Public sector guide how to collaborate online


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Public sector guide how to collaborate online

  1. 1. A PUBLIC SECTOR GUIDE How to collaborate online - achieve ‘more with less’... Applications, tips and examplesA PUBLIC SECTOR GUIDE If it’s collaborative, it’s in Kahootz 1
  2. 2. ContentsIntroduction 3What is online collaboration? 4Why is online collaboration important to the public sector? 5What can the public sector achieve with online collaboration? 6Collaboration 1: Land Registry Gateway Reviews 8Collaboration 2: Fleetcol — Local Authority Fleet Buying 10Collaboration 3: Health Connect — NHS Innovation 12Key requirements of public sector collaboration software 14Sourcing collaboration software 17Find out more 18A PUBLIC SECTOR GUIDE 2
  3. 3. How to collaborate online...The public sector today is under huge pressureto make tight budgets stretch further.That’s why online collaboration is so important.It cuts the cost of bringing people together andhardwires efficiency and innovation into theway you work.Read this guide to learn how online collaborationachieves ‘more for less’ — and helps you evaluateand source the right solution for your organisation.A PUBLIC SECTOR GUIDE 3
  4. 4. What is online collaboration?Online collaboration is a way of using theinternet to bring teams and individualstogether to work from any location— and it’s fast becoming an essentialmethod of public sector working.Depending on the kind of software youchoose, it has the potential to allowyou to share files, collaborate ondocuments, use tools like calendarsand task lists to manage your projects,gather opinions with polls andquestionnaires - and more.The tools available in your onlinecollaboration software determine howyou can use it We’ll cover that topic indetail later on in this guide. For any further advice about choosing collaboration software for your organisation, simply click here...A PUBLIC SECTOR GUIDE 4
  5. 5. Why is onlinecollaboration importantto the public sector?The agile way to bring tasks, teams and projects together.Online collaboration will soon be at the heart With the right software, you can bringof almost every public sector organisation’s colleagues, individuals or teams from bothworking practice. It can be cheap to inside and outside of your organisationimplement, yet can result in significant together in a secure, collaborativecost savings and highly productive and environment — often with no need for anyinnovative working practices. specialist equipment beyond an internet connection and a web browser. The benefits of doing this are immense. You instantly tear down geographical barriers to collaboration, cutting time and travelling costs into the bargain. You have the tools to share information and work instantly with any person, team, department or organisation you choose — includingInstantly tear down those who are outside the Governmentgeographical barriers to Secure Intranet (GSI). And you also achievecollaboration, cut time efficiency and consistency by ensuring alland travelling costs. collaborators work on the same resources, kept in the same place.A PUBLIC SECTOR GUIDE 5
  6. 6. What can the publicsector achieve withonline collaboration?The agile way to bring tasks, teams and projects together.With the right online collaboration Shared servicessoftware, there are few limits to Local authorities, Governmentwhat you can achieve by bringing departments, police forces,the right people together in the NHS trusts and otherright online space. organisations collaborating on shared service delivery.For example, these are just some ofthe ways we’ve seen secure online Service innovationcollaboration being put to work in the Working online with internal andpublic sector over the last ten years: external stakeholders to design new services. Procurement Sharing buying information with Negotiation other public sector bodies to plan Using workspaces to share sensitive purchases and benefit from bulk information with potential partners purchase discounts. or buyers in a secure environment. Tendering Project management Using online workspaces to share Managing projects efficiently to tender documents and feedback control time and budget securely with suppliers. constraints.We’ll look at the details in a moment, but from an agency’s Consultation point of view these tools allow you Refining proposals online and to achieve three essential objectives. gathering feedback via comments, polls and questionnairesA PUBLIC SECTOR GUIDE 6
  7. 7. Human resources To give you a deeper understanding, Collaborating and sharing take a look at how three public sector information to make sure organisations have used online policies and procedures are collaboration to innovate and cut costs. available to all staff, and to They’ll give you a feel for how online manage appraisal processes. collaboration can bring major benefits to your organisation — and then we’ll Organisational intranets ask what qualities, tools and functionality Transforming intranets from your online collaboration software needs. electronic noticeboards to “Kahootz has filled holes that were interactive spaces that keep staff simply not supported by our enterprise updated and stimulate innovation. document sharing platforms or our Virtual committee CMS, but has allowed our ICT and boardrooms department to retain control of data Bringing decision makers and key and users - while branding all new groups to fit in with the look and feel of information together, regardless of the rest of the council’s platforms.” location or diary commitments. Dr Ashley Tucker, Web content Team Leader, Herefordshire CouncilWhile these uses of online collaborationprovide an initial insight into how it canbe used in a range of single contexts,you’ll realise even more benefits For any further advicewhen you create a wider culture of about choosingcollaboration — using the software and collaboration softwaretools to work in ways that would be for your organisation,almost impossible offline. simply click here...A PUBLIC SECTOR GUIDE 7
  8. 8. Collaboration 1:Land Registry Gateway ReviewsThe Land Registry uses online “Land Registry has found thecollaboration as an integral part use of online collaborationof its Gateway review process. invaluable in support of a number of procurement projects. It hasIn common with all Central Civil enabled the sharing of informationGovernment bodies, the Land in a timely, secure and consistentRegistry uses peer reviews to highlight manner with internal colleaguesrisks and issues within its major and suppliers.procurement projects. The use of the software has givenBy creating a secure online workspace confidence both to Land Registryfor accredited peer reviewers to use and suppliers participating inat each stage (or ‘Gate’) of the review the procurement process thatprocess, they can collaborate with information is available in aneach other and Land Registry officials equitable and transparent sharing key information and best It has saved both time and cost aspractice resources. information is stored in a central repository, reducing the need toThey can do this by creating task send multiple emails and follow-uplists of evidence and required project phone calls. The software is verydocumentation, using calendars to plan easy to use and intuitive.”and schedule interviews, giving feedback Mike Ferguson, Head of Procurement, Land Registryto Land Registry staff through commentson uploaded documents and via groupdiscussions, as well as using onlinedatabases to maintain logs of issuesand risks.A PUBLIC SECTOR GUIDE 8
  9. 9. Project staff can upload and version control information quickly when it’s Key Requirements needed or requested, while a full audit • A secure environment trail records who has accessed or modified any file at any given time. • Tools for sharing • Collaborating and It’s a highly successful way of working as commenting it allows internal and external Gateway reviewers to collaborate and request or • Project management tools share information from anywhere, at any time, as long as they have access to • An audit trail the internet. Furthermore, the process • Ability to archive is secure, quick, transparent and makes the Gateway Review process more cost information effective — and because the software they use is available on a pay-as you go basis, they can close the workspace when it’s no longer needed and export all documents. The Land Registry doesn’t just use online collaboration for Gateway reviews —they have used it to bring staff and stakeholders together on other projects such as the detailed design of their e-conveyancing service.A PUBLIC SECTOR GUIDE 9
  10. 10. Collaboration 2:Fleetcol — Local Authority Fleet BuyingWhen local authorities need to source To help with purchasing, the onlinecommercial or specialist vehicles for collaboration workspace includes detailstheir fleets, they head to www.fleetcol. of vehicle core specifications, — a portal that’s driven by online to support the development of vehiclecollaboration software. standardisation across ranges — and therefore make shared buyingThe service works by allowing local simpler and more likely. In addition,authorities to share details of their the space allows participatingintended vehicle buying. This allows organisations to share national andthem to team up with other authorities regional framework contracts, alongor professional buying organisations with their terms and conditions.(PBOs) that plan to buy one or more ofthe same vehicles at the same or similar “We can only deliver significanttime — and negotiate a better bulk- savings and improve the way webuy discount from suppliers. acquire our fleet by getting fully involved in the project. Evidence shows that a smarter approach to acquisition delivers major efficiency gains for those councils fully engaging in the process.” Will Tuckley, Chief Executive, London Borough of BexleyA PUBLIC SECTOR GUIDE 10
  11. 11. Fleetcol also helps local authorities that are proactively looking for vehicle deals by Key Requirements listing details of e-auctions and • A secure environment mini competitions. • Calendars for e-auctions Although paid for by the London • Information sharing Commercial Fleet Project (and funded by to co-ordinate buying London Councils/ Capital Ambition), any UK local authority or PBO can join Fleetcol • Accessible from anywhere — showing how online collaboration for a single purpose can reap benefits for the wider public sector. “The principal purpose of the software has been met very well, and its ease of use and development is exceptional. The collaborative vehicle purchase system was quickly implemented and put into use, but what has been a particular boon is the suite of supporting tools in the software package to aid collaboration, such as the integrated means to create questionnaires, forums, blogs, shared calendars, and others.” Phil Keymer, London Commercial Fleet Project Manager, Capital Ambition/London CouncilsA PUBLIC SECTOR GUIDE 11
  12. 12. Collaboration 3:Health Connect — NHS InnovationHealth Connect is an online “Public meetings, discussioncollaboration portal created to groups and user forums continuesupport the development of Central to be an essential part of publicSouthern CSS (Commissioning engagement, but we canSupport Services). increasingly encourage a level of comment and feedback onNHS reforms behind the Central policy online through, for example,Southern CSS made it necessary to find collaborative documents. Wea quick and cost-effective way for NHS simply couldn’t achieve this ingroups in Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, any other way. All comments are fed back into a single documentBerkshire, Gloucestershire and Swindon with no further need to gather orto share information, manage projects amalgamate individual responses.and collaborate on documents — Our online collaboration servicewith the option of opening up some does all that automatically, as wellworkspace areas with the public at a as generating reports, graphing andfuture stage. analysis following consultation.” Sara Price, Communications and EngagementThe branded online collaboration system Coordinator, NHS Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Clusterthat powers Health Connect allowsproject managers and team leadersto co-ordinate group communicationsand manage the co-authoring of largedocuments ensuring everyone is involvedno matter where they are located.Information is stored securely withineach workspace and only permittedindividuals are able to access or modify itA PUBLIC SECTOR GUIDE 12
  13. 13. A main priority for the Central Southern CSS was to find a cloud-based Key Requirements collaboration solution that had • A secure environment no up-front capital costs and was scalable, allowing it to develop the • Scalability Health Connect service with a core of • Cross-area collaboration several hundred people and then open it up to others when needed, on a • Cost-effectiveness pay-as-you-go basis. • No contract lock in • Ease of buying The software it chose allowed them to do this for less than £3.50 per user per month. And because the software itself was sourced via the G-Cloud Cloudstore (see page 17), Central Southern CSS knew it was buying a solution that met stringent Government security standards and could be used with confidence to achieve its business aims. “We particularly liked the way that individual workspaces can be customised, without external assistance, allowing us to control the layout and purpose of each workspace and provide helpful context for our members.” Andrew Fenton, NHS Buckinghamshire and OxfordshireA PUBLIC SECTOR GUIDE 13
  14. 14. Key requirementsof public sectorcollaboration softwareGet it right and you enjoy major cross-organisation benefits.All three case studies make it easy to Accountabilitysee how online collaboration brings and transparencyinnovation and efficiency to the heart of When you choose an onlinemodern public sector working, but your solution, you need to ensure itchoice of solution is critical. offers the same accountability and transparency as approved in-houseGet it right and you enjoy major systems. Some online collaborationcross-organisation benefits. Get it software offers you a full audit trailwrong and you could create needless — an electronic record of who hasinformation silos or end up spending accessed what information andmore time and money on changing when. This functionality is a must forservice suppliers. In over a decade’s public sector use.experience of enabling organisations tocollaborate online, the following are the Accessibilitykey benefits and features public sector As a public sector organisation,organisations have told us they need. you have a responsibility to makeIt’s worth bearing these in mind when services and software accessible tosourcing your collaboration software. all relevant staff and stakeholders. So, when you source online Security collaboration services, make sure Security is paramount for all public that it can be accessed by people sector software. Choose a solution via all modern web browsers, that is built on an approved, secure screen readers and text browsers. platform and which gives you full The best solutions will also meet the control over individual and team functional and technical standards permissions — ensuring information required by BS8878 and the Web is only seen or modified by the Content Accessibility Guidelines right people. (WCAG 2.0) Level AA or better.A PUBLIC SECTOR GUIDE 14
  15. 15. Costs and contracts Context and purpose One major danger with online Some collaboration software has software is cost. If a vendor tries fixed layouts and functionality which to lock you into a lengthy contract, means that you have to change walk away — if the solution doesn’t the way you work to match the work for you, you could be trapped software, when it should be the in an expensive relationship that other way around. To avoid this, delivers little or no value for your choose software that allows you organisation or the taxpayer. Avoid to create workspaces and teams this by choosing online collaboration with the context and purpose software that allows you to try users need — providing them with before you buy and offers short the exact tools they need in each contract terms with instance and to organise them in pay-as-you-go pricing. In addition, a way that is meaningful. Better look out for software that allows still, some software offers solution you to increase the number of templates for common types of users economically — this will collaboration, allowing you to help you avoid paying a ‘high cost instantly set up workspaces for for success’ if you need to bring project management, secure deal more people into the system at a rooms, stakeholder extranets or later stage. other purposes. Archiving Training Any material you create using It goes without saying that public funds almost certainly needs systems that are simple for users to be kept and safeguarded. to understand and use effectively Some online collaboration will be more cost-effective — and solutions allow you to export data have better adoption rates — than in accessible formats for future systems that do not. But however use — even if you no longer use simple a system is to use, it’s a the software itself. Avoid solutions good idea to choose software with that only allow you to access your the option of training support for data using software that’s subject to workspace managers, giving them expensive contracts. the skills to ensure colleagues use best practice for effective collaboration.A PUBLIC SECTOR GUIDE 15
  16. 16. Which tools do you need? Some online collaboration software Checklist offers a huge range of tools. However, the most effective collaboration allows Folders you to create workspaces using only the for organising information tools you need to create the right context Documents or purpose. both uploaded and created in the workspace However, choice of tools is important to allow you to collaborate in a variety Databases of different contexts — as you’ve seen, for gathering data and you need different functions to create generating reports a procurement portal than you do to enable a Gateway review. Forums for sharing ideas and opinions In our experience, these are the most important tools for public Task lists sector collaboration. to help manage projects Collaborative documents that allow individuals to edit the same master copy Blogs and web pages to develop ideas and share information to a wider audienceA PUBLIC SECTOR GUIDE 16
  17. 17. Sourcingcollaboration softwareThese days the answer is simple — the G-Cloud Cloudstore.As you’ve seen, online collaboration Importantly, software available in thesoftware can achieve so many things CloudStore is approved by Government,for public sector organisations, so it’s so meets its stringent security standardsnot surprising there are many different — giving you peace of mind not offeredsolutions open to you. by some prominent collaboration software providers.Following the advice in this guide willgive you the insight you need to choose Best of all, buying from the CloudStorethe best online collaboration solution is hassle free. As NHS Buckinghamshirefor your purposes, and to weigh up one and Oxfordshire’s Andrew Fentonprovider against another. remarks: “Ordering from the G-Cloud framework was also quick and simpleBut what’s the best way which was, in itself, refreshing.”of sourcing the softwareyou need? Try it for yourself. And please tell us howThese days the answer is simple you intend to use collaboration softwarethe G-Cloud CloudStore. — we’d love to know.Buying from the CloudStoreis increasingly common throughout thepublic sector and it gives you access to For any further advicea huge range of independent providers about choosingas well as major software companies. collaboration software for your organisation, simply click here...A PUBLIC SECTOR GUIDE 17
  18. 18. Find out more…The advice in this guide is based on thereal-world challenges faced by modernpublic sector organisations. It is brought Isn’t it time you were into you by Kahootz, the UK online Kahootz? Sign up forcollaboration software experts who have your free trial today.been working closely with the publicsector organisations since 2002.Our clients include Governmentdepartments local authorities, the police,health trusts and commissioning bodies— it’s our mission to help many morepublic sector organisations transform theway they work, and to continue refiningour software in the light of the challengesthey face.Find out more about our work.Visit today.A PUBLIC SECTOR GUIDE 18
  19. 19. 1 Weston Court, Newbury Road, Weston, Berkshire RG20 8JEt. +44 (0)1488 648 478 e. @KahootzFor more information about Kahootzand to sign up for a FREE trial please visit:kahootz.comA PUBLIC SECTOR GUIDE If it’s collaborative, it’s in Kahootz 19