7 tips for approaching transformation

matt_mccormackAs more and more are finding, salami-sliced incremental cuts as a response to the pressures on efficiency, can only get an organisation so far.

Sooner or later, if you want to get the most from your organisation, you have to take a serious look at transformation. Having been through the slicer for a number of years already, many LAs and ALMOs have explored what a more fundamental approach can do for them and their customers.

We have worked with Westminster Council and are working with Manchester City Council on management options that critically assess cost and quality in the delivery of housing services. We’ve also worked with forward thinking RPs and ALMOs who are not just thinking how to cut costs but are thinking how to transform their models of delivery to be fit and effective for the future. Here are some tips for all that have emerged from those projects.

  1. Be clear on your offer

Be clear about what your service offer is; what you do and don’t do, and stick to it. This is both about having a clear mission and purpose, and about delivering consistent services. Being honest and clear about WHAT you’re trying to deliver is a great starting point when thinking about HOW best to deliver it.

  1. Trust in the wisdom of your frontline staff

We often use so-called ‘lean’ principles in our workshops with staff. One such principle is that the people best placed to identify where improvements can be made and waste removed from a process or system, are those who actually perform the processes and use those systems.

  1. Acknowledge your particular situation

Every organisation does things its own way; has its own set of objectives, strengths and challenges. Whilst some focus on core housing services or development, we’ve also seen great examples of the community work that some housing organisations do outside of housing, and where this work adds real value. Each organisation has its own solution and the better you know your customers, stock and culture, the better informed your solution will be.

  1. Set aside resource to enable transformation

Technology is usually the obvious financial cost, but be mindful of the project management needs of a successful transformation programme. CityWest Homes who we recently worked with to design a new Target Operating Model, have dedicated transformation staff and are making good progress through their change programme as a result.

  1. Don’t assume transformation has to be ‘big bang’

When considering organisational transformation and the resources it requires, it’s important to note that the pace of change need not necessarily be immediate. Especially when your transformation involves customer contact channel migration, sometimes a staged approach is best.

  1. When the decision is made, get the right people behind it

Find the advocates who will drive the change in the organisation. You likely already know who they are. Form a Programme Board or Steering Group to both govern the change appropriately and drive activity.

  1. The importance of maintaining culture

Do not underestimate the importance of creating and maintaining a positive culture during and after transformation. Invest thought into this … and have a chat with us.

For an informal conversation about our approach to supporting transformation and developing target operating models, contact:

Michael Appleby, Head of Organisational Excellence – 07545 314 749  |  michael.appleby@altairltd.co.uk

Graham Hishmurgh, Senior Consultant – 07940 569 395  |  graham.hishmurgh@altairltd.co.uk

Matt McCormack-Evans, Consultant – 07931 752 786  |  matt.mccormackevans@altairltd.co.uk