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City of Edinburgh Council maps over 1000 processes in 2 years

Using Engage Process, the City of Edinburgh Council mapped over a thousand processes in two years, getting increased visibility of the whole organisation. On top of that, they achieved £175k of savings and anticipated a further 800k of savings.

City of Edinburgh Council


The Challenge of Effective Budgets

Like many other councils, Edinburgh City Council is dealing with the big question how to deal with ongoing budget constraints. Martyn Thompson is a Senior Change and Delivery Officer and works in the Lean Automation team, tasked with finding a solution.

“Our challenge at Edinburgh, as with a lot of public bodies, is to save money effectively, to look at processes, to look at services, to look at things happening within the Council that we can identify the financial benefits to…..“

The council was looking for a solution that could help them tackle this question.


Getting Stakeholders On Board

According to Martyn, mapping a process and making it visual helps drive confidence with stakeholders. If it’s visual, senior managers and other stakeholders can understand it and gain confidence in what you’re doing. Especially when this is backed up by facts.

At Edinburgh, they usually do this with a three-step validation process. This is how Martyn explained this process.

“So we will process map out what the particular service is or get the team from that service to map out the process for us. We will then reconvene and validate it with the subject matter experts or service managers. And then we will reconvene again and have a lean workshop. So normally, a three-step validation process is where people involved in the process and business analysts or changing and delivery officers can actually be part of the conversation with the managers and really go through it and have confidence that the process map is kind of the realistic process that exists.”

The way they map the processes and try to involve more people instead of just the process team, really helps to create ownership for all the employees and stakeholders involved.


The first thoughts about Engage Process

As someone who used different process software, Martyn mentioned he was a bit apprehensive about picking up another tool. But within the first five minutes of getting a demo of Engage Process, Martyn stated that he quickly realised that Engage Process is different.

“It certainly gives us everything that we could possibly need. Rather than having four or five different documents with a calculator on one, a spreadsheet in another one just holding your volumes, one with your risk log on it. We have got a central repository with all that and that’s what Engage gives you, your risk log for your process Engage gives you your time and gives you your roles involved and Engage gives you your process maps. So, it really is a kind of a one size fits all bit of software.”

How Engage Process helped Martyn and his team

Martyn mentioned that the use of the Engage Process Suite helped him and his team in various ways:

  • It helped them understand the process from end to end.
  • Helped understand who’s involved in the process and what variables are involved.
  • It helped them get a clear view how long a process takes and the costs involved.
  • Mapping and analysing processes helped Martyn and his team support their findings and business cases with facts.

“For somebody who just wants to jump on and clear a basic process map. They could do that with almost no training at all. It is very intuitive, very sophisticated. It is not like previous kind of process mapping software that I’ve used where you need a half day training just to get a basic process map on the page.”


Achievements and Expected Outcomes

Martyn also highlighted what outcomes Edinburgh has achieved to date. First of all, they managed to map over 1000 processes in the span of just two years, an achievement which is quite exceptional.

In the light of their ambition to be as cost effective as possible. They have delivered 175k of savings to date, which includes completing implementation of changes. They also have an additional 400k of savings currently in delivery across multiple projects. Finally, there is an additional 800k that has been identified.



Source: Andy Sandford, We Are Lean and Agile


The City of Edinburgh Council works with our UK partner Andy Sandford, of We Are Lean and Agile. This article is a summary of an interview with Martyn Thompson and is a reflection on the collaboration and achievements to date. The full transcript of the interview can be found on the We Are Lean and Agile website.

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