I'm Sushma Chauhan, I work for Luton Council. My main title is the Housing Solutions Manager, but I’m also the manager for the Digital Programme.
Having a structured approach to what we're doing, and the learnings helped to identify problems and complex areas. It helped us to focus on the user rather than systems, and what we wanted to do to deliver. And making sure that everything had a timely approach to the whole programme, so you weren't missing anything out or having to backtrack, which then cause difficulties because you've moved on so far and then you're trying to backtrack in retrospect and trying to get views which are not current and are historical.
The biggest challenge that we've had is that we were going live with an I.T. system with a new provider and getting the engagement or the buy-in by that provider into the digital programme. There's been sort of problems and delays in moving that forward so the timelines that we had mapped out right at the beginning, which were delayed, and we haven't been able to deliver it on time. But we do have the buy-in and we have rescheduled all of the dates so it is moving forward but not as fast as we would have liked it to have.
The greatest success I would say is getting the contractors on board with the new I.T. system. I don't think we were that far off with the thinking, it was just them delivering what we needed in a timely fashion as we wanted it.
As for the whole project I found it very valuable because it's really given me an insight to a different piece of work which I didn't have much knowledge of.
Assess carefully what the organization is doing. Don't commit yourself to the project if you have got a new system coming in with a new provider that you don't have any background information on. Also look at what else is happening with the council. What we found is that there were lots of digital programmes going on through various services which are all interlinking but, distracting you from your main focus of the main project that you're leading on.