Category: Performance

Six Sigma and the Supply Chain

Six Sigma ( pdf 148KB) – summary of evaluation of an ESF supply chain development project in Leeds, led by GE Capital with local authority, college and Business Link partners.

The project involved the introduction of Six Sigma performance improvement and change management techniques to small and medium suppliers and training for front-line staff.

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Supporting Local Information and Research

Research for CLG (Department for Communities and Local Government) into factors driving changes in information, analysis and research in local government and how local, regional and national partners have been responding to these (with Oxford Consultants for Social Inclusion – OCSI – and Demographic Decisions). Recommendations related to:

  • streamlining and opening up access to data
  • improved packaging of datasets and analyses to meet user needs
  • action to avoid pitfalls in accessing and comparing data from related websites
  • improvements in national indicator sets to reflect what is needed and measurable at locality and neighbourhood levels
  • promotion of good practice in data sharing and use of geodemographic classifications
  • action to develop skills amongst researchers and analysts, including a skills framework and support for use of applications such as cost benefit analysis – as well as steps to encourage ‘intelligent customers’, influencing how decision-makers view and use what analysts have to offer
  • embedding local research and analysis functions in the search for improved services and outcomes in local authorities and partnerships
The report  (1,996 KB) was published by CLG in January 2009. The recommendations have been worked through in a number of contexts, including at national level involving the LGA, CLG, Audit Commission, etc. The report has influenced the work of Improvement and Efficiency Partnerships and decisions taken at local level to strengthen R&I capacity and collaboration. Derrick Johnstone facilitated a national workshop in December 2009 to review progress against recommendations.

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Smarter Partnerships website

We developed the Smarter Partnerships interactive website to help users improve partnership skills and performance, on behalf of the Employers Organisation for Local Government which at the time had responsibility for skills development in the sector. When this became part of the Local Government Association the site unfortunately was no longer maintained, despite evidence of continuing use.Smarter Partnerships provided:
  • tools to assist individuals, cross-agency teams and partnerships assess both (i) partnership development and (ii) individual and team learning needs.
  • on-line resources: case studies, tools and links to help users address learning needs and improve partnership working
Smarter Partnerships was unusual for a diagnostic tool, in that not only did it help the user clarify their needs, but also provided practical suggestions for actions to take tailored to their particular needs.The project was originally funded by the then Department for Education and Skills, and built on a ‘state of the art’ review in 2000 of partnerships and local government.We also made presentations and run workshops linked to Smarter Partnerships, eg, for Bedfordshire Strategic Service Delivery Partnership, CIPFA Scotland, Essex County Council (Scrutiny), HM Treasury ‘Invest to Save’ annual conference, and the Home Office Immigration and Nationality Department.

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Making the most of Local Strategic Partnerships

Educe were members of the team which provided support for local authorities and their partners in Local Strategic Partnerships in the West Midlands in 2007/09: the Learning to Deliver (L2D) programme. This was an initiative of the Improvement and Efficiency West Midlands, funded to help strengthen delivery of Local Area Agreements.

Part of role was to act as an improvement adviser with West Midlands LSPs, as well as supporting work specifically on economic development and worklessness aspects of the L2D programme as a whole. The latter led to our role in relation to the West Midlands regional worklessness network (see separate details).

The other aspect of our contribution to L2D was the production of briefings and guidance material on key topics for LSPs. These included:

  • current awareness digest for LSPs and LAAs (each issue features developments in policy and practice relevant to people playing key roles in driving change and improvement) – final issue, November 2009 ( pdf 339KB)
  • Five Steps to Better Outcomes  ( pdf 583KB) a guide to delivery planning, assisting local partners in making a success of Local Area Agreements, working out how best to achieve community outcomes.

and briefings on:

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