Watford 2020 Programme Closure
Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
Programme Closure Report relating to Watford
2020, the council's internal transformation programme
Cabinet received a report of the Head of Enterprise Programme Management Office including a closure report of the Watford 2020 Programme. Councillor Watkin, Portfolio Holder for Resources, was invited to introduce the report.
Councillor Watkin introduced the report. He said that this amazing piece of work had largely achieved its objectives. He congratulated the Head of Enterprise Programme Management Office on his work throughout the project along with the Group Head of Transformation. The remote working used by officers since the start of the pandemic had in part been a result of the Watford 2020 work. The officer’s report included lessons that could be learnt for similar future projects. The results of the work had attained an annual savings of £1 million in revenue costs by 2021/22.
Councillor Watkin referred to the objectives in the closure report and noted that the majority had been fully achieved and two had been partly achieved. The programme had shown how this type of work could be carried out without damaging the core values of the organisation. Watford was a shining example.
The Head of Enterprise Programme Management Office informed members that it was good practice to do a closure report. It provided a retrospective look back at the work carried out. There was an opportunity to review the objectives and highlight the benefits that had been achieved. Many of the recommendations in the report had already been incorporated into the Council Plan and some in the Town Hall Quarter programme. There had been continual engagement throughout the programme with members and officers. The officer engagement would continue through the Staff Ambassadors group. It had been recognised that it was important to identify the resources required whilst involving other officers who were also trying to keep the day to day running of services going.
Members welcomed the report and were grateful for the member involvement throughout and regular updates to scrutiny. It had been an interesting report.
In response to a question about how, based on the lessons learnt, the council could do better, the Head of Enterprise Programme Management Office advised that the council’s response to the covid-19 pandemic had shown how officers were able to do additional tasks as well as their usual work. The programme’s work had received input from services and had been led by services. It was essential to recognise the resources required to deliver this type of programme without impacting services.
The Group Head of Transformation added that the enhanced service planning that had recently been introduced provided a focus to ensure that all services could be delivered.
Councillor Bell questioned whether the changes resulting from the programme would link in with the changes the Managing Director wanted to introduce.
In response the Managing Director commented that she had joined the council as the Watford 2020 programme was ending. She had been able to develop her thoughts for the future of the council from the learning acquired through the programme.
1. that Cabinet notes the lessons learnt and the recommendations (as detailed within section 3 of Appendix 1 to the report).
2. that Cabinet notes the formal closure of the programme.
Report author: Liam Hornsby
Publication date: 27/01/2021
Date of decision: 18/01/2021
Decided at meeting: 18/01/2021 - Cabinet