Project Portfolio – Simplifying Process

National Energy Board - Regulatory Agency 2000


The National Energy Board wanted to improve the efficiency of processing applications from its client companies which did not require hearings. The Board issued orders for more than 100 applications of this type per year, and their process absorbed considerable amount of staff time and took a long period of elapsed time. The Board had had little success in implementing similar changes due to the conflicting interests of many stakeholder groups.

Fall Line’s Role

Fall Line helped the Board staff plan for successful implementation from the beginning. Key stakeholder groups were involved early, the importance of the project communicated and solid support developed. Key opinion leaders were selected as workshop participants. The process improvement workshop was divided into two parts, so that the participants could consult with their teams in the week between sessions. Fall Line facilitated the design and testing of new processes for making the non-hearing application evaluation more efficient.


Three levels of application complexity were identified, and a simplified process designed for each level. It was decided that for the simplest applications ‘verbal hearings’ would be sufficient and these were field tested within a month. The ‘verbal hearings’ are now standard practice. Simplification of the mid-level application process required further work which was completed within six months. Success in these two areas freed up staff time for focus on the most complex applications, where it is quite rightly required.