change. She also observed a shift in the mood regarding female leadership in the operations field, which had been predominantly male leadership. COE empowered her to navigate and impact this shift positively.

“Inspiring and incredibly generous Anita makes such a difference in the working lives of others. Anita is a highly competent professional whose passion for business excellence radiates through the entire team resulting in training programs that deliver practical lessons, allowing people to realise changes that have a long-lasting impact on all around them.  It takes much dedication and talent to provide high-quality programs such as these, and Anita’s passion for her work takes her programs to another level.” Nicole Blackwell

Nicole Blackwell’s COE journey exemplifies the transformative power of structured operational excellence programs. By providing the tools, data-driven insights, and a compelling narrative, COE enabled Nicole and her team to bring about meaningful change, making operations more efficient and driving positive shifts in organisational culture.

If you agree with Nicole that COE should be the first course all new leaders are enrolled in, then you might be ready to book a call with QBS here.

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