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Bringing about change is a bit like gardening. You have a vision of what you want to achieve. You seek advice to help make it happen. You plan, plant and nurture and after months of hard work everything blossoms.

For Project Managers attending the first meeting of the Services of the Future Workstream Board on Monday, June 17th, following a similar process was highlighted as a way to ensure Council of the Future projects flourish.

After an initial ice breaker that brought to light a number of green fingered achievements amongst attendees, Anne-Marie Neilson, Customer & Business Support Manager, and Senior Responsible Owner of the board, stressed the importance of thinking creatively and in the long-term.

She said: “Our projects not only have to meet the current needs of our customers but also their future needs. That’s why we have to have a clear vision of where we want to be in 10, 20 years time and ask ourselves what else should we be doing and what other projects should be here.

"To find the answers, we need to think outside the box and look for opportunities to work more collaboratively across teams and services and with outside bodies and our communities so we can learn, adapt and modernise. We also need to become more efficient and effective and make greater use of self-service, providing employees and customers with a range of services online to help them become more self-reliant.

"There will be a lot of crossover with other workstream boards and that is why it is important that we identify interdependencies to ensure projects succeed. To do that we need to ensure our Project Management documentation is up-to-date and accurate, as that information will help our Programme Management Co-ordinators clearly pinpoint what needs to be achieved in one project or workstream to allow another to move forward.”

It was also clear at the board - one of five newly established boards set up following the launch of the Council’s five-year business plan - that the cross-cutting nature of the workstreams was hugely beneficial.

Chair, and Head of Social Work Children’s Services, Sara Lacey said: "Meeting every six weeks provides us with an opportunity to work collectively with people from different Services for the first time. It allows us to tap into a wide range of expertise and knowledge, and provides a support network that we didn't previously have. But success will only come if we are open, honest and frank, seeking and giving advice and support when needed. A lot is expected of us all so we need to take this opportunity to work effectively together and as One Council."

Workstream Board Presentation (PDF, 716KB)