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Surrey’s transformation and improvement networks

Blog contributed by Diko Blackings – New Models of Delivery Officer, Surrey County Council

Surrey County Council has three strategic networks, each of which hosts sessions for colleagues to engage in significant transformation and improvement projects impacting the council.

Each network is attended by senior colleagues from within the organisation and chaired by the council’s Strategic Directors:

  • The Continuous Improvement and Productivity Network (CIPN) is chaired by Yvonne Rees, Chief Executive of Mole Valley District Council and Strategic Director for Customers and Communities
  • The New Models of Delivery Network (NMOD) is chaired by Julie Fisher, Deputy Chief Executive and Strategic Director for Children, Schools and Families
  • Prosperous Places Network (PPN) is chaired by Trevor Pugh, Strategic Director for Environment and Infrastructure

The networks meet monthly with the goal of finding new ways for the organisation to be more effective and efficient. These are interactive sessions, where participation is encouraged and ideas are welcomed.

You can read more about these networks in our Chief Executive’s Six Month Progress Report.

Below we share some of our achievements in 2015 and plans for the year ahead.

Continuous Improvement and Productivity Network

This network is responsible for ensuring that Surrey delivers to the highest standards for our residents. We do this by identifying areas for improvement, developing and refining current policy and practice to bring about greater productivity within the day-to-day running of the organisation.

The network played an important part in leading on the refresh of the council’s 2015 – 2020 Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP), developing the organisation’s new customer promise and implemented a new performance monitoring tool.

Presently the network is looking to ensure that our support functions are best aligned to improve front-line outcomes.

New Models of Delivery Network

If you like new ideas and discovering new ways of doing things, then the New Models of Delivery Network may be of interest to you. The key drivers for the network are being able to manage demand, respond to changing expectations and manage the impact of reduced funding.

In recent months, network members have participated in some very interesting and challenging sessions around welfare reform, passenger transport, Orbis, community spaces, health and social care integration and digital.

As the network relaunches in 2016, it intends to look ahead and engage in the big change programmes impacting local government, focusing closely on Public Value Transformation, devolution, health and social care integration and complex individuals.

Prosperous Places Network

Alternatively if you find yourself concerned with place and economic regeneration, then the Prosperous Places Network may be of particular interest. PPN is interested in ensuring Surrey’s economy grows and its places support residents’ wellbeing.

Over the course of 2015 PPN has embarked on a comprehensive stocktaking exercise with each of Surrey’s 11 District and Borough councils, looking at potential economic regeneration plans. This is to ensure all growth plans are coordinated.

This year PPN work will be centred on devolution and how it can benefit Surrey’s residents, environment and infrastructure and economy.


The golden rules of project management

Blog contributed by Helen Hansell – Change Manager, Surrey County Council

We’ve been having lots of conversations here in Surrey recently about different project management tools and methodologies. Our colleagues are always hungry for new ways of doing things to get a better result, more quickly and perhaps using fewer resources.

With all the complexity of these conversations, conversely I’ve been looking for ways to keep things simple and go back to basics.

I recently stumbled across this series of short videos from the Association for Project Management and thought now would be a good time to share them with you.

What is Project Management?

I love this deceptively simple video – something which really stuck with me is the following line:

At it’s best, project management is virtually invisible – it’s the absence of problems and the prevention of failure.

Watch the following two minute tour of project management to find out more:

Sometimes when we are up against it, we focus on delivering outputs to meet deadlines and achieve project milestones – and forget the softer skills which need to run alongside.

Each video in the following series shows industry leaders sharing their thoughts on the importance of a particular skill within the context of project management.

Whilst these ideas may not be new, they serve as a timely reminder of what’s needed to ensure successful project delivery.

Golden rule – communication:-

Golden rule – knowledge management:-

Golden rule – stakeholder management:-

What are your golden rules of project management? Why not carry on the conversation by leaving us a comment?

Developing strong communities in Tandridge

Blog contributed by Liz Hobby – Communications Manager, First Community Health and Care, Marnie Cotterill – Social Care Development Co-ordinator, Surrey County Council, and Rebecca Brooker – Project Manager, Surrey County Council

Blindley Heath imageColleagues in Tandridge came to realise that Blindley Heath was a blackspot for community support. Nothing seems to be going on – no church groups, no lunch clubs, and no community activities.

So, a small team of like-minded people from Adult Social Care, Community Health and the Community and Voluntary Sector are working together to see if we can get some community support going.

We are learning as we go, and we’ll see where it leads, but we are enthusiastic and are trying something, when most people would be put off as they wouldn’t even know where to start!

This is the first of an occasional series of posts in which we hope to update you on our progress. We will share the things we are thinking about, the methods we’ve tried and the trial and error learning we are going through. We are really excited about this work and hope to inspire you to engage with the community you live and work in!

Engaging a rural community: Where to start?

Colleagues from First Community Health and Care, Adult Social Care and Tandridge Voluntary Services Council started meeting in 2015 to help each other meet community priorities.

We realised that – as a group of organisations – we were all trying to engage and connect with the local communities in Tandridge and ensure that care and wellbeing services meet the needs of local communities.

By joining forces, we could use our contacts and knowledge of the area to do this together and share resources, demonstrating to the local area that by working together we can leave a lasting impact.

The group started by meeting informally and sharing how each organisation currently engages local groups and people to hear their thoughts on community care.

From this, it was identified that Blindley Health was an area that nobody had any contacts for, and there didn’t seem to be many community groups that we knew of that met.

As a rural area, it is not as well connected for transport compared to neighbouring towns, and has a busy main road that connects through to other areas. It does not have its own GP surgery and there has been a large amount of housing development in the area suggesting that community priorities may have changed.

Next steps…

Now we had an identified area to focus on for the first priority of the group, we decided to brainstorm contacts, buildings and community groups in the area and set a date to meet again.

Check back soon to find out what progress was made!