LONDON BOROUGH OF SUTTON
Kick-starting the project
London Borough of Sutton’s Chief Executive, anticipating significant future reductions in the Council’s income, launched a major organisational development programme, “Smarter Services Sutton” aiming to deliver annual operational cost savings of 20% and make LBS “affordable and fit for purpose”. It was recognised that this also offered opportunities to change the way that staff work
and deliver customer services.
A small cross-departmental project team was set up to design and plan new, “smarter” working practices with the aim of introducing Council-wide flexible working such as home and mobile working, team areas in offices, etc. Visits to other local authorities were conducted to observe how they have adopted flexible working.
Wisework was engaged to design and run a short planning workshop for the Council’s 25-strong Senior Management Team (SMT) with the objectives of gaining full-SMT endorsement and support for an implementation plan as well as identifying key problem areas and establishing priority actions that needed to be taken in their own respective areas of responsibility to enable a full roll-out of flexible working.
Following a highly energised and successful workshop the SMT gave their full support to the project team to move towards the adoption of “Smarter Working Sutton”. A total of 40 specific areas for action were identified. One target for example, is to reduce the number of office desks to just seven per ten workers. A flexible working pilot designed to trial a Virtual Private Network (VPN), the Internet, laptops and smart-phones was put in place shortly afterwards. Coordinated planning and design work involving the service delivery departments, HR, Property and FM, Legal, Finance, Corporate Risk and IT followed.