Blog 29 November 2018

Digital collaboration: 3 steps to your success

by Simon Pike

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Digital collaboration in local government

29th November, 2018

Austerity is no longer news. We read sensational headlines of lavish spending promises to local councils, yet we know the facts, don’t we? The hard reality for #localdigital is smaller budgets, and so, trying to do the same with less doesn’t work. For digital collaboration to succeed, the only way forward is to reinvent, and here’s why.

Trying harder, it doesn’t always win.

Austerity means the end to traditional service delivery. Teams have tried to remodel their processes. But, reviewing and remodelling local government processes will only take you so far. Overcoming the attitude of “…but, we’ve always done it this way…” is a big barrier to transforming old ways into new.

What is digital transformation?

Digital is not about the tech. It needs teams to embrace new and radically different ways of working as they reinvent processes. And reinvention is necessary. To survive councils must find more sustainable delivery models for all their services. Dr Larner CEO of iESE says to be successful a council must focus 90% of its energy on reinventing their service delivery.

And, this is a big task to tackle alone. Digital collaboration both within multifunctional teams to reinvent processes and between councils makes it much easier to succeed.

Transformation is now essential to a council’s DNA

Yes, it’s an exciting time. There are many bright, motivated, can-do people in every council. They understand what the public needs, and know new processes are essential.

Additionally, there is sector support from #LocalDigital. It’s good stuff for people like you and me. These passionate people are driving interoperability standards and design patterns. They want to share apps. We do too, see local government low code case results in our community. The ministry at @MHCLG promote change and have award funds so teams can collaborate.

Knock down those barriers

There are good people still using traditional behaviours. They need support in changing to an outcome focused culture.  An example of this is when traditional ‘waterfall’ based procurement models drowns innovation. 

No-one knows what the future holds, or indeed how tech will respond. So, isn’t it senseless, to do a 12-month feasibility study* followed by a 12-month IT procurement process?  Clearly both the user needs and the tech will change during those 24 months predelivery. It’s a waste of work. The reality is harsh. Unless teams use an agile approach, statistics show they are 3.2 times more likely to fail (2015 Chaos Report Standish Group).

Collaborate with confidence, the facts are on your side.

Future flexibility is essential to keeping outcomes fit-for-purpose. Enable users be part of the design of their systems.  Promote a culture of digital collaboration as you reinvent. You’ll realise your outcome vision, make real savings and deliver your productivity goals.

Try these 3 steps to digital success

Step 1: A different culture and environment. Let your teams know they are safe to challenge the status quo.  Then watch and wait.  Exciting will things happen. Don’t be surprised to see their intellectual curiosity peak as they experiment.  Expect ongoing innovation.

Step 2: Transparently manage risk. When it’s easy to call out and manage potential risks everyone is supported through change. You don’t have nasty management surprises and innovators are released to give you their best ideas. Be brave and patient. Guide those with change entrenched mind-sets. Try to include, challenge and encourage at every opportunity.

  • Hands up, you need help? Perhaps this kind of all-pervasive digital change is outside your skill sets? It’s perfectly understandable. Consider asking a partner, such as iESE, for help.  Everyone needs to learn how to innovate. It’s the only way to deliver what your citizens need.

Step 3: Be open to using proven** tools. Our customers accelerate their digital transformation with low-code. Our cloud-based digital platform uses a drag and drop visual language. It is fast to learn and easy to deploy. IT are in control of security and governance, and can contain risk as they removing the threat of shadow IT.  Your subject matter teams win, they upskill and easily deliver real and rapid change. And, your IT department can focus on its strategic priorities.

The Netcall difference

Say goodbye to everyone buying the same point solution!  And, then waiting for the vendor to make needed updates. Instead Netcall’s low-code for Local Government is founded on a principle of sharing and reuse. As we create accelerators they are stored in the AppShare. Join your peers and use our free-to-share Accelerator Library.

Take rapid steps as a digital disruptor. Re-use as many of the standardised processes or applications you need at no extra cost. You are free to reimagine any service. You flexibly design, create and integrate all the digital features and communications users need.

Councils are already doing it – see the Adur and Worthing Council videos.

* Netcall research Digital Innovation events 2018.

**Forrester confirm it uses 5 to 10 times less resource to accelerate your digital transformation projects.


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