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Introducing our Enablers: the most critical parts of DWP’s Business Design

Our vision for DWP is to put user needs at the heart of our thinking, delivering the policy intent through digital services which we continuously improve. We recognise there is an opportunity for us to deliver some of our services in a much more modern and efficient way, by collecting and using data in a more joined-up way, automating whenever it’s safe to do so, constantly improving our services and reacting rapidly to user feedback.

We’re working on DWP’s Business Design to help communicate and join-up all of our change efforts across the organisation.

The six Enablers in DWP's Business Design


To summarise our more detailed work, we’re highlighting six critical ‘Enablers’ of our transformation journey. We are integrating these throughout our design, so that they become part of the fabric of how we do things at DWP:

  • Secure self-service wherever possible – our ability to create simple, secure and responsive online services. These need to be so good and so trusted that our customers choose to use them whenever they can in preference to other channels.
  • Decision-making based on trust and risk – our ability to understand the trust level and risk associated with each individual transaction we process, so that we can spot patterns and intervene when we need to. Risks could be risk to a customer (e.g. due to their health condition) or to government (e.g. fraud).
  • Intelligent data use, sharing and management – our ability to use data to drive more efficient services. Integrating and sharing data within DWP and beyond, supported by the right technology and data science skills.
  • Advanced analytics for segmentation – our ability to identify customers who may be vulnerable or require a different level of service, so that we can offer appropriate customer journeys and provide better decision-making support to our front-line staff.
  • Automated processes – our ability to automate processes whenever possible, enabling our people to spend more of their time helping customers. The ability to continuously monitor the performance of our processes and improve them.
  • Customer behaviour change – our ability to design and manage our services through continuous improvement to promote customer behaviours and improve social outcomes.

Through our current change work, we’re building some aspects of these already.

These aren’t just technology enablers. Each of them is the ability for DWP to meet business needs, so it’s made up of people with the appropriate skills and experience, the processes they follow, and the technology that supports the business outcomes. Importantly, they’re not a set-in-stone prescription, but a sketch that will evolve through iteration and learning. We can’t know everything in advance about how the Enablers will work, but we do know that they are all areas where we must have a step-change from today, if we are to realise our vision.

The Enablers are not the only things that we need to build, but they are critical ones. This aspect of the design intentionally focuses on the “mechanistic” aspects of the Enablers, and we are working on this hand-in-hand with colleagues focussed on DWP’s culture and behaviours. That means thinking beyond just skills and experience, to consider our attitudes and confidence to challenge current ways of thinking.

Our Enablers are the result of work across our community. We’ve agreed them by working across a wide group of people from all over the organisation, and we’ll continue the discussion further in the coming weeks and months.

Keep in touch by following Andrew @abesford on Twitter.

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  1. Comment by AzucenaNowacki posted on

    Thanks for finally talking about >Introducing our Enablers: the most critical parts of DWP’s Business Design <Loved it!

  2. Comment by adamjacksonsky posted on

    that is an awesome article

  3. Comment by S posted on