Increasingly, housing associations are driven by efforts to improve the quality of services delivered to tenants, introducing technological advances and innovative services that improve the overall customer experience whilst at the same time presenting more value for money. Associated with this change is the means by which they are focusing on core competences, outsourcing what have traditionally been internal functions.
Taking your first leap into the unknown can be daunting, especially when your business delivers critical services to residents or has spent a lifetime building and upholding a strong reputation. All too often, we hear stories hitting the business press of transitions from internal to third party service providers that have hit the rocks, but that is not necessarily indicative of most instances – it does however give all housing associations (large and small) a learning framework for success.
At Advanced, we fully understand the risks involved in complex transition projects. Often, it’s the transition process itself that causes resistance to change, despite the quantified business benefits it may bring. This is why, while we commit to delivering our IT services via industry best practice standards, we take the greatest care to make every transition from our customer’s internal team to our team as smooth and painless as possible.
Most transition projects at Advanced begin with a comprehensive discovery phase. Our experts take the time to familiarise themselves with each housing association’s individual environment, working culture and service, placing the user at the heart of activities so we can ratify our project and solution designs.
The unique nature of every project means that no project delivery team is the same. We assemble our team of experts on a customer-by-customer basis, with each team member selected based on the customer’s specific culture, service, solution design and project complexity. These bespoke teams with their blended skill sets are one of the many reasons our transition projects have been so successful.
As with any change, communication is key. We start every project with daily check-ins and this cadence will continue or modify depending upon our customer’s requirements and project complexity. Because every housing association is different, we flex our approach, adopting best practice methodologies from a combination of Agile and Waterfall project management principles which are governed by a tried and tested project governance model.
When transition projects fail
One of the main reasons why transition projects fail is that teams lose sight of the user as they progress. At Advanced, we have developed customer-centric, in-project support models to reduce disruption to your residents and internal teams while transition is in-flight. We recognise their perception of a service is as important (if not more so), than traditional service level agreements.
Ensuring residents are satisfied with an IT service means IT is not only making day to day activities run smoothly, it enhances them. Transition projects can typically take between 3-6months, so every Advanced team understands that getting this right is essential. Our project at London City Airport is a perfect example. A business that relies upon working like clockwork to safely and securely process people and goods through their doors, London City Airport trusted Advanced with their IT transition. Undertaking a project such as this involves extremely stringent KPIs and high risk – ultimately it is no mean feat, however our team not only delivered on time and in budget, but the results reported from users throughout the transition were consistently positive.
Whether reflecting on large projects such as Irwin Mitchel – a legal firm who employs over 2,500 people – or Tideway as they undertake a mission-critical project to fortify our sewage system and clean up the river Thames, we are proud of the results we have enabled for our customers and have often bridged the gap between IT and their business objectives.
Despite involving a fair bit of upheaval, it is in our corporate DNA to make every IT transition project as smooth as possible. The attention we apply when tailoring our approach to each individual client’s needs is an often-unsung USP, but one that we take very seriously. No matter the size of project, Advanced will always safeguard the criticality of your housing association, ensuring your residents and staff quickly reap the benefits of a digital-first approach without turning the dream into a nightmare.