Customer story - Washington State Housing Finance Commission

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Improving the speed and quality of business data

When a state agency wanted to reduce database lag times, we helped improve the speed and quality of its business data.

The Washington State Housing Finance Commission is making a critical impact on families and communities throughout Washington. Since 1983 it has created and preserved homes for more than 300,000 people, and contributed over $42.5 billion to the economy by funding housing, nonprofit facilities, and sustainable energy programs.

As the Commission’s innovative programs grew over the past several years, its internal database began to show its age. Lag times and a lack of data visibility between departments clashed with the Commission’s fast pace. Information had to be viewable at the drop of a hat, and the Commission’s staff needed to review facts quickly.

The time had come for a new system that could quickly track housing projects and community facilities across the state and access data to inform policy analysis. We partnered with the Commission to help assess the viability of their long-standing system and determine the best option for their future business needs.

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Cleaning house

Our team evaluated the Commission’s business and technical environments, identified improvement opportunities, and provided an options analysis that recommended the organization procure a new system. Following adoption of that recommendation, we gathered high-level requirements for the new system. As a self-supporting state agency seeking to make a significant investment, the Commission sought a thoughtful and transparent procurement process involving all five of its divisions.

Together, we developed an RFP aimed at obtaining both the right solution and partner for the job. The Commission received many proposals in response to the RFP, and, thanks to a structured evaluation process and associated change management activities, the team unanimously selected the best fit. was chosen for the Commission’s new solution, named HomeBase. To make sure the transition went smoothly, we were asked to stay on board and provide extra guidance through the implementation.

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Keeping the conversation open

In preparation for the new system, we helped the Commission reboot its internal collaboration process. That collaboration is now driving a more transparent system benefiting all divisions. Upon recommendation from Slalom, the Commission established an IT Governance structure to address both current and future IT decisions.

“The Commission has been one of my all-time favorite clients,” says Slalom consultant Hazel Lorrin, who advised the agency through every step of the project. “Extremely passionate and dedicated, the WSHFC staff are making a difference in peoples’ lives every day. Their new system will allow the doors to keep opening and support the development of even more responsive policies and programs for Washington residents.”

“Slalom has expertly guided the Commission through the technology maze we confronted as we faced the replacement of our database. We have drawn upon their deep knowledge of IT systems and processes to evaluate our options and to carefully consider the best path forward to achieve our goals.”
Kim Herman, Executive Director

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