The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) now has over 100 Consultants on-site across the UK. David Johnstone highlights FDM’s role in their recent digital transformation and the creation of the TechBar. He has been telling us about his career journey and projects he and fellow FDMers have been working on.
Since completing my training with FDM, I have been placed in a Technical Support role with the Department for Work and Pensions, alongside a number of other FDM Consultants.
Shortly before we joined, the Department had implemented a huge overhaul of their approach to Tech Support. The new Director General for Technology, Mayank Prakash, joined DWP from the financial industry and sought to significantly modernise the way the Department used technology and bring it up to speed with the level seen in private industry.
Before 2015, IT support in the Scottish area was mainly recorded clerically on various documents and spreadsheets. In late 2015, a beta of the TechNow system was introduced; a DWP-tailored variation of the ServiceNow package used in many organisations worldwide.
This significantly changed the way that DWP dealt with technology, in order to guide end users towards more of a self-service approach while providing them with the tools and knowledge needed in the increasingly digital world.
This new approach meant that the way Tech Support communicates with users also had to change and this was the first area where we as FDM Consultants were able to shine. TechNow introduced the facility for users to interact with Tech Support via a Web Chat system. The TechNow system was not entirely intuitive but we adapted quickly to teach ourselves the ins and outs of its operation and shared our findings with our colleagues to increase overall competency.
Our positive and motivated attitude has been received favourably by the Tech Support team we’ve joined. We have been made to feel very welcome here and have integrated with the existing team smoothly.
We have also seen the launch of DWP Scotland’s first TechBar – modelled on Apple’s Genius Bar, providing face-to-face support for users. This has had a very positive reception, as the users appreciate a personal approach; I was delighted to be selected to staff the TechBar on its launch week. . The TechBar has now been open for nearly six months and is a brilliant addition to the Tech Support toolkit.
Personally, I have taken on several additional responsibilities, including representing Scotland on a national committee working to improve the functionality of the Chat system and make it a more effective solution for our users. I have attended meetings with representatives from other regions of the UK to discuss ways which this system could better suit the needs of the end users and improve their experience.
I am really excited to see the changes once the system is finally implemented and up and running.
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