TCDC Governance Team reduces manual processes and eliminates the need for five systems required to run the council meeting.
Thames Coromandel District Council
At TCDC, an efficient meeting is the best kind of meeting.
Council Meetings are an essential part of civic democracy, and at times they can be challenging or process-intensive, but it turns out they don’t have to be. For the Governance team at Thames-Coromandel District Council (TCDC) in New Zealand’s north island, coordinating Council meetings is a large part of their daily work life and an essential part of running Council business.
For this team, however, every process associated with their meetings – whether it was the agenda or minute preparations, reporting on meeting outcomes, or scheduling meetings – had become incredibly labour intensive and time-consuming.
Something had to change
The team had reached a tipping point as meeting-related workloads were on the rise and dominating a number of staff members’ time. They needed to find a way to deliver a better quality, end-to-end meeting experience for elected officials, the community, and their team.
Part of the challenge for organisations when they’re buried in an ineffective process is to articulate the specific issues causing the greatest challenges and to outline some realistic objectives for the future.
The team had reached a tipping point as
meeting-related workloads were on the rise
and dominating a number of staff members’ time.
The benefits for all stakeholders
Redman Solutions were engaged by TCDC and spent time with their Governance and IT teams to understand the various requirements they each had for the meeting solution:
For the Governance Team, it was all about realising efficiencies in creating and distributing the agenda, running council meetings and delivering the minutes and reports.
For Councillors, it was about having access to high-level information related to meetings to gain a quick overview of issues, but also being able to dig down into detailed information when required.
For Group Managers, it was about more efficient report writing for their team members as well as a more efficient approval process for reports.
And all stakeholders were keen to improve the way meetings were managed and run, to rely less on paper-based processes, and to increase the quality, professionalism, presentation, and reporting of actions across all meeting types.
A stumbling block, a tailored solution, and one single system
The Council faced a significant challenge in that all their current processes were incredibly manual and would require a major transformation – but the software they were using limited their ability to make the necessary improvements.
Redman Solutions worked closely with the Council to implement Resolve, a responsive web-based agenda and meeting management solution. Not only is the platform designed specifically for local government requirements, but it also has a long and proven track record.
In the case of the TCDC, Resolve transformed a highly manual series of processes that used up to five different systems, into one single system. As a result, Council benefited from the software’s intuitive agenda creation and meeting minutes generation, efficiencies in capturing motions and votes, and the ability to easily share relevant documents with the community to maintain open, transparent communication.
Resolve transformed a highly manual series of processes
that used up to five different systems, into one single system
With change comes opportunity
As with any major project, discoveries are often made along the way, and it was no different with the work undertaken with the TCDC. The consulting process Redman went through with the Council provided an important opportunity to look objectively at a range of processes and to identify efficiencies beyond the original brief.
The team’s fresh perspective was essential to the ‘challenge, align and design’ process that Redman Solutions works to. This involves challenging existing thinking, aligning the team behind this thinking, and designing an improved process collaboratively as a result.
An unanticipated outcome of our work with the TCDC was the opportunity to influence the way reports were written and produced across all of Council. Through a much broader change management process, greater efficiencies across the entire meeting management system could be delivered.
The team’s fresh perspective was essential to the
‘challenge, align and design’ process that
Redman Solutions works to.
TCDC were the first council in the southern hemisphere to implement Resolve and they were an outstanding partner. Involved, helpful, motivated and flexible – they were adaptive to change, which was critical to the success of this kind of project. The council team wasn’t locked into the status quo and were keen to embrace new thinking and seek opportunities for improvement, which made for a very productive process.
Transitioning to Resolve meant that many of the manual processes previously undertaken by the Governance team (such as reformatting Word documents compiled by a range of different users) were dramatically reduced.
Specifically, efficiencies were realised across:
Preparation of minutes
Publishing reports and documents to the website
Developing meeting calendars.
Overall, it is estimated that the efficiencies gained by moving to a cloud-based, end-to-end agenda and meeting management solution, equate to one annual full-time equivalent (FTE) worth of time and productivity being freed up across the team.
This has meant that the Governance team has the newfound capacity to work on other tasks that they previously weren’t able to get to. In addition, the Governance team improved their level of service and output while managing the same number of meetings and committees. Furthermore, the solution went live on time, within budget, and has generated overwhelmingly positive feedback from Councillors and end-users.