Improving the automation of the starters, movers and leavers process


  1. Project outputs
  2. Project timeline

A manual HR starters and leavers process can result in huge inefficiencies. This diverts management time from service delivery plans, results in applicants dropping by 47%, and can cause significant delays in payroll and IT. 

A previous alpha project, led by Southampton City Council, proved automation can reduce failure by simplifying user processes and enhancing levels of audit and transparency.

Using agile methodology, this beta project will improve the Starters, Movers and Leavers process by implementing automation software tools. It will save line managers, applicants and support teams time by improving security and notifications, in addition to providing access to multiple forms. 

This will result in timely recruitment, return of specialist hours to line managers and reduced waste from error and delay, benefiting over 7000 staff and applicants.

Project outputs

The primary outcome of the project is to produce:

  • simplified, more efficient and automated processes including a set of reusable scripts
  • the relevant technical documentation associated with the release including designs, technical specifications and release notes

In addition, all partners will enhance their knowledge of using the automation tools in multiple environments and with different software packages. This will also allow the project to compile a list of use cases for each tool, so the appropriate tool can be selected for future automations.

Project timeline

March 2023

The project is awarded £350,000 in funding through Round 6 of the Local Digital Fund to begin a beta phase.

April 2023

Southampton Council has been assembling and building the project team by carrying out interviews and have appointed a Business Analyst to start working on the project. The team is also developing a communication strategy to share progress and engage with other interested councils.

They are continuing to recruit for key roles, including Business Analysts and Analyst Developers, and plan to update other councils on their project to identify synergies and plan collaboration activities for improving their starters, movers, and leavers processes.

June 2023

A Business Analyst joined the Southampton project team on Monday 12 June and is currently going through the induction process to learn about the project. Additionally, an Analyst Developer resource has been identified.

On the Thursday 8 and Tuesday 13 June, the team held planning meetings with Portsmouth City Council and briefed senior management about the project.

In the upcoming period, a more in-depth planning workshop is scheduled for Tuesday 20 June. This workshop will cover various topics of project delivery, including the schedule, governance, team structures, as well as risks, assumptions, issues, and dependencies (RAID) items.

July 2023

The project team at Southampton are in the process of creating a scoping document and conducting background analysis to structure workshops with key stakeholders from partner councils.

The project team is now finalised with Scrum Team members and a Product Owner in place. They will be involved in upcoming meetings with stakeholders to input into the scoping document. Team inductions are also scheduled to introduce members to the project and Agile ways of working.

Work will is set to begin with the HR team to create an initial roadmap and identify key focus areas.

August 2023

The teams have now completed their initial review of the scoping document for the project. The comments are now being reviewed and responses drafted. Currently only minor changes have been identified.

The first versions of the project roadmap and backlog are currently being created with the product owner. The initial project meetings have been scheduled for early September to introduce the team to the project and Agile ways of working.

Work producing the roadmap and backlog will continue in the next sprint so this can be discussed with the wider team at the initial scrum team sessions in September.