Case Study: Change is our business
Birmingham City Council (BCC) is six years into one of the most ambitious public sector business efficiency transformation programmes in Europe, designed to streamline operations and realise cashable benefits amounting to over £1bn. Ensuring the delivery of effective and efficient public services for Birmingham's citizens is critical to the city council.
Birmingham City Council decided early on to seek a private sector partner to support the delivery of the transformation programme. In April 2006, Service Birmingham was created; a joint venture between Capita and the council, with ownership split two-thirds Capita and one third Birmingham City Council.
Service Birmingham has an exclusive contract to deliver and support ICT services across the council. Reliable and responsive information systems and technology are key building blocks to support the wider business transformation programme.
Challenges & Goals
From the beginning, the council's programme was focused on planning and delivering radical, large-scale business change. Service Birmingham supported Birmingham City Council in the development of CHAMPS2 , a business change method that effectively manages radical, comprehensive change across processes, organisation structure and technology.
In helping to support the delivery of the council's transformation objectives, CHAMPS2 has provided a consistent, benefits-driven and holistic approach to managing change - delivering a full end-to-end solution, underpinned with strong and effective governance and complemented by a quality management framework. CHAMPS2 has been in the public domain since 2008 enabling free access to the entire on-line method.
Specifically, the council had three over-arching objectives: improved service delivery to customers; greater efficiencies (including cost - but also greater transparency in decisions and ensuring more real time information is available to managers and Members); and improved job satisfaction for the authority's 40,000+ employees.
Results and Benefits
The Service Birmingham partnership is at the mid-point of the initial 10-year strategy. So far, £244m worth of cashable benefits have been achieved with £94m of recurring savings secured for each year going forward, which means £712 m of the £1bn the programme set out to save has already been secured. The programme remains on course to realise the full amount by 2016.
However the business transformation programme has not only delivered financial efficiencies. Service Birmingham has been instrumental in enabling the council to achieve some impressive results:
- A modernised city council website, allowing customers to create
their own online accounts to raise and track their requests
and queries. There have been over 13,000 accounts set up so
- The creation of a network of 13 state-of-the-art customer
- A programme to rationalise 55 core administrative buildings
down to just eight fit-for-purpose modern sites (recently praised
by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government)
providing improved working environments for employees and
enabling the deployment of mobile working, thereby reducing the
ratio of desks per employee
- 24% of eligible users of social care services now have
- Two-thirds of housing benefit claims are being completed via
phone without the need for a face-to-face appointment
- The time it takes to pay benefit claims through the new
automated process is nearly 50% quicker than the old manual
- Good planning has allowed the Adults & Communities programme to implement better document management in the Adults directorate at no extra cost. This has given unexpected savings with staff being able to archive their paper files and view data on an online database, saving time, money and valuable office space.
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