Triad Business Analysts Help Deliver Criminal Justice System Transformation
The Ministry of Justice launched their Crime Programme in 2014. Its purpose is to transform the Criminal Justice System with a cross-agency model that makes the system faster, more efficient and fairer, as well as more environmentally friendly. Triad has delivered all of the business analysis capability for the Crime Programme since 2017, providing not just analysis but driving and helping to roll out the programme, which is due for completion in 2023.
About the client
The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) is responsible for the court system and prisons and probation across England and Wales, along with some additional UK-wide responsibilities such as the UK Supreme Court. For this project we were working closely with HM Courts and Tribunals Service, an executive agency of the MOJ.
The client required a new cross-agency operating model and business architecture, enabled by an integrated digital solution to replace seven legacy case management applications. This would represent a simpler, smoother and more efficient way to share data and information between police, courts, prosecuting agencies and other key stakeholders, and thus deliver a just, proportionate and accessible service.
Every year, there are many hundreds of thousands of new criminal cases in the UK, on top of a large backlog exacerbated by the pandemic. A faster, more efficient system would mean many more of these could go ahead on time, with guilty pleas identified early and processed in one hearing, and valuable resources saved for focusing on the right cases. The processing and administrative aspects of a trial would be quicker and more effectively managed, with fewer adjournments and other delays.
With ambitious aims such as these and with so many different bodies involved, the right analytical and management expertise, together with multi-faceted and dedicated long-term support, was essential.
Starting in 2017, Triad has worked closely with business process owners and other stakeholders to help analyse, design, develop and deliver the Crime Programme:
- Business analysis – innovating new ways of working was the key initial task given the complexity of the project, the numbers of people working on it (10+ Agile teams) and the breadth of stakeholders. We set up a Community of Practice (CoP) to introduce measurable, verifiable continuous improvement initiatives, reduce risk, eliminate gaps and duplication, clarify best practice and achieve faster, smoother, collaborative staged delivery. Throughout the project, we also had to scrutinise and take into account new legislation as it was introduced.
- Requirements analysis and design – working with business process owners and multi-vendor delivery teams to enable the bespoke design, testing and delivery of an end-to-end Common Platform. This included hundreds of functional increments which we would pick up as they were prioritised, using tools such as Confluence and Jira to document requirements, and write epics (smaller tasks taken from larger pieces of work), user stories and acceptance criteria. As well as producing enhanced documentation, we had to manage all the reference data requirements, ensuring they were kept secure while still being searchable.
- Flexible resourcing – supplying up to 23 business analysts at a time as required, and working with teams of UX designers, user researchers, developers and testers. Our professionals were headed by one of our senior business analysts, who took the lead in getting everything through a rigorous multi-stage approval process, including by senior judges.
- Stakeholder engagement – as well as HMCTS, this included the judiciary, Police, Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Prisons and Probation Services, DVLA and many other professionals. Triad has taken care to bring all parties on board with the programme, and to communicate changes at all stages.
As of December 2022, the Crime Programme is live in over 75% of all criminal courts in England and Wales. The Common Platform has accepted over 230,000 cases onto the system and managed over 435,000 hearings in the Crown and magistrates’ courts. Professionals from over 1,600 legal firms have been onboarded.
Results have been excellent, with the whole system already operating more quickly and smoothly. Typical comments include:
“Dealing with a case on a single system, rather than at least 3 different systems as we did previously, is more practical and efficient.” Legal Adviser, HMCTS
“I have used Common Platform from the outset, which has really assisted in the efficiency of dealing with cases…Common Platform really is the next step in finally achieving a system between all parties which will help remove the communication barriers which are all too present in today’s court system.” Defence Solicitor
There have been considerable environmental benefits as well, with far less generation and delivery of paperwork necessary. In fact, in magistrates’ courts and the Crown Court, paperwork is being essentially eliminated altogether. The move to digital is putting an end to the towering piles of boxed files beloved of TV crime dramas. It also means no data has to be stored and sent on CDs – and potentially go missing.
Triad will continue to work with the client during 2023, as the rollout completes.