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Midland Heart

Reshaping the Assets Team and Embedding a Legacy of Lean

The Organisation

Founded in 1925, Midland Heart is a leading housing organisation, delivering homes and services across the Midlands that enable people to live independently. 

With 33,000 homes, Midland Heart provides a range of quality services for 70, Midland Heart deliver desperately needed new homes for social and affordable rent whilst supporting customers who aspire to move into home ownership.

They also provide high quality housing options for older people and services which aim to prevent homelessness.

The Outcomes

Midland Heart now has six Lean Competency System (LCS) accredited champions experienced in the effective co-ordination of projects and delivery of process improvements.  Through the delivery of lean project improvements within Asset Management, financial savings have been achieved in excess of £200,000 over a five-year period.

The new structure has created 13 internal promotions, with the number of women in construction rising from 12 to 17 and the creation of four new trainee positions.  Staff engagement survey results demonstrate a 14% increase on employees who feel valued in the organisation and 7.8% increase in employees satisfied with Midland Heart as a place to work, indicating a substantial culture change.


The Benefit

The project has delivered a clear assets team structure appropriately skilled to embrace and deliver Midland Heart’s 2024 strategy. A lean strategy deployment approach has delivered a new fully integrated streamlined management structure with clear accountability, responsibility and a comprehensive understanding of stakeholders.   A suite of training material covering core continuous improvement / lean tools and techniques has been provided for future use.

“Our biggest thanks go to Tracy Congdon, senior business consultant at Vantage, who has led us through this lean journey. Tracey is a true advocate of Lean, inspiring the champions and others across Asset Management with her passion for processes. Tracey has been a fantastic mentor, bringing the champions together and supporting us with our training and projects, ensuring that not only are our projects a success, but that we are also exam ready.”

Executive Director of Assets, Midland Heart

Project In Detail

The Challenge

The Asset Management team was undergoing a period of transition, building a future proofed division ready to support delivery of the 2024 corporate strategy.  Phase one of the transformation programme had created a high-level management structure supported by four heads of service incorporating the in-house operational team.  The challenge now fell in creating teams and structures fit for the future whilst maintaing excellent customer service and taking staff along in the journey of transition.  Creating a culture of innovation and collaboration was imperative.   

The challenge was to engage the whole management team to involve them at the start and show them the process that was to be undertaken.  Early engagement was the key to achieving collaboration across teams and workstreams. 

Our Solution: Organisation Design 

Vantage created a business case for change through engagement with the executive and operational teams at Midland Heart to implement a Transformation programme.

Highlights of the transformation project include:

  • Re-shaped and future-proofed the organisational structure
  • Agreed a framework for the implementation of lean
  • Embedded a legacy of lean ways of working by training and coaching six lean champions

At the heart of the project was the process of gaining trust and relationship building, with the delivery team and also with the lean champions. Rather than just delivering classroom “chalk and talk” learning, Vantage delivered a side by side methodology with live project learning and delivery, which brought the learning to life whilst delivering results for the client.

Staff were taken on the journey of the transformation to ensure sustainability and buy in and embed confidence in the project.  The feedback was that Vantage brought a huge level of enthusiasm and positivity to the project and instilled confidence in the team members that empowered them. 

The champions will now lead other projects and deliver continuous improvement within them.  The asset management director will then offer out the skills to other departments to share learning and for the existing champions to achieve further related qualifications in Lean Competency Systems (LCS).  This work has left a lasting legacy within Midland Heart,