Local Government Reorganisation:
Critical Friend Review
A Local Authority Client was undertaking a critical programme to create a single tier of government within a fixed statutory deadline. The programme involved the bringing together of local government functions undertaken by the county council and district council functions under a single unitary authority.
As part of the programme governance, external reviews were sought, and change management specialists, Ameo Group, were engaged to provide a readiness review to establish the council’s ability to be ready for the first day of operation as a new Authority. Ameo approached CMI Synergy to form part of a two-man team to undertake the review.
The purpose of the review was to test the readiness of the Authority to seamlessly provide services to residents from the very first day of operation. The approach to testing readiness was to use a resident- centric approach and to review a range of critical processes from the point a resident engages with the Authority. A range of processes was agreed in conjunction with the client and a series of workshops were set up with representatives from across county and district councils as required, to review how the processes would operate on day one.
The workshop was used to identify the various gateways into the Authority and follow the resident journey from each point of entry. A detailed review of the process was undertaken to the point where it became business as usual for the existing teams to identify the impact of change and to ensure all elements of the process were being considered. As well as a review of the process, a review of project documentation was also undertaken to check the health of the project(s) supporting the process i.e. project plans, dependencies and current progress and issues.
The team documented and summarised the findings in a detailed written report along with recommendations for improvements. Where common issues were identified, these were escalated to the Council to enable a wider reaching review across other areas of delivery.
The findings were shared with the corporate leadership team and Members to demonstrate the relative position of the programme. The proposed recommendations in the report were endorsed and action was taken to implement them.