Stockport Council

Digital by Design programme

Briefly describe the initiative/ project/ service

The Digital by Design programme is part of Stockport Council’s Transformational Change programme “Investing in Stockport”. The aim of the Digital by Design programme is to transform the way that customers interact with council services by using better technology to keep people informed and connected and to reduce the cost of services. This is being delivered by a focus on the provision of information, customer contact, on line self-service, engagement with communities and the ability to create a more joined-up view of our customers over the coming years.
A robust analysis of organisational and customer facing needs has been undertaken to set out high-level requirements for the programme. This has placed the user at the heart of the conversation and has identified where technology can support services and serve our customers better. It has also supported stronger engagement between the IT department and the business embracing agile methodology to implement and drive change.

Why do you think it should win this award?

The programme is underpinned by Agile methodology which has enabled a new and sustainable way to drive change. It is clear that this programme is not just about improving technology but is also about transforming the way that we work by truly understanding business needs, working with the business to co-create the best solution for the presenting need.
This programme has challenged silo-working, bringing together several service areas from across the council to work collaboratively to identify service needs and issues. This has enabled services to realise that the problems that they encounter are issues that other service areas also grapple with, resulting in better understanding of each other’s service areas and the challenges faced along with opportunities for more enhanced service integration.
Heavily reliant on user feedback and testing to develop products, participation is strongly encouraged from all levels of the business. Effort is focused on areas that have the most impact, breaking problems down into their component parts, building on small successes to deliver solutions driven by the user at every stage of development. The approach is flexible and responds to arising need which supports continuous change.

What are the key achievements?

Engagement with service areas has been key to this programme consulting with the workforce to define and prioritise business needs along with feedback from members of the public, testing products to contribute to further development. A new ‘Healthy Stockport’ website has been launched for Public Health along with the beta version of Stockport Council’s main website which draws in user feedback to direct development.
Other key areas of delivery are:
•Digital Transactional Services – a test council tax account has been developed, building a stable infrastructure and front-end to ensure information governance compliance. This will support the development of a customer portal
•Updating current Information Management Policy and associated Guidance to allow a more proactive approach in securing additional data for service improvement
•Improved Mobile working capability
•Communications campaign developed to move people over to new and improved digital services
•Assisted digital programme underway to ensure customers are not digitally excluded
•Development of automated outputs of Business Intelligence and Analytics
•Development of improved Case and contact management, integrated booking systems and transactional online forms