The second meeting of the Digital Workstream Board was held on June 27th. To keep you abreast of  what was said at the meeting, you’ll find the key points listed below.

Presentation from Edinburgh City Council (ECC)

Nicola Harvey, Chief Official Head of Customer and Digital Services, ECC and Alan Dickie, Vice President Consulting Services, CGI gave an overview of their council's digital transformation. For note, ECC's ICT is outsourced to CGI.

  • Context:
    • Edinburgh’s population is growing at twice the rate of the Scottish average
    • The city welcomes 4.5m tourists each year
    • The Council needs to find savings of c£106m by 2023
  • A digital vision for the city has been created and a sustainable plan, involving the skills of both the local authority workforce and private sector, is being drafted to deliver  on the vision.
  • Nicola emphasised that sitting in a room with post-it notes trying to find savings each year is not visionary, and there was no point having a strategy for retina scanning when you can’t fix a street light.
  • For any given vision to work you need building blocks  and frank discussions that result in actions.
  • Being able to show tangible benefits of projects makes it easier to get buy-in across the board.
  • ECC has made 52 commitments to the city that are integrated into a business plan. All projects are held up to these commitments.
  • Nicola stressed that everyone has to understand that change has to happen and that if it doesn’t  cuts will continue and you’ll hit a wall. Rather than sitting in silos you need to think about the whole picture.
  • When designing services there is a need to focus on the type of service customers actually want and remember if services go wrong it affects people’s lives.
  • ECC is looking to lean processes and cater for the employees of tomorrow.
  • Fears over Artificial Intelligence (AI) exist, but if you can show the benefits and that AI can enrich employees’ roles it makes it an easier proposition to get buy-in.
  • Edinburgh rolling out changes with a small team of six and bringing in others from across the organisation with the skills needed to help take projects forward.
  • Actively choosing software etc. based on what it can provide moving forward rather than on cost. They are then showing  the return on investment and the savings generated to bring people on board.
  • New digital channels complement the old, providing young and old with an easy way to contact the Council.
  • This includes an overhaul of the Council’s website. The site is now transactional and allows direct communication with communities.
  • Also looking to create community hubs  rather than link a service with a building to ensure resources are used more effectively.

Projects presenting for the first time to the Digital Workstream Board

  • Integrated Housing Management System: procuring a new housing management system to replace current system no longer fit for purpose.
  • Digital Solutions - Design, Roads & Transport: replace paper-based and legacy systems and introduce AI solutions.

PIDS, Business Cases & Monthly Reporting

  • There was a reminder that PIDS had to be submitted by July 1st and monthly reporting by the first Friday of  each month.
  • The documents will help the PMO identify interdependencies across all five workstream boards.
  • These will also ensure the right projects sit in the workstream and that projects are transformative and financially sound.

Change Fund

  • £575k of the £1m Change Fund for 2019/2020 has now been committed.
  • If funds have not been approved, PMs need to speak with senior management and finance partners to help find another channel.

The next meeting of the Digital Workstream Board is due to take place on September 10th.