Public sector digital stakeholder engagement in action

Posted by John Glover

05-Jun-2013 12:13:00

In our recent post ‘Digital stakeholder software: what are the options?’ we saw that canny public sector organisations are opting to use Kahootz online collaboration software for digital stakeholder engagement.

Kahootz has been developed with public sector and stakeholder engagement in mind – and has been refined and improved after many years of real-world use. It brings together tools that allow you to inform, consult and engage with stakeholders from a single, secure workspace.

You can adapt the software to meet the demands of your stakeholder engagement project, rather than having to source a different range of non-integrated software each time you embark on a different activity with stakeholders.

But the proof, as always, is in the pudding. In what ways are public sector organisations using online collaboration in the real world?

We can provide scores of examples, but let’s take a closer look at two: the Land Registry and the Department for Communities and Local Government. As you’ll see, both have used Kahootz to reach very different groups of stakeholders.

Case study 1: The Land Registry & e-Conveyancing

Land Registry

The Land Registry planned to introduce a new e-Conveyancing system. To do it effectively, it needed to bring together a task force of over 50 people across England and Wales, as well as engage with an audience of over 200,000 people from a variety of stakeholder groups in the property sector, government and the Land Registry itself.

Initially the organisation ran face-to-face meetings with conveyancing groups and VIP stakeholders to find out their views on electronic registration, digital signatures and electronic funds transfer — but as Stakeholder Liaison Manager Christine Beech pointed out, this was “costly and time consuming, and as we started to work on the detail of the new system we needed to find new ways to dramatically expand our reach to a wider cross-section of practising professionals”.

To solve this problem, the Land Registry chose Kahootz because it wanted a people-centric, not document-centric, approach and “required a tool that could be used for engagement and consultation as well as document collaboration and information publishing."

The Land Registry ran a pilot e-lodgement service and used Kahootz “to inform everyone on legislation changes as they happened.” Beech continued: “We were able to use the service to provide training materials, keep the project on track and deal with problems during the pilot." It also ran online groups under the banner "e-Conveyancing, Realising the Vision" in which it surveyed each company's state of readiness and applied different group membership based on the state they selected. Stakeholders were then able to receive and discuss information relevant to them and progress through each state as appropriate.

Kahootz became integral to the Land Registry’s way of working, and it achieved survey responses that were 30% higher than those issued on paper. It now has the tools to stay in touch with existing stakeholders and reach those it hasn’t yet met. As Beech concludes: “The service is certainly making it easier to involve our stakeholders and it is now a fundamental part of the way we do things. Our stakeholders are becoming increasingly aware of our web communities and value them as a method of keeping in touch with fast moving ideas and events in e-conveyancing."

Case study 2: Department for Communities & Local Government & procurement

DCLG

DCLG needed to procure a new IT supplier, and its IT Services Outsourcing Project brought together a project team and stakeholders across several organisations. It needed to deliver large amounts of information securely to external suppliers and didn’t want to send bulky email attachments because of the inherent security and document management risks.

The Department solved the problem by getting in Kahootz. It created secure workspaces for internal stakeholders and the project team, and private workspaces for each long-listed bidder, where it could publish answers to clarification questions and add details of meeting schedules.

At the time, Anne Waller, the Project Support Office Manager, said: "We felt we needed a web-based collaborative tool to communicate in the way we envisaged. It was important to be able to form interest groups so that the most appropriate information was given to the right people, with automated notifications when new content was added." Anne added: "We had lots of ideas about how we could use such a tool and wanted to keep our options open as much as possible. Time was a huge constraint; we had already started the procurement exercise and the time was approaching when we would need a secure way of collaborating with bidders."

The procurement was completed in a little over 7 months . In that time DCLG had more than 200 stakeholder members using the software and published approximately 700 answers to clarification questions, and more than 200 documents in 20 subject areas. In addition, the answers to the clarification questions became a valuable asset for the project because they were available in a single place, not stuck in stakeholders’ inboxes.

More examples of digital stakeholder engagement

In over a decade of developing cloud collaboration software, we never stop being surprised by the inventive ways public sector organisations put Kahootz to work. From developing shared services and creating member management systems, right through to building intranets and using it for emergency planning – wherever you need to communicate with stakeholders, Kahootz brings value.

Ask us if you’d like to find out more ways the public sector puts online collaboration to work. And if you’d like to learn more about digital stakeholder engagement, please download our free guide Transforming Public Sector Stakeholder Engagement. It’s packed with ideas for informing, consulting and collaborating with individuals and organisations.

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Topics: workplace innovation, collaboration tools, stakeholder engagement