The client

The Civil Service HR (CSHR) function encompasses all the civil servants working in Human Resources and Learning and Development across all government departments, agencies and non-departmental public bodies. They support departments, professions and other functions to build a modern, effective Civil Service.


The challenge

As part of the Cabinet Office, the CSHR is responsible for setting HR strategy and policy and sharing best practice across government. Implementing the Government Shared Services Strategy and the process of adopting Cloud technology across the back office is driving change in HR teams in every government department.

The Government Chief People Officer and Civil Service HR’s Head of Technology, Strategy and Innovation recognised the opportunity to use the move to Cloud as a driver for greater standardisation across government, enabling greater efficiency, a more flexible and responsive workforce, better data-driven decision making, and improved employee engagement.

But they recognised that these results were far from guaranteed if technological and operational transformation programmes were not supported by change management activity. Without standard guidance there was increased potential for duplication of effort across government, uncertainty about how to initiate or lead a change programme, and consequently reduced ability to realise projected benefits.

They asked Change Associates to help.

What we did

We developed a change management guidebook for CSHR, and a set of tools and templates that could be readily deployed across government by HR teams leading or participating in technology-enabled change programmes.

6 stage change curve model

The materials were based on a six-stage change model that followed the typical steps of a Cloud implementation programme:

  1. Prepare – getting ready for a Cloud HR implementation. This stage focusses on the groundwork that needs to be delivered early on to set the programme up for successful delivery.
  2. Design – Setting up and scoping a cloud project. Defines the solution to have long term viability to best meet user needs.
  3. Create – Focusses on the technical build of the system. This starts with a compelling case for change and typically gives an iterative series of prototypes, so the ultimate solution is completely configured and ready for testing.
  4. Test – Identify and get ahead of any issues and understand what the user experience will be like for people who haven’t been involved as part of the core project team.
  5. Deploy – The designed, validated and tested solution goes live.
  6. Stabilisation+ – The period immediately after the go-live that focusses on embedding the system and closing out any outstanding project actions before transitioning into business as usual.

The guidebook was launched in a series of half-day masterclasses, delivered by Change Associates, to bring the content to life and give people the confidence to use it for themselves.

The result

  • The Journey to the Cloud guidebook is recognised as best practice by the Cabinet Office and wider Civil Service. It is available online at GOV.UK and has been well received across government departments.

Cover image (c) CSHR | Change Associates

“The change management toolkit was very well received across the Home Office and in other government departments. Change Associates are real experts in their field.”

Zoe Vince

Civil Service HR