How do I prioritise thee?

For anyone involved in the current “digital by default/design” trend in local government you may have noticed, like me, there is a wealth of opportunity and potential for delivering our services digitally. To say I have been overwhelmed the last few weeks is an understatement. Some of our services are already doing fantastic work, other services have a good understanding of where they need to go and know how they want to get there. There are a minority needing a little helping hand in the right digital direction, which is absolutely fine and one of the reasons for creating our strategy and programme of work.

I have compiled long rambling notes from meetings, undertaken research around what we are doing currently and what we need to think about doing in the future, reviewed existing worklists/projects and joined forces with other council wide reviews to make best use of time. I now need to compile this into some sort of educated list to allow our board to make decisions on what we need to focus on first.

That’s where Shakespeare can help us: “How do I prioritise thee? Let me count the ways”…

  1. Is it a transactional or information service? Information services are, generally, easier to deliver and we have an existing infrastructure to work on
  2. How many transactions per annum, or what is the audience size? Initial thoughts indicate the larger the more likely this will be priority, however this is not always the case
  3. Direct contact with external customers? Initial thoughts are that we should be focussing where there will be a direct impact on customers. However, early indications show there may be pieces of work that could have a significant positive indirect impact
  4. Service budget? Should we be focussing more on services that have significant budgets, or working with those who have limited budgets to increase their potential impact?
  5. Impact on other areas? Will doing this work support other areas, such as providing a platform that could be used council-wide?
  6. Impact on customers? Will the service have a low impact on a large number of customers, or a high impact on a low number of customers? Or will it be somewhere in the middle?
  7. What are the potential savings? This will be hard to measure, and may not result in direct savings, but be an enabler for savings in other areas.
  8. Dependency on other areas? Does this service rely on work being done in other areas first? How will this influence the overall priority?
  9. Level of complaints? Is this an area that has a high level of complaints/comments?
  10. Current status? Does the service already have some form of digital delivery, does this need to be reviewed? Does this work need to be promoted to increase uptake? Can existing channels be decommissioned as a result?
  11. Timescale? Is there a demand to undertake this work by a particular deadline?
  12. Demand for assisted digital? How likely is this service going to be dependent on our approach to assisted digital?
  13. Proposed digital champion for the service? Can we identify someone in the business to drive this forward?
  14. Ability to use a live customer? Are we able to use a live customer during any process design work?

Phew! I know there will be more, and that is the reason for writing this post. I’d really appreciate feedback on this, and suggestions for other information we need to be collecting to support prioritisation. Please either comment on this post, or contact me via Twitter with your thoughts.



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