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Improving delivery of Organisational change with OCIT

Organisation: NHS England
Industry: Healthcare
Location: Leeds
Size: 8,000

"Organisational Change and Impact Tracker application (OCIT) has revolutionised the way NHSE/I leads and reports on organisational change. Replacing error-prone spreadsheets, OCIT provides structure and insight to ensure that change is well-led and staff are fully engaged. The OCIT dashboard provides real-time status updates, keeping complex change programmes on track."

Antony Williamson, Head of HR & OD Workforce Insight, Analytics and Planning


A bespoke solution built for NHSE&I which allows their HR department to specify and execute HR processes in a fully audited and compliant manner. Users and managers receive electronic tasks to carry out; HR managers specify the HR processes via a friendly user interface. The system is accessed via SharePoint online with business logic and data managed by Microsoft Azure.

Key Benefits

  1. Standardised and better quality KPI information
  2. Consistency in communications issued to staff
  3. Assurance, robustness, and defensibility of HR processes
  4. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) built in to processes
  5. Integration to ESR to ensure leavers, starters and changers all treated correctly.

The Challenge

Due to various reforms, NHS England were planning for considerable restructuring activity and workforce churn requiring significant management effort. Coupled with this, the organisation had to adhere to strict procedures while implementing this upcoming change.

Their existing IT solution for managing this activity was a set of non-standardised Excel spreadsheets, they quickly recognised this was both unscalable and presented several additional problems:

  • The use of multiple spreadsheets did not support an accurate set of reports through which managers could glean the vital insight they needed to ensure a successful outcome for all the stakeholders.
  • It would be very difficult to ensure that they were following the strict change implementation procedures to mitigate the risk of being in breach and liable to a trade union claim.
  • The management resource available was insufficient; they needed to be empowered to work more efficiently to deal with the workload.

The Approach

The project followed a waterfall methodology which involved a rigorous design upfront. This design included a database design for the relational data, an object model with a class library, a set of UI wireframes, performance considerations and integration requirements with NHS England’s HR system. There were a few changes that were made part way through the development as NHS England discovered new requirements, and these changes were factored in with only small amounts of change control needed.

“The use of Microsoft development tooling, allied with Azure Functions, React, the Fluid Framework, and automated build and deployment procedures accelerated development of the OCIT solution, and delivered a flexible, extensible platform for NHS England to continue evolving.” 

Jonathan Beckett, Technical Consultant, Deltascheme

The Solution

The solution comprised of a custom application which allows the data to be stored in a relational database instead of Excel spreadsheets. The user interface provided HR staff with the ability to design different processes through which they could progress and track staff members undergoing different organisational changes. At different stages in the process staff members and their line manager could be assigned tasks and receive notifications.

From a technical perspective: the application used SharePoint as an authentication portal to a custom front-end designed using Office UI Fabric which is Microsoft’s open-source library of UI components to provide a consistent UX for end users. The back end the application was hosted in Azure, business logic was executed using Azure functions which enabled the application to easily scale to the 8,000 members of staff. The data was stored in Azure SQL server which was also tuned to deliver the appropriate level of resource as demand on the server varied.

The Result

The project was delivered successfully, on schedule and within budget and enabled NHS England and Improvement to facilitate a change programme which delivered approximately £140m of savings. The project has been put forward for an award for innovation in HR.

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