Aligning Council with Community –
How Cloncurry Shire Council enhanced transparency and significantly improved internal operations with Envisio
Cloncurry Shire Council
Cloncurry Shire, with a rich history spanning over 150 years, is home to a population of 3,600 residents. The Council takes pride in its commitment to transparency, openness, and accountability, placing the Cloncurry community at the forefront of its operations.
When it comes to communicating performance and progress, Governance and Risk Coordinator, Andrew Hodson, plays a pivotal role in driving the Council's annual Operational Plan. The plan outlines activities designed to communicate council’s vision, goals, outcomes, and strategic actions and up until recently, was manually updated in Excel and shared via PDF on Council's website.
Although the Operational Plan successfully accomplished its intended objectives, the path to get there was marked by significant risks and time-consuming activities. Furthermore, the static nature of the PDF format failed to provide the desired level of updated transparency for residents. It was clear that a more efficient solution was needed, which led to Council’s implementation of Envisio.
We spoke to Andrew to find out how Envisio has helped Cloncurry Shire Council manage their plans, communicate deliverables and ensure they meet compliance requirements.
“Each quarter, directors would open the document and
complete their responsibilities - this created errors and so
much risk as everyone would try to edit at the last minute
and anyone could edit any column."
Yes, there is an easier way to create, manage and publish plans
The creation and editing process of Cloncurry’s Operational Plan has many moving parts, and as Andrew explains, they were all causing some risk and frustration amongst team members.
“Previously, we were using one spreadsheet to manage our plan, and another for our quarterly reviews,” he said. “Each quarter, directors would open the document and complete their responsibilities - this created errors and so much risk as everyone would try to edit at the last minute and anyone could edit any column.”
“On top of this, the export and publishing process was onerous. I had to export data, format the design in Word and colour code each section so it was easy to interpret. It was all manual and would easily take six hours to complete.”
Being an existing Redman Solutions client, Andrew gained firsthand insight into how technology can enhance the efficiency of local government processes.
“We have been using Resolve Meeting Management for some time and enjoyed working with the team at Redman. When we heard about Envisio and how it could help us, it really got our attention. The potential to increase alignment, visibility and transparency, improve reporting and operational efficiencies sounded impressive.
"The potential to increase alignment, visibility and
transparency, improve reporting and operational
efficiencies sounded impressive."
Straightforward and Streamlined - An easy transition for all involved
Once the decision was made to move forward with Envisio, the team decided to convert their new Operational Plan from Excel to Envisio. From there, it was simply a matter of training the directors to update their initiatives.
“We worked with the Redman team to export our new Operational Plan into Envisio. One thing that impressed me was how easy it was, and how streamlined each deliverable was. Previously, in Excel, each deliverable would have multiple actions in each cell. Now, each one was split as its own item, making it easy for directors to edit and transparent for everyone,” explained Andrew.
While migrating their Operational Plan, the team were also surprised to discover gaps within their Corporate Plan, exposed by Envisio’s functionality. It became evident that Excel failed to offer a holistic perspective, causing them to overlook operational plan activities.
“Envisio helps to create alignment and a clear line of sight between strategic objectives and operational activity,” explained Andrew. “While using Excel, we didn’t realise these objectives were missing, which was a big surprise. And while those areas were still ticking away operationally, it was obvious we weren’t meeting the strategic objectives we had committed to.”
This discovery allowed the team to ‘fill the gaps’ and ensure they allocated the appropriate resources and effort to the correct areas.
With the plan integrated into the system, the onboarding and training process commenced, involving key users and directors. Andrew explains how Envisio's user-friendliness was a key element in making the training a straightforward and trouble-free experience.
“The Redman team conducted comprehensive training sessions, and the entire process was really simple. The feedback from our directors has been overwhelmingly positive and they were able to easily make updates and navigate their way around the platform, this resulted in an easy transition,” he said.
"The feedback from our directors has been overwhelmingly
positive and they were able to easily make updates and
navigate their way around the platform, this resulted in an
In addition to this, the capability of Envisio to integrate plans across different departments creates an expectation of even greater advantages for Cloncurry Shire Council with the solution.
“Our CEO is also highly impressed with the platform's functionality and user-friendliness,” noted Andrew. “The prospect of linking other plans has generated excitement, and we plan to incorporate our Economic Development Strategy, allowing us to report on various strategies from a single portal - a development which will surely provide even more benefits and transparency.”
"The prospect of linking other plans has generated excitement,
and we plan to incorporate our Economic Development Strategy,
allowing us to report on various strategies from a single portal -
a development which will surely provide even more benefits
Interactive and Intuitive Dashboards that align Council and Community
A significant benefit of Envisio's Strategic Planning Software lies in its capacity to present plans, advancement, and performance in real-time through Dashboards. This empowers communities to align with Council's vision and effortlessly track the progress of goals and deliverables.
The team at Cloncurry Shire worked closely with Redman Solutions to develop a Performance Dashboard that was easily understood by residents and updated frequently.
“We really wanted our community to see how we were progressing in real-time, but we also wanted to remove as many manual processes as possible,” Andrew stated. “Previously we would publish a 90-page document each quarter and that’s what our community could view for the quarter. Now, our dashboard is updated at 7:00 am each morning. It’s automatic, accurate, and complete transparency in live time.”
"Now, our dashboard is updated at 7:00 am each morning.
It’s automatic, accurate, and complete transparency in live time.”
Cloncurry Shire Council’s Performance Dashboard allows residents to view their entire Operational Plan. It breaks down strategic initiatives into goals specific to the community, the economy, infrastructure, the environment, and effective and inclusive governance.
From there, visitors can easily see where each project is at with status indicators identifying On–Track, On-Hold, Needs Attention, Completed or Upcoming.
Furthermore, Cloncurry Shire’s Performance Dashboard is also interactive. This provides the users with the option to engage rather than simply using a search functionality.
Effortless reporting results in a substantial Return on Investment
Although it’s only been a few months, Envisio has already delivered Cloncurry Shire Council's team with advantages that save time and mitigate risk. For Andrew, the greatest benefit is the efficiencies created, which has resulted in valuable time reclaimed.
“There’s no more need for manual copying and pasting in the reporting process, which has reduced the margin for error and speeds everything up. I simply click ‘generate’ and the report is ready in just 15 seconds - this process previously took me around six hours,” he explained.
"I simply click ‘generate’ and the report is ready in just 15 seconds -
this process previously took me around six hours."
Along with the advantages for internal operations, it’s clear that the implementation of Envisio has also delivered on Council’s initial objectives - to increase alignment, visibility and transparency.
“A main objective for us was always for our community to see what their Council does, and now we have that, plus so much more,” Andrew said. “For any councils looking to invest Envisio, I would encourage them to go for it - it has made our lives so much easier.”