UNISON map the future to support their members

Trade Union |  1.3 million members  |  Business Process Review


  • Structuring a large change programme, institution wide, whilst maintaining focus on members
  • Siloed working processes and duplication 


  • Development of a comprehensive set of process maps with broad coverage of UNISON activity
  • Identification of future ways of working that will provide the best possible service for members and activists

Key services

  • Business Process Review

With over 1.3 million members, UNISON is the UK’s largest trade union and Europe’s largest public services union. UNISON is open to all workers, both in the public and private sector, that operate within public services.

UNISON is undertaking a transformational change programme, with wide reaching implications for the organisation. This success story looks at a series of business process review workshops and analysis done by Hart Square to inform this wider programme of work.

Capturing complex processes

Clare Williams, a National and Regional Secretary for UNISON, explained to us that, “The vision of the member engagement programme is to prioritise from a member perspective… what is the change we need to see… both in terms of ways of doing things but also technological change and harnessing new digital technology.”

As expected, with an organisation as large as UNISON, these processes are both numerous and complex. The business process workshops conducted by Hart Square captured as-is processes within process maps and then, through their analysis, identified root problems. Such detailed problem definition serves to avoid a common problem which we see with the start of technology projects: generating solutions before the inherent problem is fully understood.

Creating targeted process maps

This as-is process analysis was used, in conjunction with ideas for improvements from the UNISON team, to create more ideal, streamlined process maps. These targeted processes better deliver to the wider programme’s focus on making member’s requirements the focal point of change. These insights will feed into the way technology is utilised throughout the organisation, impacting the way projects that fall within this wider programme are delivered.

I've worked with Hart Square on different projects within the programme and there's a consistency in high levels of professionalism. They're really good at what they do... the way they work with UNISON is really positive and productive. They have brought added value to our work without a doubt.

Clare Williams 
National Secretary (Regional Management & Governance) & Regional Secretary (Northern Region), UNISON

Expert guidance and support

Hart Square is involved in several areas and projects for UNISON and Clare has worked closely with the Hart Square Consultants at both the programme and project level, including the business process workshops. Clare told us that the consultant leading the workshops, “brought a high level of professionalism and very quickly gained an understanding of UNISON and its complexities of our structures. [They were] really effective at leading those workshops and delivering the outputs that we need.” Additionally, the programme level which these workshops will inform, Clare told us that Hart Square “brought a real expertise, focus and structure.”

Regarding their work on the project, Clare believes Hart Square brought much needed “professional challenge around some of the decisions and some of the timelines.” She told us that, whilst Hart Square “clearly have a high level of expertise in their area” perhaps just as important was their willingness to disclose where they did not have that same degree of expert insight. “They’re very clear about that. And I think that brings a credibility and professionalism for me.” 

“I’ve worked with quite a few [Hart Square Consultants] now on some of the different projects within the programme and I would say there’s a consistency in high levels of professionalism.

I think they’re really good at what they do… the way they work with Unison is really positive and productive. They have brought added value to our work without a doubt.”

Let’s talk

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