A Redesigned Council - Redesign projects produce results
Redesign of the Council means it will be more open-minded to new ways of delivering services, more commercially-minded to raise income to sustain services and jobs across the region and more community-minded to involve more people in Council decisions and community-run services.
One way of being more open-minded is to undertake reviews of services to identify where blockages and delays occur, to cut out waste and improve services for people using them. As part of the Redesign programme, a number of projects were selected for review using an approach which involves “Lean” principles.
“Lean” is a recognised methodology which means improving services by creating more value for customers with fewer resources. Training in “Lean” processes has been given to staff across Council services in order to develop in-house expertise in this approach to problem solving.
Two projects have already delivered savings of £120k and significant wider benefits through the redesign and improvement of the HR Occupational Health referral process and a redesign of the Bulky uplift service.
The HR Occupational Health project reduced the referral process from 57 steps to 7, has freed up resource in Human Resources to better support services, has reduced the time taken from initiating referral through to the employee being assessed and advice being provided to the manager. This has reduced costs by £62k.
The Bulky Uplift project has reduced time taken to process requests, improved the bulky uplift service for customers, extending the service over Christmas and New Year, including reducing the notice required for an uplift from 48 to 24 hours and making the whole service more direct and responsive. The changes have resulted in £57k savings being delivered (reported in the Council’s Autumn 2018 Highpoints Magazine.).
The Programme comprises projects across a broad range of service delivery, and currently includes: the billing for commercial waste collected, recruiting fostering and adoptive parents; booking rooms and facilities for community groups and others to use; street cleansing; booking staff training courses; allocating resources for additional support needs in schools; and administration for wrap around care in schools. New areas to review are being identified by staff and Councillors.
Convener of the Council and Chair of the Redesign Board, Bill Lobban said: “A focus for the Redesign Board has been to learn from recognised best practice and successful processes elsewhere. The Lean reviews are starting to deliver some exciting results, producing some substantial savings and improvements to services. This has been helped by using tried and tested methodology, together with fresh eyes on problem solving, with staff themselves at the centre of redesign. I am looking forward to seeing benefits from further project reviews.”