In June 2019 our project team delivered a successful HR case management system for the HR and Advisory Service (HRAS) team within the House of Commons. Our goal was to implement the new system as quickly and efficiently as possible as the team were in desperate need of a dedicated system. We had been waiting a long time for one.
The system has now been live for almost 2 months and it is already delivering benefits to the HRAS team and has noticeably improved their processes and ways of working. I’ve written this blog post about the team behind the work and how we used our cultural values to drive the work.
Team dynamics were the secret to success
Although the successful implementation of the system is an achievement in itself, it was the team dynamics and the way we all worked together to achieve our goal which was key to the real success of the project.
What also made the project unusual was that all the members of the main project delivery team were women from PDS and the Commons, with input from the external supplier.
Another thing we noted, which isn't often documented, is that we had fun. We in Parliament agreed that we really enjoyed working together on the project which made our jobs so much easier.
When thinking about the reason the team worked together so well, it occurred to me it could all be down to the PDS cultural values. While I’m not going to pretend that our values were at the forefront of our minds when the project was being planned, in retrospect the success of the project stemmed from committing to those values.
How we committed to our cultural values
Being a small team, we all looked after each other. We were considerate of each other's work loads and schedules and made sure we helped each other when members of the team were away, or problems occurred.
We built our own community and worked together as a team. Our shared understanding of what we needed to achieve and the benefits it would give to the HRAS team meant that we had a clear vision of what was required. It wasn’t just the immediate project team that helped us achieve this, but everyone involved in the project.
I believe the biggest factor to the success of the project was the confidence of the team. There were no egos or hierarchy and each member of the team was confident in their ability and specialism.
Every member of the HRAS team contributed to success by using their knowledge to test and refine the system, which gave the supplier confidence in us to deliver their system successfully.
As a team we weren’t afraid to ask questions, share knowledge, and admit if we didn’t understand something. We wanted to find out other organisation’s experiences of the system, so we arranged a visit from an NHS department who used it.
They came to Parliament and demonstrated the system which was hugely beneficial for us. They also became a helpful source of advice when we had some issues during implementation.
What we learned from this
There were other people involved in the project and they also did a fantastic job. Everyone had a part to play, so I would like to thank everyone involved.
I’ve certainly learned that good collaboration, respect for your co-workers, and a shared commitment and drive to achieve your goal, results in positive outcomes. This also leads to team success and the building of great relationships, whilst having a good time doing it.
Read other posts about the cultural values in PDS.