The Home Office is a ministerial department of Her Majesty’s Government of the United Kingdom, responsible for immigration, security and law and order. As such it is responsible for the police, fire and rescue services, visas and immigration and the Security Service.
Lorraine Daly talks to Martin Brenig-Jones about her journey with Continuous Improvement in a large government agency and how she saw changes in people’s attitudes towards the way they work.
Continuous Improvement Manager
Lorraine -I had returned from maternity leave and was feeling very lost with my career and where I saw myself in the future. I was working part time and found it a constant challenge to find out what had been happening in the office on the days I didn’t work, what progress was being made on things and was finding it frustrated that work was often duplicated across other teams in the business – only finding out quite late into a piece of work. The Department was starting to set up some small Lean core teams which piqued my interest and after reading some of the Lean principles and doing some research on Google I started to see the potential in what could be achieved.
Lorraine – At the time of starting I was a very junior manager, recently promoted with very little people management experience and no improvement experience. I had achieved Prince2 qualifications and whilst I enjoyed the structure of the Prince approach my extent of applying it was limited to an administrative role in the project management office.
Lorraine – I applied to be part of a new Lean Core team in the Departments Transformation and Products Management Division. I received classroom based training and mentoring/coaching from Lean experts. It was an interesting journey – I was quite surprised that a lot of the learning was around common sense, practical steps that added some structure to managing work and processes that was quite often missing. Consolidating my training was a challenge
Senior leaders moving from supporting to visibly and actively engaging.
Rolling out awareness sessions to the whole directorate.
Mini projects – small incremental successes.
Lorraine – Where do I start?
Having the confidence,
Bringing people with me.
Lorraine – Wouldn’t be prescriptive with tools and techniques to be used and make the learning scenario led – introducing the tools by ‘stealth’ as a structured approach rather than a name. Gain more best practice from other organisations – increase my network of support.
Lorraine – Seeing the change in teams who had previously sat complaining about the way things had been done, and people being creative in their thinking to think differently about the way they worked.
Try to win hearts and minds
Support middle managers to find the time
Don’t be too prescriptive