In early 2019, Dan Randow of IntegrationQA helped Tasman District Council (TDC) carry out a digital readiness assessment. Dan took an iterative approach to this, designing the process with TDC so that it was a self-assessment. This led to a practical report that was relevant and accessible to the staff and leadership. More importantly, through the assessment process TDC advanced its conversations and awareness about digital readiness.

Targeting digital investment to meet growing and changing needs

TDC has a large and changing region, extensive physical assets and a huge service catalogue. They don’t need their digital maturity compared with that of a bank or airline. They need to target their digital capability to best meet the growing and changing needs of their customers.

Validating the approach with a mini-assessment

First, Dan carried out a mini-assessment using three simple questions: “What does ‘digital’ mean?”, “What level of digital maturity is needed?” and “What is the current level of digital maturity?”. Dan used the responses to these questions to create an MVP self-assessment. He then worked with TDC to design workshops that involved staff in the assessment at scale.

Participative workshops with lively discussion

Around 70 people attended each of three 90 minute workshops. The workshops were highly participative with lively discussion about the meaning of “digital” at TDC. Participants worked in groups to assess the needed and current levels of digital maturity. They focused their discussions not on the internal structure but on service groups used by customers.

A practical guide for digital capability to meet customer needs

The report summarised the workshop conversations so it was real, relevant and meaningful.

It highlighted how digital complement and support staff to provide the analogue channels that many customers prefer. In each of TDC’s six main service groups, it identified where investment in front-facing or back-end services could make the most difference.

The process was as just as valuable as the report

TDC’s Information Services Manager Peter Darlington saw the process as just as valuable as the report. “It got people talking about getting with the digital age. That raised people’s awareness and their sense that they are part of the organisation taking a step forward.”

Peter said that “with a more conventional approach, we would have got an outside expert opinion. This was a digital age approach that fully involved our organisation.”