Client Stories

House With No Steps

Improving communication and collaboration

Business need

HWNS has grown significantly over the past 5 years and now employs 2300 people, moving to a centralised structure with a stronger, more professionalised centre. Communication, collaboration and provision of information are continuing challenges – both within the organisation and with clients and other stakeholders. HWNS research showed that staff are not accessing information effectively in the existing windows explorer file systems, even for very basic functions such as navigating to and publishing documents and folders. Non-technical and inexperienced computer users experience confusion between MS Office applications, applications running over the Citrix network, and custom scripts. HWNS had installed Elcom CMS as an Intranet platform, initiated an Intranet governance process, developed a graphic design, and planned a high-level information architecture. What the organisation needed was help to implement its plans on the Elcom CMS platform.

Key challenges

The quality and out-of-the-box functionality of CMS platforms now available means that the challenges of a web CMS project relate less to technical implementation and more to ensuring a positive user experience, as well as engagement, project and change management. Projects managers need to ensure strong collaboration between client and professional services suppliers.

In the HWNS project, challenges included:

  • Balancing rapid completion of the project with budget, the need to achieve ROI, and availability of internal resources capable of supporting the project

  • Ensuring that the Intranet performs well for the different user groups: in head office, and across all departments within the organisation

  • Achieving strong engagement with the Intranet from all stakeholders


Multibase assisted and informed the critical Intranet governance processes in the early stages, which helped the client refine more fully their detailed goals. We conducted workshops with stakeholders to refine requirements and design at the same time as training HWNS staff. A staged implementation was developed to meet budget and ROI requirements. To contain costs, wherever possible requirements were refined to use standard functionality of Elcom CMS modules rather than specifying custom development. Training for administrators and content publishers was included.


The first implementation stage delivered an Intranet incorporating the HWNS design, calendars, single sign-on, and basic compliance with accessibility standards. HWNS now has a platform enabling easier access to policies, procedures and other documents through a search functionality. Staff can share information and learn from others in a more intuitive user interface.

Customer information

House with No Steps provides support services to over 3,600 people with a disability across 200 locations in NSW, QLD and ACT. It also operates 27 diverse businesses which provide meaningful employment for 600 people with a disability. These businesses compete in the open marketplace on commercial terms with any net profits used to subsidise other community services.