Strategic planning tool launched to help local authorities increase success of shared IT services

 

Eduserv has launched a free-to-use strategic planning tool which will help local authorities better prepare for shared IT service programmes.

The Readiness Assessment for a Shared service Programme (RASP), allows local authorities to understand the extent to which their organisation is ready to collaborate with others in a shared service programme. It can also be used as a ‘health-check’ or to assess the inclusion of a new partner in an existing shared service.

The online tool has been developed in partnership with Socitm and is based on the experience and insight of around 50 senior level decision makers from local authorities who have been involved in delivering shared service programmes.

RASP assesses readiness for shared services by going through a set of in-depth diagnostic questions in five areas:

‧       Shared vision – the extent to which there is wider buy-in for the planned project, political backing, a detailed understanding of what will be shared and agreement on which areas of best practice will be absorbed in the partnership.

‧       Ethos and cultures – looking at structure, identity, skills and who will lead in specific areas of the shared services

‧       Treatment of resources – understanding and agreeing which assets, costs and benefits will be shared.

‧       Risk management – reviewing existing IT estate, skills and contracts and mapping out capacity for change.

‧       Governance – covering success measures, leadership and decision models, legal basis for work.

By using RASP, local authorities are able to understand planning gaps and areas which need further preparatory work in shared service planning.

Every organisation which completes a RASP assessment is given a score in each area and a map showing areas of strength and weakness.

Natasha Veenendaal, Programme Manager for the Eduserv Executive Briefing Programe which developed the tool, said: “Shared services are already common across the public sector and in the future it is unlikely that local authorities can function unless they work more collaboratively with neighbouring service providers.

“In our work with local authorities, the Executive Briefing Programme has uncovered many potential pitfalls to be overcome throughout the lifecycle of a shared service programme.

“This readiness assessment tool uses that insight to provide a diagnostic aid which demonstrates and quantifies risks and potential issues that require further scrutiny or care during a shared service programme.”

Martin Ferguson, Director of Policy and Research, Socitm said: “Shared services is an important topic for Socitm. As more local authorities engage in partnerships, there are many pitfalls to be overcome and opportunities to be had.

“It’s important for citizens that these partnerships succeed and time and money is well spent.

“The assessment tool has been developed to help councils understand these pitfalls and opportunities better and mitigate the risks.”

The tool is available to organisations at: www.eduserv.org.uk/rasp.

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