Eastleigh Borough Council – Improvements to strategy, performance management and governance

The challenge

As part of a wider transformation programme, Eastleigh needed to establish a more effective strategy and commissioning function to ensure all parts of the organisation were aligned behind the aspiration and outcomes set by members.

This was a new function established to ensure there was an effective allocation of scarce resources, that the impact of investments was being properly monitored and that there was an effective governance process for monitoring performance against corporate priorities. At a time when there were severe financial pressures on the council it was imperative that performance was being managed and that there was proper accountability for delivery of the things that really mattered to the community.

The result

Ignite worked with the executive team, service managers and members to establish the team, put in place a robust strategy, performance and governance process and to ensure the strategies put in place could be used as a basis for performance management.

We initially created the team and established a clear remit for the function. We established a strategy development process that drew a clear link between the purpose of the council articulated by members, the target outcomes for the community, the strategy for achieving those outcomes and the metrics needed to monitor progress and achievement. We also revised the structure of service plans to ensure all parts of the organisation were aligning both activity and funds behind the priorities of the council.

We supported the writing and assessment of the strategies to ensure they were robust and a basis for monitoring success. We also set up the review forums to ensure there was cross functional collaboration and input.

What made it successful

  • Executive leadership – The leadership were completely aligned to the need to be more robust about the funding and delivery of corporate priorities
  • Engagement of members – Using creative sessions to ensure members could see the links between their aspirations and the strategies for achieving them – in a way that gave them the opportunity to prioritise investments
  • Building capability – Working closely with the new team to develop the strategic skills needed. This involved demonstrating what good looked like, templating the approach and building in constructive review processes
  • Strategy expertise – Providing expert strategy support to help develop the processes and the content of the new strategies
  • Hands on approach – Chairing the review boards that looked at strategy and performance to ensure they started on a sound footing and could be handed over to staff