Monthly Archives: June 2015

Unmentoring 2: The return of Randomised Coffee Trials

What can Welsh public services learn from Kirklees Council? Dyfrig Williams discussed digital with Steve Langrick.

UnmentoringWe’ve been running Randomised Coffee Trials, where random participants are drawn together to discuss their work, since our Wellbeing seminar in March. We’ve had some great feedback, where people have discussed a range of issues from job interviews, to mentoring and working closer together.

At the same time I’ve been taking part in LocalGov Digital’s Unmentoring sessions, which are along the same lines as Randomised Coffee Trials. My first Unmentoring blog looked at my conversation with Paul Inman of Warwickshire County Council, and this time I had the opportunity to talk with Steve Langrick of Kirklees Council.

I spent much of the conversation getting as much info as possible out of Steve, who fortunately was happy to share his work and how the council are embracing digital developments.

Going mobile

As a higher proportion of people in Wales access the internet through their phones than any other part of the UK, I was intrigued to hear how people access Kirklees’ website and how it influences the council’s work. In two years there’s been an increase of 300% in the use of mobile to access the website, which is now close to 50% of traffic to the website. With stats like that, a responsive and easy to use site isn’t just a ‘nice to have,’ it’s a necessity.

Cyngor Kirklees

BetterOff

With more people accessing their information through mobile, Kirklees are tailoring their approaches accordingly. They’re developing a new site called BetterOff to help benefit claimants through their applications and to show them how much they might be better off in work. As this can be quite a long process, the council can potentially save a lot of money by moving the service online. They can then focus their resources on the more complex enquiries they get on the issue. It’s also preventative as it guides people through the right steps up front, which helps them to avoid potential sanctions.

BetterOff also embraces the concept of Assisted Digital, where people who can’t use online services are helped to access them. The site itself is not an inhibitor, as people can come in and get support to access the site and the service.

What’s next for Kirklees?

Public services are constantly evolving and adapting to the environment in which they’re delivered. Kirkless Council are a good example of that, because even as they’ve undertaken a lot of work in the field, they’re constantly looking to improve. The Alpha version of their new website is online so that people can see what their new site will look like and comment on how it meets their needs. Like Kirklees Council, we can’t rest on our laurels if we want to deliver the best services possible for the people of Wales.

Unmentoring 2: Treialon Coffi ar Hap

Beth all gwasanaethau cyhoeddus Cymreig dysgu o Gyngor Kirklees? Fe wnaeth Dyfrig Williams trafod ‘bod yn ddigidol’ gyda Steve Langrick.

Unmentoring

Rydyn ni wedi bod yn cynnal Treialon Coffi ar Hap, lle mae cyfranogwyr yn cael eu tynnu at ei gilydd ar hap i drafod eu gwaith, ers ein seminar Lles ym mis Mawrth. Rydyn ni wedi cael adborth gwych ac mae pobl wedi trafod materion amrywiol, gan gynnwys cyfweliadau am swyddi, mentora a chydweithio.

Ar yr un pryd, rydw i wedi bod yn cymryd rhan mewn sesiynau Dadfentora (neu Unmentoring) LocalGov Digital, sy’n syniad tebyg iawn i Dreialon Coffi ar Hap. Edrychodd fy mlog Dadfentora cyntaf i ar fy sgwrs i gyda Paul Inman o Gyngor Swydd Warwick, a’r tro yma, wnes i gael y cyfle i siarad â Steve Langrick o Gyngor Kirklees.

Am ran fwyaf y sgwrs roeddwn i’n trio cael cymaint o wybodaeth a phosib allan o Steve, ac yn ffodus roedd e’n ddigon hapus i rannu ei waith ar sut mae’r cyngor yn mynd ati i roi datblygiadau digidol ar waith.

Troi’n symudol

Mae mwy o bobl yng Nghymru yn mynd ar y we drwy eu ffonau symudol nag unrhyw ran arall o’r Deyrnas Unedig, felly roedd gen i ddiddordeb i glywed sut mae pobl yn mynd ar wefan Kirklees a sut mae hyn yn dylanwadu ar waith y cyngor. Mewn dwy flynedd, bu cynnydd o 300% yn y defnydd o ffonau symudol i fynd i’r wefan, ac erbyn hyn mae bron 50% o’r traffig yn dod o ddyfeisiau symudol. Gydag ystadegau  fel ‘na, dyw wefan ymatebol ddim jyst yn rhywbeth sy’n braf ei gael, mae’n angenrheidiol.

Kirklees Council

BetterOff

Chwarae teg, mae Kirklees yn teilwra eu dulliau wrth i fwy a mwy o bobl mynd i’w wefan trwy ddyfeisiau symudol. Maen nhw wedi datblygu gwefan newydd o’r enw BetterOff, sy’n helpu pobl trwy eu budd-daliadau ac mae’n dangos faint mwy o arian byddai gyda nhw os bydden nhw’n gweithio. Gan fod hyn yn broses hir, gall y cyngor arbed lot o arian drwy symud y gwasanaeth ar-lein. Yna gallant ganolbwyntio eu hadnoddau ar yr ymholiadau cymhleth maen nhw’n cael. Mae’r syniad yma hefyd yn ataliol gan ei fod yn mynd â phobl trwy’r camau cywir ymlaen llaw, sy’n helpu nhw i osgoi cosbau posibl.

Mae BetterOff hefyd yn cynnwys cysyniad Digidol a Gynorthwyir (neu ‘Assisted Digital’), lle mae pobl sydd ddim yn gallu defnyddio gwasanaethau ar-lein yn cael eu helpu i’w ddefnyddio. Nid yw’r wefan ei hun yn rhwystr i hawlio budd-dal, achos mae pobl yn gallu dod i mewn a chael cymorth i fynd i’r afael â’r safle a’r gwasanaeth.

Beth sydd nesaf i Kirklees?

Mae gwasanaethau cyhoeddus yn datblygu’n gyson ac maen nhw’n addasu i’r amgylchedd maen nhw’n gweithio ynddo. Mae Cyngor Kirkless yn enghraifft dda o hynny, achos maen nhw wastad yn edrych i wella er bod nhw wedi gwneud lot o waith yn y maes yn barod. Mae fersiwn Alpha eu gwefan newydd ar-lein nawr fel bod pobl yn gallu gweld beth fydd y safle newydd yn edrych fel, a hefyd fel bod nhw’n gallu rhoi sylwadau ar sut mae’n diwallu eu hanghenion. Fel Cyngor Kirklees, ni allwn orffwys os ydyn ni eisiau darparu’r gwasanaethau gorau posib i bobl Cymru.

Simple questions can make a difference

How can board members help to improve waiting times? Verity Winn from the Performance Audit Health Team looks back at our ‘Asking the Right Questions’ seminar.

NHS Waiting Times ReportPutting on an event to publicise a checklist sounds like an auditors dream… But how do you make it interesting for Independent Members of health boards with busy schedules and no shortage of important issues on their plate? The answer is in making it relevant and focused on practical things they can do to make a difference for patients. And also to create a safe space where they can feel comfortable sharing and working through the issues with people who are in the same boat.

For me a lot was riding on our ‘Asking the right questions’ event on 21st May. I spent most of last year buried in information about the NHS in Wales as one of the team working on our report on NHS Waiting Times. Our findings were worrying – waiting times are getting longer, some patients are coming to harm and more could be done about it. We did a lot of work to understand why waiting times are getting worse including the pressures on the NHS in terms of money, staff, beds and other resources. We also looked at what could be done differently and identified some significant opportunities for health boards to make better use of their existing resources.

All this work filled four reports – but we had the sneaking suspicion that not everyone would have time to read through all of it! We wanted to get our message across in the simplest way to the people who can use it to make a difference. Independent Members have a vital role in scrutinising health boards’ performance and holding them to account. We wanted to create a tool to help them ask the right questions to challenge their health boards – not just about whether waiting times are getting longer, but to understand what they’re doing to bring them down. The tool is our checklist. It sets out a series of questions to understand how the health board is performing on waiting times and how strong their plans to improve are.

The event was a new experience for me. Working in the central national studies team, we tend to move onto a new topic once our reports are published. That means we don’t often get to see the local impact our work has, or meet the people who can use our reports work to make change happen. But this event brought us face to face with Independent Members and reminded me that sometimes the simplest way to get a message across is by talking to people.

The event started with the spotlight on Dave Thomas, Director of the Performance Audit Health Team at the Wales Audit Office and Helen Birtwhistle, Director of the Welsh NHS Confederation. They answered questions about some of the challenges and opportunities facing the NHS in Wales and what needs to be done to improve waiting times for patients. You can watch the full discussion below. The rest of the day was filled with practical workshops based on the topics in our checklist.

It was great to see people sharing experiences and advice in such an open and supportive way. And really positive to see the commitment of Independent Members to putting the patient first and not shying away from difficult questions to make sure this happens. I was particularly interested to hear the suggestions of questions to ask health boards to understand what they’re doing to improve waiting times. At the end of the event, one person told us that the key thing he learnt was to ask questions in ‘the most simple language, hoping to get to the nub of the point’ – for me, he hit the nail on the head.

I was really pleased that the feedback we had from the event was overwhelmingly positive. Not that there isn’t always something to learn about how we could do things a little better next time. We are holding another event on ‘Asking the right questions’ in the Metropole Hotel in Llandrindod Wells on 13 July. If you’d like a place, please email good.practice@audit.wales. I look forward to meeting more of you there.

Gall cwestiynau syml wneud gwahaniaeth

Sut all aelodau bwrdd helpu i wella amseroedd aros? Dyma Verity Winn o’r tîm Archwilio Perfformiad Iechyd yn edrych yn ôl dros ein seminar ‘Gofyn y cwestiynau cywir’.

Adroddiad Amseroedd Aros y GIGMae trefnu digwyddiad i roi cyhoeddusrwydd i restr wirio yn swnio fel rhywbeth a fyddai’n ddiléit pur i archwilydd… Ond sut rydych yn mynd ati i’w wneud yn ddiddorol i Aelodau Annibynnol byrddau iechyd sydd â dyddiaduron llawn a mwy na digon o faterion pwysig ar eu plât? Yr ateb yw gwneud y peth yn berthnasol a chanolbwyntio ar bethau ymarferol y gallant eu gwneud i wneud gwahaniaeth i gleifion. A hefyd greu gofod diogel lle y gallant deimlo’n gyfforddus yn rhannu ac yn trafod y materion gyda phobl sydd yn yr un sefyllfa.

Roedd llawer yn dibynnu ar ein digwyddiad ‘Gofyn y cwestiynau cywir’ ar 21ain Mai. Fe dreuliais y rhan fwyaf o’r flwyddyn ddiwethaf yn pori drwy wybodaeth hyd at fy nglustiau am y GIG yng Nghymru fel un o’r tîm a fu’n gweithio ar ein hadroddiad ar Amseroedd Aros y GIG. Roedd ein canfyddiadau yn achos pryder – roedd amseroedd aros yn mynd yn hwy, mae rhai cleifion yn cael niwed a gellid gwneud rhagor i ymdrin â’r broblem. Gwnaethom lawer o waith er mwyn deall pam bod amseroedd aros yn gwaethygu gan gynnwys y pwysau ar y GIG o ran arian, staff, gwelyau ac adnoddau eraill. Ystyriwyd hefyd yr hyn y gellid ei wneud yn wahanol a nodwyd rhai cyfleoedd arwyddocaol i fyrddau iechyd wneud gwell defnydd o’r adnoddau sydd ganddynt.

Roedd yr holl waith hwn wedi esgor ar bedwar adroddiad – ond roedd rhyw deimlad gennym na fyddai pawb yn cael amser i ddarllen drwy’r cyfan! Roeddem am gyfleu ein neges yn y ffordd symlaf bosibl i’r bobl a all ei defnyddio i wneud gwahaniaeth. Mae Aelodau Annibynnol yn chwarae rhan hollbwysig yn y gwaith o graffu ar berfformiad byrddau iechyd a’u dwyn i gyfrif. Roeddem am greu adnodd i’w helpu i ofyn y cwestiynau cywir er mwyn herio eu byrddau iechyd – nid dim ond gofyn a yw amseroedd aros yn mynd yn hwy, ond deall beth maent yn ei wneud i’w byrhau. Ein rhestr wirio yw’r adnodd hwn. Mae’n nodi cyfres o gwestiynau i ddeall sut mae’r bwrdd iechyd yn perfformio o ran amseroedd aros a pha mor gadarn yw eu cynlluniau i’w gwella.

Bu’r digwyddiad yn brofiad newydd i mi. A ninnau’n gweithio yn y tîm astudiaethau cenedlaethol canolog, rydym yn tueddu i symud ymlaen i bwnc newydd ar ôl i’n hadroddiadau gael eu cyhoeddi. Mae hynny’n golygu nad ydym yn gweld effaith leol ein gwaith yn aml, nac yn cyfarfod â’r bobl a all ddefnyddio gwaith ein hadroddiadau i sicrhau newid. Ond drwy’r digwyddiad hwn daethom wyneb yn wyneb â’r Aelodau Annibynnol a chefais fy atgoffa mai’r ffordd symlaf o gyfleu neges weithiau yw drwy siarad â phobl.

Dechreuodd y digwyddiad gyda’r holl sylw ar Dave Thomas, Cyfarwyddwr Tîm Iechyd Archwilio Perfformiad yn Swyddfa Archwilio Cymru a Helen Birtwhistle, Cyfarwyddwr Conffederasiwn GIG Cymru. Atebodd y ddau gwestiynau am rai o’r heriau a’r cyfleoedd a wynebir gan y GIG yng Nghymru a’r hyn sydd angen ei wneud i wella amseroedd aros i gleifion. Gallwch wylio’r drafodaeth lawn isod. Am weddill y diwrnod cafodd gweithdai ymarferol eu cynnal yn seiliedig ar y pynciau ar ein rhestr wirio.

Roedd yn braf gweld pobl yn rhannu profiadau a chyngor mewn ffordd mor agored a chefnogol. Ac mor gadarnhaol oedd gweld ymrwymiad yr Aelodau Annibynnol i roi’r claf yn gyntaf a pheidio osgoi gofyn cwestiynau anodd er mwyn sicrhau bod hyn yn digwydd. Roedd yn ddiddorol iawn i mi glywed awgrymiadau am gwestiynau i’w gofyn i fyrddau iechyd er mwyn deall yr hyn y maent ei wneud i wella amseroedd aros. Ar ddiwedd y digwyddiad, dywedodd un person wrthym mai’r peth allweddol roedd wedi’i ddysgu oedd y dylid gofyn cwestiynau ‘yn yr iaith symlaf bosibl, gan obeithio mynd at wraidd y mater’ – i mi, roedd wedi taro’r hoelen ar ei phen.

Roeddwn i’n falch iawn bod y mwyafrif llethol o’r adborth a gawsom ar y digwyddiad yn gadarnhaol. Ond wedi dweud hynny, mae rhywbeth i’w ddysgu bob amser o ran sut y gallem wneud pethau ychydig yn well y tro nesaf. Rydym yn cynnal digwyddiad arall ar ‘Gofyn y cwestiynau cywir’ yng Ngwesty’r Metrole yn Landrindod ar 13 Gorffennaf. Os hoffech le, ebostiwch good.practice@audit.wales. Edrychaf ymlaen at gwrdd â mwy ohonoch yno.

Y Swyddfa Ystadegau Gwladol: Defnyddio ystadegau ar gyfer Gwelliant Parhaus

Sut mae’r Swyddfa Ystadegau Gwladol yn mynd ati i wella’n barhaus? Aeth Dyfrig Williams ar ymweliad â’r Gymuned Gwelliant Parhaus Cymru Gyfan i ffeindio allan mwy.

Logo Swyddfa Ystadegau Gwladol

Cwpl o wythnosau yn ôl fe wnes i fynd i Gasnewydd i ddysgu am ddull Gwelliant Parhaus y Swyddfa Ystadegau Gwladol, a wnaeth ennill Gwobr Lean Six Sigma y Sefydliad Ansawdd Prydeinig yn 2014.

Beth yw Lean Six Sigma?

Mae Six Sigma yn set o dechnegau a dulliau sy’n cael eu defnyddio i wella prosesau trwy nodi a chael gwared ar gamgymeriadau er mwyn cael canlyniadau mwy cyson. Mae’n gwneud hyn yn bennaf trwy ddefnyddio data ac ystadegau. Mae gwelliant y sefydliad yn cael ei chefnogi gan bobl o’i fewn sy’n arbenigwyr ynddo.

Fel rhan o’n cyflwyniad i Six Sigma, dangoswyd y cylch gwella DMAIC i ni. Mae’n ddull defnyddiol o ymdrin â phroblemau mewn ffordd systematig. Mae DMAIC yn sefyll am:

Define (diffinio): Beth sydd angen gwella?
Measure (mesur): Beth yw’r llinellau sylfaen i fesur gwelliant yn erbyn?
Analyse (dadansoddi): Beth mae’r data yn dweud yw’r broblem a beth yw’r effaith?
Improve (gwella): Dod o hyd i’r ateb a’i roi ar waith.
Control (rheoli): Monitro’r broses a chywiro unrhyw wyriadau o’r targed.

Llun DMAIC

Cafodd Lean ei datblygu i leihau’r gwastraff sy’n dod o’r llif o ddeunyddiau a gwybodaeth mewn proses. Mae gan y ddau syniad lot mewn cyffredin, felly maen nhw wedi cael ei roi at ei gilydd i greu Lean Six Sigma.

Dechrau’r gwaith

Gan fod Lean Six Sigma yn ddull sy’n seiliedig ar ystadegau, mae’n cyd-fynd yn dda â gwaith a diwylliant y Swyddfa Ystadegau Gwladol. Dechreuodd y peilot yn 2011, cyn cael ei roi ar waith gyda gweddill y mudiad.

Mae lot o’r gwaith wedi cymryd lle yn yr Is-adran Data Busnes, gan mai dyma’r rhan fwyaf o’r sefydliad. Gan fod lot o arferion cyffredin o fewn yr adran, gall newidiadau bach arwain at ganlyniadau mawr.

Mae’n fusnes pobl

Mae’r tîm Gwelliant Parhaus yn dîm bach o dri, sy’n cefnogi gwaith Gwelliant Parhaus y sefydliad. Clywsom fod safle’r tîm yn y sefydliad yn bwysig iawn – dydyn nhw ddim yn rhan o’r adrannau Cyllid nag Adnoddau Dynol, felly dydyn nhw ddim yn cael ei gweld fel ffordd o dorri costau. Maen nhw’n cael ei weld fel adran sy’n sicrhau effeithlonrwydd, felly dyw newidiadau mewn strwythur y staff sydd o ganlyniad i waith Gwelliant Parhaus ddim yn cael ei gysylltu â dileu swyddi.

Dechreuodd y tîm gweithio gyda chwe hyrwyddwr Gwelliant Parhaus, ond erbyn hyn mae’r hyrwyddwyr yn cwmpasu’r sefydliad i gyd. Maen nhw wedi hyfforddi staff ehangach er mwyn codi ymwybyddiaeth o’r dull gweithredu. Dechreuodd hyn siwd cymaint o frwdfrydedd bod pobl eisiau rhedeg eu prosiectau eu hunain – problem neis i’w gael!

Mae’r tîm wedi cynnal gweithdai gydag uwch arweinwyr er mwyn galluogi iddynt ddeall a chefnogi’r gwaith Gwelliant Parhaus, ac maen nhw hefyd wedi gweithio gyda staff ehangach ar fabwysiadu diwylliant gwella ansawdd. Roedd rhaid i’r tîm dangos i unigolion, timau a’r is-adran y manteision o weithio mewn ffordd wahanol. Trwy ddefnyddio’r dull 5 Whys, roedden nhw’n gallu ffocysu ar wreiddiau’r gwrthwynebiad a symud ymlaen.

Mae’r Is-adran Datblygu Busnes yn dathlu llwyddiant staff drwy eu gwobrau BuDDI, sy’n codi ymwybyddiaeth o’r pethau da mae pobl yn gwneud. Mae’r gwobrau wedi bod yn llwyddiant mawr, felly mae rhannau eraill o’r corff nawr yn gwneud yr un peth.

Llif gwaith

Dysgon ni sut mae’r Is-adran Datblygu Busnes yn gwneud y gorau o’i capasiti. Maen nhw wedi newid ei amserlenni gwaith ar arolygon fel bod nhw’n gallu gwneud y defnydd gorau o’r staff sydd ar gael. Dyma’r dull Heijunka, sydd yn ymwneud â gweithio ar gyfradd gyson a lleihau gwastraff. I roi Heijunka ar waith, mae gan yr is-adran lot o bobl sy’n gweithio ar ei arolygon i ddechrau, ac ychydig o bobl sy’n gweithio i orffen y gwaith ar y diwedd.

Ble mae’r Gymuned Gwelliant Parhaus Cymru Gyfan yn mynd nesaf?

Mae ymweliad nesaf y Gymuned Gwelliant Parhaus Cymru Gyfan yn y DVLA, sy’n cynnwys ymweliad i’w Labordy UX. Sa i’n gallu dweud fy mod i’n hapus bod fi ddim yn gallu mynd, ond os yw’r ymweliadau dysgu yma yn swnio’n dda i chi, mae’n werth dod yn aelod o’r Gymuned Gwelliant Parhaus Cymru Gyfan. Weithiau yn y Gyfnewidfa Arfer Da, mae pobl yn dweud wrthym fod “arfer da yn deithiwr gwael” (ond mae’n werth darllen blog Chris Bolton ar pam nad yw hynny wastad yn wir). Mae ymweliadau fel hyn yn dangos bod yna siwd gymaint gallwn ddysgu o’n gilydd os ydyn ni’n barod i rannu ein ffordd o feddwl a dulliau gweithredu.

Office for National Statistics: Using stats for Continuous Improvement

How do the Office for National Statistics approach Continuous Improvement? Dyfrig Williams went on a visit with the All Wales Continuous Improvement Community to find out.

Office for National Statistics Logo

A couple of weeks ago I made my way to Newport to learn about the Office for National Statistics’ Continuous Improvement work, which won the British Quality Foundation Lean Six Sigma Award in 2014.

What is Lean Six Sigma?

Six Sigma is a set of techniques and tools for improving processes by identifying and removing the causes of errors and making results more consistent, mainly by using data and stats. The organisation’s improvement is supported by people within it who are experts in the approach.

As part of Six Sigma, we were introduced to the DMAIC improvement cycle, which is a really useful method of approaching problems in a systematic way. DMAIC stands for:

Define: What needs improving?
Measure: What are the baselines you can measure improvement against?
Analyse: What does the data say the problem is and what is its effect?
Improve: Find a solution and put it into practice.
Control: Monitor the process and correct any deviations from your target.

DMAIC ImageLean is a set of tools that were developed to reduce the waste that comes with the flow of materials and information in a process. Because both ideas have a lot in common, they’ve been brought together to create Lean Six Sigma.

Starting out

As Lean Six Sigma is a stats based approach it’s a good fit with the Office for National Statistics’ work and culture. They first piloted the method in 2011 before moving it out to other parts of the organisation.

Much of the work that has taken place is in the Business Data Division, as this is the largest part of the organisation. As there are a lot of common practices within the division, small changes can bring big results.

It’s a people business

The Continuous Improvement team is a small team of three, which supports the rest of the organisation’s Continuous Improvement work. We heard that where the team sits is really important – they’re not based in Finance like in some organisations, so they’re not seen as a vehicle to cut costs. Instead they’re seen as delivering efficiency, which means that changes in staff structure that result from Continuous Improvement work hasn’t seen been linked to redundancy.

The team initially worked with six Continuous Improvement champions, but now the champions cover the whole of the organisation. They trained wider staff to raise awareness of the approach, which garnered so much enthusiasm that people wanted to run their own projects – a nice problem to have!

The team has run workshops with senior leaders so that they can support and understand the Continuous Improvement work, and they have also worked with wider staff on adopting a quality improvement culture. The team had to demonstrate the benefits of working differently to individuals, teams and the division as a whole. By using the 5 Whys tool, they could examine the resistance to change and move forward.

The Business Development Division celebrates staff success through their BuDDI awards, which raise awareness of the good things that people are doing. This has been so successful that other parts of organisation have taken the concept on.

Work flow

We learnt how the Business Development Division is making the most of its capacity. It’s changed the way that it schedules who’s working on its surveys, so that it makes the best use of the staff available. This is the Heijunka approach, which is all about working at a constant rate and reducing waste. To put Heijunka into practice, the division often has lots of people working on its surveys to begin with, and a few people working to clean up and finish off the work at the end.

Where is the All Wales Continuous Improvement Community going next?

The next scheduled All Wales Continuous Improvement Community visit is to the DVLA, which includes a visit to their UX Lab. I’m gutted that I can’t make as it, but if these learning visits sound like your cup of tea, it’s well worth becoming a member of the All Wales Continuous Improvement Community. At the Good Practice Exchange, we sometimes hear the line that “good practice is a bad traveller” (though it’s worth reading Chris Bolton’s blog on why that’s not necessarily the case). Visits like this show that there’s so much we can learn from each other if we’re willing to share our thinking and approaches.

Services in a time of change

Welsh Purchasing Consortium

How can organisations plan for the future in a time of change? Dyfrig Williams looks at the work of the Welsh Purchasing Consortium and how they’re implementing a flexible cloud based software solution.

Reforming local government is a hot topic here in Wales. Whilst there were lots of interesting messages in the Williams Commission report, it was the call for fewer councils that made all the headlines.

In this environment of impending change, it’s important that councils continue to focus on their day to day work, whilst also keeping one eye on what the future holds. It would be far too easy to stay in a period of stasis whilst awaiting re-organisation.

It was really timely and interesting to hear then how the Welsh Purchasing Consortium has implemented a Public Protection Software Framework to improve collaboration and efficiency across Welsh councils.

The expense of bringing existing systems together meant that they procured a new system that has the potential to cover the whole of Wales. This means that the approach can be adapted when any mergers take place, whilst also making it easier to interrogate data on a national basis. Nineteen councils expressed an interest in taking part, so they plumped for a cloud based system. If you’re unfamiliar with cloud computing, you can watch Evan Jones outline the advantages of it in the below video from our Information Technology Webinar.

This Cloud solution will save server costs, and also release IT resources at individual councils. There is also more flexibility in the system, as it can be accessed on any device with a web browser.

If you’d like to learn more, you can find a case study on the work on our website. Obviously the nature of work changes from council to council and from service to service, but there are a lot of interesting things to learn from this work that could be adapted to suit your needs.