Weeknote #2 Customer Service Programme

This is a regular weeknote on the Customer Service Programme as we move through the delivery phase. The team will aim to keep you posted on achievements, progress, next steps and even highlight things we are worried about along the way. So please do read on to find out more!

Good things

We enter 2022 with approval from December’s Cabinet to fund the programme to implement the Customer Service Strategy with a responsibility to embed change and improvement in how the Council delivers its services to citizens through all access channels. The programme is currently planning the initial 12-month delivery roadmap for Jan-22 to Jan-23.

A review of the programme board is underway with the proposed Terms of Reference (ToR) needing further tweaking before submission to Corporate Leadership Team (CLT) for approval. Strategic Sponsor @Peter Bishop wants to ensure the programme mobilises a robust accountability structure to drive the programme governance; and a steering group to galvanise resources, embed Change Management and guide the direction of travel at a strategic level.

Delivery planning goes on; before the holidays, Backlog refinement continued with developers @Imran Sajad and @Azra Majid; @Nathan Thomas held his nerve when being pressured to join the family Christmas shop whilst capturing User Story Acceptance Criteria. As a result, the evolving Roadmap was developed and is helping to focus the team, but also starts to outline the challenges that lay ahead, in both resourcing the scope of the programme and realisation of targeted benefits/savings. So it was a timely onboarding of @Lee Bickerton and @Ekbal Hussain who will work closely with the service areas to track any agreed benefits and monitor the finances.

With the governance structure and the 3 delivery teams now taking shape, Product Owners @Geraldine Collins and @Sheraz Yaqub have agreed a date for Programme Kick Off. The team are eager to formally get going so we can then move onto the next stage of Planning for Sprint Planning.

Learned things

Not so much learned but the week reinforced the old adage ‘never work with children or animals’…so my thanks to Corporate Directors Working Group (CDWG): @Nick Caldicott, @Nic Fell, @Emma Y Williams for their tolerance of both whilst reviewing the Programme’s January CPMO Report. It was a first for me and the group were very supportive but also very thorough; resulting outcome we retain our ‘Amber Status’ this period but with an improved ‘Direction of Travel’ – it’s early days so it’s a small win the team will take with pride!

Difficulties

Contractual negotiations have delayed onboarding partner resources, one of the key risks contributing to our retained Amber status at CDWG, however, we have pushed on with scheduling the kick-off and anticipate the full team being stood up mid-end of January. In the meantime, there’s more than enough for the team to get started with.

What’s next

Finalise the governance approach, organise the kick off meeting and plan out the delivery team activities; onboard the remaining delivery team and plan for sprint planning with @Azim Akthar. Op Sponsor @Wendy Griffiths will continue negotiations working with @Robin Burton and the New Ways of Working to secure dedicated Comms/PR&Marketing talent to help embed and drive change.

Delivery Team
Wendy Griffiths – Operational Sponsor
Nikki Spencer – Delivery Manager
Azim Akhtar – Agile Coach
Geraldine Collins – Senior Product Owner
Sheraz Yaqub – Product Owner
Simon Field – Change Management Lead
Nathan Thomas – Senior Business Analyst
Surita Solanki – Business Change Manager
Imran Sajad – Developer
Azra Majid – Developer
Becky Shergill – Developer
Simon Gray – Developer
Rachael Bradley – Developer
Lee Bickerton – Finance Partner
Ekbal Hussain – Finance Business Case Partner
Hannah Pinnock – Design Strategist

For more information, contact: nikki.spencer@birmingham.gov.uk

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