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February 2020
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The Department of the Future

‘Doing more for less’ has long been debated in the public sector, but now, the need to cut public spending, has become urgent. The Public Sector is not just facing a painful adjustment to immediate financial issues; it is also challenged by factors that will be impacting us for decades to come – such as our ageing population, our inadequate physical infrastructure, and the need to reskill the nation’s workforce.

So how can our government departments, local authorities and other public bodies ‘do more for less’? This was the subject of an 18-month Capgemini research project where we looked at how issues currently facing the UK public sector were tackled by industry and commerce, and by public authorities around the world.

The result is ‘The Department of the Future’; a report which shows that services can be transformed for the better while at the same time reducing costs.

During the research, we identified six levers outlined in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Components and levers in the Department of the Future framework

Each one of these levers can be pulled to improve policy and customer outcomes. The levers identified during the research were:
1. Engaging citizens – Applying techniques pioneered by companies such as Amazon to gain real insights into what citizens want and need.
2. Tailored services – Moving beyond ‘one size fits all’ services that are tailored to people’s needs and are cheaper to provide
3. ‘Lean’ frontline operations – Applying techniques proven in manufacturing and distribution to cut waste in frontline services
4. Reshaping delivery – Refocusing governments on setting standards, creating markets, commissioning and managing service providers rather than necessarily delivering themselves.
5. Revisiting scope – Ensuring that the required outcomes and scope of the organisation’s work remain aligned to priority needs.
6. Making the case for change – Building consensus for change with the public, with politicians and within the civil service.

The Department of the Future framework has been tried and tested in the UK including with the London borough of Barking and Dagenham who faced a need to get workless women back to work.

By understanding the specific needs of the women and the barriers to employment that they faced Barking and Dagenham were able to deliver a new model to join-up services. This comprises outreach and a new coach function to tailor a personalised package of services. A two year pilot was launched in September 2009, which is helping more women build the skills they need to get back into work. This example could be the starting point for other public sector bodies to change how they deliver citizen services.

Download the full report here:>

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