In a post-Covid world, the council had already started its move of systems to the cloud and recognised the benefits improving its digital capability could bring to staff and residents of the council. This included: enabling automation of routine processes and free up its employees time to be spent on added-value activity; and delivering services in a different, but still a stable and efficient way.

The council recognised it likely had challenges around its current digital skills capabilities, and wanted to understand this further, as a basis for improvement.

Having already had a digital maturity assessment, the council wanted to formally review their existing ICT and digital services across the council to identify current capabilities and skills gaps in order to grow the service.

It wanted to refresh its digital strategy and create a roadmap to deliver the Target Operating Model (TOM), including immediate term (12 months), medium term (3 years), and longer term (5 years) activities to be undertaken. Socitm Advisory was appointed to support the council with this work. 

“We really went on a journey with Socitm Advisory. Being able to work with the team to shape the development of a set of deliverables into something that was really personable to us as a council was very important to us. This approach to co-design resulted in the delivery of workshops that involved the input of over 100 staff across the council. The end result was the development of a digital strategy and roadmap that really fulfilled our needs.”

James Rees, Vale of Glamorgan Council

The biggest challenge

The digital maturity assessment that had already been undertaken, was heavily focused upon the ICT department, and didn’t include the wider range of ICT and digital services from across the organisation, for example customer services and business improvement. Therefore, we met with the wider teams to work in collaboration with them on the new strategy.

With many stakeholders working remotely, we had to ensure that we engaged staff at Vale of Glamorgan well. We instigated daily stand ups, which really helped to create a strong working relationship with employees.

Our project brief and goals

The aim of the project was to:

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Refresh the current digital strategy to make it fit for purpose post-Covid, and upskill the ICT department as they move systems to the cloud

Illustration showing a sign post pointing in three different directions

Create a roadmap which gave a clear vision of the activities required to improve its digital offering

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Provide a better customer experience through digital self-service, and enable a collaborative working environment

Our approach

Socitm Advisory created a really close partnership with Vale of Glamorgan Council to deliver its work. Our experienced team made sure they really got to know the council and its staff, and embedded themselves into the organisation. This approach was the backbone to the work we delivered to create the new digital strategy, the accompanying TOM and Roadmap through our use of workshops.

We consulted with people at all levels; senior leaders, managers and front-line staff who are delivering the services on a daily basis, and who will help to drive the digital agenda. By taking this approach, Socitm Advisory could better tailor the digital strategy to Vale of Glamorgan’s needs.

The council were highly engaged, and when running over 20 workshops in 8 weeks the employees knew what to expect through communications created by Socitm Advisory, and facilitated by the Vale of Glamorgan.

Socitm Advisory took Vale of Glamorgan on a journey and helped them to work through any problems they were experiencing. The council noted that they found the SWOT analysis we carried out particularly useful.

Outcomes and benefits

A final draft digital strategy was the key outcome, which will deliver:

Improved business applications,
Automated processes,
Improved digital skill training,
Improved interaction with customers, and
More empowered employees who could make more informed decisions from data.

Next steps

The digital strategy has now been consulted on more widely and now that it has been approved will be the council’s approach to digital for the next five years. This council’s team are already looking at what the service redesign could look like as part of the strategy.

The document will act as a roadmap and with the tools left with them as a result of the work by Socitm Advisory, they have the ability to check-in and monitor progress to ensure they are on track to deliver their immediate, medium and longer term priorities.