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Criterion 1 Relevance (10 Points)
 

Criterion 1 Relevance (10 Points)

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    Criterion 1 Relevance (10 Points) Criterion 1 Relevance (10 Points) Document Transcript

    • Liverpool City Council eGovernment Awards Submission June 2009 Category 2a eGovernment empowering citizens: The focus of this category and our submission is on identifying the most outstanding practices in improved and easier access to public services for citizens as the major beneficiaries of eGovernment. ICT solutions for participation and/or engagement and/or involvement of all groups in society in policy-making and implementation, as well as public service provision, are included in this category. 1
    • Criterion 1: Relevance (10 points) This criterion addresses the following question: How would you describe the relevance of your case in the light of the above overall objectives of the awards scheme and the specific policy context? (1) Demonstrate the intrinsic relevance of the case, i.e. the issue(s) that your case solves. This case, presented by Liverpool City Council (LCC), demonstrates how a poorly performing organisation has been transformed through the use of technology to benefit the citizens of Liverpool. In 2001 Liverpool City Council was performing poorly; performance of its national Performance Indicators rated Liverpool as third from bottom, while at the same time was the highest council tax in the UK. Following a series of reviews that included one of its Information & Communication Technology (ICT) by Deloitte & Touche, it was concluded that:-  Investment in ICT was limited, wasteful, uncoordinated and ineffective  LCC had no corporate ICT strategy  There was a little evidence of an embedded customer service ethos across the culture of the organisation  Quality was not ingrained into the fabric of services  There was an absence of a robust performance management regime  Motivation amongst staff was low and employee engagement was ineffective Additionally, Liverpool had for many years, been designated an area of economic deprivation with a distorted percentage of its population requiring access to local government services, particularly benefits. Summary of where we were: • Poor performance in many areas, uncertain prospects for a way forward • Expenditure well exceeding budget • Complicated customer contact arrangements with multiple customer access points, with poor inter- departmental communication. • Customer service standards were unclear, together with expected levels of response • Uncoordinated IT systems led to inefficient processes (e.g. dual keying of data), inconsistent data recording, and a lack of suitably available information. • Stifled innovation • Lack of clarity in targets • An under-developed e-strategy It was therefore imperative that a change of direction be taken to address these issues. The catalyst for change in the Council’s approach to its customers came following a change in political administration, and regardless of the politics, it was about a group of people (Elected Members) coming together who had a very clear vision and manifesto for delivery to the City, its residents and businesses. It was time for Liverpool to emerge as an organisation that was forward looking, customer focused, providing services in a more radical way than ever before. And from an organisation that consisted of strategies, strategies, strategies, we moved to an approach that would revolve around only one – a Customer Contact Strategy - borne out of recognition that the culture within the organisation at that time didn’t see service users as ‘customers’. This led to formation of, at the time, a unique Joint Venture between local government and a major private sector communications organisation to form a new company, Liverpool Direct Ltd (LDL), tasked to bring innovation and cost effectiveness into local government, especially with regards to the experience of the citizen/customer. 2
    • One of the key drivers for Liverpool City Council early in the decade was implementing central e- government targets for all key services. These stretching targets were the first formalised measures providing for citizen focussed e-services and, for example, included electronic access to benefit payments, Council Tax billing and One-Stop-Shops. LDL was commissioned by LCC to undertake a comprehensive technology review in 2003/4 which resulted in a major ongoing investment programme being undertaken. This Infrastructure Modernisation Programme has over the years introduced various citizen focussed initiatives including on-street kiosks (Pavement Pods), 24/7/365 access to a Contact Centre, Government Gateway Portal access. LCC also recognised that to improve the citizen’ ‘experience’, additional investment in the basic communications infrastructure and improvements in the resilience of the Councils’ internal network, were necessary. Further initiatives introduced include: • £21m has been invested in infrastructure since 2007 • Desktop refresh • Voice and data refresh • Corporate server replacement • SMS • WebChat • eResponse • Language Line (accessibility to non-English speakers) • Digital TV • Internet Knowledge Management • Expansion of the One-Stop-Shops (OSS) • Extension of services available in OSS’s • WC3 Compliance (for blind people) All of these new services helped LCC to become a premier European City exemplified by the success of the European Capital of Culture throughout 2008 and the improvement of its services across the board that led to the Audit Commission awarding 4 Star CPA status in 2008. Where we are now: • Three million customer contacts handled each year • Higher performance in many areas • 95.5% of calls answered within 20 seconds with 90% First Point Of Contact resolution with 94% Customer Satisfaction Levels • Liverpool Direct contact centre enabling single point of contact providing high levels of first point of contact resolution and customer satisfaction • Integrated IT systems to enhance support given to our external and internal clients needs • Effective Performance Monitoring • 24/7 operation • Established service levels • IT and telephony systems have improved as a result of concentration of networks, with more effective and relevant information captured and delivered to the relevant service provider. • An innovation culture whereby staff are actively encouraged to propose enhancements to service based on experience. Each of these demonstrates how LCC has developed the use of high quality technology and people to empower citizens whilst improving access to public services using an innovative joint venture solution within local government in the UK. (2) Explain the relevance of the case to the specific awards category, local, national and/or European policy and strategic framework. LCC has made significant improvements to the local framework against national targets by providing more accessible services to our customers. Within LDL Information technology is an important part of our way of working for the benefit of citizens of Liverpool and our customers. We have empowered our customers to be able to make a choice on how to contact us via several different rotes such as our 24/7 contact centre, face to face at any of our 11 One Stop Shops, via email, SMS, web chat and at our on street kiosks (pavement pods). Customers can also make a payment via our dedicated payment line or 3
    • via the internet. This has allowed us to push the boundaries and be innovative and delivery services and solutions that meets the needs and requirements of our customers. The Audit Commission on Customer Contact in 2004 designated LCC Benefits Service as ‘poor’. The service has since achieved 4 star CPA status for 4 years running which is unprecedented success through harnessing excellent people with state of the art technologies and an ethos of continuous improvement. The submission has relevance to many national and European policy strategies including : Fraud, security and citizen authentication Benefits fraud inspectorate e-Government Social inclusion “Joined up and responsive government services” (Sir David Varney) Sustainability and Green policies Cost effectiveness – Gershon, Hunt reports and CPA framework (3) If relevant (i.e. if you have submitted your case to previous editions of the European eGovernment Awards), provide evidence of significant progress such as significant functional development; the transfer of solutions to other administrations; an upgrade in accessibility features; additional services and adjustments with a view to their cross-border/pan-European use; and the introduction of tools for measuring impact and benefits. The work of LDL supports LCC’s aspirations to change the way it works and the way it interacts with its customers, improving services, giving residents more choice and making the Council easier to reach. In 2002 we introduced a new electronic document management system for our Revenues and Benefits service. The service receives more than five million documents every year, and the new system has lead to a faster and improved council tax and benefits service for our customers with reduced turnaround times for council tax benefits of over 50%. Significant evidence of progress and functional development is highlighted by the recent deployment of a Public Access Modernisation Programme (PAMP) as shown below. PAMP Liverpool City Council embarked on a transformation programme for their call centre and back office telephony platform which delivered a state-of-the-art multimedia contact centre with a suite of applications on a distributed IP infrastructure. Issues The Key Issues at the time included: • Limited ‘Multi-Channel’ capability (mainly Voice) • Extensive training effort required for new staff • No core application set to consistently drive quality customer interaction • Platform and desktop performance • Need to increase agility and flexibility Objectives The objective being to provide service excellence to the citizens of Liverpool, and the vision ‘To be the leader in delivering high value customer contact excellence to Public, Private & Independent sector Enterprises’. Other objectives included: • Create capacity, more efficient - can do more with the same • Deliver a solid and reliable framework from which to repeatedly build the dynamic solutions required today. • Increased quality through better ability to consistently control, monitor and audit the delivery and consumption of services 4
    • • Respond more quickly and cost-effectively to new requirements • Broaden capability and choice through innovation and technology change to become a true multi channel contact centre The transformation program consisted of a multimedia highly available contact centre with email response, knowledge management, workforce management, outbound dialler, automated speech recognition and an integrated desktop. The solution was implemented in a phased approach to minimise risk and reduce any disruption to the contact centre agents and other telephony users. Solution Summary Liverpool City Council’s existing contact centre investments were leveraged where possible, and a set of new telephony and contact centre equipment and applications were introduced to deliver this transformation program. • Nortel CS1000E with version 5.5 software IP PBX. • Nortel Contact Centre 6. • Talisma Customer Interaction Management suite including web, E-Mail and Knowledge management software. • IEX Total View Workforce management These products came together to deliver LCC’s Customer Interaction Management suite. Benefits The programme delivered substantial business benefits to Liverpool City Council and its customers, which included: • Improved accessibility for incoming customer contacts, regardless of the method they choose: voice, email, text-chat, etc. Blend and merge phone calls with emails and text chats to increase service levels and automate standard responses for fast resolution. • Combined corporate telephony and contact centre infrastructure with mission critical resilience and scalability to meet both today’s requirements and the predicted growth and functionality for the next five years. • VoIP throughout the Contact Centre, that will enable increased mobility across the enterprise. • Ability to manage cost of change to meet future functionality and growth requirements in a more granular fashion. 5
    • • A reduction in unnecessary contact, delivered by increasing the quality of interaction, first time around, and providing options for customer to self-serve information. • Optimised workforce, delivered by Workforce Management through effective forecasting, reporting and schedules to optimise staffing levels across the public access service. Conclusion With strong onsite support and built on next generation, but proven, technology this new technology is assured to deliver the citizens of Liverpool the highest quality service today, with an open path to further innovation and efficiencies in the future. Criterion 2: Impact (25 points) This criterion addresses the following question: What are the main results, impacts and benefits (qualitative and quantitative) for all stakeholders involved (including public administrations)? The main results, impacts and benefit's for our stakeholders are: Citizens Liverpool City Council’s main stakeholders (its citizens) now have a myriad of methods to access its services, from on street kiosks to one stop shops • Empowerment • Multi-Channel Accessibility • Provided choice • Single point of contact • On street facilities for email, SMS and local public information • Language Line (accessibility to non-English speakers) • Cost effectiveness – Liverpool City reported top quartile significant Gershon savings (reference point is LDL contract extension document) • Added value services – an increased degree of flexibility and responsiveness to unplanned and unforeseen customer demand The Organisation Benefits to the organisation include : • a robust, scalable, shared hosting platform with the flexibility to meet the changing business demands of discrete customer groups cost effectively and efficiently • A lower carbon footprint through less power consumption and less heat • processing capacity aligned to development of planned business systems and the functional demands of enterprise applications across a wide, geographically dispersed, user base • reduced total cost of ownership (including hardware and software maintenance) through a cost model that is more granular and transparent than the cost model used previously • sufficient storage to meet the requirements arising from expected future business growth, with an appropriate provision for latent demand from successful new applications 6
    • The technology initiatives were key enablers for our business objective of becoming a Green organisation. The Critical success factors were exceeded in terms of cost savings, carbon footprint reduction and a more energy efficient infrastructure. (1) Describe what impact measurement methods/tools, if any, you are applying. Liverpool Direct Ltd has performance management processes which link achievement of strategic aims into continuous improvement/service review plans, team plans, and individual assessment, career development and training plans for front line staff. We use Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) which highlight service quality provided to customers, and reflect those areas of service most important to customers; First Point of Contact Resolution, % of all calls answered, speed to answer, 2 hour response in full to emails enquiries and % of the City council’s telephoned enquiries. Monthly customer satisfaction surveys are completed. (2) Provide evidence of the main results in terms of qualitative (e.g. user satisfaction, etc.) and quantitative (e.g. level of use of service, cost savings, etc.) data. LDL review processes and performance with LCC Business Units and with City Client Manager to ensure processes are fit for purpose and that customer feedback is built into future continuous improvement plans. Customers use formal ‘Have Your Say’ processes to log compliments / complaints (a full written response provided within 10 working days) about the service and trends and changes made in consequence of the feedback are reported to the Executive management team. 24 hour x 365 service, Language Line and improvement work around Street scene services, are some consequences of customer feedback. Our 200 front line staff report process failure or suggest improvements through team managers. . Measured used to agree excellent customer service are; • Availability and responsiveness of service • % calls answered (97%) • % calls answered (95.9%) with 3 million contacts per year to the contact centre and one stop shops. • Accuracy and timeliness of Management Information System (100%) • Speed of process change (<4hrs) • Richness of advice (97% First Point Of Contact) • Customer satisfaction (94%) • Employee Satisfaction (High) Other technologies which support customer focus are; • Web and emails • Sharepoint intranet communications and FAQ’s • Skills based routing • Process and transformation approaches • Voice recording • Staff designed coaching dashboard and document suite LDL has also harnessed its professional and technical expertise to secure local government funding of over £5m at no cost to the City. 7
    • The City is the first case study of the UK Cabinet Office’s blueprint of good practice as an exemplar of making customer access and services easier, achieving this through service transformation and improvement and reduction of incoming contacts from 12 million to 6 million per annum. In a review by Central Government of the top English councils achieving efficiency gains, Liverpool City Council was in second place with a saving of around £46m. (3) Sustainability should be considered in this context. Liverpool Direct Ltd has achieved accreditation to ISO14001, the international standard that recognises an organisation’s commitment to developing and implementing a sustainable environmental policy This standard helped to develop an environmental review of the organisation putting in place the following:  an environmental policy manual  register of significant environmental aspects  register of applicable environmental legislation and regulations  environmental objectives and targets  environmental management programmes  environmental procedures  environmental support procedures  master forms list  work instructions  auditing and management review  commitment from all levels and functions of the organisation An environmental management co-ordinator was appointed and staff from all services areas volunteered to act as environmental champions. All have been trained to carry out internal audits which take place over a 12 month schedule to ensure we continue to maintain our environmental targets. This is evidenced by ; Innovative technology strategies were undertaken to realise performance optimisation whilst reducing carbon footprint, cost and power consumption. These strategies included: - Implementing innovative Printing Cost Saving technology across LDL to reduce printing and consumables. - Replacing the core IT platform with a modern cost effective T2000 server which has reduced the hourly energy consumption by 25 Kw . - Reducing energy consumption by implementing Thin Client Technology and enterprise wide automated PC standby software creating a saving of 1257 Kw a day. Our business transformation teams, provides consistency of service at every customer touch point, designing processes for both the contact centre and shops together, and assisting the web development team to deliver customer focussed information and transactional design. 8
    • Criterion 3: Innovation (20 points) This criterion addresses the following question: To what extent does your case go beyond current practice in the field? Note that innovation is looked at from a broader perspective here and includes: Liverpool City Council (LCC) and Liverpool Direct Ltd (LDL) exemplifies the best in public and private sector practice, planning and designing our services round the customer, challenging perceptions of what a contact centre can be, meeting/exceeding benchmark performance standards and developing a culture where all staff have a genuine desire to help customers. We help the most vulnerable in society who often call us in distress and whose calls take time to resolve, whilst also developing speedy self service options for other enquiry types. It’s not a case of one size fits all – we have a number of service operation models in place. We undertake outreach work with ethnic and minority groups to understand their differing needs. We provide speed and ease of access to high quality services. Liverpool Direct has an impact, improving communications, improving cost effectiveness and relevance of service, and setting the standard for what can be achieved through innovation, training and passionate customer focus. Sir David Varney commented in his recent governmental report to the UK government that it was often the most vulnerable people in society who have the most difficulty navigating the different government agency silos for help. Our model is how we use technology to join service provision together around real in life needs, service excellence costs less. Liverpool has the second highest benefits caseload in the UK with 74000 benefit cases at any time in the caseload. Using technology and people we have been 4 star CPA excellent rated for an unprecedented four years and by ensuring everyone gets the correct benefit as speedily as possible we have actually improved our arrears recovery for the city from £7m to £13m annually. In turn the benefits service is able to use its skilled resource doing more quality assurance and outreach work by assessors visiting customers to access benefit claims. The Benefit Maximisation service through the One Stop Shops and Contact Centre allows more multi agency working around benefits. Liverpool Direct has the largest local authority call centre in the UK, and is open 24/7, 365 days of the year, It has continued to expand, bringing in services that were considered too contentious and unworkable within a call centre environment. The establishment of Careline; a 24/7 contact point by phone for customers who need access to a wide range of social care support services such as child care, child protection, adult services, home care, and more – all of which are available 24 hours a day. The wider cultural challenge of co-locating social workers to work alongside advisers was the model adopted. This level of support has enabled high quality referrals to be captured by advisers, and through the identification, referral and tracking system that is in place, critical customer information is recorded, monitored and tracked to professionals immediately the call is taken. Another aspect to LDL’s approach to customer contact, again supporting the City Council’s Customer Contact Strategy, has been the establishment of an Outbound Team, a group of advisers proactively delivering services to customers. This work has involved debt recovery – £2m of Council rent arrears collected in 12 months, liaison with parents/carers of children not attending school, and a wide range of 9
    • surveys and consultations both internally to staff and with external customers. The team is now working to British Standards Institute market research accreditation to enable it to develop the scope of its projects further with the capacity to bid for external work. LDL continues to attract visitors from other local authorities and external organisations who are keen to see how we’ve done it, particularly given the internal politics and culture endemic in any government bureaucracy. (1) The innovative use of state-of-the-art technology and resources. Information reach and richness is delivered through a number of different channels including one stop shops (face to face), street kiosks (Access to the community) Contact Centre (telephony) or via the web. Knowledge Management is used at the heart of the contact centre to provide immediate answers to our customers: • Using a dynamic knowledgebase we empower our customers to have immediate access to all the information that we need to provide to them. They can visit our knowledge base portal, and instantly be able to find the answers they need, from a selection of powerful search methods. • Using the knowledgebase, our agents are able to search for answers, allowing them to reduce the time to answer customer questions. With a decreased inbound contact volume, our agents are able to work as a more efficient and cohesive team. The knowledgebase has also reduced our operational cost, as our service is now able to deflect a large volume of customer requests that would otherwise be done through traditional channels such as telephone or e-mail. This has helped LDL to reduce the training time for new employees, and lower the cost that is involved, by minimizing the hands-on training that is required. In order to make these innovations possible on behalf of LCC, LDL has gone through a large technical refresh investment programme to stabilise services for the citizens of Liverpool. LDL is changing the way the Council and our customers work, improving services, giving residents more choice and making the Council easier to reach. In 2002 we introduced a new electronic document management system for our Revenues and Benefits service. The service receives more than five million documents every year, and the new system has lead to a faster and improved council tax and benefits service for our customers with reduced turnaround times for council tax benefits of over 50%. Our Human Resources and Payroll service centre is the first council-run ‘virtual’ information centre in the UK. Technology is used and managed in a variety of different formats including computers, communications equipment, networks, printing, Kiosks, radio systems, Telecare systems etc. One centralised ICT unit provides an ITIL based service for all of its customers. Generic service level agreements exist with some service areas and external customers having a specifically tailored Service Level Agreement. LDL developed a roadmap of the required technology investments, comprising the following elements: • Centralised Storage Area Network. Historically data was hosted on individual servers. This distributed approach was inefficient, unreliable and difficult to manage. Best practice in this area advocated a central approach to storage through a distributed storage area network allowing LDL to migrate data off the servers to a reliable, robust and scaleable storage network. 10
    • • Desktop (including application and operating software, hardware specification and support structure (which includes the Directory solution – Active Directory). This also included email refresh. Active Directory has provided ICT with a consolidated, single point of management for all Windows-based user accounts, clients, servers, and applications. In addition, it acts as the central authority for network security, letting the operating system readily verify a user's identity and control his or her access to network resources. The current email system was originally implemented in April 2000 and had subsequently become unreliable and unable to meet the next generation requirements of Liverpool City Council such as web mail and on line collaboration. It had also become apparent within LDL that the previous desktop PC strategy had become costly, inflexible and was becoming detached from both the organisation’s renewed commitment to the environment and its commitment to providing excellent IT security both at a corporate level and on an individual level. The decision to implement a Thin Client Rollout into LDL was taken in 2007 as a response to these raised concerns: the scope of this award entry includes an overview of the implementation, details of approach taken and identification of the proven benefits. It was generally accepted that the existing desktop strategy did not lend itself easily to providing staff mobility within a site, or mobility within any of the LDL’s major sites. This had the affect of individuals developing a one to one link with their desktop PC which was proven to increase the costs of service provision. The Thin Client solution completely divorced the need for an individual to use a specific device or desk. The user is now able to use any Thin Client device within or from any LDL site and access their applications. This solution can also be extended to allow Council users to work from home via a broadband connection. Furthermore, use of integrated security access and desktop smart cards systems is now possible which further eases the mobility issues for LDL staff within LDL sites. Additional benefits were gained such as such as integration with building access, security access rights and identity management which is leading to reduced administration effort. Given the large numbers of staff within LDL, increases productivity has a real benefit to the company. The adoption and rollout of thin client technology transformed and streamlined the user experience whilst simultaneously improving the operational support and delivery of desktop services. Thin Client has helped LDL to successfully become accredited with the International Standard for Information Security Management; ISO 27001 and to be voted as the second 'best green company' in the North West, and placed 17th Nationally in the Sunday Times Green Awards. In addition to the energy saving benefits, LDL has witnessed significant increases in productivity for LDL Contact Centre, demonstrated through a faster login time, using thin client devices will eliminate half an hour per day spent waiting to login onto a desktop computer by a member of staff. (This value is calculated from duration of 4 minutes per login each time from the start of the day, which includes lunch and breaks periods etc.) • Server Rationalisation - In order to keep pace with developing technology and exploit the flexibility it provides we embarked upon a Server Rationalisation Programme. We are using a product called VMWare to replace 100+ standalone Windows file servers onto a new virtual server platform which consists of 6 servers and Sun Solaris containers running on low powered and small footprint T2000 servers. • Voice and Data Modernisation –Provision of a layer three network and switched based IP Telephony to meet the continuing and evolving demands placed on the LCC Data network, there was a requirement to ensure that the infrastructure was capable of supporting the existing business initiatives and developments within the Council and also provide a scalable platform for future initiatives. • Mobility – this is included in the network and desktop solutions. LDL worked with BT to implement a solution that provides an ‘always connected’ capability when a mobile user moves from one wireless network to another. Without this smart access approach a remote user connection to a departmental or enterprise application, via a wireless link, is lost when the user looses a signal or moves out of the coverage footprint of a particular wireless service. This necessitates the user 11
    • having to switch to another service and re authenticate in order to log into their application again, both a nuisance to the user and a cost overhead to the organisation. Smart Access eliminates this problem by allowing users to continue working as they seamlessly move from one network to another. • Security – LDL has established a formal Information Security Management System, compliant with BS EN ISO27001:2005, to ensure that it will always meet this corporate objective. Compliance with the Information Security Management System and its published policies is mandated across LDL from CEO down. The policy requires that all LDL staff, its agents and contractors will:-  Ensure that the availability, integrity and confidentiality of Information, Systems and Data within LDL’s custody are maintained and effectively controlled at all times;  Minimise LDL’s exposure to the risks arising from the loss, corruption or misuse of its information assets or assets in its custody;  Ensure the consistent application of Information Security standards and controls commensurate with the level of risk it faces, and meeting legal, regulatory and best practice requirements;  Ensure that the organisation is able to continue its commercial activities in the event of a Information Security incident; It was significantly important for LDL to have a good understanding of the security risks the organisation was facing to help to determine the appropriate management action and to implement controls selected to protect against these risks. The adoption and subsequent accreditation of ISO27001 has allowed LDL to successfully mitigate against service risks by using a risk assessment based approach. This approach is a mandatory part of the PLAN (identify, analyse and evaluate the risks), DO (select, implement & use controls to manage the risks to acceptable levels), CHECK & ACT cyclic process defined in the standard for the establishment, implementation and maintenance of an Information Security Management Systems. As a result the appropriate investment in protection was provided. In brief the following benefits have been realised:  Circa 450,000 emails out of a total 4.75 million handled per year are blocked for SPAM, Profanity, oversize, etc  5000 individual hacking attempts blocked due to the establishment of an effective intrusion prevention system • Data Centre – split site data centre. Up until December 2005 our data centre was housed in the basement of a City Centre building called India Buildings directly under a 10,000 gallon water tank. Furthermore as the amount of equipment increased the power supply became unreliable as did the air conditioning essential for cooling the equipment (and the people!).As a result last year we suffered a number of mains failures resulting in the loss of service to a significant number of customers. This was clearly totally unacceptable. As there was only one data centre site any problem potentially could affect all our customers such that a catastrophic failure in the Data Centre could have put our entire system off the air. •Organisational structure – this underpinned the all of the above. LDL introduced ITIL v2 and subsequently v3 best practice into the ICT Service in 2006 to allow us to meet the requirements of ISO20000 the global standard for Service management excellence. This strategy is aligned to our key business philosophies of employing high quality people delivering high quality services. • Web Infrastructure refresh - Improved reliability of Web based application through a new web hosting infrastructure. This project was aimed at refreshing the technology associated with the current Web Infrastructure and Teleworking services, the core platforms that deliver remote working, e-Government, Extranet and Web related services for LDL Customers and Liverpool City Council. The legacy Infrastructure had gradually expanded to support a large number of web sites and services but had in-turn reduced in stability and performance. There were also a number of key issues in need of attention, ultimately forcing LDL to re-design and refresh the current technology components. • Public Access Modernisation – LDL ‘s Public Access service has from day one been delivered using high quality people using high quality technology. However in 2007 it was recognised that to continue to be the leader in delivering high value customer contact excellence to Public, Private & Independent sector Enterprises”. That we needed to establish a programme of work which includes refreshing outdated technology and processes. The aim of the programme to maximise Liverpool 12
    • Direct’s capability to provide service excellence to existing clients, and to win new business from external customers with ever increasing requirements in a competitive marketplace. (2) Innovation in terms of governance and (re-)organisation. There are a number of definitions of innovation in terms of governance, but one, and possibly the best definition that can be applied is where operational management focus carefully on managing the processes to produce and distribute products and services. Overall activities often include product creation, development, production and distribution. These activities however, are also associated with product and service management, which is normally regarded as something more closely related to a product or product line. Operations management covers all operations within the organisation, and some related activities include managing purchases, inventory control, quality control, storage, logistics and evaluations. A great deal of focus is on efficiency and effectiveness of processes. Therefore, operations management often includes substantial measurement and analysis of internal processes. All types of organisations perform operations management because all organisations produce some mixture of products and services. Operations management is important. The decisions it makes have a major impact on both the cost of producing products or services and how well the products and services are produced and delivered. This has a major impact on the revenue coming into the organisation, so operations management has an important impact on both revenue and cost and therefore profits. This also applies to non-profit organisations. In a local government service, for example, good operations management can produce services which satisfy the community and are produced efficiently. As a result, the community are getting value for money from their local services. The ICT service area of Liverpool Direct Limited has taken its innovative approach to Governance by re- aligning its organisational structure to closely resemble as best as possible the newly created ITIL v3 (IT Infrastructure Library) Service Lifecycles from the Office of Government Commerce. To do this, the following approach had to be taken: • Re-alignment of Organisation to complement ITIL – Defined process owners – Create Responsibility, Accountable, Consulted, Informed (RACI) charts for business activities – Clustering of “Enlightened” resources for Service Strategy lifecycle – Beefing up of Service Design with ITIL roles & re-define role of Project management within Design and Transition – Re-align people to ITIL Process activities in Service Operations The Service Lifecycles of ITIL v3 are: • Service Strategy - “To enable service providers to develop abilities to think and act in a strategic manner, achieve strategic goals and objectives and transform service management into a strategic asset” 13
    • • Service Design - “To design appropriate and innovative ICT Services, including their architecture, processes, policies and documentation to meet current and future agreed business requirements “ • Service Transition - “To implement service designs so that service operations can manage services & infrastructure in a controlled manner according to plan” • Service Operations - “To coordinate and carry out the activities and processes required to deliver and manage services at agreed levels to business users and customers” • Continual Service Improvement - “To continually align and re-align IT Services to the changing business needs by identifying and implementing improvements to IT Services that support business processes” In order not to stand still, it was identified that a Continual Service Improvement role/Team is key when aligning to ITIL v3, as this is a newly defined process that didn’t exist previously in ITIL. Operations staff need to own and understand IS020000 criteria within the ICT Service. The Governance & Assurance, particularly any gap analyses, base lining or maturity measures should be undertaken using COBIT measurement standards, and there needs to be a policing of Lifecycles and Processes. (3) Process management. ISO 20000 is the new international ICT Service Management standard that enables IT organisations to ensure that their ICT service management processes are aligned both with the needs of the business and with international best practice. It is based on, and replaces, BS15000, which has now been withdrawn. Liverpool Direct Limited, the ICT service for Liverpool City Council has been awarded the ISO 20000 Certificate following a rigorous and detailed inspection of all ICT Service Management policies and processes throughout every aspect of the ICT business operation. ISO 20000 promotes the adoption of an integrated process approach to effectively deliver managed ICT services to meet the business and customer requirements, all in support of the ICT services we provide and support to our Local Government and private customers and citizens. ISO 20000 uses the process-based approach of other management system standards such ISO 27001 Information Security, ISO 9001 Quality Assurance and ISO 14001 Environmental Management, including the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle and requirement for continual improvement. Liverpool Direct Limited is also accredited in each of these standards. As the ‘ears’ of Liverpool City Council, Liverpool Direct handles over 50,000 calls per week and the advisers play a pivotal role in ensuring existing processes are monitored through delivery. In terms of the ongoing process review and enhancement, this is facilitated via Liverpool Direct’s Business Development Team who has the specific responsibility for responding to feedback (principally from a customer service adviser on each team and identified as their ‘Process Champion’). This champion will have first hand experience of the reality of what the processes deliver. These processes may, prior to implementation, appear to deliver what the customer wants, but occasionally, post implementation, there may be rare occasions when processes fail or need refinement in response to customer feedback. The Business Development Team will be tasked by the manager to liaise with the service area and client to explore how a process might be refined / further developed to enable a higher level of response / resolution, mainly based around feedback from customers and the customer service advisers. In addition, there are regular post-implementation reviews with service areas to ensure ongoing review of processes, particularly where there may be changes in legislation etc. These reviews are not restricted to a limited time period, and are regularly diarised with the service areas contact and Business Development Team on monthly, quarterly, or six monthly basis depending on the complexity of the service being provided via Liverpool Direct, as well as legislative changes affecting processes. This is used as a tool to driving ongoing development and evolution of service delivery. All service areas are going through a process of Business Process Re-engineering to deliver more efficient high quality services. An example of this is in the area of Occupational Therapy. This now allows electronic and streamlined applications and assessments of new customers and their needs. This process has achieved a radical improvement in service delivery for customers requiring aids and equipment to assist a higher standard of care in their own home. This has allowed for Occupational Therapists out in the districts to concentrate on more difficult and time consuming assessments. 14
    • Liverpool Direct Limited has a national reputation for responsiveness and being a customer focussed service. LDL has been awarded Customer Service Excellence, the Cabinet Office's excellence standard for customer service, and is recognised as meeting the Investors in People (IIP) standard. The contact centre has expanded continuously, taking on new service and transforming the quality of call handling in comparison with that provided previously. A recent service migration transformed calls answered from 10% in back office to 90% in Liverpool Direct. We are now driving quality improvements. Handling 65% of the City’s customer enquiries, there are strategic benefits to gathering data and understanding our customer experiences. Liverpool Direct surveys customers monthly and are reviewing processes currently to look at more extensive quarterly surveys which will capture feedback about end to end processes front line to back office. Customer feedback on specific areas for improvement is fed back into corporate service plans. (4) Human resources and skills, etc. Liverpool Direct Limited has an award-winning Human Resources and Payroll Service that offers a comprehensive range of support services to more than 23,000 members of staff, pensioners and schools staff. Indeed, LDL is accredited to all 4 strands of IIP (Investors in People). LDL is able to offer a comprehensive range of support services in Human Resource Services covering all aspects of the human resource function including; • job analysis and design • recruitment and selection with assessment support • employment legislation advice and guidance • policy development and implementation • assistance and support at employment tribunals Our Payroll Service offers a comprehensive managed payroll and pension service to public and private sector organisations. We harness technologically to develop and deliver innovative ways of contacting customers. LDL’s human resource needs are linked through service plans to the business plan and the strategic objectives of the organisation. The business needs shapes the competences and staff establishment .e.g. sickness levels across the business prompted a review of recruitment processes. Defra’s partnership with LDL for call handling reflects the Department’s need to transform customer service efficiently and quickly, anticipating the Varney recommendations. Human resource requirements are largely determined from business need, and by the level of service to be provided. A full scoping of the service and respective processes is completed which identifies resources required by Liverpool Direct. This is completed prior to the ‘go live’ date, but is quickly reviewed post implementation either on a weekly or monthly basis. The level of resources required can be determined from analysis of data relating to the corporate telephone data held on the call logger application. This provides visibility of the level of customer contact by phone upon which an assessment of the future service is developed. This information is shared with all stakeholders; Liverpool Direct’s Business Development Team, service area’s and transformation managers. The opportunity to join up services to offer intelligence led local government in line with service objectives, and subsequent resource requirements, is a more challenging one, but one which Liverpool Direct and Liverpool City Council is exploring in order to maximise resources and offer a more comprehensive service to customers. 15
    • Criterion 4: Potential for sharing good practice (25 points) Evaluate the potential your case offers for others to learn from. LDL has a proven track record of working successfully in partnership with organisations in all sectors. LDL recruits, retains and develops the very best people to work tirelessly for its customers. LDL’s strategy is ‘excellent people supported by an excellent ICT platform’. BSi Management Systems UK were responsible for auditing and accrediting LDL with the ISO 20000 Service Management standard, and invited LDL to corroborate with them in a case study (also acting as a reference site) in terms of a company that has achieved successful ISO 20000 and ISO 27001 accreditation in such a short space of time from concept to completion. The LDL case study can be found on the BSi website and their eBulletins, is also used to respond to any Risk or Information Security features that come up via their PR agency. BSi’s eBulletins reach an audience of over 64000. Having seen the benefits of certification to ISO 27001, both in terms of internal efficiency and external perception, LDL decided to obtain further certification with BSi and embarked upon the international standard for IT service management, ISO 20000. LDL achieved certification in just seven months, a feat attributed to the commitment of the staff involved. Implementation of ISO 20000 has helped LDL fulfil our key service management ICT objectives; to align the ICT services provided with the current and future needs of the business and its customers, to improve the quality of the ICT services delivered and to reduce the long term cost of service provision. Our strategy is to grow our business and transform our services at the same time. We have used industry best practices such as ISO 20000, ISO 27001, ISO 9001, and ISO 14001 as the most robust way of improving our processes and performance and making them stick. Another example of learning from LDL’s experience of good practice is the contact centre, which is listed as a model of good practice on the ODPM (Office of the Deputy Prime Minister) website. It continues to attract visitors from other local authorities and external organisations who are keen to see how we’ve done it, particularly given the internal politics and culture endemic in any government bureaucracy. LDL is the largest joint venture company with BT and the service model has been replicated in both Suffolk and Rotherham Joint Venture companies. LDL is a significant exemplar in showcasing the development and radical improvement of services and in pursuit of new business opportunities such as Defra, The Arena Convention Centre Liverpool, The Security Industry Authority, Liverpool Mutual Homes and Stockport Schools. (1) Lessons that can be drawn from your (positive/negative) experience(s). 16
    • Before achieving the high profile standard, LDL had to satisfy two independent audits and managed to complete the process in just three and a half months. The fact that we were already complying with the demands of ISO 27001 meant that we were able to complete everything much quicker than most companies. Unless people, processes and technology are considered and implemented appropriately within a steering framework such as ISO 20000, the objectives of service management will not be realised. LDL began by forming a vision of what we needed to achieve and turned this overall objective into specific drivers and tangible benefits. We assessed our initial compliance to ISO 20000 by performing a gap analysis and once they had obtained approval of the overall business case, implemented the required process improvements to address the gaps. Having gone through the ISO 20000 certification process, LDL has realised that attaining this standard has meant having to provide evidence for the effective delivery of managed services in order to meet business and customer requirements. We believe we have improved our quality of service, won more new business, are better able to understand the certainty of each outcome, and we’ve been able to reduce risk. As an organisation, LDL and Liverpool Direct Call Centre are faced with significant challenges. The pace of change is incessant – step, not incremental, change is what Liverpool is delivering. This places pressure on the organisation both operationally and culturally. The City Council’s own change initiation programme – ‘Liverpool Way’ – is going some way to support the change agenda. Staff require new skill sets in order to meet the demand to deliver services in a different way to before. The programme of service take-on (ongoing migration of services from ‘back office’ to the contact channels, i.e. Liverpool Direct, One Stop Shops and on-line) presents many challenges. Married with this is the changing customer expectations of our customer base. In addition, we need to identify new and ever evolving measurements of service improvement so that we can respond more proactively to customer circumstances – enabling richer service delivery. Exploration of new technology with a customer service focus, clustering data to ensure joined up, intelligence led local government. (2) Mechanisms that could be explored for exchange, transfer and replication. Employee, Citizen and Customer Security LDL acknowledges that there has been growing public concern recently about the protection of confidential information following a number of high profile national government incidents recently broadcasted in the media. We found clients were asking us for reassurance that we were doing everything we could to protect data. They were also asking whether we had any formal management system in place to show compliance. ISO 27001 proves that LDL is doing everything possible to protect the information it holds for public bodies. In addition it offers peace of mind to half a million residents served by Liverpool City Council, and to other high profile clients including Stockport schools, BT Local Government Services and the new 10,000 seat Arena and Convention Centre, Liverpool. Liverpool Direct’s reputation has been built on its quality of service, the ability to act speedily yet professionally, to be competitive and to meet, or exceed, our customers’ needs. It is imperative that we conduct our business in a way that inspires confidence in our ability to protect our own information assets and those assets which our clients entrust to our custody. Compliance with the Information Security Management System and its published policies is mandated across LDL from the CEO down. Our Security Policy requires that all LDL staff, its agents and contractors will:- • Ensure that the availability, integrity and confidentiality of Information, Systems and Data within LDL’s custody are maintained and effectively controlled at all times; • Minimise LDL’s exposure to the risks arising from the loss, corruption or misuse of its information assets or assets in its custody; 17
    • • Ensure the consistent application of Information Security standards and controls commensurate with the level of risk it faces, and meeting legal, regulatory and best practice requirements; and • Ensure that the organisation is able to continue its commercial activities in the event of an Information Security incident. This objective will be met through our commitment to continuous improvement in all that we do. In this way we will assure that our policy for customer satisfaction is achieved. Replication and Service Continuity In order to compete with the very best of in Customer Contact, we have underpinned our services with the latest generation of Contact Centre ICT infrastructure across fully resilient dual data centres that provide our customer with high availability services. This resilience has helped us to provide improved services, lower cost and offer new multi-channel services for customers, such as SMS, Web Chat, Web Portal, IVR, and On-street Kiosks in addition to voice and email and Face-2-face. In particular, we have generated new business from the use of out- bound calling. Overall we have invested in the following areas: In support of Multi-channel solutions; • Voice recording • Knowledge management • Call blending • Self-service options • Web 2.0 technologies • Out-bound calling capabilities • Ticketing solution The above technology developments as well as business/service/ quality enhancements will require exceptionally high standards of ICT and other support services, which includes: • Provision of a technical framework for Business Continuity service • Supply of a Premium ICT Service providing industry standard availability of 98% • Reduce use of activity codes by 50% • Modern Contact Centre Agent desktop • Workforce Management • Enhanced Management Information Systems providing business, operational and technical ‘one truth’ data (3) Evidence of existing cross-border cooperation, exchange and/or transfer (regarded as a plus). Liverpool Direct Ltd has a shared infrastructure to deliver HR & Payroll services to Local Government Plus such as the Security Industry Authority (SIA) and South Tyneside Council. The SIA is the UK wide agency which has the responsibility to manage the licensing of the private security industry in areas such as Door Supervision, Security Guards, CCTV Operatives and the delivery of cash and valuables in transit etc. LDL provides the full operational and hosting service for the SIA including incident and change management, document handling, processing and printing and technical support of a fully secure environment. For South Tyneside Council, LDL has provided a web-based Oracle HR & Payroll service, and a Sharepoint-based intranet site with a BT Local Government Services (LGS) branding and ‘look and feel’. This incorporates content from the BT LGS organization, content from the LDL HR & Payroll services, and content areas for each contract that BT LGS engage with, now and in the future. 18
    • The new BT LGS site contains links to other BT core applications used by LGS staff; namely, the BT iDesk application, BT Web Mail, and the BT Route2Learn training application. Liverpool Direct Contact Centre has worked cross boundaries and in collaboration with other authorities such as helping to reduce the contact centre backlog with Edinburgh Council. Liverpool Direct Ltd is a blueprint for eGovernment infrastructure, as the service model has been replicated in other organisations. Liverpool Direct is exemplar across the local government sector. Other joint venture companies have used the same technical infrastructure and customer contact strategy as Liverpool Direct. Criterion 5: Management approach (10 points) This criterion addresses the following question: What are the key components and success factors of your management approach? Aspects to be considered include: The key components and success factors of the management approach taken with LCC are based on : o A clear and well articulated vision o Cultural alignment of our people with the vision o Commitment to training and development o Quality of our people o Grasping opportunities to innovate and harness cutting edge technologies o Team working across portfolios and business disciplines o Recognise and reward success Vision The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Liverpool Direct Limited leads a Senior Management Team (SMT) which includes each Head of Service. Leaders in Liverpool Direct Limited include Heads of Service, operational managers, specialist and technical managers, area managers, team leaders, team coaches and front line managers (165). The leadership is the driving force behind our commitment to delivering service excellence with a focus around the customer and their needs. Our vision and values are annually assessed and reviewed by the CEO and SMT to reassert our purpose and direction in the face of progressive change and challenge. As part of our approach to assessment and review the vision, aims and values are the focus of one of our twice yearly management conferences and are publicised across the business for consultation and comment. 100% of our leaders from across all services are also involved in the assessment, review, and communication of the vision, aims and values. The effectiveness of the business’ values is measured in a number of ways including through IiP internal review, through an online 360 feedback process for potential leaders, leaders and senior leaders and through our annual staff survey. For example, in our 2008 staff engagement survey, 74% of respondents agreed that ‘I know what the values are of Liverpool Direct Limited.’ 19
    • Our values are integrated into all people development activities and there are strong linkages between our staff award winners and the value being demonstrated. For example, the 2008 Chairman’s award was given to a member of HR and Payroll for showing a real focus on Customer Service and building good relationships with existing and potential new customers. Our leaders actively role model behaviours supportive of our values, for example in 2007 one of our senior managers won the BT Global Services Chief Executive Excellence Award for Trustworthiness; A second is a member of the Customer Contact Association Working Group and is a lead judge for the Professional Planning Forum Awards (public sector) whilst another is a member of the board of governors for North of England Excellence. Our vision, aims and values are communicated systematically across the business through a variety of formal and informal channels. An open and communicative management style is supported throughout our business. Heads of Service are visible throughout the business and the CEO visits each service at least twice yearly. Senior managers attend and participate in staff focus groups to encourage involvement and continuous improvement. All of our Heads of Service can be directly contacted via email through the intranet. Learning and Development Our approach to Learning & Development is deployed across all levels of the business. A key aspect is leadership and management development. Personal development through this approach ensures leaders at every level of our business gain the necessary insights, knowledge, skills, behaviours and capacity to improve their effectiveness and coach others. This is key to producing a “Culture of Excellence” across the business. Our values help to shape the culture of the business. For example, ‘putting the customer at the heart of everything we do’ is a core value integral to how we do business. In 2008, we attained the Customer First Award for the way we build and manage our customer relationships, the way we understand our markets and for how we recruit, train and manage our staff to deliver customer focused services. We identify critical leadership skills at a business level through the leadership capabilities, and at a portfolio and individual level through PRD, training needs analysis, personal learning goals and personal development plans. 100% of our leaders have a PRD. We use a number of approaches to review and improve the effectiveness of our leadership behaviours including: o IiP – assessment and accreditation against the family of IiP standards and specifically the leadership and management model standard provides an overall view of our strengths and areas for development of our leadership approaches against best practice guidelines; o Business Excellence Model – assessment and self assessment provides an overall view of our strengths and areas for development of our leadership approaches; o Staff engagement survey – provides our peoples’ perceptions of our leaders and encourages line managers to discuss perceptions of their personal performance with their teams. The 2008 staff engagement survey encourages action planning within teams; o 360o feedback process – provides peer, direct report and line manager perceptions of our leaders and encourages them to discuss their feedback; o Performance Review and Development meetings (PRDs) – provide leaders with direct feedback from their line managers; o Leadership capabilities – specific behavioural competencies against which individuals are measured either through 360o feedback or as part of their PRDs; o c2e – provides leaders with feedback against best practice guidelines for ensuring their leadership behaviours and management practices are fair and equitable for all employees irrespective of age, race, gender or abilities. Feedback from these tools allows us to measure individual and overall leadership performance, and each has continuous improvement and feedback processes built in. The outcomes from these measures provide our leaders with an overall picture of their effectiveness. This information is acted upon in regular performance meetings and informal meetings to change and improve our leadership capabilities and capacity over time. Reward and Recognition Managers recognise people’s contributions formally and informally in a variety of ways, at corporate and service level. These are formally evaluated on an annual basis and include: 20
    • o Annual Customer Focus Awards – up to 20 people are nominated annually to be recognised for their contribution to customer service. They are joined by the CEO and Chief Operating Officer on a two day break, for example in 2007 a trip to Dublin, in 2008 a trip to a medieval banquet in a castle in Cheshire; o Annual Awards Event – the Heads of Service attend this event to recognise and support teams and individuals o The CEO personally sends letters and e-mails of thanks to staff o Senior managers present at the twice yearly management conferences. Feedback received following each event is used to improve future conferences o ‘LDL STARS’ reward and recognition scheme recognises individuals who have offered support to colleagues. Nominations are made by staff on a monthly basis. On a monthly basis, winners receive their certificates and prizes directly from the CEO o Staff who have no sickness absence in a leave year receive an additional two days leave as recognition o Staff recognition events e.g. facilitators gala dinner at the Town Hall, lunch with the CEO o Recognition prizes e.g. tickets to an event or football match – where individuals or teams achieve significant successes or show high levels of commitment over an extended period, leaders can nominate them to be rewarded for their efforts; o Individuals and teams are encouraged to submit their work for national awards and we have received external recognition for our achievements e.g. in 2008, an ICT project manager was shortlisted for The Association of Project Management Project Manager of the Year Award and the Technical Architecture and Strategy Manager for ICT won the British Computer Society 2008 Systems Architect of the Year Award. A category within our i-learn on line catalogue is management and leadership development training for leaders across all levels of the business. This includes supervisory and management skills training (one and two day courses) or manager at every level to front line manager training programmes like ‘Leading the Way’, the Leadership Academy and the Entrepreneurial Leadership programme. We also run a Diploma in Management Studies and a Masters in Business Administration. All leaders across LDL (100% deployment) have access the Leadership Development Programme through i-Learn LDL’s intranet site for accessing learning and development. To measure the effectiveness of and benchmark our deployment and approach to leadership against a nationally recognised standard for leadership and management we are accredited with the Investors in People Leadership and Management model. We won HR Excellence Award 2005 for Best Executive Development Programme. • Kirkpatrick’s model of evaluation is adopted as a means of evaluating our approach to leadership development. • Improvements have been made as a result including the development of the leadership academy for front line managers and team leaders, the entrepreneurial leadership programme and developing the evaluation model for our Masters in Business Administration and Diploma in Management studies. • 8 senior managers have undertaken Masters in Business administration, 15 managers have graduated with DMS and 17 font line managers have graduated from the Leadership Academy • Proof of Learning and evaluation reports are available for specific training events. (1) Effective coordination and decision-making. 21
    • The following titles list some of the ways in which Liverpool Direct Ltd ensures co-ordination and decision making. Change process Business Planning Specialist Boards – e.g. Project and programme Boards to co-ordinate such as the PAMP Programme Senior Management Boards Chief Executive – clear direction and support of high performance focussed on continuous improvement Co-operation and co-ordination across BT, LCC and LDL commercial and legal teams Benchmarking and specialist networking to inform decisions Project initiation and other change documentation processes and sign off Cost and Resource models ‘Invest to Save’ models (2) The handling of institutional and legal differences, different policies, priorities and visions. Liverpool Direct as an organisation provides a suite of services for Liverpool City Council. Liverpool Direct operates under specific vision and values outlined below and Liverpool City Council operate under another set of vision and values. As Liverpool Direct is 80% owned by BT new business priorities for LCC are delivered in a public private partnership. The vision for Liverpool Direct Limited is ‘To lead, innovate and deliver the highest possible service excellence. To be the reference point for public – private partnerships within the United Kingdom’ This will be achieved by the aims; (i) placing the customer at the heart of everything we do (ii) delivering world class results building and enhancing and maintaining positive partnerships (iii) broadening our customer base by capitalising on new business opportunities. (iv) understanding our customers ambitions, shaping and defining them to deliver customer driven and intelligence led solutions (v) positively managing and promoting a performance culture, creating an environment where people have the support and challenge to do their best and feel valued whilst dealing with poor performance effectively (vi) continuously improving the delivery of frontline customer and customer centric services through multiple customer contact channels and in response to customer feedback (vii) using excellence as a benchmark to inspire innovation and encourage each other and our customers to achieve beyond our ambitions (viii) developing our business with an awareness of the environment, optimising the use of resources to eliminate waste and deliver value for money services The vision and aims are underpinned by the values (i) we treat people equally with integrity, courtesy, dignity and respect and value diversity and everyone’s different contribution (ii) we accept personal responsibility for our actions and results (iii) we listen openly and communicate honestly with customers and colleagues at all times. (iv) we build on positive relationships and promote effective team working and co-operation by coaching and developing others to increase their performance (v) we recognise, reflect and learn from all our achievements (vi) enhancing and investing in learning and development opportunities enabling and encouraging our people to excel, develop their individual skills, knowledge and confidence (3) Partnership strategy. The approach LCC takes with respect to partnerships is exemplified by the joint venture formed with BT in 2001. This relationship grew from the identification of organisations who have long-term experience as a technology provider and could be a strategic partner to local government, including developing new commercial models, leading cultural change programmes, and managing business process re- engineering. BT had a proven track record and expertise in driving organisational change, including developing a shared vision and delivering it as a collaborative venture. 22
    • Partnerships with other organisations, whilst less in size and often drawn from the local and regional area, are assessed in much the same way for their cultural and strategic benefit to LCC. The following definitions are used to identify potential partners: •Stakeholder partners - working in partnership with key stakeholders to deliver services to customers. •Community Partners - working in partnership to deliver products or services as part of our partners customer value chain. •Contractual partners - working in partnership with contracted businesses to deliver products and services to customers and to their customers as part of their value chain. •Supplier Partners - suppliers seen as an important part of the external resources and the policy of purchasing from excellent suppliers to deliver enhanced value to our stakeholders. •Each partner has helped define our procurement strategy and has been identified based upon the following criteria; o Do they fit with policy, strategy and business mission? o Can we obtain maximum value from the partnership? o Does the partnership add value to customers? o Are they culturally compatible? o Do they support innovation and creative thinking? 23
    • 4) Implementation and change management strategy. Change Management The role of Change Management is to provide a consistent approach to evaluating and implementing any change to the ICT infrastructure. It allows you to assess the impact, risk, and resource requirements associated with proposed changes. The effective control of infrastructure and procedural changes are also component parts of the process. The Change Control Process comprises two distinct management areas – which are Proposition Management, and Implementation & Closure Management. Proposition Management Implementation & Closure Management The whole process is owned by the Change Manager who ensures that the end to end process is clearly defined and effectively communicated to all involved. The Change Manager also ensures that all of the steps in the process undertaken by the Change Team itself are clearly and appropriately defined, and the team suitably trained. It is the responsibility of all of the other parties involved in the process to ensure that local procedures are clearly defined and staff suitably trained. The Request for Change will be logged electronically by the Service Desk on the Change Management System and given a unique change reference number. The Service Desk will acknowledge receiving the request within one day and inform the customer of the unique reference number and pass to the Change Team for initial assessment. The Change Team will inform the customer of the LDL Change Owner of the request within three days. The Change Owner will contact the customer within two days and carry out an initial evaluation and provide a quotation dependant on the complexity of the change request within 10 working days, but if this is not possible the change owner will agree a revised date. If the customer accepts the quotation, a target completion date would be agreed, but may vary if the request is identified as a complex project. Infrastructure Change The Infrastructure Change Process is the process used to ensure that changes to the ICT Infrastructure are introduced in a controlled and coordinated manner. It ensures that all Infrastructure Change Requests are assessed and approved by management and customer sponsors before their implementation, the aim being to minimise disruption to services and customers. This process also caters for changes raised or requested by third parties, such as third party suppliers. Measures are built into the Infrastructure Change Process in order to ensure the client contact / customer representative is consulted before any changes potentially affecting their users are made. The appropriate technical engineer assigned to assess each change will consider the effect, thus helping to eliminate any issues. Release Management Release Management is responsible for ensuring any item released in to a live environment is fully tested and authorised by all relevant parties. Testing covers three areas – functionality, integration and 24
    • customer user acceptance testing (CUAT), along with all relevant approvals and any accompanying documentation. The Release Manager ensures that testing and deploying of hardware and software along with version control and storage of software is maintained, whilst also ensuring that a consistent method of deployment is followed, reducing the likelihood of incidents as a result of rollouts, and ensures that only tested and accepted versions of hardware and software are installed at any time. Release planning is proactive technical support to ensure that software or hardware being deployed to customers / users does what it is required to do when they receive it. Release planning incorporates the design, build, test and acceptance functions. Customer User Acceptance Testing is functionality testing carried out by nominated customers / users who are responsible for ensuring that the service does what is required. Sign-off and approval is sought from the customer. Changes to the business processes to incorporate the change into working life are the customer’s responsibility and should be planned to coincide with the release. Change through Continuous Improvement Key to continuous improvement is that it is change initiated and agreed by the team that is designed to increase efficiency and effectiveness, and to increase customer satisfaction. •Where are we now – what are we doing? How do we work? What do we take for granted? •Where do we want to be? – What do we want to achieve? How would we prefer to achieve it? •What do we need to get there? One key benefit of continuous improvement is that it is change we can control as a team therefore reducing unnecessary activities for example: • Firefighting • Too many people telling others what to do • Unnecessary waste • Too many accidents • Unused equipment • Duplication of activities • Too many breakdowns Other Benefits of Change • Survival – our strategy includes the need to respond to a continually changing environment (changes in technology, the marketplace, information systems, global economy, social values, political environment and workforce demographics). Our ability to continually change can produce the following benefits: • Offer innovative service • Marketing opportunities • Improvements • Stay ahead of the competition • Seen as a market leader – a company to do business with • Benefit clients • Job security • Improve quality (5) Leadership and management of ICT. Some people think that leadership and management is one and the same thing and are often interchanged, and that each one is a component of the other. However, we believe that leadership and management are two distinctive and complementary systems of action with their own functions and characteristics, both of which are necessary for success in an increasingly complex and volatile business environment whereby strong leadership with weak management is no better, and is sometimes actually worse than the reverse. 25
    • We believe our real bonus is our ability to combine strong leadership and strong management and use each to balance the other. It could also be argued that leadership shows the way and provides direction, but does not control it; whereas management does control it based upon the direction specified. Leaders have a vision and view of what is possible, whereas managers know how to carry it out (schedules, facts, times, materials, staff etc.). The conclusions we’ve made is that the fundamental purpose of management is to keep the current systems functioning. Management is about coping with complexity, whereas the fundamental purpose of leadership is to produce useful change, especially non-incremental change, and leadership is about coping with change. Our business strategy is to provide the necessary information, processes and support to deliver new business. Areas of responsibility include maximising the relationship between ourselves and the customer, managing the service portfolio of products and services, promoting our activities to external and internal audiences, leading on elements of organisational improvement, significantly the achievement of ISO 20000. In support of our targets a comprehensive range of Business Objectives have been established to further focus both the functional activities and the generic enablers which will underpin our ability to deliver. The Business Objectives address the following areas: Creation of a high performance culture – establishing an environment which establishes a professional culture with no sacrifices to energy, dynamism or flexibility. This will make our organisation a place of opportunity where people want to work, with clear roles and objectives in which to develop and succeed further reinforcing our commitment to service excellence; supported by simple, clear processes; generating a rewarding environment for high performance; with clear two way communication and engagement driven by effective leadership Infrastructure enhancement and growth - will continue to address the technological advancements which assure excellence in service to our customers will be assured. To this end, ongoing strategies are being developed which will secure improvements to the infrastructure to be introduced ensuring we can address current and future business growth needs Ensuring security and managing risk - whilst realising the full potential of the infrastructure. A key aim will be the validation of end point connectivity, through robust critical systems availability to a wider range of stakeholders, and ensuring security whilst minimizing potential and actual wide scale downtime are key priorities. Business consolidation and external growth – building upon the success of our current customer and citizen centric services. We will consolidate our ability to provide extended choice and convenience in the digitally networked environment thus creating an environment where new external business will be welcomed and maximised in terms of strategic delivery and actual revenue realisation. The key factors for this additional impetus and focus regarding external new business will be communicated within our organisation, ensuring understanding and support is maximised. Emphasis will be on encouraging individuals to recognise the necessity in widening the focus of potential customers, increasing their personal awareness of new business opportunities, and identifying existing and potential areas of strength within the organisation. Key Initiatives To achieve the Business Objectives a range of initiatives have been identified and prioritised to enable and underpin the improvements/changes required within the organisation, as follows; • Technical Improvements • Organisational Development • ITIL Compliance/ISO standards • New Business Strategy • Business Intelligence 26
    • (6) Multi-channel strategy and management of resources. Our strategy is to provide service excellence to the citizens of Liverpool, and the vision ‘To be the leader in delivering high value customer contact excellence to Public, Private & Independent sector Enterprises’. Other aspects include: • Create capacity, more efficiently i.e. do more with the same • Deliver a solid and reliable framework from which to repeatedly build the dynamic solutions required today. • Increased quality through better ability to consistently control, monitor and audit the delivery and consumption of services • Respond more quickly and cost-effectively to new requirements • Broaden capability and choice through innovation and technology change to become a true multi channel contact centre (7) Knowledge management. Liverpool Direct Limited is committed to a programme of continual infrastructure improvement aiming to constantly maximise our capability to provide service excellence to all clients. The key main objectives: • To introduce an enterprise wide Knowledge base solution, which will provide one consistent interface for information from various sources of trusted content. Enabling users to conduct efficient searches that spider data across enterprise systems, databases and content repositories. • To enable the migration of users onto a robust and reliable IP infrastructure that will open up opportunities for flexible agile working across the enterprise and reducing system administration and deliver disaster recovery capabilities. • To implement one highly resilient multi media contact centre and telephony infrastructure for Liverpool Direct to deliver increased service improvement and flexibility. • To ‘scale up’ for additional new business and additional jobs. • To be prepared for the ever growing shift from data to voice. With ‘knowledge’ central to the solution, this programme has delivered a sophisticated ‘Customer Interaction Management Suite’ that provides Agents with the right information at the right time. This allows them to focus on the customers first and systems second. Additionally the ability for people to ‘Self Serve’ will be promoted through the use of Web 2.0 technology and the fostering off online communities. Liverpool Direct Limited has aligned itself with market leaders and experts in eService. We are looking to replicate their success into the local government arena. This has culminated in the selection of the Talisma Customer Interaction Management (CIM) Suite as the hub of LDL’s eService proposition. The Talisma CIM suite includes capabilities for online Knowledge Management, Web Chat, online forums, customer portals and eResponse tools for managing eMail, eForm and SMS contacts. Currently information available to external customers and internal service providers is static and stored in a wide variety of locations (intranet, internet, personal files, hard copy etc). This gives a very one-dimensional feel to the data and the quality and relevancy is dictated entirely by the authors. There is no 'interaction' with the customer other than a basic search function. 27
    • Talisma will make searching and using information a much more interactive experience for the Advisor via a number of Web 2.0 traits including: • Options for users to provide feedback and rank articles / information based on relevancy, accuracy, ease of use etc. • Content of portal pages will also be based on this feedback so 'hot topics' or FAQ's would appear in portal window without the need for owners or designers worrying about updating content to suit usage trends. • Option for users to recommend new article templates or to suggest links to useful or relevant internal or external web sources. • Auto ranking of articles based on number of searches, user ratings etc to provide 'hot topics' listings. Future developments in the Talisma KB product line are heading toward the inclusion of community content alongside the KB content (via forums, wicki’s etc.) A lot of that exists now, but future work will involve greater abilities to include AND exclude community content. The focus is to build collaborative software that enables community-driven innovation and community collaboration (Wikinomics) and interconnects the new global workforce. Webchat will offer a new level of web-based interaction with the following benefits: • Customers able resolve enquiries online without the inconvenience of waiting for the traditional email response. • Functionality for advisors to 'push' customers the information they require - in other words, finding the relevant information source (web page for instance) and pushing this into the customers chat window. This is a level of live interaction not possible with email or phone contact handling. • Potential to co-browse or even form fill along with customers using Web-chat. • Live customer feedback on Web-chat interactions following the session via survey functionality – helping customers to influence future service provision (8) Human resource management, risk management, maintenance and evolution, etc Our HR policies, strategies and plans are developed and deployed by our Human Resources and Payroll Service. Our HR&P service provides HR support for the business and our employer organisations. The HR policy framework ensures a consistent and systematic approach to the deployment of HR management across the business and integrates with the People Strategy through the key theme of ‘Employer of Choice’. The defined approaches in our HR framework include: •Resourcing (recruitment, retention and redeployment) – our Recruitment and Selection Policy sets out what should happen throughout the recruitment process, from when notice of a vacancy arises to the time when a new person starts in the job; •Employee Relations enables the business to resolve conflict speedily and constructively for example: grievance, sickness absence; •The HR&P Service and trade unions have a partnership approach to resolving industrial relations and HR issues and mechanisms are deployed for formal consultation with trade unions at an early stage. Meetings with the Joint Trade Union Committee (JTUC) take place on a quarterly basis; •Payroll; •Workforce planning - the workforce strategy enables us to meet our strategic objectives by identifying the people management issues to be addressed in the medium term and provides a framework for dealing with immediate challenges in a consistent way. This ensures we can deliver our products and services into the future by maximizing the utilisation and flexibility of our people and outlines the plans and strategies in place to address these needs; •Effective approaches to equal opportunities and diversity enable our staff to achieve our equality objectives e.g. family friendly policies and flexible working arrangements. 28
    • The HR&P Service has been revolutionised through the use of innovative IT solutions and the creation of a Service Centre. The interactive HR&P intranet site was launched in January 2002 and provides line managers and employees alike with means to resolve their human resource related problems. For leaders particularly, they are able to deal with many issues online. As a result of assessment and review the development of web enabled forms in 2003 further enhanced the flexibility of the service. Usage of the system has been high, with in excess of 20,000 hits in some weeks. When the Oracle integrated HR&P system went live in September 2002, it provided for the first time a single database. It enables leaders at every level to have ownership and day to day responsibility for HR management, supported through the ‘manager self service’ administration process where line managers have easy access, 24/7 to accurate and reliable support. All HR policies can be found on the HR&P pages of the intranet. We have a number of key performance indicators to measure and monitor the performance of the HR&P service. The HR&P service is involved in a national benchmarking scheme which enables comparisons to be made with other public sector authorities. In 2007 feedback from our self assessment and review of our approach to people management led to the development of a People Strategy. We develop and manage our people in line with this strategy. It describes the kind of employer we are now, how we want to be and how we will achieve this and is implemented through an annual action plan. Our People Strategy outlines the key approaches we take to manage, develop and release the full potential of our people at an individual, team and organisational level, and to positively promote a performance culture by providing the right level of support and challenge to individuals so that they will do their best and feel their contribution is valued. The people strategy is divided into five key areas of focus. These areas outline major priorities in the effective engagement of our workforce and integrate with policy and strategy and the business planning process. These strategic priorities are interlinked and define targets and activities which help to focus people, management and development objectives, and support the achievement of our vision and aims. We adopt a plan, do and review approach to the People Strategy. Progress on the implementation of the People Strategy and Action Plan is reported to the LDL Board on a quarterly basis. The Strategy is reviewed on an annual basis. The outcome of the annual review of progress report is communicated to all employees. The measured effect of our approach can be seen in our staff engagement survey results, focus group results and our IiP Accreditation. We use focus groups, the staff forum, customer satisfaction surveys, team meetings and the intranet to involve employees in HR policy and strategy. For example, following an enquiry from an employee which was brought to Staff Forum, the Staff Forum representatives designed a Health Benefits intranet site, designed to communicate and centralise all health information and benefits for staff. HR plans and policies are aligned and integral to our business strategy. Performance is reviewed against the plans on a monthly basis. On an annual basis, as part of the policy and strategy review and budget planning process, consideration is given to operational level resources across all service areas in all areas of the business. Our business priority is to have the right people, in the right place, with the right skills at the right time. The workforce strategy is built up from service level workforce plans that reflect the needs of the individual services. Plans are produced annually and reviewed on an annual basis. Individual Heads of Service are responsible for staffing resources (headcount) and budget within their services. In areas where business volume impacts on headcount, we deploy appropriate approaches to ensure plans are accurate. For example, in the contact centre the level of resources required is determined from analysis using a workforce management resourcing tool. This provides visibility of the level of customer contact by various communication channels, upon which an assessment of the future service is developed. The annual workforce strategy: •links policy and strategy and the people strategy; •identifies the future skills and competencies needed to deliver new and improved products and services; •analyses of the current workforce; •compares between the present and the future and identifies the gaps; •includes plans to address the gaps. 29
    • Where additional resources are required to address business opportunities, these are identified within the workforce development plans and the Heads of Service and HR&P service work together towards their realisation. For example, in 2007 in response to the need to expand our customer base and generate new business (in line with our business strategy), we established a team of Business Development Managers (BDM’s) who work closely with senior leaders to identify new business opportunities, generate leads and submit tender responses. BDM’s act as Account Managers to provide customers with first point of contact within the business. The establishment of the HR&P service centre has enabled us to totally reshape the way we handle our recruitment programmes. Applicants for jobs can request application forms and job details, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Since 2007, job opportunities have been accessible through our internet and intranet sites. The effectiveness of our approach is measured against the IiP Recruitment and Selection Standard. We also measure recruitment performance which is reported to senior management team on a monthly basis. Our leaders proactively encourage staff development by presenting opportunities for career development to their teams. A clearly defined career progression process encourages qualification and good performance. Upon completion of certain courses, for example the Diploma in Management Studies, the individual may receive incremental progression in their career grade as recognition of their achievement. There are a number of ways people can develop and demonstrate their potential including secondments, champion roles and project leads. We have a track record of developing managers and successfully filling managerial positions through promotion and transfer. We have a range of different flexible working patterns and approaches. These are supported by policies including ‘Flexible Working Hours’, ‘Flexible Retirement’ and ‘Family Friendly’ to support people who might need to vary or fix their hours ‘outside of the norm’ for reasons such as care commitments, health or leisure pursuits. Following recommendation from the IiP assessment in 2006, we decided to demonstrate our commitment to our family friendly policies. In October 2007, we were accredited with the IiP Work Life Balance Model (WLB). These policies are available on the HR&P intranet site. The WLB assessors commented on our equitable, fair and well structured approach to flexible working which supported the demands of the business whilst ensuring people felt listened to, trusted and valued. In 2006, we conducted a self assessment against the Home Office nationally recognised standard for Commitment to Diversity and Equality (c2e). In 2007, we were audited by an external assessor who confirmed our accreditation against the standard. We received the top ‘Gold standard’ accreditation. 30
    • Criterion 6: Communication and dissemination (10 points) What are the key components of your communication strategy and approach? Provide details on your communication strategy, including dissemination activities. Liverpool City Council believes that effective consultation with stakeholders generates invaluable information, insights and learning that can be used to shape services in accordance to stakeholder requirements. The Building Schools for the Future (BSF) Communication and Consultation Strategy details the methodology and processes that will be used to communicate and consult with stakeholders. This strategy covers a long term commitment starting from the development of the BSF Vision through to implementation of each individual school vision. The strategy will ensure continuous rigorous effective communication and consultation with stakeholders working to agreed principles, using proven methods, and exercising transparent and accountable judgement to provide leadership as to the most appropriate way forward. The BSF Communication and Consultation Strategy is derived from the Corporate Consultation Strategy (Listening, Learning, Leading) and the successful model of consultation carried out during the development of the Vision for Education, which has been produced as a result of a series of developments over the past five years. The Communications and Consultation Strategy encompasses the Young Peoples’ Consultation Strategy, the Schools Consultation Strategy and the Community Consultation Strategy which all promote the key priorities of the Building Schools for the Future programme on a local basis. As schools develop their own individual school visions the consultation process will ensure that all school stakeholders have ownership of the process and are fully aware of how and when the changes affected by BSF will take place. Partnership working and an integrated service approach is adopted to ensure effective communication between and with all stakeholders. Through partners in Children’s Services and the Youth Service the strategy will support the overall consultation process within the Every Child Matters outcomes framework. The Consultancy and Consultation Strategy outlines the identified communication and consultation opportunities for the period from 1st April 2005 to 31st March 2006. Internally, we have a clear communication strategy with a key component of encompassing top-down and bottom-up communication. Policy and strategy and key messages are disseminated across the business. We categorise the information into: • Core Information - it is essential that this information is made available to all employees within the business. This information is required for employees to effectively undertake their role and it is vital that all are given equal opportunities to access it. Examples include any key or major changes within the business such as legislative changes; • General Information – this information is useful for employees to know but it is not essential for them to undertake their roles effectively. This information will allow for informed discussion, for example issues relating to pay awards or corporate recognition or achievements; • Management Information - this information is required at a management level within the business to make service area decisions. This information will be disseminated throughout the business on a needs basis. To achieve good communication we have implemented an effective system. Each individual member of the business from our Senior Management Team to front line staff is committed to improving and 31
    • maintaining it. Without this commitment it would not work. There are clear lines of responsibility in the process to ensure that the key principles are maintained. The Senior Management Team (SMT) and CEO are responsible for driving the communications strategy by actively and demonstrably applying its principles to all aspects of their work. Members of the SMT communicate its decisions and strategic thinking clearly and quickly to their management teams so that they can cascade essential information to staff at all levels in an accurate and timely manner. Heads of Service also ensure that ‘communication ability’ is included as a key competency in the annual Performance Review and Development (PRD) of all their managers. All operational and team managers are responsible for ensuring the successful implementation of the communication strategy within their areas of responsibility. They also ensure staff are fully aware of the communications strategy and are acting on it. They establish channels of communication in accordance with the communications strategy to enable staff to express their views and opinions on policies, procedures and practises. Where staff do not have access to ICT, leaders are expected to establish other ways of ensuring full communication happens. Leaders provide regular feedback to their own management teams creating an upward flow of information. Each individual is expected to commit to being involved in the communication process by expressing their views, ideas and concerns through the appropriate channels, for example taking part in focus groups or submitting suggestions to Bright Ideas. Good communication is two way and is about listening to people and passing on information. We annually monitor, review and evaluate and make improvements to our communications strategy. The effectiveness of communication is assessed and reviewed annually through communication specific surveys and through the staff engagement survey. Since 2005 improvements to corporate communication includes: •2006: Re-branding the employee feed back channel to Senior Managers “Ask David”; •2007: Completely overhauling the intranet site and re-launching the new site in SharePoint, including establishing team intranet sites set up to facilitate sharing of best practice across teams, and to provide a central store of information. There are several mechanisms used to achieve effective communication some of which are outlined in the table below; Communication Target Message Frequency Owner Channel Audience Management Managers Management Bi - Annually Chief Executive conference information, core information Team meetings All staff General information, Weekly Managers core information And staff I to Is and KITs All staff General information, Monthly Managers and staff core information Briefings All staff General information, As required Managers core information Team away days All staff General information, Annually Managers core information Intranet All staff Core information, Daily Head of general information Executive Support newsletters All staff General information Weekly or Monthly Managers and staff Staff forum Non – union General information, Monthly Staff staff core information Email All staff Management Daily Managers and staff information, general information Policies and All staff Core information As required Managers procedures Annual awards All staff General information Annually Head of Executive Support 32
    • (1) Your constituency/stakeholder community. We pride ourselves on being process driven and having a clear focus on all customer and stakeholder needs. In order to identify and prioritise opportunities for improvements the organisation has a clear rational, that working closely with customers and stake holders to understand their changing needs. Our constituency/stakeholder community receives regular communication from Liverpool City Council such as via the internet site, voice records, emails and focus groups. Additionally LCC also allows stakeholders the opportunity to feedback on service delivery via our formal “have your say” process, online questionnaires via the internet site and via elected members. Processes are continually evaluated and improved. For example, in 2004 customers and stake holders, including local councillors, provided feedback relating to finding suitable accommodation provided by Registered Social Landlords (RSL’s). This involved the customer having to approach each landlord individually. This lengthy process created much inconvenience to our customers. The feed back was acted upon through our systematic change process and a new choice based lettings service was developed called Property Pool, which grouped all vacant properties across all RSLs onto one database. The development process stimulated and brought to bear the creative and innovative talents of employees, as champions from across the organisation were utilised to ensure the new process would be fit for purpose. Although the project was managed via the ICT Project Management Team there were five champions from One Stop Shops involved, including an Area Manager, Team Leader and three advisors, to address customer difficulties and determine a more seamless process with the introduction of Property Pool. Following the improvements to the process, customers could then visit any One Stop Shop and express an interest on any vacant property at a single point of contact. Following the annual Service Improvement Review in 2005, stakeholders wanted to reach a larger target audience and speed up the bidding process. Given the potential impact for customers, stakeholders and the service area, the project was prioritised in the service improvement plan and the process was further improved whereby a self serve facility was developed, empowering customers to place bids on line or at any of the 51 on street kiosks. The introduction of self services has improved value for the customer by providing one view of all RSL vacant properties at a given time, and providing more choice in how they bid. (2) Your peers and the broader eGovernment community at the regional, national, cross-border, EU, and international level (e.g. epractice.eu benchlearning communities, etc.). We communicate with various regional and national bodies to share best practices and benchmarking such as CORE Cities, the Call Centre Assoication, SOCIT which is explored further below. We are able to compare our performance with industry benchmarks across the scope of service areas which cover both the private/commercial and public sectors, and good practice guidance from the Call Centre Association, Central Office of Information, Society of IT Managers (SOCITM), SiteMorse, Chartered Institute of Personal Development (CIPD), Core Cities, World Class (Global Benchmarking data), The National One-Stop Shop Benchmarking and Upper Quartile Local Authorities. We participate in contact centre benchmarking activities which are recognised across the industry, and by the industry body, as providing robust global, U.K and best practice benchmark comparators annually. The National One-Stop Shop Benchmarking Group has been working together since 1999 to share knowledge and learn from good practice with colleagues from local authority one-stop shops. The Audit Commission’s review of Customer Contact in 2004 rated Liverpool as good with excellent prospects for improvement. We are IIP accredited, members of ICS and CCA and the Whitehall Industry Group and are working towards ISO9001, ISO14001, CCA accreditation, Equalities Standard 4 and EFQM Business Excellence. LDL ICT is represented at the CORE Cities forum which meets on a quarterly basis. All participants of the forum give a brief outline of their respective ICT Service (structure, management, no. of staff etc) 33
    • and talk about their key issues. In order to build a profile of the Core Cities group for comparison purposes, all participants share organisational profile information. The outcome of the session results in the annual production of an ICT Core Cities benchmarking report. We undergo regular inspections by statutory agencies e.g. Benefit Fraud Inspectorate, Audit Commission, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, and others, and these help identify areas where we can improve further. Benchmarking initiatives include participation in Contact Centre Association’s (CCA) exchange, reference to industry benchmarking reports (IDS, Dimension Data and Contact Babel, local authority benchmarking group). (3) Communication and dissemination actions to share good practices. We communicate and disseminate good practice across our customer group via various channels and stakeholders such as regular liaison meeting, propositions for change, quality of service reports and Client officer liaison. We work collaboratively and share best practice with our external customers who are the Home Office, DEFRA, Amateur Boxing Association of England, the local authorities of; Cardiff Stockport, Reigate, Banstead, Partnership for Schools, Liverpool Capital of Culture, CNP Promotions, ‘Bulky Bobs ‘Recycling’, BT-LGS, Housing Associations, both Liverpool and Everton Football Clubs, Northwest Regional Health Authority, Liverpool Arena Convention Centre, Grace Academy (Solihull), Commonwealth ABA, Business Improvement Districts, Home PCs and Schools in the areas of; Sefton, Lancashire, Stockport, Liverpool and St. Helens. Work has also been undertaken on behalf of many other local authorities of; Rotherham, Leeds, Sheffield, Preston, Doncaster, the ODPM, BT, Merseyside and Northumbria Police. We communicate and disseminate actions and share good practice through the site visits we regularly host for other public bodies. Visitors have come from all over such as South Africa, Australia, Norway, Iceland, Japan, and from most authorities in the UK. We also present case studies at conferences to encourage the sharing of data and best practice protocols such as at the Public Sector forum, Planning Forum and the Australian National Government conference. 34