Building a 21st century, Homes England



FutureGov is Homes England’s digital transformation partner. Leading the organisations agile change programme,

FutureGov designed and prototyped a new service-oriented operating model, launching a digital and technology strategy and built a case for trebling the size of the in-house team, while setting out a three year, £80m vision for digital transformation to build a 21st-century organisation.

The challenge:

Transforming an organisation to enable the delivery of 300,000 homes across England each year to address housing affordability

Homes England is tasked with playing a bigger role in the housing market, intervening where the market is failing in order to support the government’s mission to deliver 300,000 new homes a year by mid-2020s and help more people get on the housing ladder.

Taking a 21st-century mindset, Homes England is becoming: 

  • a platform for landholders, developers, local authorities and others to work collaboratively 
  • a marketplace for would-be house builders and organisations that embraces technological innovation and adapts to the changing needs of the market

The solution:

A service-orientated approach 

FutureGov led a transformation programme, comprised of three strands, based around a service-oriented delivery approach.

Embedding a 25 person digital and design team alongside the existing technology team, they provided interim and permanent senior leadership roles including Chief Digital Officer (CDO) – FutureGov’s own CEO Dominic Campbell, alongside a Project Director, Delivery Director, Head of Service Design, Head of Research, Head of Data and Head of Change Management.

Organisation and change

 FutureGov established a consistent approach to change across the organisation. Setting up and leading an agile change programme that replaced a traditional waterfall programme, they implemented agile ways of working in a staged approach, starting with the digital team before widening to the change team and wider organisation, supporting people to be an active part of the change.

FutureGov also created an open learning culture around the change programme, encouraging people to share their work, make decisions in the open and share lessons.

FutureGov built digital capability in immediate programme team by delivering a bespoke curriculum; the Futures Academy. Focusing on developing practical, applicable skills and leadership at all levels of organisations, Futures Academy creates opportunities for employees to develop and upskill to meet the needs of users.

Service Design

FutureGov led a discovery to understand how internal stakeholders and external partners experience working with the organisation. Identifying pain points and opportunities to improve, FutureGov helped Homes England understand their services and reframe them in a customer-centred way, away from single-funding programmes and policy initiatives to clearly articulated customer-facing services that reflect the needs of users.

Homes England can now visualise an end-to-end journey of opportunities to describe how opportunities are found, prioritised and delivered.

FutureGov supported designing the operating model, in particular shape of design, transformation and digital, to align the organisation around the service experience for staff and external partners.

Technology & Data Strategy

FutureGov managed a technical discovery to identify technology gaps and risks. Going beyond technical applications, the discovery considered high-quality service design, data-driven decision-making, a future proof technical architecture and ways of working that enable the new operating model.

It identified over 175 applications creating a web of complexity. The discovery led to creating a new digital strategy and vision stripping down digital tools to make them interoperable, delivering better outcomes and flexible to change.

The digital strategy is supported by a business case, backed by user research, to access additional funds and deliver on a three-year plan to implement future technology in an agile way.

The outcome:

A new approach to organisation service delivery

FutureGov created an entirely new approach to the way Homes England delivers their services. Not only through discovery, but through delivery.

The Collaboration Tools project began rollout of new software and devices to all staff; the Employee Experience project redesigned the onboarding experience for over 300 new staff; a technology and data review was the first time the agency understood the scale of the technology and delivery challenge; and key customer facing tools were tweaked to improve user experience.

Insights led to 88 recommendations for the Land, Investment and Affordable Housing Programme alone, as well as a radical service orientated approach to the operating model.

By co-designing staff now work in agile rhythms and adopt service design methods; by restructuring the digital team they work much more collaboratively with colleagues across the agency.

But advocating for a Chief Digital Officer digital has become a key corporate priority influencing decision making; by reviewing the As Is, not just for technology but for service delivery, Homes England has an understanding of the challenges and opportunities like never before.

FutureGov have been trusted partners across the board, for strategic decisions about prioritisation and spend, to service redesigns.

By the end of the engagement, FutureGov will have partnered with senior leadership to drive decision making across several senior leadership boards of the organisation, held responsibility for running all major digital programmes and the agency’s transformation programme, and put in place the capabilities and plans for long term sustainability for change.

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