To main content
  • a Service Management transformation

Re-align organizational structures and business logic

HM Land Registry (HMLR) is a government department created in 1862 that operates as an executive agency and a trading fund meaning its running costs are covered by the fees paid by the users of its services. HMLR safeguards land and property ownership worth in excess of £7 trillion, including around £1 trillion of mortgages. The Land Register contains more than 25 million titles showing evidence of ownership for more than 86% of the land mass of England and Wales.

Long standing Marval customer HMLR has been using Marval’s IT service management solution to deliver support services since 2000.

Adoption of Marval MSM provided HMLR the opportunity to re-align organisational structures and business logic. This ensured improved alignment with the business and make reporting, future changes to business logic more flexible and easier; saving both time and money.

HMLR has 14 offices across England and Wales, and employs over 5000 staff. The primary role of HMLR is to provide the following:

  • A reliable record of information about ownership of and interests affecting land and property
  • Land and property owners with a land title, guaranteed by the government
  • The financial sector with the capability to secure lending against property

The Challenge

HMLR’s ambition is to become the world’s leading land registry for speed, simplicity and an open approach to data. The Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) directorate was created in HMLR at the beginning of 2017. The creation of DDaT brought together the IT department and separate data and digital functions into a single cohesive directorate.

DDaT employs 480 staff that work with specialist augmented resources to support the organisation’s diverse and ambitious service portfolio, assisting 4000+ internal users and approximately 800,000 external customers. The directorate is responsible for day to day operation of all IT functions as well as maintaining and building all digital services and defining and implementing their data strategy.

A fundamental principle of DDaT is to use agile methods to encourage fully empowered multi-disciplinary teams. It is this foundation that has been the basis of HMLR’s recent Service Management transformation. The resulting re-organisation of HMLR’s Service Management Centre has seen a distinct move away from traditional functional teams (i.e. Change Management, Problem Management, Service Level Management), to so called “Service Cells”, with each Service specific team responsible for the multiple facets of Service Management for the Services they support. HMLR’s IT Service Portfolio consists of over 160 IT Services, and the four “Service Cells” each support a different bundle of similar IT Services.  

The Solution

Marval and HMLR

HMLR has been using the Marval service management solution since 2000 when its initial install catered for 45 IT support staff, primarily dealing with Incident Management. Since then the use of the system has grown considerably and it is now utilised to support a full range of ITIL processes as well as a range of support processes outside of the remit of IT. The user base has grown to over 400 MSM IT support personnel, 300 MSM non-IT support personnel and 4000+ self-service customers. 

Process areas underpinned by Marval system at HMLR

Figure 1: Process areas underpinned by Marval system at HMLR (* indicates that an integrated solution is in place)

HMLR is a proud holder of the international ITSM standard ISO/IEC20000 and security standard IS0/IEC27001, and the Service Management data held within its Marval system has continually provided the required evidence to ensure re-accreditation. Marval’s logical data modelling and reporting capabilities have played a key role in making this possible without the need to delve into the back-end of the product’s Database.

The Results

In terms of throughput of data within the Marval system at HMLR, typically over 6500 records are logged and managed in the Marval system per week. Interestingly, due to the expansion of use of Marval outside of the remit of IT support, over 65% of these records are used to manage Non-IT “Business Related” process areas. This has enabled HMLR to recycle Service Management best practice and the Marval solution to provide solutions outside of IT Support and truly maximise their return on investment.

A real success story for HMLR has been how it has utilised Marval’s self-service functionality to provide a consistent customer experience for a wide range of internal users.

Throughout this journey Marval has been more than a product supplier, it has provided support, consultancy and offered direction to help HMLR provide its extensive user base with a stable, logical and intelligent toolset. Due to the longevity of this relationship, Marval’s support staff have a clear understanding of HMLR’s technical set up as well as an insight into its organisational goals and culture, which helps ensure that HMLR continues to make the most of its Marval offering.

Using Marval to help progress HMLR’s Agile Service Management journey!

With the Service Portfolio being at the heart of the Marval system, HMLR has been able to utilise its power to help shape its emerging Service Management journey to be more aligned to Agile principles. Breaking down the portfolio into 4 distinct areas has helped to shape the governance and support mechanisms within the newly formed “Service Cells”. Each Service Cell is now responsible for managing the support for their Services, including managing Changes and Problems, and providing Service Level support and reporting. The cells are also responsible for maintaining all Knowledge Items relevant to their given Services, and use Marval’s reporting capabilities to improve Business Relationship Management by keeping their designated Service Owners up to date on any past, current or potential future issues relating to their Services.

This new approach has led to closer working relationships with its customers along with improved levels of support through more specialised Service specific knowledge. Another noticeable improvement has been the improved job satisfaction of HMLR Service Management staff. Their jobs have become more diverse as they begin to master multiple Service Management disciplines against the backdrop of a culture that freely promotes sharing experiences and learning from each other. 

Lead of the first successful HMLR pilot Service Cell, Hayley Butler explains more…

HMLR’s Team ESC (External Services Cell)

Figure 2: HMLR’s Team ESC (External Services Cell) l-r Hayley Butler, Sue Richardson, Rachel Clay, Rick Singleton, Dave Dillon

“Being the first HMLR Service Cell team was quite a challenge, we had been working in a traditional Service Management way following the ITIL framework for many years. However, with the pace of change increasing, and the way our Services were being developed being more incremental we felt like our traditional approach was leaving us behind and we were not able to offer our customers the excellent levels of service they had grown to expect. Our team (photo left) approached the challenge with gusto, throwing ourselves into the Agile Manifesto”. - Hayley Butler

“The results have been incredible. Agile ways of working have helped foster a sense of pride and enjoyment in our work, and planning of bite size tasks allows for a good daily momentum. With a focus on Retrospectives we learn from what we have done and take lessons into the next piece of work. It has also given us a licence to try new things, and not fear failure. It has enabled us to build much better relationships with our customers, and allowed us to much better understand their needs. Being in constant communications with your customers allows us to have a constant dialogue with them, and gets us all speaking the same language. Collating Marval’s sensibly designed data structure with other key service performance monitoring systems, we have been able to implement real time performance dashboards for the Services within our remit. These are shared with our customers, and the feedback has been very positive. All in all, its been a great success and we are happy to see the cell approach being rolled out across the whole of our IT Service Management Centre.” Hayley Butler

HMLR and Marval – Future plans

HMLR has recently started a piece of work to define the Technical Services that underpin the Business Services within its IT Service Portfolio. The purpose of compiling the list is to introduce a consistent set of IT Technical Services that form the various technical stacks within HMLR’s complex IT estate. The idea is that this list of IT Technical Services will become universally understood by HMLR IT Architects, Engineers and Support Staff, and this consistency in language will help them all to build and support the IT Services from inception, to transition, and full support. 

These Technical Services have now been mapped into Marval, and are also being used as the building blocks to classify the Configuration Items within HMLR’s Configuration Management Database (CMDB). Working with the newly created Service Cells, HMLR’s Marval team will start work on mapping the Technical Services that make up each of the IT Services within its IT Service Portfolio and then mapping the underpinning Configuration Items along with their relationships to each Technical Service. Having this information mapped into Marval is going to help HMLR support staff make informed decisions about the potential impact of Changes being made to their Infrastructure as well as providing greater capability around troubleshooting IT Service Incidents. 

Coupled with this HMLR is looking to exploit Marval’s functionality to improve the way it interacts with third party suppliers that support some of the Services within its IT Service portfolio. This will expand on work already done on mapping all suppliers as assignees within the tool as we look to map them to specific Underpinning Contracts to provide greater capability to monitor the performances of our suppliers against agreed targets.

All very exciting stuff as HMLR continues to explore the potential benefits of Marval even after using it for nearly 20 years. HM Land Registry expect to encounter challenges as they transform their service management approach and have confidence that the Marval toolset will provide intuitive and quick to implement solutions to enable that journey.