Guiding Civil Service HR on their journey to the Cloud

As part of the Cabinet Office, Civil Service HR (CSHR) is responsible for setting HR strategy and policy, and sharing best practice across government. Implementing the Government Shared Services Strategy and the process of adopting Cloud technology across the back office is driving change in HR teams in every government department. 

The Government Chief People Officer and Civil Service HR’s Head of Technology, Strategy and Innovation recognised the opportunity to use the move to Cloud as a driver for greater standardisation across government, enabling greater efficiency, a more flexible and responsive workforce, better data-driven decision making, and improved employee engagement.

But they recognised that these results were far from guaranteed if technological and operational transformation programmes were not supported by change management activity. Without standard guidance there was increased potential for duplication of effort across government departments, uncertainty about how to initiate or lead a change programme, and consequently reduced ability to realise projected benefits.

They asked Change Associates to help.

What we did

We developed a change management handbook for CSHR, and a set of tools and templates that could be readily deployed by HR teams across government leading or participating in technology-enabled change programmes. 

The materials were based on a six-stage change model that followed the typical steps of a Cloud-implementation programme:

Graphic - Steps towards cloud implementation

0. Prepare Getting ready for a Cloud HR implementation. It focuses on the groundwork that needs to be delivered early on to set the programme up for successful delivery.

1. Design Setting up and scoping a cloud project. Defines the solution to have long term viability in order to best meet user needs.

2. Create Focuses on the technical build of the system. This starts with a compelling case for change and typically goes an iterative series of prototypes so the ultimate solution is completely configured and ready for testing.

3. Test Identify and get ahead of any issues, and understand what the user experience will be like for people who haven’t been involved as part of the core project team.

4. Deploy The designed, validated and tested solution goes live.

5. Stabilisation+ The period immediately after the go-live that focuses on embedding the system and closing out any outstanding project actions before transitioning into business as usual.

The launch of the handbook was supported by a series of half-day masterclasses, delivered by Change Associates, on a variety of topics to bring the content to life and give people the confidence to use it for themselves.

The results

The Civil Service HR Journey to the Cloud handbook is recognised as best practice by the Cabinet Office and wider Civil Service. It is available online at GOV.UK and has been very well received across government departments.


‘The change management toolkit was very well received across the Home Office and in other government departments. Change Associates are real experts in their field.’
Zoe Vince – Civil Service HR