Operating from a single IT network and standardised software systems will be of significant benefit and a key success factor for the transition to the new council entity. Over time, being on the same network and being able to use the same software, email and telephone systems will enable staff to communicate more efficiently and effectively, to share files and foster collaboration across teams and locations.
With the myriad of tasks, contractual and legal considerations and the lengthy process of procurement, it is up to the merging partners to determine their priorities for transition, what is achievable and what is affordable. If harmonisation does not occur in readiness for Commencement Day, facilitating the transition of disparate business systems post Commencement Day can still be achieved via a well-managed and robust business systems transition plan. Technology One: Transitioning Local Government to Amalgamations (PDF, 668KB) provides a guide for transitioning information systems based on Technology One's experience in supporting 19 smaller councils in Queensland as they formed five new larger councils.
Additional information and useful materials can be found on the Resources page.
Stage 1 - Review
Project administration and current state
- Establish a project management framework and project plan to guide working group activities. Critical paths and/or timelines to be established. In the 'Resources' list of this toolkit a Template Business Systems Transition Working Group Terms of Reference (PDF, 250KB) is provided.
- Identify legal / contractual obligations and barriers / risks.
- Review and update current processes and data management practices, including data naming conventions and staff roles. See Checklist Business Systems (PDF, 290KB) for supplementary information.
Document current state of business systems (ICT). The Metro Reform General Discussion Paper – An ICT Perspective (PDF, 334KB) identifies ICT areas that need consideration when planning to amalgamate including:
- Collate, map and document all business systems and critical functions.
- Update inventory of software and hardware.
- Collate and review all policies, procedures and related documentation and plans.
- Consider capacity and capability of systems to support connectivity (particularly a consideration in rural areas)
- Identify all financial implications including cash reserve (if applicable) and the Long Term Financial Plan.
Stage 2 - Plan
- Review overarching project plan, timelines and key tasks. The 'Resources' list provides an example Business Systems Transition Plan (PDF, 421KB).
Compare and analyse all merging partners’ current state information. In doing so:
- Review all business systems, critical functions and contractual obligations.
- Update inventory of software and hardware. Identify disparate and similar systems.
- Compare all policies, procedures and related documentation, plans including the Long Term Financial Plan.
- Commence preparation of revised policies, procedures and delegations.
- Determine priorities for achieving Commencement Day requirements, noting actions that will need to be completed for day 1 of the new council and those which can be implemented over a period of time.
- Compare systems and processes to determine the best future fit.
- Identify and document preferred framework i.e. combined best practice, future tasks and responsibilities, language, definitions and processes.
- Scope future state specifications and system design. Explore procurement options (if applicable).
Stage 3 - Mobilise
- Review overarching project plan, timelines and key tasks.
- Review priorities for achieving Commencement Day requirements and mobilise resources accordingly. Establish, communicate and resource a plan for Commencement Day.
- Review data migration plans, timelines and testing program for ‘go live’ tasks.
- Develop strategies to manage legal / contractual obligations and barriers and risks.
- Prepare policies for adoption and procedures for implementation.
- Develop supporting strategies i.e. training plan, communications plan, helpline function and fulfilment process.
- Complete budget estimates and Long Term Financial Plan implications.
- Confirm preferred framework, combining best practice, future tasks and responsibilities, language, definitions and processes.
- Agree business and data systems and initiate merging of data. The 'Resources' list provides an Example Data Sharing Agreement (PDF, 568KB)
- Liaise with key business units to ensue integration and understanding of revised processes (i.e. finances, asset management, property management, maintenance etc.).
- Identify budget and long term financial implications.
- Identify and address any training issues.
Stage 4 - Implement
- Review project plan, timelines and key tasks.
- Complete final budget estimates implications.
- Review data migration plans and timelines and testing program for ‘go live’ tasks post Commencement Day.
- Implement new plans and supporting strategies i.e. training plan, communications plan, helpline function and fulfilment processes.
- Implement consolidated databases.
- Liaise with key business units to ensue integration and understanding of revised processes.
- Ensure monitoring and reporting requirements are in place to drive ongoing data integrity.