Matrix Booking introduces room booking software into the National Probation Service

The National Probation Service (NPS) is now one of the many departments within the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) using the Matrix Booking cloud-based resource booking system, which has become a key component of the nationwide Commuter Hubs Programme.

The programme enables employees to maximise the efficiency of their working hours by offering shared workplace “hubs” to book a desk, meeting room or other specified resources prior to departing home or while en route – all via a single easy to use, intuitive mobile app or webpage. No longer does this workforce need to make long or difficult commutes to one fixed office space but instead uses Matrix Booking to find and book the Commuter Hub most convenient to them and their lifestyle. The whole process empowers a modern and demanding workforce by offering them choice and flexibility.

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“Following a presentation to my team on the benefits to be gained by using Matrix Booking, we were so sure that this tool could deliver real benefits to NPS North East Division let alone the National Probation Service as a whole.”

Kathy Anderson – Chief Head of Business Strategy & Change and National EQuiP Lead at Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service

Rapid deployment for Matrix Booking

The successful partnership between the MoJ and Matrix Booking led directly to the collaboration between NPS and the Matrix Booking team. Following initial discussions, a detailed planning session was hosted by Matrix Booking: Ian Jones, Head of Professional Services and Will Miller, Implementation & Training Consultant met with key staff at NPS North East to gather all requirements. Matrix Booking began by deploying a small implementation across the region, giving the NPS North East team a six-week window to use and experience the system. The entire regional implementation was executed remotely by the Matrix Booking team utilising a templated approach via a suite of collaboration tools to ensure maximum efficiency.

Kathy Anderson, Head of Business Strategy & Change and National EQuiP Lead at Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service said: “Following a presentation to my team on the benefits to be gained by using Matrix Booking, we were so sure that this tool could deliver real benefits to NPS North East Division let alone the National Probation Service as a whole.”

After the six-week trial, the plan was to review the benefits of the system, ease of implementation and the fact that the system needed no training for standard users and decided if a further expansion and rollout could be considered.  With the ability to manage the full implementation remotely from start to finish – from template driven set up through to Administrator training, the Matrix Booking team were able to deliver the system on time and on budget. Kathy Anderson added: “Colleagues at Keytree could not have been more helpful and supportive during the migration process from numerous manual systems over to the Matrix Booking system. We were provided with templates, training and on-demand support by phone and email.”

The team at Matrix Booking then created a set of business rules (based on an existing finely tuned set of MoJ rules) to simplify and standardise the process of room and desk booking across the different departments.

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“The migration process was relatively simple and pain-free and having used the system now for over a year, we have conducted an evaluation which has prompted the whole of the NPS to adopt the system for room bookings. We look forward to a long and successful working relationship with our Matrix Booking colleagues.”

Kathy Anderson – Chief Head of Business Strategy & Change and National EQuiP Lead at Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service

The launch was so successful amongst staff that the recommendation was swiftly made to the National NPS board to roll out Matrix Booking across the UK. The next stage of the project is now well underway – following the same successful delivery model used in the North East Division of NPS, rolling out Matrix Booking across the whole NPS UK network. The additional six regions are South East and Eastern, South West and South Central, North West, Midlands, London and Wales.

Kieron Murphy, Managing Director of Matrix Booking welcomed the NPS rollout as a yet another example of government departments realising true efficiencies and savings through smart collaboration saying: “We have built Matrix Booking to be an open and secure network with a strong focus on usability to ensure the best possible end-user experience. Users from the NPS and MoJ are enjoying increasing workplace choice – even as some estates reduce through the continued collaboration with new organisations joining the network.”

Kathy Anderson explained that Matrix Booking is now part of everyday processes at the NPS, adding: “The migration process was relatively simple and pain-free and having used the system now for over a year, we have conducted an evaluation which has prompted the whole of the NPS to adopt the system for room bookings. We look forward to a long and successful working relationship with our Matrix Booking colleagues.”

The National Probation Service is a statutory criminal justice service that supervises high-risk offenders released into the community – working with around 30,000 offenders each year, supporting their rehabilitation. The NPS also works directly with the courts, police and with private and voluntary sector partners in order to manage offenders safely and effectively.