Transformation at Southwark Council
At the London Borough of Southwark we transformed the Planning department and we moved employess to a modern accomodation. Planning and Transport saw this as an opportunity to enhance and re-deliver the planning service, build-ing control and transport planning differently. It recognised that there were significant risks and challenges to doing this effectively and required sup-port and guidance. It engaged Lycodia to provide the expertise and knowl-edge to ensure the service made these changes to provide business conti-nuity whilst changing the division to adopt to modern ways of working, and changing the culture.
The Challenges - Implementing technology and envisaging cultural change
AN INNOVATIVE APPROACH TO DELIVERY ENSURED SUCCESS
Improved Customer Experience
Moving location for the division meant it had to move its frontline services it provided to citizens. The service had to be reengineered to a customer service centre as well as Part One of the planning register along with operational business processes had to be changed, customer service representatives trained together with ensuring that the technology at the customer service centre was fit for purpose. This was delivered to ensure that there was continuity of service and that the legal obligations of the council was maintained. We communicated to the citizens across all channels and ensured consultation letters reflected this. We managed and delivered the change with mini-mal impact to the services
Business Continuity and Risk Mitigation
Planning and Transport’s key goal was to maintain services and ensure the citizen was not affected adversely by the changes. Careful consideration was given on the engagement with citizens along with managing partners and stakeholders throughout the transition. Additional financial year end pressure brought its own challenges. We carefully monitored and set in place a series of measures 3 months beforehand to equip managers and teams to cope with the workload while at the same time making the necessary changes to processes. We established a remote location to respond to dangerous structure incidents and we managed risk carefully working with ICT, facilities and external vendors to make sure that the division could focus on delivering service excellence.
Communications and Change
With a major physical move , we gave a priority to citizens to ensure that they could contact the department and be able to receive the planning service. A multi-channel communications strategy was developed to ensure that citizens were informed in a timely manner through various means such as web, post, email, posters and various letter templates such as consultation letters were changed in time and reflected the change of location of service. This coordi-nated effort made sure that the business of providing the planning service was maintained and enhanced.
Cultural change for staff during this period of change was also important. We setup a change and communications team along with developing newsletters, workshops, user groups and posters to inform and engage staff. Staff felt more engaged and became part of the projects and made the transformation easier.