ICT based improvements
The project issues
BPHA is a leading and successful housing association. It has ambitions to create capacity for growth using ICT investment to achieve greater efficiency and to improve service quality. As a start point to a process of procurement of software and services to meet this objective, the executive team agreed to the development of a vision that could be used as a basis for discussions with potential suppliers.
Mike Hartley, Executive Head of Resources, asked Socitm Consulting to undertake this stage after we undertook a previous review of a proposed £1m investment.
The Socitm Consulting solution
We planned and held a workshop with the executive team to identify key targets, goals, pressure points and constraints. We then interviewed senior managers to gain an understanding of the practical issues and business requirements.
Our findings revealed a number of perceptions and barriers to the exploitation of ICT which had impacted on BPHA’s initial investment in a DIP and Workflow system for Housing Management. In view of this, further investment in systems would require organisational changes if they were to deliver their full potential.
Our report identified a number of issues and made recommendations that no further procurement be undertaken until these issues had been addressed.
We also recommended that an information strategy be developed. BPHA depends on accurate and timely information being shared across the organisation and the strategy should identify who owns all information and the responsibility for its collection and maintenance. Given BPHA’s growing dependence on ICT, we recommended adoption of a formal service culture with a help-desk and formal tracking of problems/changes to help close the gap between service and end-user perceptions.
We referred to the Socitm Consulting briefing on transformational organisations and the model of the pre-requisites for a successful transformational organisation covering all aspects from vision, skills, incentives and resources to action plans and leadership.
We suggested the team consider policies on home and mobile working alongside technical solutions, and also use HR to develop staff redeployment policy to help the objective of switching resources from the back office into more tenant-facing roles.
The benefits to the client
There are lots of positive signs and good intent, and clearly BPHA is a highly respected and well performing housing association. It is operationally a much focused organisation. However, without action to address these issues there is a risk BPHA would fail to meet its key objectives.
Our recommendations were accepted and action to address them was owned by the Executive Management Team (EMT). They intend to address them as part of a management restructure, and are likely to look at a skills audit or gap analysis to determine where they need an injection of support and where they need to develop their in-house capability to become a transformational organisation.
Client organisation: BPHA
Client contact: Mike Hartley, Executive Head of Resources, 01234 221300 firstname.lastname@example.org
Lead consultant: Terry Street
Project No. 5670
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