Thinking digital: Beyond Manningham Housing Association’s corporate strategy

The leadership team at small housing association, Manningham HA, were looking for a way to drive their corporate strategy forward with a digital business strategy. Concerned that they were being left behind, Golden Marzipan has worked closely with them on everything from coaching to dashboards, strategy to roadmaps – to leave the Manningham team more confident and ready for implementing digital transformation.

Manningham Housing Association works with communities in Bradford and Keighley to deliver homes and services. Although a small housing association, they are proud to “punch above their weight” in achievements. Launched in 1986, they have grown to support over 1400 homes and more than 6000 residents, especially focusing on the South Asian community in the area.

An unbiased view

“We had done the typical IT work”, said John Kent, Director of Finance and Resources at Manningham HA. “What we wanted was support with agile, data and trends – to understand what clever things other housing associations were doing with digital.”

Ambitious and forward-thinking, and keen to modernise, the small housing association didn’t want to feel left behind. They were seeking a neutral overview of their performance and support with plans from a consultancy which had a collaborative approach.

Their brief was to audit their current performance and develop a digital strategy. However, they went into the process with an open mind when it came to deliverables.

“We decided to go with Golden Marzipan because we liked their approach the best”, added Carolina Padovezi, Corporate Project Manager at Manningham HA.

John Kent from Manningham Housing Association
John Kent, Director of Finance & Resources, Manningham Housing Association

Golden Marzipan gets to work

We started by reviewing their 2019-2023 strategy, looking at what actions had been taken and where it could be updated. We carried out a digital assessment to see where they were – how they felt their systems and processes were working, risks and digital security, and where they felt they sat compared to other social housing and care organisations.

Golden Marzipan Director, Steve Dungworth spoke to staff at all levels of the organisation with different functions, to get an understanding of the current situation and the resources Manningham have available to them to make a change.

“Steve listened an awful lot”, said John. “And I felt that he really understood us”.

Once we had a full understanding of the team, we worked with them closely on their digital vision, strategy and roadmap to support the Manningham corporate strategy.

Project highlights

“We had highlights beyond these three deliverables”, said Steve, Director of Golden Marzipan. “We supported Manningham’s only Corporate Project Manager with informal coaching, introduced the concept of performance dashboards and carried out a cyber risk assessment. We also supported the executive team in selling the plan to operational managers.”

We then helped them convert it into a roadmap that will drive the plan forward.

“Golden Marzipan listened to us, and has put in place a plan that ticks all the boxes”, said Carolina. “The new digital processes will improve our data collection and cyber security, plus develop our customer satisfaction questionnaires, and allow us to start working in an Agile way. We have more of an understanding of where we are now, and feel more confident to make the upcoming digital changes.”

Driving the digital strategy forward

Competing pressures and a lack of resources have been the biggest roadblocks in the digital project so far. Having the plan agreed by the Board and then resourcing the plan are the first big steps on their roadmap.

Some initiatives, like changing IT software, are achievable with their current IT team, but simplifying processes and introducing different ways of working requires buy-in from the whole staff.

“We want to enthuse others in the team”, said John. “This roadmap will absolutely help us drive the organisation forward.”

While we’re leaving the roadmap with Manningham to implement, we won’t be far if the team needs sense checks, training and further guidance with their plan.

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