Leeds City Council contracted me to help them kick off an initiative to systematically increase its ability to understand and manage its information landscape.
Information Mapping for Leeds City Council
The Leeds City Council, a metropolitan district council, provides the majority of local government services. This is a large range of services (e.g. children and adult social care, city development, public health, transport, waste, council tax and business rates, business licences, democratic, housing, environment, waterways, etc.), and all of them require data and information to be collected, stored, and managed.
Given the immense diversity of information that the council is responsible for, and that there are over 30 thousand employees, and numerous vendors and contractors, performing Information Governance (IG) and Information Management (IM) in the council is a really tough job. Not to mention the requirements of the Data Protection Act and other regulatory requirements that result in extra complexities of the job to look after information correctly and responsibly from the legal point of view.
The council looks after money and the City of Leeds with decreasing amount of income over the last few years.
It’s been recognised that the council can save financial resources by acting as one organisation as opposed to the various directorates that deliver public services leading semi-autonomous lives.
The challenge lies in working with all the council directorates on seeing and acting upon systematically implementing Enterprise Information Management (EIM) for their own benefits and for the benefit of the organisation as a whole, and thus growing significant advantages and improvements across the board.
Understanding its information landscape, i.e. knowing what kind of information is held where and for what purpose, is absolutely key for the council in order to be able to take advantage of this very precious asset. It is sometimes overlooked that information is as important an asset as a pot of money or a building.
I was brought in to do an assessment of the situation and to produce a high-level model of the information that the council manages. This was a beginning of a long journey towards Enterprise Information Management (EIM). Achieving the target is not a simple task. There are numerous information systems used, many of them off-the-shelf ones. These support the delivery of public services, however they also sometimes act as information silos. It will take several years to arrive at the desired point, and the effects will be noticed almost in everything the council does – from streamlined processes to procurement.
- Client Leeds City Council
- Date May 3, 2016
- Tags Architecture, Information Architecture