Four and a quarter years ago, I started a “3 month” contract with the Department of Education and Training in Victoria. During this time I have been privileged to participate and in some cases lead the development of vital strategies which support and enable children and families across the State. As I archived old files in preparation for the move, I came across some highlights.
Contact Management was a short, sharp strategy development piece. Our team of four set out to define the State-wide strategy for inbound contact handling and resolution for Regional Services Group, which manages on-the-ground services for over fifty different program and service streams across the State. As a result of this strategy, there has been wide reaching improvements in the consolidation and consistency of contact channels and methods, the creation of a new dynamic knowledge base, and the modernisation of contact routing technology.
The challenge for “ChildLink” – or, as it was known then, the “Early Childhood Management System” – was to define the ways in which the Department would bring together information and ways of working to improve engagement and participation in early childhood services. This continues to be a complex and emotional space, with high profile cases of child mortality and inquiries into vulnerable children and families providing the backdrop. During this phase of the project, a cross-functional team came together to develop the overarching “Target State Operating Model” — a set of documents which defined how legislation, policy, practice and technology would need to be reformed in order to collect, use and share information across multiple government funded services. At the centre of this was identifying: what was the problem? Why wasn’t information being shared between service providers, and how could technology assist this? During the course of analysis it was identified that, yes, while technology could be a vital enabler, the true issues to be addressed were centered around trust, people capability, and the legislative reform needed to bring it all together. The course of action described in these plans are still active, and ongoing, with recent legislation passing in the Victorian parliament to enable controlled, discrete information sharing between services. This continues to be a piece of work of which I am inordinately proud to have been a part of.
|I wish I could tell you about what this is all about… but I can’t, as we’re under probity arrangements. Nevertheless, the information sitting behind these particular artefacts is…big, complex and really, really exciting.
You’ll just have to take my word for it… 🙂
Two years in strategic planning and development, this has been a major undertaking in engagement, change management, negotiation, and sometimes downright standoffs between parties who believed we should have just taken the left turn at Albuquerque and be done with it all.
At the point that I leave this project, it has gone from a ‘good idea’ to reaching the highest levels of the organisation, has produced a level of understanding and buy-in unprecedented in a project of this type and size, and is set to change the way thousands of people do what they do, in a vital part of our public services.
I can’t wait to see how it all plays out.