HM Prison Service and Home Office shared service centre
When the Home Office (HO) made the decision to utilise the existing HM Prison Service (HMPS) Shared Service Centre (SSC) and asked HMPS to expand its services to all HO and UK Border Agency (UKBA) staff, ASE was asked to manage the transformation of the services and organisation of the HMPS SSC.
Quickly after the decision was made by the Home Office, work was done to determine the operating model for the enlarged SSC. The model adopted was more “co-location” than “convergence”, resulting in the need to considerably increase the complexity of the organisational delivery model in the HMPS SSC. This meant an increase in headcount of approximately 100 with the associated organisational design, staffing requirements, recruitment and training also needing to be considered.
ASE mobilised the project to deliver the SSC service transformation. The team of over 12 was comprised of mainly HMPS SSC staff, optimising knowledge transfer and minimising project costs. ASE performed all business planning activities and managed the project, including all risk management and contingency planning. Working with the HMPS SSC team, ASE assisted in the definition of the precise scope of services to be delivered from the SSC. Using Business Process Re-engineering techniques, ASE worked with the customer team to define the new processes looking for areas where the process efficiency could be optimised. This enabled the ASE team to develop the business performance measurement solution and the service level agreement (SLA) between the HMPS and its new customers.
To support the new operating model, ASE led the work to analyse the staffing requirements based on the definition of a new organisational design and new roles and responsibilities. New staff were recruited and trained in the delivery of services to the new customers. The project defined and developed the training programme and content. All internal communications during the transformation were also managed and delivered by the project team.
HMPS SSC’s successful offering of services to the Home Office is a rare example of one government department offering extensive, fully monitored and controlled services to another. By creating a team predominately staffed by HMPS staff, not only were the project costs significantly reduced but ASE provided the HMPS project members with skills in business transformation and the methodology to bring new customers in to the SSC.
In the early stages of the project, there was little senior engagement and support for the transformation within the HO was low. It is well known that, without this type of support, transformation projects are extremely difficult. This was ultimately addressed at senior level. In addition, the ASE project team conducted a formal stakeholder analysis determining the key staff in finance, HR, P2P etc within the HO and UKBA. Staff in the HMPS SSC were identified to actively engage with these individuals and develop relationships. This not only helped knowledge transfer but, through the newly-established relationships, helped the team quickly resolve problems and issues on go-live with minimal impact on the business.
The project team managed by ASE was predominately staffed by customer staff. The success of the project was dependent on ASE successfully coaching and mentoring the customer team, enabling them to deliver against their responsibilities on the project and retain the tools and techniques within their organisation. ASE also contributed to the establishment of a permanent project management function within the SSC.
Ireen Lock, HMPS HO Integration SRO and SSC Contact Centre Head of Service, commented, “The delivery of shared services from HMPS to the HO is one of the first examples of one government department offering significant services to another government department. ASE’s contribution to the successful transformation is significant. Not only were they extensively involved in the initial creation of the HMPS SSC, and subsequently in the enhancement of the solution for HMPS, they are now playing a lead role in the extension of services to other government departments. ASE provided very strong methodology expertise and experience, and complete commitment to the project. ASE provided the highest levels of customer service to me and my organisation”.