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Delivering housing improvement programmes on time, on budget with quality standards met

Tribal publishes independent report on the systems that will be vital to deliver £40bn Housing Improvement Programmes effectively by 2010

Housing Improvement Programmes worth £40bn that are due by 2010 will require specialised, integrated information systems in order to hit delivery targets, according to an independent survey report from consultants Tribal which has been published today.

The significant level of investment and tight deadline demands extremely effective management of Housing Improvement Programmes in order for them to deliver in terms of time, budget and quality, according to the report.

Tribal’s survey found that many housing organisations were not using an effective system to manage all the information for their improvement programmes, and as a result could be losing time and money. Key findings of the survey of showed that:

·         26% had no system in place to manage improvement programmes

·         25% had no system in place to manage documents

·         20% believed that they did not need a system at all

·         23% had no system to report on the programme’s performance.

Yet over 40% said it was difficult or very difficult to track the progress of their programme.

Using the results of the independent survey, Tribal has identified the key requirements that information systems must have so that housing associations can use them to manage and deliver their improvement programmes effectively. The key finding is that a single, accurate and up to date information source about the delivery of the project is required. This includes:

· all documents: electronic and hard copy scans – with clear audit trail

·         integration with all asset management, finance and housing systems

·         the ability to produce accurate performance information instantly

·         access for a range of stakeholders including contractors and tenants

·        a clear vision of the programme’s strategy and how it will work "on the ground”.

The housing organisations which have already begun to use this kind of system named its key benefits as:

·         producing accurate performance information instantly

·         easily managing the performance of contractors using up-to-date information

·         having confident financial control of the project – being able to identify problems quickly and sign off invoices easily

·         saving staff time by eliminating the duplication of data entry

·         a reduction in use of paper following move to an electronic system.

John Stuttard, Director of Tribal’s Information Systems consultancy, said:

"Our job was to identify the crucial criteria for information systems that could be used to help Housing Improvement Programmes deliver on time and on budget whilst meeting their quality standards.

"The survey showed a clear need for purpose-built information systems to manage these sorts of programmes. It also highlighted that staff of housing organisations need to know that having an integrated system to manage all of their information could save them time and money.

"For example, how many housing organisations have paid out unnecessarily for reactive repairs because they did not have the documents that show that the work is still under warranty? These are the sorts of problems we hope to see eliminated with more of these systems being developed and used in the sector.”


08 April 2008