Communications Target Operating Model - DfE

What was the challenge?

As the Department for Education (DfE) has grown - in remit, delivery and ambition - the expectation of what communications should provide had increased markedly for a number of reasons:

  • Machinery of government changes resulting in a broader remit
  • The DfE transition from a policy department to a delivery department meant a significant increase in demand for communications and campaigns to support implementation
  • The need for greater use of strategic communications, advocacy and engagement to support policy delivery 

In response to these challenges, DfE commissioned a Department-wide communications review to understand the current state of communications across the Department and identify a model to drive more effective and sustainable communications.

How did we help?

We held interviews and sessions with over 100 stakeholders across the Department to understand the current state of communications activity. Through these interactions we identified what communications activity was taking place, who was doing it and how the processes worked. We identified issues and pain points with the current ways of working, analysing these to find the root cause of these issues. 
We held a Department wide drop-in session to playback findings and co-design future direction, integrating the feedback to design an operating model that served the needs of all communication 'customers' including ministers, policy teams and the public. Our recommendations included the people, process and technology changes required to make this a reality and a realistic plan for achieving this. 

What was the impact? 

The high intensity engagement approach we took for the project helped us to rapidly capture the needs of all stakeholders, but also to build the engagement and buy in required to accelerate implementation of some key recommendations.
Our work has helped to improve relationships and collaboration between communications colleagues and the rest of the Department improving experience and reducing the resource and timescales required to achieve results.

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