Ground-Breaking Lean Transformation Drives Major Change at the Department for Work and Pensions

| Succesverhaal

Collaboration with Capgemini helps DWP design and implement its continuous improvement programme

“ Lean is transforming how we serve our customers, and delivering the very significant productivity and culture benefits that the Department needs to achieve. Capgemini has played a key role in making that possible. ”Martyn Craske, Lean Client Lead, Department for Work and Pensions

The Situation

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is one of the largest delivery organisations in government, providing products and services to more than 20 million citizens each year. DWP plays a critical role in UK society, one that has recently been thrown into sharp focus given the current turmoil in the global economy. The Department’s mission is Work, Welfare, Well Delivered. Some 100,000 employees work from over 1,000 sites to achieve strategic objectives that span the elimination of child poverty and maximising employment through to security in retirement.

To move its broad and important agenda forward, DWP is constantly striving to improve customer service and looking for best practice ways to increase productivity and promote efficiency. The Department’s analysis of large, complex organisations that had succeeded in achieving major change highlighted Lean as an approach with sustainable, lasting results. As a result, DWP has selected Lean as the cornerstone of its continuous improvement programme.

During 2007, DWP launched the largest Lean transformation in the UK. It chose Capgemini as its partner because of:

  • Capgemini’s access to the very best Lean expertise in the marketplace through a unique partnership ecosystem
  • an impressive track record in using this approach to achieving successful private and public sector Lean transformation
  • an approach to transferring Lean knowledge in high volumes to rapidly build a sustainable Lean capability in DWP
  • commitment to the Department’s goals, backed up by a risk-sharing commercial model.

The Solution

The Department’s ambition is to transform itself into a “Lean organisation”, realising significant benefits in terms of customer service, productivity and culture as a consequence. DWP intends to drive this major change with in-house expertise—with external advice being limited to Capgemini’s up-front support for the first 24 months. Hence, Capgemini’s solution focused strongly on building internal capability to allow self sufficiency, and on driving the early realisation of substantial benefits.

Capgemini firstly developed a bespoke DWP Lean Toolkit “The DWP Way”, to tailor Lean tools and methods honed on the assembly line to the Department’s office-based working environment. “The DWP Way” was refined and tested through a series of pilots to maximise both benefits potential and ease of use in a DWP environment.

Through its ecosystem of best-in-class inhouse and external Lean advisors, Capgemini then worked in partnership with the Department to deliver a portfolio of over 30 benefit and capability creating initiatives across key areas of the Department’s operations, initially targeting the six highest volume customer products. Parallel to this frontline activity, Capgemini and DWP built a Lean Academy to drive knowledge transfer and develop internal Lean expertise. This capability growth required, by the end of the first 24 months, the development of over 300 qualified Lean practitioners and role enhancements through Lean for at least 40% of the 100,000-strong workforce in readiness to adopt Lean practices into their workplaces.

Finally, Capgemini and DWP developed a rollout programme with the DWP Businesses to carry forward Lean and complete the transformation of the Department to a Lean organisation by 2011.

The Result

Two years on, the Department is currently on track to meet or exceed ambitious targets for its Lean Transformation Programme. The original benefits case of over £600million is ahead of target. Customer benefits across the main business areas in scope are showing 20% plus improvements to relevant performance indicators, and staff and Unions are reporting positive improvements in culture and working environment.

The Department is now rolling Lean out across its main Businesses supported by the in-house experts and the established Academy infrastructure.