So, I'm Steve Hodges. I am the Project Manager for the Digital Housing Project for Milton Keynes Council.
I think one of the greatest successes we've had was from establishing a user group. Using the frontline offices and really getting involved as part of the design process, it's really paid off further down the line, and they are helping spread the word of the positive work that we're doing and then we've really got their commitment and buy into the project.
Some other key learning for us was understanding the user needs and understanding from the user perspective, what our current processes are like, and using the knowledge from the officers working on the front line, and the users to combine together to make our perfect TUPE process.
So, one of the challenges we faced came through our current system provider who came to us with a product that was very expensive and would mean that we would end up going way beyond what we originally accounted for in terms of budget. So, we decided to go for a slightly riskier option of going through a different platform and using a slightly separate system and putting in a load of work at the front end to integrate from one system to another. At the time we weren't sure that that was actually possible and there were some risks associated with spending the budget to get that integration to work but luckily that's paid off now and we're well within budget.
So, for us, I think really understanding, getting a real in-depth understanding of what our current business processes actually looked like, but also the learning from the workshops and working with the SDS colleagues and learning from their experiences. What we have now is a really good, solid foundation and a good set of skills to be able to apply this same approach to other projects in the future. So, I think that's a that's a real valuable asset that we've now got in our service.
Establishing the user group with the front-line offices at a much earlier point I think would have paid off further down the line and we would have been able to get them a lot more involved.
And again, spreading the word at an earlier stage. Developing the questions at a far earlier point and we're reaching the stage in the project now where we are having to put a lot of work in refining the questions and making sure, they're fit for purpose, and that's actually holding us up in terms of delivery time. So actually starting to develop those at a much earlier stage