When a large transformation project fails, it can be devastating to the performance and achievement of Local Governments corporate goals and objectives.
Depending on the size of the task to remedy transformation failure, lengths of delays and size of unplanned project spend, it is most likely front-line public services will be the first to suffer.
Many large-scale digital transformations still go wrong.
Typically, >45% go over budget, rarely do they deliver more than half the spec, authority teams become overburdened, public scrutiny increases. Lack of supporting data on contract management can result in legal remedies becoming unenforceable against poor performing suppliers. Transparency concerns around public money management become escalated. Sound familiar? Well not anymore!
The beauty of AI and automation technology built by people who understand the underlying issues of repeat failure means that the tools, and associated benefits, can be applied at scale affordably.
AI and automation have arrived. It has been trained to deal with the following top five offenses for transformation failures:
Comprehensive commercial risk analysis before a large transformation deal is signed. The technology can now run a diagnostic check between Authority requirements and Supplier solutions so associated risks can be managed effectively pre-signature. This approach avoids lengthy delays in delivery, ineffective change management and potential expensive disputes usually experienced under live contract;
Re-set the complex transformation model on a digital platform instead of using unstructured data on hard/soft copy documentation. Live collaborative platforms are becoming increasingly popular, but to master complex transformations on a purpose build platform is particularly beneficial (whether for internal use only or supplier collaboration);
Enable data flow and capture between internal teams and suppliers, to support the authority’s commercial and legal position for changes, negotiations and legal action;
Enable non-commercial project teams to access the contracts via the platform, to perform their roles and responsibilities efficiently and effectively – enabling big picture delivery; and
Effect contract changes and mitigate impacts across the project in real-time.
The greatest risks to transformation, I believe, sit with the Local Government Commercial Function, as the team in the middle of the three overlapping circles of the organisation – Place, People and Operations.
Ironically however, it is the major contract documentation procured and managed by the Commercial Function that have not been part of overall digital transformation strategy, …. until now, and I’m not talking about scanning complex contracts into pdf!
With knowledge now that mundane manual tasks can now be automated using AI and machine learning capability, staff resources that were once otherwise occupied by mundane robotic tasks on complex documentation can now be freed. Their time can now be reallocated to more purposeful public services, potentially frontline. That is the beauty of successful AI and automation applied correctly.
The ability to reallocate resources must be, by far, the greatest benefit to a Local Government organisation already under significant budgetary and staffing constraints.
The ongoing challenge for Local Government for transformation success however is to ensure culture change is embedded alongside the transformation itself so the organisation doesn’t revert. Also, be sure to establish the right governance to make sure decisions stick, to ensure clarity of purpose and transformation direction is always clear and consistent, right across the organisation.