Like all local authorities, the City of Wolverhampton Council has a complex structure made up of various committees, directorates and services. Their project processes were logical, but manual, and as projects grew in numbers and complexities, the reporting became unmanageable.
The City of Wolverhampton Council’s Projects and Programmes Team currently produces highlight reports on 59 projects and 32 workstreams. These are developed into an overall dashboard and shared monthly with the council’s wider leadership team.
Prior to using Verto, the Projects and Programmes Team were preparing these reports manually. Now, with Verto, the process is automated, which makes best use of officer time and ensures information is prepared for senior managers in an efficient and cost-effective way.
The city of Wolverhampton, and council, have previously experienced a period of unprecedented growth and transformation, highlighted when the City of Wolverhampton Council was awarded ‘Local Authority of the Year’ at the MJ Awards, 2017. The council serves a population of around 250,000 across 20 wards. The council works with a wide range of other organisations through several key partnerships, including the local strategic partnership for the area and the West Midlands Combined Authority.
Reporting on progress in delivering its plans, both within the council itself and to its various partners manually were not going to sustain the change and growth they were experiencing so they looked for a solution that could meet their standards and take them forward in a way that remained recognisable to the Wolverhampton Authority staff members.
By working alongside the Projects and Programmes Team, Verto were able to configure the platform in line with their project management process, from a project’s initial proposal right through to its close. We also worked with them to set up standard reports which can be produced at the press of a button.
Understanding what already worked for the council and not forcing in a new set of procedures made the change to an automated way of working simple to learn and understand and working as a partnership also presented new opportunities for the Verto system to evolve as suggested developments were added.
“The team from TMI provided excellent customer service. They prioritised our change requests and are good at turning things round when we need them to – straight away if they can. And they use our feedback to help them develop Verto so we, and others, can get more from it.”
Laura Palmer, Portfolio Delivery Manager, the City of Wolverhampton Council
Since using Verto the City of Wolverhampton Council has seen a number of benefits. Perhaps the most significant is that they now have a controlled management and workflow process across the council.
Now, all the council’s programme and project data is in one place. As Harpreet Riyat, the council’s Project and Resources Manager says,
“Verto is very clear and easy to use. Everything is in front of you on one screen, and it guides you through the whole process, so it’s very easy to learn. This means the Projects and Programmes Team can support project managers and project officers from start to finish.”
The Projects and Programmes Team have established a bi-weekly Project Assurance Group (PAG). This has helped programmes and projects become more visible and made it easier for the group to establish links, find commonalities and break down barriers. As a result, they have also been able to identify both financial and time savings.
The increased visibility of programmes and projects also makes it easier for the PAG to agree which proposals should proceed. And once projects are up and running, the Projects and Programmes Team can quickly and easily produce monitoring reports which show progress, outcomes and risks.
Because Verto is based in the cloud it allows for mobile working so staff can easily work on it where and when they need to. This also makes it easy for people to collaborate across partnership projects and programmes. They can then use Verto’s instant messaging tool to communicate with each other.
Harpreet Riyat also commented that using Verto has substantially reduced the Projects and Programmes Team’s need to use paper.
We continue to work closely with the City of Wolverhampton Council. We supported their upgrade to Vertopro and later set up and rolled out a single sign-on which means users no longer need to log in to Verto with a user name and password. Instead Verto is now automatically available to them when they log on to the council’s system. This has encouraged more consistent use of Verto across the organisation.
The reporting capability has been further enhanced so the PPT are able to link project outputs to performance outcomes and KPIs for management reporting. In addition, Verto also links to Power BI for corporate reports