Skip to the content

Socitm bangs drum for ‘systems thinking’ in transformation


Association points to experience of Wiltshire Council in using the approach in redesigning services

Public sector IT association Socitm has said that organisations can benefit from a systems thinking approach – analysing the interconnected elements in a complex organisation – in digital transformation efforts.

Its Insights team has flagged up the efforts of Wiltshire Council in using the approach to transform its garden waste renewals process, shifting 76% of transactions to a new digital service designed around peak customer right times rather than office hours.

The council has also used it to identify services that could most benefit from a redesign, including libraries, leisure services and the processing of council tax.

In one analysis of its annual 3.3 million service demand requests, it was found that some 1.1 million requests were of an ‘I want to book’ nature, and predominantly in leisure and library services. This led to the conclusion that transforming these areas could make the most significant difference.

Design for value

John Rogers, Wiltshire’s head of systems thinking and customer access, said: “Our ethos is to design for value and ‘leave the waste behind’ rather than ‘focus on removing waste’. If you do the former well, the latter is a ‘byproduct’ and a realisable gain in capacity.”

Socitm’s head of research, Andy Hopkirk (pictured), has followed up with five recommendations:

  • Properly understand service demand and the customer transaction process in detail.
  • Redesign for the value delivered, taking more than cost reductions into account.
  • Automate and make digital where possible.
  • Be open to rethinking the organisational design, such as in changing processes around service customers.
  • Be pragmatic.

Register For Alerts

Keep informed - Get the latest news about the use of technology, digital & data for the public good in your inbox from UKAuthority.