About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is a worldwide Christian church operating in 131 countries. Its passionate belief is that faith should be expressed in action as well as in words. Its work reflects the requirements of the communities it serves, providing practical help for people in need, defending those who are vulnerable and abused, and fighting against injustice.
Collaborate for Change
Change is vital to The Salvation Army’s future, says Liz Wingrove, Head of IT Projects, UK and Ireland.
Our culture is based on face-to-face interaction, and we often use paper documents. To keep pace with the growing demands for our work in communities, we have to rethink how we do things. Above all, we must share our learning and ideas nationally and globally. For effective collaboration, we need good technology tools.
For many years, The Salvation Army deployed the same business software platform throughout the world. However, users expressed increasing concern about the platform’s effectiveness, particularly as a collaboration tool.
International Headquarters responded by commissioning a report to assess future technology options. The report recommended that the Army globally should switch to Microsoft Office 365.
Office 365 is being introduced by the Army in different ways across the world. Some territories are replacing business tools in a ‘big bang' approach. UK and Ireland decided to change more gradually over a three-year
period. For the first phase – targeted for completion by the end of 2020 – 7,000 email users will be migrated to Microsoft Outlook, desktops upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10, and personal documents converted to OneDrive.
Army leaders in UK and Ireland were looking for more than just a technology rollout, however. They wanted to understand how the Army could be better equipped for its mission.
CPS was invited to explain how it could develop a Vision and Roadmap to help the Army get the most out of its technology and working practices. Between early February 2020 and the end of March, CPS ran a series of
workshops with different Army departments in the UK and Ireland – including online meetings when Covid-19 restrictions made face-to-face meetings impossible.
CPS aimed to understand how the diverse range of people within The Salvation Army currently work and
the organisation’s objectives for the future. The team could then formulate a vision for change, align the
technology appropriately, define a feasible roadmap for deploying and adopting the new tools, train and ‘sell’
the vision to everyone in the organisation.
Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 lockdown, the vision was agreed upon, and CPS delivered the roadmap in April on time. The Army’s Project Board has taken that roadmap to plan the following work packages for 2022. CPS is commissioned to support them with recommendations for user adoption and training.
Liz Wingrove explains,
CPS has expertise with Microsoft products, so we knew the technical recommendations would be very sound, but this project was never just about the technology or what the IT department needed. It was always about achieving change in how we do things.
Although The Salvation Army is making its significant changes during a time of great disruption due to Covid-19, Liz Wingrove says the response to Office 365 rollout is so far very positive.
“The benefits of the new tools are particularly clear now when mobile access and easy sharing of documents is so important. We feel we’ve got a foundation for the future. We’re looking forward to continuing our close relationship with CPS as we roll out work packages during the next three years.”
- Robust vision and roadmap are based on a good understanding of the Army’s working practices,
culture and objectives
- A foundation is in place for significant benefits from the new tools in terms of collaboration and
- Feedback shows that users are welcoming simple access to the new tools from any location.
A plan is in place for better ways of working and collaborating internally and communicating externally. Office 365 technology is aligned with deployment and adoption proposals. A schedule is ready to roll out work packages.
A word from the team…
We’re talking about simplifying technology to make front-line delivery better. Technology should be an enabler, not a barrier.
Liz Wingrove, Head of IT Projects, UK and Ireland, The Salvation Army