Moving projects, scheduling and services forward remotely
Project delivery hasn't stopped in the face of a global pandemic and key services stil need to be delivered. FUSIONhub played a small role in this for Caerphilly County Borough Council.
The value of remote, off-premise delivery solutions rose exponentially during the outbreak of Covid-19, accelerating moves towards virtual environments which had been mooted for many years. The framework existed, it was simply a matter of taking the plunge and committing to such delivery methods for meetings, training and project management.
Caerphilly County Borough Council has been using Cygnum from CACI for 11 years to provide its workforce management solutions, ensuring that it has the right people in the right places, performing the right tasks. As a council, Caerphilly needs to stay on top of several different areas, so a requirement for flexibility sits at the heart of its operations. It was vital, therefore, that Caerphilly found nimble solutions, quickly, when faced with the mandatory lockdown put in place at the outbreak of Covid-19.
FUSION is CACI’s project management delivery methodology, which helps its clients to shape, create and utilise its services. FUSIONhub is an extension of this methodology designed to encompass and embrace off-premise project delivery.
Acting as a virtual consultancy, FUSIONhub enables all users to keep in touch and keep up to date, wherever they are. All of CACI’s processes, tools and deliverables are available whenever and wherever they are needed. Taking advantage of an increasingly connected world, FUSIONhub delivers unparalleled flexibility in project management and delivery.
Caerphilly County Borough Council uses Cygnum to operate its Home Care and Reablement services. These provide vital care and support to those in need within the borough, supporting people to stay at home. The smooth running of these services is vital to ensure that Caerphilly can look after those in need in a timely and appropriate manner. To operate an effective service, Caerphilly relies upon a team of approximately 300 staff, which it schedules through Cygnum.
Caerphilly and FUSIONhub
Frontline services didn’t stop in the face of Covid-19. Councils still needed to deliver their key services and Caerphilly was no different. With previously office-based staff now working from home, it necessitated a rethink in how Caerphilly received account management, training and support from CACI in its use of Cygnum.
“We still have projects and services to deliver, so we were interested to see how we could keep adapting and improving our use of Cygnum in a way that was unusual to us at first,” explains Peter Williams, HART Senior Scheduling and IT at Caerphilly County Borough Council. “We were well set in a routine of using Cygnum in our work, contacting our account manager or the support desk when we had any queries and inviting members of the Cygnum team to join us at our offices for more comprehensive account meetings and training sessions.
“Doing this remotely hadn’t really been a consideration previously. We’ve got a busy office of people and generally like to interact face to face. That has always been my preference at least, but Covid-19 made us explore other avenues.”
During the 11 years that Cygnum has been supporting Caerphilly, a well-established relationship had been formed along more traditional lines. Remote meetings and training have always been a possibility, but have never previously been a necessity.
“I’m not sure that this is an avenue we’d have gone down without the change in circumstances,” says Peter. “We were very happy with the way things were regarding Cygnum and the team there. We know all our main contacts there and generally speaking, it’s usually good to see them!
“Once we understood the impact that Covid-19 would have on our operations, we quickly realised that we needed to find a way to stay on top of our training and development and the team at Cygnum came forward with FUSIONhub.”
In order to maintain delivery of a smooth and flexible service, Cygnum uses CACI’s FUSIONhub methodology to ensure that all meetings, training sessions and other deliverables can be completed remotely. Using third party software, it means that the Cygnum team was able to deliver training to Caerphilly via their preferred platform, in this case Zoom. FUSIONhub is available via other virtual meeting rooms such as GoToMeeting, Teams and Skype, too.
“I had used Zoom before, so that was at least familiar,” says Peter. “Whilst I may not have necessarily opted for Cygnum training in this way, I was familiar with the software we were using and I have met Guy Pembroke, who delivered our training, previously. It was an interesting opportunity to see a different way of working, so we all had an open mind going into it.
“There were two of us being trained, myself and a colleague. The training took place over four days and with the lockdown in place, we were in different locations, so having that flexibility was crucial. There was also the added bonus of the remote session saving us time and money – no one had to travel, no one was worried about the session over running so that they could collect the kids from school and we didn’t have to provide lunch, book meeting rooms weeks in advance or anything like that. It was incredibly straightforward.
“The session itself was better than I expected. I was worried it would be difficult to interact without being face-to-face but by being more vocal and using the functionality available in Zoom, it was easy to get the trainer’s attention and re-run through scenarios. I thought Guy did an excellent job in catering for the change of approach to what we’re used to. Once everyone was settled in it was easy to follow.”
Would Caerphilly opt for remote training again in future?
“Yes, we would,” states Peter. “Like everything there are pros and cons, but the flexibility, efficiency and cost savings are certainly appealing. We didn’t feel like we’d missed out on anything by not being in a room with Guy and we got what they needed from the session, too. All in all, it worked really well.”
FUSIONhub is a central component of CACI’s FUSION methodology, helping to ensure that all projects can be managed and completed wherever they are.