We have analysed many of our business processes, and are starting a programme to improve both citizen digital interaction and the back-office processes that they feed into. We also propose to deploy robotic process automation technology, to liberate staff from undertaking well-defined, repetitive tasks, to focus on those requiring judgement. Initially selected are Planning, HR and Commissioning (in social care), but there are other candidates.
We seek to work with other councils to identify common digital interactions, to share ideas and expertise, to deliver optimal end-user experience (based on both the user interface design and the full user journey), and to maximise efficiencies in process automation.
Many projects fail when culture and adoption are not addressed. Organisational management of change issues will be key, as will service management, application support, testing, release management, etc, to ensure that the technology is both successfully introduced and supported going forward. We will develop any citizen facing automation with the citizen at the heart of what we do and consider how we support and empower our citizens to use new ways of interacting with us. We feel identifying and sharing best practice will be a vital part of the collaboration.
Discovery research is available, but not as a URL at this time (documents can be forwarded as necessary). Wiltshire has a 14-strong Systems Thinking group that has existed for the past 11 years, which has engaged right across the council, examining a range of existing business processes in detail. It is clear that many of them still have considerable potential for process improvements, that those involving citizen interaction will benefit from improved digital front ends, and that (in some cases) robotic process automation could add considerable value, and potentially reduce costs.
We believe the evidence supports our aspirations to improve both the citizen experience, support staff and reduce costs by using automation. Wiltshire Council is well placed to embark on this project and become a key collaborator; a programme of work to achieve this is just commencing, working with external providers Microsoft and Thoughtonomy (an RPA company). Collaboration with other councils will improve the quality of what is done, potentially extend the scope, and allow the sharing of benefits across a range of local authorities.
- Digital leadership training (for council leaders, service managers or senior executives)
- Introduction to user research
- Introduction to product management
- Agile for teams