Join your nearest Empowering Women training (running in July and September only)

Successful trial cohort of the Microsoft and Socitm Change Agents programme

The title 'Change Agents in the public sector' is underneath the Microsoft and Socitm logos.. The words are on top of a photo of man (seen mostly from behind) sitting at a desk -that's next to a sofa) using a Microsoft Surface device.

Microsoft and Socitm are delighted to officially launch today (Thursday 9 June) a free programme to support the evolution of public services.

The two organisations have joined forces to create a unique public sector Change Agents programme.

Delivered over five days, the programme will support organisations’ transformation by delivering learnings on a range of skills and technology opportunities, to maximise innovation, along with sharing best practice and experiences.

A trial with Coventry, Norfolk and Walsall councils helped shape course content before official roll out.

“At its heart, the Change Agents programme equips attendees with the skills they need to localise the benefits of technology and support colleagues with change. The blend of skills taught are crucial for public sector staff as the course equips them to begin or continue their transformation journey. The trial has been fascinating as we gained a better understanding of the solutions deemed most useful to public sector change programmes, which understandably centred on automation and data-driven solutions.”

Andrew Boxall, Client Technology Lead at Microsoft

The programme focuses on areas to consider when undertaking transformational activity, such as change management, leadership responsibilities, a growth mindset and learning styles.

To help understand how the Change Agents might develop their service, attendees are introduced to a range of Microsoft technology, such as the Power Platform. They are also upskilled on some familiar solutions such as Teams and SharePoint. Participants also spend time with delivery partners who demonstrate the art of the possible, showcasing how technology is being used to transform public services.

“For years we’ve supported the public sector to harness the power of technologies and data to deliver innovative solutions to help improve outcomes for communities and places. The Change Agents programme brings together two often separate considerations (people and technology) and challenges attendees to consider how these capabilities can be used in a complementary way to improve working practices and re-imagine services. The blend of lessons worked well and it was fantastic to see attendees learn how they might tackle change programmes in their specific teams, for their services and foster a more transformative approach organisationally.”

Nadira Hussain, Chief Executive Officer at Socitm

“We are often asked to support public sector bodies to collaborate and this work lays the foundations for a joined-up approach throughout the sector that wouldn’t have been possible just a few years ago. Thank you to the councils who supported this programme to get it to this point and all the staff who took part. We look forward to hosting more of our customers on the Change Agents programme and helping them with their transformation journey.”

Robin Denton, Microsoft Director for Local Government and Housing

Coventry, Norfolk and Walsall took part in the trial as their ICT departments and approach to change were noted as exceptional. Each organisation provided slightly different perspectives of the same problems councils across the country are facing.

The next cohort of the Change Agents programme is planned for the end of June, with the aim of providing five cohorts each year going forwards.

The model aims to support 20-25 councils in each cohort, with 20-30 end-users from each council able to attend the five-day programme. A complementary two-day course has been developed to enable 15-20 managers to participate in order to support the take-up and benefits of the initiative.

For more details, contact David Ogden.