Developing an Agile Working Strategy
As part of our commission to support the ICT Collaboration between East Renfrewshire and Renfrewshire Councils, Castlerigg provided strategic consultancy support to develop an Agile Working Strategy and associated implementation plan.
The councils had recognised that they needed their workforce to operate more flexibly to better meet service needs and reduce demands on council accommodation. Better use of technology to support workforce agility had already provided benefits in both councils and there was now potential to build a council wide approach.
The purpose of developing an Agile Working Strategy was to create a clear, strategically owned plan of action for East Renfrewshire and Renfrewshire Councils to create an agile workforce. This would ensure investment could be aligned and prioritised against identified strategic and operational requirements. The key messages of the Agile Working Strategy were that:
- Good service design should support service agility and should include the provision of mobile technologies, improved utilisation of workspaces and removal of manual, often paper based processes
- Good access to the right information was at the heart of future service design and critical to the success of sustained agile working
- Tactical, opportunistic agile implementation would continue to have a place but should be in the context of the longer term strategy and work to the same principles and standards
Working with key stakeholders, Castlerigg identified a number of services where there was a potential to improve their effectiveness and productivity by enabling agile working. The intention in these services was to ensure staff could access the information they need, regardless of location supported by technology, through well designed processes, buildings, staffing structures and all underpinned by updated HR policy, guidelines and procedures.
"In June 2013 Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire Councils identified no basis for a formal ICT shared service due to our divergent processes, approach and infrastructure. Today, based on the work Castlerigg has delivered, we have common business strategies around agile working, information as an asset, and digital service design and a common model of ICT service delivery to take forward.”
David Martin, Chief Executive, Renfrewshire Council (now Dundee City Council’s Chief Executive)
The Agile Working Strategy defines a blueprint for change and the required capability each council needs in order to deliver its vision and objectives. This included:
- Strong enabling leadership which promotes an agile culture built on trust and productivity that supports new working patterns and empowerment of staff through access to better information and modern technology
- A HR framework that provides clear advice and guidance to all staff in terms of the practicalities of moving to new agile working practices and/or supporting existing agile workers with new technology
- Processes and information flows that are redesigned to support agile working and efficient service delivery
- All technology procurements should be driven by current and future information needs and with agility specified from the outset
- Agile workers should be measured on their results rather than their activity, perceived efforts or presence in a council building
- Information requirements and appropriate information sharing will sit at the heart of service design