Our success in meeting our own challenges has shaped our unique approach to consultancy
The National Insurance Contributions Office (NICO) – which registers 70 million new National Insurance (NI) accounts and processes £59Bn of UK State Benefits and Pensions each year – wanted to improve performance and the level of service provided to customers.
Our experience in our own company has shown that a high level of employee engagement is central to ensuring that any new way of working is sustained.
Our Practitioners worked alongside HMRC PaceSetter Practitioners to engage executives, managers and front-line employees in the initial redesign of two of NICO’s processing areas to prioritise customer experience and performance improvement in terms of quality, productivity, people engagement and the time taken to serve customers.
The approach taken allowed the creation of a robust ‘Blueprint approach’ that – once embedded and proven to deliver significant benefits – was rolled out to the vast majority of the organisation, covering some 16 further operational areas and incorporating 3,000 employees.
Training NICO personnel in the use of Lean tools and techniques enabled them to understand their current levels of performance and empowered them to work with others at their own level to improve work processes in the context of the entire workflow.
This transfer of knowledge and skills promoted a sense of ownership of the resulting solutions and aimed to facilitate sustainment of improvements initially achieved.
We also trained NICO managers in the techniques required to engage people in change activities so that lasting cultural transformation could be realised.
The programme resulted in the following significant achievements:
The transfer of relevant skills and know-how to every level of NICO – which involved training approximately 2,000 people and creating 65 Expert Practitioners – laid the foundation for the organisation’s continued success and its focus on the creation of a true culture of continuous improvement.
Since Unipart left NICO, this learning culture and infrastructure (and the continued engagement of staff) has delivered further (on-going) benefits:
As a result of its activity at NICO, we have undertaken similar implementations in other parts of HMRC as well as creating programmes to mentor HMRC Directors and to equip top HMRC executives to lead their organisation.