Norfolk County Council’s (NCC) existing core system, Oracle On-Premise Release 12, had been in place for 14 years, during which time, more than 30 additional systems had been developed around it, resulting in complex integrations and duplication in business processes.

In 2020, NCC made the move towards a single-source system transformation, by procuring a fully integrated, cloud-based, Oracle HR and Finance SaaS solution, incorporating Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) and including UK local government HR, Finance, Procurement, Payroll and Analytics functionality.

NCC appointed Socitm Advisory as the Business Change Delivery Partner.

Our brief and the project goals

To engage with all key stakeholders to help NCC successfully implement and deliver the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) through: 

  • Organisation change 
  • People change 
  • External stakeholder change 
  • Process change 
  • Data & analytics change 
  • Benefits delivery – including: introduction of self-service; saving money; becoming more agile; and using the new system’s tools to their optimum level of performance. 

Biggest challenge

The 24,000 internal stakeholders as well as the external stakeholders would need to be engaged and that engagement maintained for a prolonged period.

The approach

We deployed Change Managers across the key areas of HR, Payroll, Finance, Procurement and with the External Audiences too.

Our Change Managers worked alongside the functional leads of each area to identify and understand the impacts the new system could have on them.

This enabled us to put in place activities and initiatives to support the impacts, including: clear communications; training schedules; stakeholder management; business readiness groups; champions groups; change network; data analytics for mature data; and benefit identification, tracking & realisation.

We also established a support model for implementation as well as post-implementation.

The outcome

The successful delivery of the new system enhances NCC’s digitisation and will help the Authority to develop its best business practice processes programme.

NCC has an ERP solution that incorporates and promotes automation and self-service.

A major step change will be the centrality of business intelligence and data for analytics that will enable better-informed decision-making.

Timesaving and cost-savings through fulfilling core management activities such as recruiting staff, monitoring budgets, ordering goods and services will continue to improve for many years to come.

The new system’s futureproofed nature with quarterly updates and its flexibility to evolve and develop will deliver further long-term cost-savings.

As NCC continues to embed the new system with stakeholders, post-implementation, support is at hand through the Socitm Advisory support model that has our business change specialists working ‘on-the-ground’ at NCC for as long as they are needed.

Noteable project learnings

  • Our Support Model not only focused on the implementation period, but also the immediate post-implementation and for 12 months post-implementation. 
  • Our Champions Groups held regular monthly sessions with change coaching and support sessions, which motivated and helped our champions to motivate and help their teams throughout the project and beyond. 
  • Our Business Readiness Groups recruited senior people across the organisation and engaged them throughout the project, which helped cascade engagement and buy-in to all our communications, activities, and initiatives. 

“Socitm Advisory added significant value through implementation and beyond, and we wouldn’t be where we are now but for the outstanding technical, moral and wellbeing support they provided that kept us sane!” John Baldwin – Norfolk County Council.