Consolidation and collaboration – summary of the digital implementers group October 2, 2015

504756272_71bf68858c_zLast week we had the Digital Implementers Group: a regular meeting bringing together people implementing digital systems for records and information management in the NSW Public Sector. As usual, the meeting was attended by a broad range of professionals and organisations.

This meeting focussed on consolidation and cross-sector collaboration.

Member updates

The members gave their updates on their current projects and initiatives. A number of individuals were spending time analysing the capabilities of certain solutions, driven by diverse business requirements including accountability, mobile working, and collaboration tools. Other people were occupied with capability building, training, and uptake.

Several organisations were focused on identifying best practice and common processes across groups of agencies, in order to inform the next wave of system investment and technology choices. A number of organisations were bringing together multiple systems in a consolidation to standardise technology and processes and gain operational and software licensing efficiencies.


One major organisation gave a presentation on bringing together a number of similar systems on a major scale. The drivers were multiple, including overall aims such as decreasing operational barriers between formerly separate business units, and including efficiency of creating documents and reports, speed and simplicity of access to information for business purposes, and implementation of e-approvals.

The project leader acknowledged that one of the key strategies to sell the project to users was to solving a significant pain point affecting a large number of users. The project chose e-approvals, which had previously been complex, to demonstrate the value of the combined system.

One of the project team gave a demonstration of the e-approval application, and explained various points where they had autocompleted data or made its entry optional in order to ensure accuracy of the most critical user-selected / generated data.

One key aspect of the new project is an advanced dashboard to visualise and track approvals as they move through the system. The system interactively presents information about in-progress approvals, allowing it to be viewed according to a range of factors including business units, type, geographic location and status. Crucially, the system presents real-time data: it gives a view of process volumes, priorities and categories as they are occurring.


The group are all generous collaborators, with the meetings always providing an opportunity for people facing similar challenges to connect, often providing the ability to resolve very specific challenges much more quickly. Several members had asked how we could better harness that willingness to share and collaborate.

State Records staff noted that we currently pursued multiple channels to enable collaboration:

  • the implementers group, open to staff across the NSW public sector, and its associated Govdex page to share information and collaborate
  • the Future Proof blog, to share insights from State Records events, projects, and advisory activities, (including its associated social media channels)
  • the Records Managers Forum, which gives a platform to leading practitioners to present on successful projects, as well as providing an opportunity for networking
  • ad-hoc referrals to leading practitioners in specific areas of information and records management, in response to individual requests

We acknowledged that some of these channels came with difficulties. Members cited difficulties including the time required, usability of tools, and maintaining momentum with online collaboration initiatives. State Records staff noted that we would examine the processes to minimise these barriers as much as possible. We agreed that some new content in the govdex group would give impetus to sharing.

If you have any suggestions about developing collaboration in the government sector, or have some material you would like to share with your colleagues, please get in touch!


Photo by Mark Round on Flickr

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