Claire Stanford is the dedicated Project Manager for Housing Jigsaw’s EHR and ATLAS modules here at Housing Partners. She spoke to us about the benefits of the software and how she works with our customers.

Meet the Customer Experience Team: Claire Stanford and Housing Jigsaw

Claire Stanford is the dedicated Project Manager for Housing Jigsaw’s EHR and ATLAS modules here at Housing Partners. She spoke to us about the benefits of the software and how she works with our customers.

No two days are the same at Housing Partners, a sentiment that is especially true when working on the Customer Experience Team implementing Housing Jigsaw. Designed to bring Local Authority and Registered Provider allocation processes under one system and in line with legislation, EHR (Enhanced Housing Register) and ATLAS (Advert to Let Allocation Service) are both modules within the Housing Jigsaw suite of products. 

EHR and ATLAS are modules designed to make sure that the right people get into the right homes. Each local authority or housing provider has a unique set of processes – and often, challenges – around allocating and advertising their available properties, as well as legislation that they must adhere to.

Claire’s role as Project Manager is to be, “the key point of contact for the customer. I will listen, help them meet their goals for timelines, getting everything ready as we move towards ‘go-live’. I ensure that our customers are kept up to date, clearly communicate actions and next steps and I also help customers understand what the software can and can’t do as far as functionality is concerned.”

Adopting EHR and ATLAS normally takes between 12 – 16 weeks for a standard implementation, and some authorities like to take the opportunity to complete a re-registration process.

Claire explains that, “we follow PRINCE2 principles and each implementation is backed with supporting project documentation, including a project initiation document (PID), project plan, action and risk log and a definition of done, which details exactly what will be delivered.  There are five key milestone events to implement EHR and ATLAS. Firstly, we will hold a kick-off meeting, then carefully establish configuration requirements, perform and support with testing, and then customers will receive training. Number five is go-live!”

EHR and ATLAS are highly customisable. This means extra care and time is taken to tailor how the software is working to each housing provider’s specific needs. It is Claire’s responsibility to capture the requirements that are needed to make sure the customer gets a system completely fit for purpose.

To support these activities, a star team is assembled to facilitate each implementation: “You’ve got two people from Housing Partners, myself and an Implementation Manager and when required, one specialist practitioner from NPSS (The National Practitioner Support Service). On top of this you’ve got reassurance from my manager Greg, the Head of Customer Experience, who oversees and offers support during implementation and post go-live”.

For Claire, one of the best outcomes from EHR/ATLAS is the ability to filter out and direct housing adverts towards those most suited to a home and making sure that the housing officer can make the right decisions. Giving an example she has heard from frontline officers, Claire describes, “One case I heard was where our customer was supporting ex-veterans, just out of the military having been injured. It’s nice to hear about somebody coming out of the services knowing they are going to be looked after.”

Here at HPL we aim to make the interfaces within our systems for housing professionals, as well as those for tenants, as accessible as possible by using plain language and building user friendly systems. “Many people access our solutions on their phones – a lot more than before. Users can upload documents, for example if they need to provide evidence like payslips or proof of work or a pension; or whatever an LA chooses to capture as part of their allocation policy and processes.”

For some local authorities, the adoption of EHR and ATLAS has some welcome and surprising outcomes: “My first implementation was for a local authority on the east coast of England. The council didn’t have an electronic system and had been working on a paper basis for the last 26 years. The feedback I have had since they went live has been fantastic. They’ve opened libraries where applicants can go and access a PC and complete their online application through the portal of EHR and ATLAS. They’ve seen applicants who are 80 years old (and older!) using the system with ease, which has surprised the local authority. It’s been fantastic!”

Using EHR and ATLAS enables local authorities and housing providers to evidence, with an auditable trail that the advertisement, bidding, registration and allocation process is fully compliant with current legislation. At Housing Partners, our aim in building these systems is simple: to make sure that those most in need of a home are brought directly to a housing team’s attention; getting people into the homes that they deserve.