Within local authorities there is a growing emphasis on the need to achieve meaningful service integration both internally and with partners. There are a number of challenges associated with this. In many local authorities, information and technology infrastructure resides in vertical service silos with applications that have evolved disparately over time rather than being a need-focused, designed architecture. Solutions to integrate service delivery can often use existing systems and processes as a fixed starting position, creating ‘workarounds’ which can be inefficient in terms of workflow and access to information. One recommendation of our review was an Enterprise Architecture (EA) type approach to application and information infrastructure development. What this means is that there is no overall ‘design authority’ in place to strategically advise and direct corporate management on the design and development of the information and technology architecture.
Compliments the management of change by providing a structured approach to defining the intended organisational design (operating model) and the process by which a programme of change can be constructed to achieve this. It has a deliberate focus on outcome – what does the Organisation need to achieve from a change programme change and why? The rationale and justification for any change needs to be documented from the outset to avoid any change programme self generating its own purpose and implementing changes which are not clearly aligned to organisational priorities and need.
Many local authorities have evolved over a long period of time. As they evolve information can often be locked down in systems and services which are unable to integrate or interact with enough efficiency to benefit the organisation as a whole. In this commission the council’s approach to document management had evolved disparately in services and departments within the organisation. Our report included workstreams to address opportunities for improvement and design document management to support the council’s transformation as a whole.
In stage one of the commission Castlerigg identified the importance of aligning future change programme to the strategic outcomes the council needed to achieve, ensuring change was properly focused, evidence based and clear on intended outcomes. Castlerigg worked closely with council officers to ensure that redesign of services would:
- Be characterised by a more flexible, agile workforce that supports a move to more localised service delivery
- Encompass a ‘commissioning approach’ whereby the council reviewed its delivery model and its on-going alignment to the priority outcomes it needs to enable, ensuring it continues to have the optimum mix of services delivered through the most appropriate means (internal, co-produced, externally sourced etc.)
- Identify significant opportunities to reduce cost and improve productivity to ensure it continues to offer value for money to its communiities