Following the coalition government’s Spending Review of 2010, the Department of Works and Pensions (DWP) was set an efficiency challenge – achieve a 26% efficiency saving in total administration costs. Meeting this target while improving service levels necessitated a fundamental change in the way DWP managed its business.
A number of OCP consultants were asked to help implement a new model for the management of their claims processing operations. Working within the joint project teams we took the lead in the introduction of the new framework for planning and managing the staff involved in processing benefit claims – setting up new structures and helping managers learn the new skills required to succeed in their roles. A big part of the change required was a shift in management culture and behaviours.
Within 18 months DWP had seen significant gains in performance – both in responsiveness of service to customers, and in measured productivity of the c. 7,000 staff involved. As a direct result of these changes DWP has sustained the original gains and improved even further: in many offices the total productivity gain has exceeded 20%, and overall output has increased even as the workforce has been reduced.