Leading regional councils in Digital engagement
Moorabool Shire is 45km west of Melbourne CBD. The 2110 square kilometre Shire is a commuter settlement, popular tourist destination and centre of a large agricultural industry. With a population of 31,000 people, Moorabool Shire is growing at 3.3% per annum with the towns of Maddingley, Bacchus March and Darley experiencing significant expansion.
Moorabool’s growing population is increasingly demanding improved customer experiences. They expect council to provide them with digital services as an alternative to traditional, time-consuming, over the counter and over the phone services. Council needs to deliver these improved services in an environment of reduced budgets.
Like in many organisations, senior management knew they needed to change. However, they required an outside perspective and a roadmap to help bring some clarity to their thoughts.
Symphony3 worked with senior executives at Moorabool to create a vision for how council would deliver new improved customer experiences. Together we documented a roadmap outlining how the vision would be practically achieved, and we then worked closely with Moorabool to implement the required digital transformation.
Major digital transformation requires changes in technology, processes and people. During the first phase of the engagement, the Symphony3 team worked closely with Moorabool management and staff via face to face interviews and workshops. Systems, processes and the culture of the organisation were analysed, discussed and documented. The current situation was contrasted with the desired situation and gaps identified. A period of rapid prototyping was undertaken to help the organisation understand the technologies available to them and how they could benefit council. From this work a digital vision emerged.
A Digital Roadmap
A digital roadmap was then developed that clearly outlined how the organisation would move forward. This detailed the recommended technologies and the information management and integration requirements. The knowledge transfer and change management practices that would ensure success were also outlined. This provided the template for the implemention.
A new integrated digital platform was built on Open Source Technologies, with Drupal as the backbone. The Drupal solution has been specially formulated for local government and provides a suite of connected digital services from the one platform including:
- Content management
- Online forms and payments
- Customer requests
- Online event and facility bookings
- Online mapping
- Online Grants management
- Online consultations
Symphony3 worked with Moorabool Shire to develop the required information management frameworks in the organisation. This ensures future integration between web services and internal systems.
Knowledge Transfer and Change Management
Knowledge transfer is a central pillar of our solution. It ensures the organisation develops the internal skills and culture required to ensure real and lasting transformation. We deliver this via workshops, face to face and online training and mentoring.
The new website and underlying digital platform was launched in early September 2016. It provides the community with access to simple, connected digital services from any device, 24/7.
The community can now:
- Easily find and subscribe to information they wish to receive from Council
- Access and use up to 15 council services using a single login
- Store and retrieve previous transaction history
- Much improved information information on what residents and stakeholders are doing on the website, which drives service improvement.
- Streamlined many services by moving them online. Online services are also integrated with internal systems ensuring a reduction in manual processing hours. It also reduces human error.
- Embraced open source solutions saving thousands of dollars per annum on licencing fees.
Council is two thirds of the way through its roadmap - further service improvement will be followed with council aiming to make further digital services available in the coming 12 months.
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