Essex County Council

Outcome of Expression of Interest: Invited to apply

(Please note: the scope of this EoI is very broad, but the areas for Discovery and/or Alpha stated below can be broken out into separate EoIs/Applications as appropriate)

Local Government organisations use a broad range of commercial and open-source website platforms to provide information and online services to local citizens and businesses.  

Many of these platforms are limited by proprietary formats or legacy functionality.  This can make sharing and open collaboration difficult, whilst also limiting how content can be used to creatively meet the needs of users in a connected world.

Stockport has built an open source website and is working with Essex County Council to reuse their headless-CMS website platform (.NET/C#). We would like to investigate opportunities to move beyond just ‘making it work’ for Essex County Council, but also ‘opening up’ this platform to create an exemplar low cost, future-proof and flexible website platform solution, owned by and tailored to the needs of local government and its users.

The Discovery/Alpha might investigate:

  • A comprehensive range of content types based on common user needs
  • A suite of connectors for back-end CMS systems (including open-source options)
  • Creation of ‘smart answers’ functionality to guide users through content journeys that include calculation and eligibility checking (example)
  • How Stockport’s in-house booking system can be open-sourced and adapted for use by other authorities and developed to create additional functionality.

Benefits might include:

  • Greater collaboration and sharing opportunities; the ability to test different content and services across organisations based on common standards
  • A reduction in cost, contractual lock-ins and legacy solutions across the sector
  • More creativity and flexibility for how information is presented to meet user needs across multiple devices and services including mobile, IoT and voice
  • Can use the pattern and process library (as suggested in a separate EoI) as a basis for future development
  • Creation of a new community with peer support and learning
  • Digital leadership training (for council leaders, service managers or senior executives)
  • Introduction to user research
  • Introduction to service design
  • Introduction to delivery management
  • Introduction to product management

Other training requests

There’s a growing need for Digital Service Management Skills - Stockport Council has an agile delivery team that has been working with services to improve customer journeys and streamline the back office. If Service Managers understood how to manage all aspects of their service, including the digital journeys within it, this would be of great value and enable the digital team to move on to designing the next product rather than still being responsible for managing all digital transactions for the council.