Photo: Stack of blocks with the words continuous process improvement

Driving Continuous Process Improvement forward

WAPA’s Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) program is championed by two relatively new leaders who are driving CPI forward from a long history and solid foundation for successful process improvement. Management and Program Analyst Stacy Bragg joined WAPA in November 2022 from the Internal Revenue Service and has several years of CPI experience in the private sector, including 15 years with Amazon. Management and Program Analyst and Program Manager Matt Jenkins is the newest addition joining WAPA in January 2024 from the Navy, where he applied the Lean Six Sigma (LSS) principles in various human resource and facility management elements at a Naval shipyard. Their shared dedication to improvement and passion for advancing CIP initiatives is unmistakable.  

About Us

We Power WAPA Forward by…

Aligning CPI’s process improvement projects to PF30 and nurturing a culture that is supportive and excited about process improvement.

Fun Facts

  • Navy Vet
  • Travel with family
  • Thrives on making a difference
  • Traveled through the Star-Wars Canyon at 7 miles per minute.
Photo: portrait of Matt Jenkins

Matt Jenkins

photo: portrait of Stacy Bragg

Stacy Bragg

Fun Facts

  • Private sector for 15 years
  • Mom of 4 daughters
  • Forensics Accounting Degree
  • Worked in China and South Africa

Advancing operation excellence

At its core, CPI exists to identify and improve inefficiencies within our day-to-day operations. It recognizes that most inefficiencies stem not from individual shortcomings but from the processes themselves. Over time, these processes can become unnecessarily complex, often deviating from their original purpose. The CPI method helps by employing the principles of LSS, a methodology that combines the principles of data analysis with a focus on delivering value to the customer. 

Led by a group of certified LSS professionals, WAPA’s CPI Team operates at the intersection of cross-functional collaboration and data-driven decision-making. Their expertise guides cross-functional teams in identifying and implementing process improvement opportunities to realize tangible benefits. Moreover, the CPI Team fosters a “Be curious, learn more, do better. Repeat” culture.  They provide training, tools, and advice to explore and map processes, analyze data, identify root causes of waste and inefficiencies, and pilot solutions. 

The results of CPI projects often provide vital data to inform business decisions about the most effective way to improve internal and external customer service and meet customer and stakeholder expectations to keep the lights on in an ever-changing industry.   

CPI begins its journey

“CPI, just like WAPA, continues to adapt to its environment, to provide value to its stakeholders,” said Chief Administrative Officer Jennifer Rodgers, a certified LSS Master Black Belt, who was the first CPI program manager. In 2014, WAPA’s Financial Community adopted the CPI model, which became integral to our pursuit of excellence.” 

In February 2014, the CFO at the time, Linda Kimberling, established the CPI Program to enhance internal business operations and ensure efficient and effective delivery of services and products in WAPA’s Financial Community. By August of the same year, recognizing its potential to drive organizational excellence, CPI’s scope expanded to encompass all areas of the organization. The program was pivotal in advancing WAPA’s Strategic Roadmap 2024. 

Steering change initiatives

Since its inception, the CPI Team implemented LSS methodologies within WAPA’s business processes. The highly skilled team provided direct improvement in critical program areas such as WAPA’s 10-year capital investment plan, budget formulation, power marketing federal register notices, power billing, and the facility key and lock custodial program.  

The CPI team continues to “Power WAPA Forward” driving change, optimizing processes across programs such as the Customer Data Portal and Job Hazard Analysis. By fostering a culture of continuous improvement, they play a pivotal role in streamlining operations and maximizing resources, aligning with WAPA’s strategic objectives and process improvements across the utility landscape. 

Navigating strategic alignment

A 2023 program assessment affirmed a strong improvement-minded culture at WAPA, with more than 300 community members and 22 LSS Green Belt certifications. However, the evaluation also revealed a need to refine the project intake process and allocate CPI resources on projects with the most significant impact.  

Timing was perfect for a CPI program review, “Through training and outreach efforts, WAPA built a strong team of skilled individuals known as green belts. Successful project implementations firmly established a culture of improvement, instilling a continuous desire for excellence. It was clear the next phase was to tap into the existing expertise and apply it to mission-critical processes. The assessment formed the basis for a CPI Program Plan aimed at enhancing project identification, selection, and prioritization,” explained Bragg. 

The new CPI Program Plan, launched in October 2023, has three main goals: enhancing critical processes, cultivating WAPA’s CPI culture, and optimizing CPI staff resources. The updated project intake process concentrates CPI’s attention on required processes that align with Power Forward 2030 initiatives. Additionally, the CPI team will offer more learning opportunities for WAPA’s process improvement community to continue expanding CPI capabilities. 

CPI powers forward

In 2024, the CPI program is focusing on enhancing customer experiences and internal business processes that support WAPA’s Power Forward 2030 strategic plan. The team will partner with WAPA leaders to develop a data portal with hydropower generation and financial data for customer planning purposes, reinforce safety protocols in WAPA’s field operations, optimize inventory management processes, and ultimately enhance organizational efficiency and effectiveness. The program’s commitment to maturing the CPI culture and leveraging community expertise ensures WAPA’s readiness to embrace future challenges. 

Jenkins emphasized, “Our commitment to maturing the CPI culture, implementing the program plan, and harnessing community expertise keeps us poised to embrace tomorrow’s challenges. The evolution of CPI is pivotal to WAPA’s success and is a vital element of a high-performing organization.” 

The journey of CPI at WAPA is marked by innovation, collaboration, and an unwavering commitment to excellence. “As we look to the future, we aim to increase alignment between CPI and Power Forward 2030 so our limited resources are dedicated to meeting the organization’s strategic goals and objectives and other mission and operational priorities. In addition to increased strategic alignment, building our employees capacity to analyze and improve critical processes, will pave the way for a future defined by continual growth, improvement, and positive change,” said Chief Strategy Officer Kerry Whitford. 

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