From a stalled legacy system project to award-winning success - Home Office

May 16, 2023

The Home Office arrived at the Zaizi HQ on Monday with a seemingly unsolvable complex problem that had stumped them six times before. By Wednesday, their team had high-fidelity prototypes of the solution and a roadmap on how they could finally tackle their legacy system.

At the Digital Government Conference 2023, we hosted a roundtable discussion covering the factors that led to this project’s success. Here's an overview of how the Home Office won an award by tackling its legacy system.

The problem

The Home Office team relied on an outdated legacy system to handle highly sensitive applications, which could not cope with the growing demand. This led to wasted time on manual paperwork and increased environmental impact and security risk.

Past efforts to address the issue lacked stakeholder engagement and failed to meet user needs.

The Home Office knew they had to move away from the legacy system and find a new, more secure, and sustainable solution. And they needed quick visibility of potential alternatives to address the problem.

They wanted to involve all stakeholders, including senior managers and end users, in developing a customised solution capable of processing the highly sensitive data. The digital solution would allow senior leaders to access the data, enabling them to conduct reporting and analysis.

The solution

Before we began the Transformation Day workshop, our analysts assessed their current digital and technical setup, including analysis of any previous work, metrics, business processes, feedback etc.

To understand the client’s needs and requirements, we brought in a multi-disciplinary team of design and technical staff.

With the client, we traced their journey and identified goals, problems, and barriers hindering their ideal state. We then conducted a design exercise to prioritise potential solutions.

The workshop gave them a roadmap to see how they could replace the legacy system.  

“Zaizi understood the problem. Through the workshop, their subject matter experts assessed our situation, came up with suggestions, and defined a roadmap for a successful product. During those workshops, through early wireframes, we were given illustrations of what the new system could look like.” Rabah Belatri, Senior Technical Delivery Manager, Home Office

The outcome

By taking a holistic approach, we worked with their stakeholders to map out the entire problem. This allowed the team to step back and identify areas where we could streamline the process and introduce a new, sustainable way of working.

The short-time frame allowed us to accelerate the decision-making. It meant all the stakeholders were aligned and — as they were in the sessions — had visibility and ownership of the problem.

Following the workshop, we undertook a beta phase based on our analysis and final report. Our approach involved breaking the roadmap into three-month missions to eliminate the legacy system entirely.

The new digitised and automated system is entirely paperless. It:

  • is more efficient and secure
  • is not reliant on spreadsheet and storage of physical documents
  • has improved data integrity
  • is easily integrable with other systems
  • is easier to monitor and audit
  • provides analytics to inform decision making

Recently, the Home Office recognised the importance of the project and gave the team a prestigious innovation award.

See what's coming up at DigiGov here.