Transformation at scale. Helping Lewisham deliver an improved customer journey and channel shift to digital services.
In 2018 Lewisham Council embarked on an extensive digital transformation programme to establish a modern front-office platform for the delivery of digital public services.
Long considered London’s creative borough, Lewisham is undertaking an ambitious regeneration programme attracting new housing developments, new businesses, and improved transport connections including a £3.8bn extension to the Bakerloo line.
The core objectives were to:
- Establish a robust digital foundation for the delivery of public services
- Ensure digital services meet the needs and expectations of users
- Embed agile practices and facilitate a broader culture change across the council
- Provide digital leadership and support digital innovation
- Demonstrate value for money
- Deliver a digital platform that allows reuse by neighbouring councils
Lewisham needed to capture the full potential of their digital transformation programme and realise improved cost and operational performance. It was essential to move existing services to digital channels, modernise back-office systems and achieve deeper integration between the different platforms.
The lewisham.gov.uk website receives approximately 17 million pageviews a year. Having been initially developed on SharePoint, the platform was limiting Lewisham’s ability to digitise services and had resulted in a proliferation of bolt-on services and workarounds. Users were struggling, and the website had limited support for mobile and poor accessibility.
To achieve the strategic objectives for the digital transformation programme, Lewisham selected Graph as their technology partner, to architect, integrate and deliver a business-critical front-office platform developed on Sitecore CMS and Microsoft technologies, and to support the council in their migration to Dynamics 365.
With a mandate to deliver large-scale change for Lewisham, we started with the technology foundation. We engaged IT stakeholders at Lewisham to map out the technology vision, roadmap and migration strategy.
Our vision was to deliver a robust digital foundation, migrate offline processes to digital channels and to improve the user experience at every touchpoint. Lewisham also wanted to provide citizens with a more personalised experience, and a user-facing portal with real-time information about a user’s service requests.
We implemented the Sitecore 9 platform, delivering modular components based on Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SXA) to reduce implementation time.
We introduced a modular ‘design-kit’ enabling Lewisham to develop new digital services by selecting modular components to create new user journeys.
We audited, rationalised and migrated all existing website content (2,500+ pages) from SharePoint to the new Sitecore modules, and supported Lewisham in developing new processes to manage the content lifecycle efficiently.
Delivering Channel Shift
Lewisham typically handles over 1,000 requests a day from citizens. We developed new account registration and login flow, modernising a legacy identity management database (IDM) and integrated Dynamics 365 as a system of record.
We integrated the website with Team Knowledge forms, and Dynamics 365 to automate requests, and implemented SSO to ensure a seamless experience when users move between the website and other service portals and payment systems.
A proven, reliable and efficient process
We utilised our Inception Workshops to build an in-depth understanding of Lewisham’s priorities and technology challenges and to rapidly build consensus on a target architecture, roadmap and migration approach. We also developed proof-of-concept integrations and tested migrations to mitigate technology risks.
During design, implementation and test phases, we then facilitated weekly governance meetings to ensure all workstreams remained aligned across the council to minimise risks (including the dependency on the Dynamics 365 migration).
Also, we introduced new DevOps practices to test, deploy, monitor and support the platform and component dependencies.
The go-live was scheduled across a single weekend, with both the Dynamics and Sitecore platforms being launched together. On-premise systems were stopped late Friday with final data moved to the cloud on Saturday. On Sunday, Lewisham’s team carried out testing, and the new platform went live on Monday morning.
This carefully managed migration was organised with service continuity in mind – there was a planned outage of just one weekend.
With the new digital platform, we’ve already helped Lewisham achieve early successes. Users praise the site for being responsive, intuitive, and customer-centric.
We’ve enabled significant changes within Lewisham, leading to a digital-first, agile approach, where challenging the norm is the norm.
Having built the foundational capabilities for the Lewisham web platform, our transformation signals the start of the next stage of Lewisham’s exciting journey as they focus on delivering improved customer experience and digital services.
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As well as Lewisham, we’ve helped many other public-sector organisations with technology modernisation and customer experience. Contact our team to find out how we can help.
The technology solutions that delivered success for Lewisham.
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