From Mandy Dunstan, head of business transformation at The Barnet Group.
As part of Housing Technology’s series of articles from The Barnet Group and their IT transformation, this issue we’re looking at how the housing provider deals with risk.
It’s impossible to embark on an IT transformation project of this size without factoring in risk. But how do we do this and what does it mean for our staff at The Barnet Group? As an operations manager, I am very excited about the package we have bought from Covalent to help us manage risk and to give us an overview of the organisations’ performance and where we can look for improvements.
At the moment when reports need to be collated for senior managers, we have to manually pull information from Saffron, our existing housing management system, and then paste it into another spreadsheet before sending it to our performance team to make sense of it all.
There are three main benefits to us of using risk and performance management software such as Covalent:
- Customer trends: the performance indicators data, which we have been using since May 2013, means we can look at tenant patterns, or trends emerging and do proactive planning, rather than have reactive responses to problems.
- We can update our records more easily: by removing the manual element of updating tenant information, staff can be more efficient by sending automated reminders to update. This in turn enables our staff to be more proactive in their work by using self-service.
- Group risks: in the near future, we will definitely be able to manage risks even more effectively because we will be able to track performance and allow managers to look at potential risks ahead of their impacts and come up with solutions.
To ensure that Covalent is practical and fits in with the way we do business, we asked managers to take part in the selection of the product, the design of the system dashboards and loading all the current risks and action plans.
We have now stopped using a plethora of spreadsheets to manage risk and introduced an automated approach to risk; this way managers and staff are looking at the same correct and up-to-date information in real time. And because a large part of our operations is about reactive change and risk, Covalent empowers staff and managers alike to identify trends and proactively plan for them.