Shaping the Future – Redesigning Birmingham’s Digital Team

I have been with Birmingham now for around 15 months – and it has been a whirlwind! I managed to carve out some time to write an update to my post on how we have been getting on delivering the biggest transformation of a traditional IT organisation to modern, user centred digital service in local government.

Our redesign not only needed to tackle the structure of the IT team, but also the processes of how we do things with our service area colleagues and we’ve made excellent progress in some really tricky areas:

  • Analysis of incoming work to our team and changes to how we prioritise and allocate it
  • Creation of a technology roadmap and enterprise architecture “platform + agile” approach
  • Aligning a new governance structure to ensure we get the most from the Council’s technology investments
  • Target operating model and Phase 1 leadership structure – published in April this year and now in place
  • Phase 2 – restructure; a review of all remaining roles within the IT&D service
  • Digital leadership – workshops and training

There’s lots more work planned to support our service area colleagues to collaborate with us and to adopt design thinking and digital approaches – keep an eye on this blog to hear more.

We’ve reached a stage where we are now able to implement our revised structure and operating model – and have successfully placed 95% of our existing workforce into newly designed roles. Our roles are aligned to the DDaT framework and will enable us to develop centres of excellence around practice and empower colleagues to be their best in a multi-disciplinary team.

Our new structure has roles in various disciplines aligned to the practices and functions in the diagram above starting from an apprentice, to associate, practitioner, senior, lead and head of technology practice. Giving clear career pathways from entry level to head of service. I am very proud of this and the opportunities this will give to existing colleagues whilst at the same time showing to prospective colleagues that Birmingham’s Digital Service is THE place to be in local government digital circles.

It feels like we have climbed to the crest of the hill and as a team we can now coast down the other side. There’s still much work to do in implementing the remainder of the structure, we have over 100 vacant roles we need to fill in the New Year! Our Capability and Culture function, led by the brilliant Dave Briggs, will be making good on our vision to have a diverse and inclusive workforce. We will be implementing best practice in inclusive recruitment, making sure we have the capabilities in place within our leadership to support, develop and empower our staff. We’re working closely with directorate Allies networks and Trade Union colleagues on our Everyone’s Battle, Everyone’s Business equality, diversity and inclusion initiative. We’re monitoring the impact of our restructure on our workforce profile and challenging ourselves to be best practice at every stage. In addition, all of the newly formed leadership team has made a personal pledge around developing an inclusive team which we are tracking through our outcomes and key results (OKR) approach.

We also want to bring the fun as well, and I hope to see (like the images below) lots more enthusiasm, enjoyment and support for each other as we help the Council work through some huge challenges.

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