Launching our new digital and technology service – new beginnings

The last few months have been a whirlwind of activity and busy-ness getting ready for the official launch of the new digital and technology service on 1 March. It’s no irony that this date coincides with meteorological Spring – time for bright and breezy change and new beginnings!

We’ve gone through an iterative process to get to a new service design, which includes a strategy, new ways of working, a structure and new job descriptions for every single member of the team. We have also renamed our service to reflect a strong focus on user centred design and agile delivery techniques, underpinned by secure, scalable and resilient platforms.

As a service, our approach is to be bold, curious and innovative in supporting and leading the way in the new digital way of working. We will be collaborating and working in partnership with directorate service teams and BCC colleagues to shape this. The new digital ways of working will be a catalyst for change across the whole organisation and we can’t wait to get cracking!

During December, we successfully slotted in almost all of our people into new roles in the new structure through a streamlined expression of interest process. During January and February we have been running internal recruitment for vacant roles to give our staff the opportunity for lateral and promotional moves. However, coming out of the service redesign we have over 100 vacancies that we need to fill.

These roles are across the whole service from entry level roles to head of service. It’s an exciting time to be joining us and our external recruitment campaigns will be kicking off very soon. Our newly created capability and culture function has been working hard to support our leadership in creating a dynamic and supportive working environment with clear career pathways for development. Our people are our strongest asset, we will work very hard to support, empower and develop this team.

During conversations to start that external recruitment, it became apparent that it was difficult for people to relate to the title for one of our functions (explained in a previous post), so we have made a change to help that on it’s way. The change we need to make is to the Governance and Customer Experience function:

We have done a bit of thinking of what words we use to describe customers, citizens, staff, colleagues:

  • Customer: this can be internal or external when we need a term that will cover a multitude of different users
  • Citizen: when we only mean our residents
  • Colleague: when we only mean our internal colleagues

The term customer is too generic – so we are going to swap it out with the word colleague and make it clear we mean IT governance, so the function name becomes IT Governance and Colleague Experience. The purpose of this function is to help create the right conditions for our service to work brilliantly and to hold us to the highest standards of service. It means we focus on our colleagues in these teams and making sure they get the best digital tools and support to do their jobs. I also hope that by using the term colleague, it helps our internal customers see us more as colleagues than an external outsourcer/supplier and continues to reframe that relationship (following the insourcing of the service), seeing us as on the same team.

I have also been doing a lot of reflecting on our Digital Strategy which is coming up for its first birthday. We have achieved a huge amount already, and with two years to go, I have been thinking about what we still need to achieve – more on that in my next post.

I have been doing lots and lots of Power Point presentations and have invested in and been reading Everything I Know about Life I Learned from PowerPoint by Russell Davies. It’s an absolute gem of a book and for those of you (like me) that can be guilty of putting too many words on slides – it’s super helpful edutainment.

I know I am late to the party but I’ve also been binge watching Ted Lasso – which is excellent, and there a Ted-ism that applies to us as we embark on our change journey!