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

| Client story

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.

Click here to find out more about our Lean Transformation capability.