Twitter feedback on Winchester City Council’s Information Management strategy

As an experiment, I posted a message about Winchester’s draft Information Management strategy on Twitter to get the input of local information professionals (and anyone else who was interested).

Given that we have an IBM Research Centre in the district – as well as many IT professionals living locally including those involved in groups like WinchesterWeb – it seemed sensible to tap into their expertise.

I had my own concerns about the paper:

  • While it referenced the council’s immediate ‘Transforming Winchester’ organisational development programme, I didn’t see it reflecting Winchester’s strategic priorities (as laid out primarily in the Community Strategy and associated change plans) – particularly the short-term ones of
    • supporting older people,
    • making our services more accessible
    • reducing the District’s carbon footprint;
  • There wasn’t any reference to best practice or benchmarking or, for example, a SWOT analysis
  • I wasn’t able to take a clear set of objectives or priorities from it
  • Important issues such as open data and security weren’t reflected

but before blogging or speaking about these, I wanted to see what other people who know more about these issues than I do had to say.

The response (below) has been critical, but also helpful.  The most helpful aspect is that a group of local residents with expertise in this area are planning to meet in the Hyde Tavern from 8 pm this evening to discuss a fuller response.

There will be a public participation session at tomorrow’s meeting where members of the public will be able to have their say.

Needless to say anyone who wants to contribute to this evening’s meeting (or tomorrow) will be very welcome.

Twitter response to the IM Strategy

Peter Jordan:

The paper doesn’t say very much at all!  – no mention of security. And it’s an IM strategy, *not* IT. it’s wrongly named on the Cabinet agenda.

No mention of cloud/G-Cloud, or open source.

Julian W:

8 pages saying absolutely nothing of use. Or have I missed something in there?

Are the IT Technical Strategy and IT Technical Specification & Plan available (see 1.7a & b)?

Alistair Rae:

Main comment would be that the document isn’t a strategy, it’s a vague statement of aspiration. No reflection of best practice?

Then jumps straight into technology and systems solutions, only passing mention of the business change programme.

IM should be mainly about business activity, rather than constraining the business to suit the technology.

Nothing about interoperability or service delivery integration with other local gov, national gov, third sector etc.

also slightly concerning that at same meeting is a request to release 100k for re-procurement of an IM solution pre strategy

would also disagree with conclusion that Sharepoint is an EDRM, doesn’t comply with National Archives principles for IM

demonstrates that council IT department is disconnected from both the council business and internally

I’d also question assertion that procurement is really below the public contracts threshold. 2k down suspiciously convenient.

would question why “lowest cost, technically compliant” is preferred procurement route, assumes well formed requirement…

in the absence of an IM strategy I’d question the maturity of the requirement. No discussion of business change.

for a business change project like EDRM modernisation Most Economically Advantageous Tender would be more appropriate

Tanya Jane Park

They should “Go Google”! Other UK local authorities have so won’t be trail blazers

Sarah Jones

There are a lot of words there but the doc doesn’t tell me much. Where are the business objectives? What do they want to achieve? I’d expect this doc to explain clearly and concisely how IM will be used to deliver the business strategy…

Fancy a pub meet-up tonight to put feedback together?


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