Managing change effectively requires a focus on people - you need to take people on a journey, gain their buy in to the proposed change and ensure their ownership of the planned outcome.
The sustainability, resilience and efficiency of the existing delivery model was a concern shared across central and local government. Given the nature of the service, change needed to be carefully handled and associated risks understood and managed.
Electoral service delivery was characterised by small teams working hard under unprecedented demand. The capacity of local authorities to deliver complex and combined polls with such limited resource was a common challenge. There was also considerable duplication, as each council delivered the same back office and front line functions based upon the same statutory framework. The need for change was clear and the current risks to service delivery were balanced against the risk of change and communicated to the project board to inform their decision making on the way forward.
Strategies by their nature drive a change exercise of some description. Achieving senior buy in and commitment is critical if strategies are to become real and implementable. We approach all strategy development as a change management exercise, with a strong stakeholder engagement emphasis and lots of opportunities to clarify the commitment and intent of those who will be ultimately accountable for its delivery. Too often this element of strategy development is missed, with strategies being drafted in isolation and presented at a final stage to strategic decision makers. This often leads to glossy documents that do not lead to meaningful delivery on the ground.
The approach to this commission allowed Castlerigg to support the councils to establish the drivers for changing the way customer’s access services, the current and future needs in both councils that investment in technology could look to address, the intended outcomes and what success would look like for both councils following the implementation of a new customer strategy and the initial readiness for change in both organisations.
Some of the principles of good change management which were seen as beneficial in light of previous issues encountered and as an output of the business planning process were:
- Having evidenced based requirements translated into robust planning and seen through to well executed projects
- Effective engagement with end users, customers and/or stakeholders
- Pro-active risk and issue management
- Good programme and project management skills
- Clear governance with clarity on roles, responsibilities and decision making
- A documented end vision with desired benefits and clear future operating model (as appropriate)
Castlerigg supported CYPS to plan pre-programme activity required to ensure that there was good change controls and governance in place to effectively support this programme of work. For example:
- Agree the governance upwards in terms of exception reporting, escalation of risks and issues and accountabilities
- Establish the necessary governance is in place to manage the programme effectively
- Ensure the senior management team acts as an effective transformation board
- The ability to review all change activity and ensure continued viability against the blueprint
- Continuously review all programme and project activity requirements within the service
A transformation programme can only be successful if it is underpinned by sound change management principles and methodology. To ensure that the council was suitably prepared to implement change (and by working closely with the Corporate Management Team), we were able to review the council’s existing approach to change and recommend that they:
- Improve the alignment of their change activity with the council plan
- Improve the evidence base for change projects
- Improve benefits management to ensure a more balanced focus on both the financial and non-financial benefits of planned change
- Improve transition planning of new capability into business as usual operations and the creation of a clear future operating model
In order for a change process to be successful across multiple organisations, it is essential that there is a common level of need shared by these organisations to enable the change process to bring the same level of benefit for those involved. Castlerigg identified the real areas of common need that would bring tangible benefit if addressed by a need focused shared ICT service, as opposed to deployment of a generic shared ICT service driven by IT teams.
An ePR deployment is a profound change process - fundamentally changing ways of working, particularly where there has been a mix of paper, electronic administrative systems and numerous varied practices to synthesise.
We ensure that an ePR deployment is managed as a change process - we avoid simply translating current approaches into an ePR - this would not maximise the opportunity an ePR provides to improve clinical practice and information capture AND may well simply replicate poor practices in an electronic instead of paper system.
At Castlerigg we believe that the ePR system is the easy bit - deploying it successfully and ensuring it is used well, and in a way which supports good quality data capture, is the real challenge which is why these are not IT projects, they are change projects...
The strategy required a planned programme of change to ensure that current clinical and administrative practices were challenged and avoided simply moving current operations into electronic systems. New clinical systems provided an opportunity for clinicans to work in smarter ways - giving remote access to information, streamlining administration and reducing the 'paper chase' associated with the current mixture of paper and electronic adminstrative systems. Ensuring that all stakeholders were informed, and educated, about the opportunities the new systems provided meant we could maximise the use of these systems to support the overall strategic vision and wider objectives of integrated working, reporting and data quality, information sharing across healthcare providers and most importantly improving patient care.
This shared service programme was a profound change for the two authorities - managing the HR implications, changes to process and practices and bringing two different organisational cultures together was a big undertaking within a fast moving programme. Keeping staff, members and communitiies on board was going to be key to its success. As part of our commission we supported a new HR shared services model to ensure the impact on staff was managed and understood. We also, through our training programmes, supported service managers in their skills and practices around managing effective change - using real life examples and allowing them to apply their new knowledge rapidly to their own shared service projects.
The existing services were operating in dated and often paper based systems that were heavy in administration. Castlerigg provided change management support and advice to the clinical teams and management to maximise the clinical and administrative benefits from the implementation of interoperable systems. This saw a massive reduction in paper based process ( many services moving to paperlight). The implementation of core the clinical system to the PCAS unit saw a reduction in paper systems and a decommissioning of two historic systems; the system configuration and subsequent data capture also allowed an annual recharge for out areas patients in the region of £100,000.
This work stream also delivered the Information Governance work stream achieving the first privacy impact assessment for the trust and the agreement and establishment of information sharing agreements across 20 practice and multiple community services.