Transform Issue 15 - Feb 2020 Edition

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On the job: Being an iESE consultant

Dave Downes onsite at Clackmannanshire Council.

Dave Downes is a Senior Consultant at iESE. Among the work he undertakes for iESE is delivery of Customer Focus Wheel assessments (see page 3 for more detailed information about the CFW). Here we speak to Dave about what it is like to be an iESE consultant working on the CFW. Q: Do you enjoy your job? A: "I am passionate about the Customer Focus Wheel and enjoy working with clients on it. It is hard work but rewarding work and you enjoy it because you feel like you are making a difference." Q: How long does the CFW take? A: "We usually have about two weeks to set up the project and gather the documentation and set up the interviews with staff. We then spend a week onsite doing the interviews, customer journey mapping and analysing customer demand. We deliver the results around two to three weeks after that. "The first day we get onsite early and meet the owner of the project and run through what we are going to be doing for the week and keep them updated through the week. Then we are back-toback in demand observations and interviews so we are really in the work." Q: What do you think staff make of someone listening, watching and questioning? A: "We are a team of people who have worked in the public sector and we have a real blend of experience and knowledge. We can communicate well at the same level and really understand what people are telling us. When we do staff interviews our questions are open and conversational - we aim to help people get their points across and try not to make it feel intimidating. It is with an agenda but we find we get a level of honesty from people that doesn't come out in staff surveys. I think they like feeling listened to." Q: How do you think an organisation benefits from the CFW? "Our independent view means we can challenge in a positive way, use examples from other councils and say have you thought about doing it this way? A lot of the time things are done because that is how it has always been done. We can add value by helping an organisation see the bigger picture from the customer point of view. "We feedback responsively and focus on the big issues. We are analytical and comfortable with big data and can challenge with improvement in mind. We can show an organisation how to spend less time with highvolume, low-complexity demands, which will allow them to spend more time with vulnerable customers."


Celebrating sector achievements At iESE we celebrate and promote any best practice we see in the sector. In addition to our annual awards, we have another scheme called Certificates of Excellence, which can be applied for on behalf of a whole organisation, a department or an individual project. There are no categories, which means applicants can highlight anything they feel deserves recognition. Here we look at three projects which have recently been award a certificate

Cheltenham Borough Council’s Licensing Team Cheltenham Borough Council’s Licensing Team has led on several innovative and national first initiatives. In 2018, the council digitised all of its taxi and alcohol licensing application processes, achieving a 100 per cent channel shift.

Cheltenham's Louis Krog receiving their award.

The legacy manual processes were time and resource intensive, costing £40,565 per annum. In 2017, the council was one of 23 projects selected nationally to receive LGA funding to innovate and improve digital service. The council match funded the £15,000 awarded and invested this in the online forms and underlying technologies to enable the channel shift in its licensing functions. The solution allows customers to apply and renew licences anywhere at any time. The 100 per cent channel shift for taxi and private hire licence application and alcohol licensing applications has resulted in overall savings of £93,000, including: • legacy process savings of £40,000 • payment processing savings of £6,000 • paperwork (printing/postage/stationery) savings of £15,000 The shift has also resulted in improved performance, with end-to-end processing times improved by as much as 71 per cent, a resource saving of 156 hours annually and improved customer satisfaction rating and feedback. The experience and learning of the council has been widely shared across the local government licensing sector, including site visits by more than 20 different local authorities. One crucial element of the project was engagement. The council invested time and resource to ensure it was able to support officers and

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customers through training, 1-2-1 sessions and stakeholder engagement groups. The council had set a date for 100 per cent channel shift for taxi and private hire licensing of 1 March 2018. It was critical that all officers were fully trained and able to mitigate any potential service disruption and were ready to deal with customer queries. The officer and customer engagement work meant the transition from an exclusive paper-based system to a 100 per cent online system was successful with very minor issues. This project is not the only success of Cheltenham's licensing team. The management of the town's evening and night-time economy (ENTE) falls within its remit. In 2016, Cheltenham’s ENTE achieved Purple Flag status, recognising that the town’s ENTE is safe, well managed and has a diverse offer. The town has retained this status since and in 2018 was peer-nominated for a national award in recognition of its ENTE. Cheltenham was announced as the winner of the ‘Best in Appeal’ national award for 2019. Additionally, Cheltenham Borough Council became the first local authority in the UK to adopt a Public Spaces Protection Order specifically addressing issues around ticket touts at horse racing events and has also become an accredited provider of training for personal licence permit holders for the sale/supply of alcohol. The council also offers safeguarding training to taxi drivers. The launch of the accredited training services has reaped the rewards of additional income streams. “It is fantastic to receive independent recognition from iESE for the innovative work of our dedicated licensing team. Cheltenham Borough Council is increasingly being acknowledged as a leading local authority for its service transformation and commercialisation work,” said Mike Redman, Director of Environment at Cheltenham Borough Council. “We are especially proud to have been awarded the iESE Certificate of Excellence for the hard work and commitment which is delivering better and more efficient services and outcomes for our licensing customers.”

Kent Connects and the University of Kent The Kent Digital Inclusion Initiative is a cross-sector collaboration between Kent County Council and the University of Kent to deliver accessible and inclusive services across Kent Public Sector and to support