Defining a user-centred CRM data entity model with Lewisham Homes

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Four-week discovery phase across eight services

  • Lewisham Homes’ first agile, user-centred project
  • Exploring and validating a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) data model
  • Carrying out user research across a wide range of services, engaging residents, staff and stakeholders
  • Creating a CRM data entity model, aligned with the HACT UK Housing Data Standard

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Resident user interviews

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Staff user interviews and shadowing sessions

Supporting the delivery of services to residents

Lewisham Homes manages 18,000+ homes across Lewisham, and is embarking on a wide-ranging service redesign and digital reforming programme. A key part of this programme of work is the implementation of a new CRM system, with the overall goal of creating a CRM system that will provide a 360° cross-department view of customer and property profiles, as well as a simplified workflow for resident-facing staff.

Prioritising service areas of focus

Beginning with an alignment workshop with service managers and frontline staff, our team identified early user personas and existing user journeys across a range of different services, including pain points and opportunities to explore further. This provided a starting point for which service areas to prioritise for primary research across the discovery phase.

“Having our research and user journeys up on the walls in a shared area of the office enabled others across the organisation to see progress and what we were learning from our research. This shared area was also used for our sprint Show and Tells, providing an open area for colleagues to attend and be involved.”

— Tom Harrison, Digital Programme Manager, Lewisham Homes

Understanding resident engagement across multiple services

Embedding onsite in the contact centre in South London enabled for the recruitment of both residents and staff for primary user research, and recruitment of participants for workshops. Our team carried out primary research, including user interviews and process shadowing, with residents, and customer service staff across eight different services, including housing management, home ownership, repairs and others. Synthesising research across all user groups enabled our team to identify how residents interact with multiple teams throughout their engagements with Lewisham Homes.


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Housing service areas explored

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Workshops with Lewisham Homes staff

Upskilling internal teams as part of the process

Our team ran a series of workshops with Lewisham Homes staff to further explore how staff interact with residents and their day-to-day experiences, introducing techniques including role play exercises to understand interactions between residents and service staff, putting staff into the residents’ shoes, and experience mapping. The Digital Programme Manager also joined the multidisciplinary delivery team as the Product Owner, working alongside a Service Designer, User Researcher and Technical Architect.


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Applying user needs to data standards

Using our identified and validated user needs, our team was able to understand the types of data needed to meet the needs in each of the service areas across the organisation. Assessing these data requirements against the HACT UK Housing Data Standard highlighted how this data could be modelled to meet the needs of Lewisham Homes whilst adhering to a new standard for housing data.


A CRM data entity model, aligned with the HACT data standard

Insights from user research concluded that a modular architecture would allow systems to be built independently and to serve individual teams better. General information (basic personal details, property information, tenancy information, etc.) should be easily accessible to all teams, while other modules are related to more specific activities. Based on our research outcomes, a CRM data entity model has been developed, aligned with the Housing Associations' Charitable Trust (HACT) and OSCRE standards, reflecting the initial mapping of a logical model to a physical data model.

“In just a few weeks of working with Unboxed, we’ve been able to gain a much better understanding of our services and how we can better help our residents.”

— Tom Harrison, Digital Programme Manager, Lewisham Homes