Angels & Dragons

From EPSA - European Public Sector Award


Short description of the project

Angels & Dragons is a programme based on a simplified investment request process, and invites staff to submit their innovative ideas to enable better working practices within the United Kingdom's fiscal authority, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). If the idea is suitable for progression the staff member will then develop their idea with the help of a specialist coach, define costs and benefits to the business, and finally present to a Board of senior management (called the Board of Angels). A decision is given to the 'Idea Proposer' immediately and if successful they will lead a team (if required) to deliver their project, within budget and realising projected benefits within 2 years. The return on investment must be 110% over the whole portfolio of projects.

Current status and future steps for the project

There was a pilot exercise held in 2006 where 2 ideas were awarded funding to be implemented and 1 given funding to complete a feasibility study. Since then, a further 7 projects have so far been awarded funding. These include, for example, ideas for replacing manual processes with scanning technology; providing contact centre staff with simple user friendly guidance to help them deal with enquiries from taxpayers; introducing mentoring techniques in part of the organisation; improving risk assessment for tax compliance; and acquiring specialist printers to enable electronic retrieval and transmission of microfilmed data. Innovation workshops are being developed to generate more developed ideas as well as targeting those areas of the organisation that have been less exposed to, or involved in innovation development.

Lessons learned

Lessons learned fall into 3 main areas. The first relates to communication and publicity in a large diverse organisation such as HMRC with over 100,000 staff. It became clear that to launch a project like this successfully, and to secure good take-up, required clear publicity and adequate time. The second was not underestimating the importance of securing the support of managers to ensure they understood the benefits of the project rather than seeing it as a potential distraction for their staff. Thirdly, to benchmark what others are doing, and learn from best practice before introducing a new scheme.

Award info
Award category: scarce resources
Award type: submission
Award year: 2007
Project type
Sector: Taxation, customs, finances
Type of activity: business process re-engineering
Keywords: human resources, employee suggestion system
Short English description: an approach for better implementation of employee suggestions
Further information
Organisation: Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC)
Other applicants:
Level of government: national level
Size of organisation:
Number of people involved:
Country: United Kingdom
EU membership: EU member
Language code: en
Start date: 2006/11/01
End date:

Angels & Dragons (53.393904° N, 2.988409° W)
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