Helen Steele, Manager of the Benefits Service at Wealden Council explains, “As a council service we have a responsibility to our citizens and the government to ensure that we follow proven and robust procedures to process Housing Benefit.
“Unfortunately this can stifle the desire to test new and innovative ideas for delivering the service; especially if the changes are difficult to roll back and have the potential to disrupt service delivery if they go wrong. Furthermore changes to the scheme itself also have the potential to disrupt service delivery if not implemented carefully.”
“We needed a robust and proven approach to evaluate, and if required modify, initiatives before carrying them out.”
Destin Solutions have a track record of success working with Local Authorities to improve their performance. As Helen Steele, Manager of the Benefits Service says, “With Destin Solutions, we have found a partner with expertise in process and performance management to work with us to help identify and implement improvements to our Service.”
Destin Solutions worked with Wealden District Council’s staff to create a complete model of the how the service works from its overall objectives, the business processes which deliver them, the staff who carry them out and the IT which supports them. Staff can navigate through the model using an internet browser in order to understand different aspects of the service.
The model contains comprehensive metrics on all the tasks required to deliver the service, including probability of occurrence, priority, effort required and the availability of staff to carry them out.
The accuracy of the model is verified by simulating the model and reconciling its outputs with the service’s current performance.
New initiatives can then be evaluated by adjusting the model and running a simulation; the simulation results forecast the affect the changes will have on the performance of the service.
Helen Steele is confident that the business model will help to provide a holistic view of how their service operates making it easier to identify, evaluate and manage the implementation of improvements.
“The model Destin Solutions have created for us will enable us to simulate the affect of new initiatives on the performance of the Service, identify any unintended consequences and either fine tune changes to our processes or discard the idea without any risk to current performance.”
Furthermore, when we implement new ways of working the model calculates new targets for performance for the service, teams and individuals.”