Presentation on theme: "How to survive a service review Caroline Sampson July 2013."— Presentation transcript:
How to survive a service review Caroline Sampson July 2013
Unprecedented levels of budget cuts across the public sector Impact of a growing elderly population on welfare services and the associated costs Increasing customer expectations Local authorities are under enormous pressure. The context
Most top tier authorities are conducting reviews in an attempt to gather information to inform decision making about where to target their resources and what to prioritise County and unitary authorities worse off than districts and boroughs? No pain-free options Spectrum of approaches from hostile to supportive Rabbits caught in the headlights?
You cant side step the review You cant make a case for archives being excluded Deep breath and roll your sleeves up Imagine being the CX or review manager 10 strategies for survival
Most reviews will be compiling evidence in order to inform decision making, taking into consideration the alignment between impact / outcomes and the authoritys priority areas value for money Find ways to select and present performance data which tell the story you want to tell Avoid evangelical crusades Strategy 1 – facts and evidence
If you were to cut the record offices budget in its entirety it wouldnt scratch the surface of the budget deficits LAs are facing statutory functions strong customer base and network of stakeholders direct and active contribution to our LAs priorities Play to these strengths The importance of repeating clear, simple messages Strategy 2 – play to your strengths
Some LAs are rushing into quick wins in order to cross services off their lists. Archivists do need to beware too good to be true – alternative governance models, easy money. Be clear eyed and realistic about whether these really can solve problems without creating a whole range of new ones. Involve the review team in that analysis so that they take ownership of the conclusions External perspectives = valuable impartiality? Strategy 3 – rational analysis
Cultivate a reputation for being honest and reliable. Make sure decision makers see your service in action Done well, this engenders trust and credibility. Strategy 4 – honesty and visibility
Its all too easy to come across as inflexible and defensive. Try to show you are willing to be flexible, concede some ground if you can and demonstrate that you can see the bigger picture Save your energy for the areas that really count. Strategy 5 – pick your fights!
Share to protect – explore opportunities for operating your more generic activities in tandem with others in order to reduce costs Examples could include: Commercialisation of intellectual property Office administration functions Outreach and learning Strategy 6 – integration and resource sharing
Budget pressures can be met by generating income as well as cutting costs. Consider providing enhanced or additional services for a fee. Diversify your income sources. Celebrate your successes Be astute. Dont spend £1000 of staff time to earn £75 Draw your lines – what is and isnt it appropriate for the record office to charge for Strategy 7 – monetisation and commercialisation
These are key aims for most local authorities. The RO should play its part (and be seen to be playing it) Get your service known – stray beyond your comfort zone and match what you offer to others needs. The local authoritys role is changing from benign parent to discretionary funder. The relationship will become more like applying for a grant and having to achieve specific deliverables and outcomes Strategy 8 – partnerships and innovation
Has anyone else noticed the proliferation of consultants offering to transform services and generally perform miracles? Remember that you know your service and your political environment better than anyone does. Will a consultant add anything meaningful? Sometimes consultants can contribute an impartial view in support of messages the archivist has been struggling to promulgate External consultants can provide valuable expertise in new / unfamiliar areas such as income generation. Focus on something specific Strategy 9 – external consultants – help or hindrance?
Opportunities to re-grow – in defining how you will downsize, have an eye to how you will re-grow your service when things improve in the future. Be clear about the core purpose of your service Risk assess ideas for innovation against this core purpose Strategy 10 – opportunities to re-grow