In my last blog post I described some of the best practices I’ve seen when working with UK local authorities on their digital transformation programmes. I’d now like to share four examples of local authorities where I’ve seen these best practices most effectively demonstrated. It’s fair to say that the following examples all contain elements of excellence and commitment, often a dash of style too…
Wiltshire Council – As a large unitary authority, Wiltshire has done a remarkably good job of setting up phased objectives, some relatively straightforward to begin with, and ensuring that each was delivered on time, on budget and at or beyond expectation. Wiltshire began with a relatively small-scale roll out of native mobile application technology to enable customers to report place based issues (fly tips, damaged play equipment, dog fouling and so on).
These types of transactions were characterised as being high volume but with low complexity. However, they’re also the type of issues that need to be dealt with effectively because they’re important to local residents and therefore on the radar of the elected members that represent those residents. Wiltshire kicked things off with a relatively modest investment in a mobile application that enabled people to report these issues directly from their phones.
This was successful and so the project was expanded to include deploying responsive forms on the wiltshire.gov.uk website, thus expanding their reach and visibility. From this modest starting point Wiltshire continues to develop a route map that is still driving its transformation agenda four years down the line. Read the full case study here.
Stafford Borough Council – Stafford took a bold step by transforming some of its key processes from the inside out. That’s to say, it began deep in the internal process and then worked back towards the customer delivering results all the way along. The initial project started with enabling mobile working for Stafford’s Street Scene personnel.
It’s probably fair to say that this service area was not seen as being in the vanguard of digital transformation – talk about underestimating potential potential! Within a few short months, many of the working processes had been completely transformed, and with the full engagement and buy in of the employees on the front line.
As the project gathered pace there were numerous other direct benefits, not least of which was the ability to capture accurate data on just how much work the Street Scene teams were getting through and how much they were contributing to ensuring safe and pleasant environments for Stafford Borough residents to live and work. The story doesn’t end there. The mobile working project has now expanded in scope and is beginning to deliver transformative changes to other service areas, based on the early successes and lessons learnt. Read about Stafford’s journey here.
Torfaen County Borough Council – Torfaen is a great example of starting simple and working up to ever more ambitious challenges. Moreover, the team at Torfaen really grasped the opportunity to re-think the way that their processes should work. On a limited budget and with few resources, they have made impressive progress. What started as apps and e-forms to enable customer self-service quickly accelerated into enabling a more dynamic and user-friendly back office capability through the adoption of a rapid-to-implement CRM tool.
Based on the initial successes Torfaen organised its internal resources to champion, refine and optimise the day to day activities and plans. It’s a great example of a council, in the face of significant challenges, getting stuck in and focusing on delivery. Using the My Council Services extensive configurability enabled Torfaen to test, deploy, learn and improve in a cycle of continuous improvement. The project at Torfaen has also caugh the attention of other neighbouring Welsh authorities who have now adopted the same approach and technology set. You can learn more here.
Maidstone Borough Council – Maidstone is another good example of a UK local authority that has pushed transformation all the way through its processes, starting with carefully selected processes that readily lent themselves to automation that also delivered significant resource savings and efficiency improvements.
Maidstone is also a great example of mobile working deployment to drive efficiency and improve service delivery, initially for environmental ‘place-based’ services. The project at Maidstone shares many parallels with the example of good practice we discussed earlier in this post at Stafford Borough Council. Read more here.
All of the above examples of successful ongoing digital transformation share some core characteristics. Wherever your organisation is at in terms of digital transformation and the delivery of local government services, you would do well to keep close the examples above and the good practice that has guided each:
- Plan to deliver in multiple phases – not in a single outcome
- Use early success as the foundation of confidence for subsequent phases
- Transform deep into your process
- Technology alone does not deliver the efficiency
You can learn more about how other Abavus customer have delivered effective transformation in our case studies here.