Diagram showing elements that feed into change management
  • Change Management

    The change team at the Improvement Service helps councils and their partners to deliver transformational and operational level change. Our support offer is based on what councils have told us they need as well as research into the overall challenges facing the sector so that we can offer support on a proactive basis.


    The services and products offered by the change team are free to all local authorities across Scotland. The diagram below illustrates how we can work together to achieve the best outcomes for our communities and lists the different types of support that we currently provide. We recognise that change will look different across councils hence our range of support and tools can be tailored to suit the forms of challenges being faced locally. For examples of support that we have provided in the past you might want to have a look at our case studies.


    If you have any queries regarding the support we offer or how we could support your council please do not hesitate to get in touch at changemanagement@improvementservice.org.uk.

  • Change Management Team

    Gerard McCormackGerard McCormack - Interim Head of Change and Partnership Delivery

     01506 283850



    Gerard possesses a wide range of experience, in both the public and private sector. This includes liaising with a number of organisations and the management of projects in a variety of settings. Gerard’s most recent role was as Community Planning and Partnerships Manager in a Scottish council, working within a team that not only coordinated and carried out activity for the CPP but also led the council’s approach to local community capacity development and capacity building. Gerard’s previous roles included one where he supported and led a range of change projects in a number of Scottish councils and public sector organisations.




    • Led the continued improvement and development of a local council’s (as was) Single Outcome Agreement, the core element of the council’s Strategic Planning and Improvement Framework
    • Led a programme of work (with partner organisations) aimed at the effective targeting of resources to reduce inequality and involving communities in service design and delivery
    • Led a review of a Scottish council’s Development Management and Building Control function to assess its fitness for purpose in the light of the (then) new Planning Act and internal budgetary pressures
    • Led the development of a Financial Inclusion Strategy for a Scottish council aimed at delivering an efficient and effective grants programme to deliver best value and high-quality services.


    Emily PetrovaEmily Petrova - Project Officer

    01506 282165



    Emily graduated from Queen Margaret University with a degree in Business Management. She then started working in the Corporate Transformation and Organisation Development team at Perth and Kinross Council as a transformation graduate. Her role was to support the council’s transformation programme, giving Emily experience in project management and change management. In 2017 Emily joined the Improvement Service where she now supports all councils and partners to deliver the change necessary to reform the way in which public services are delivered.




    • Modernising performance reporting – helped with the review of the council’s performance management arrangements and the introduction of new technology.
    • Provided training to people on how to use the project reporting software called Verto.


    Clare SherryClare Sherry - Interim Programme Manager

    01506 283809



    Clare has worked in the local government field for the last 10 years. Nine years of this was in a council setting where Clare had a variety of roles including community planning, performance management and, latterly, service improvement focusing on a variety of change projects across the council. Clare has completed a PDA in project management and has a good understanding and working knowledge of council and partnership arrangements and requirements.



    • Lead role in working with a council during its wide ranging review of its Revenues and Benefits and Customer Contact service.
    •  Project manager for complex operational change within an HR service including the introduction of an electronic document management system and online system for overtime payments.
    • Complex change project for street cleaning service which involved considerable analysis to identify ‘as is’ issues; the redesign involved numerous changes to service processes including the introduction of new technology to streamline and improve service delivery.


    Adam Hall - Business Analyst

    01506 282879



    Adam joined the Improvement Service from the oil and gas industry where he worked on offshore exploration projects. Previous roles incorporated planning and management of complex technical projects against agreed budget, schedule and quality requirements, monitoring project risks, identifying potential problems and initiating solutions. At the Improvement Service Adam works across all local authorities and with Scottish Government on the expansion of funded early learning and childcare to 1140 hours; holding workshops, providing training to up-skill staff and conducting bespoke business analysis and research to support councils in this programme.



    • Data acquisition, analysis and modelling
    • Building business analysis capacity in local authorities
    • Service redesign and continuous improvement
    • Understanding the needs of stakeholders


    Margaret Ho - Project Officer, Change and Business Analysis

    07825 431719



    Margaret comes from an HR background where she has specialised in training and learning & development for 17 years. Primarily Margaret’s knowledge and experience has been within the private sector, however, recently she moved to the public sector where she managed the Organisational Development team at West Lothian Council, before joining the Improvement Service. Margaret has a proven track record of success, including creative learning & development initiatives, change management and strong collaboration.



    • Change management champion
    • Creative varied approach to training facilitation
    • Passionate about developing people


    Previous Projects

    • Successfully integrated and led a new training organisation by collaborating with stakeholders to develop and execute an implementation plan, ensuring excellent communication throughout. This resulted in a range of achievements including an increase of 10% improvement of the training adherence metric
    • Planned and organised major training projects and delivered training to diverse groups – consistently receiving excellent feedback
    • Reduced process skill training “time to competence” by 50% through a redesign of training delivery, whilst maintaining high quality standards


    Lisa Kennedy - Business Analyst, Early Learning and Childcare Expansion

    01506 283793



     Lisa joined the Improvement Service from financial services where she had been providing business and process analysis support to retail and investment banks for the last eight years.


    Working within large and complex programmes of change and on smaller scale pilots across various products and services, her experience includes process design and customer journey mapping, requirements gathering and workshop facilitation, and the design of people, recruitment and workplace culture strategy and change.


    At the Improvement Service Lisa provides business analysis support to all local authorities as they prepare to the deliver the expansion of funded early learning and childcare to 1140 hours.


    Previous Projects

    • Business Readiness – on the delivery of a large credit card platform migration, fulfilling a ‘check and challenge’ role and reporting true readiness across all workstreams to senior stakeholders
    • Recruitment, people processes, and culture - led the bespoke design and planning for the recruitment, culture and people strategy  for a new digital advice service, helping the business to understand the ways of working and the types of people and skills required to achieve their digital business vision
    • Process mapping  -  definition and capture of target operation model processes
  • Business Analysis Framework

    Business analysis work can be very varied. Depending on the nature of the project the business analyst may need to deploy several techniques and analyse a number of different stakeholder views.  Sometimes the project may be to investigate a problematic part of the organisation and produce outline recommendations for ways forward, other projects may require the business analyst to analyse and document specific business or system requirements.


    The Business Analysis Framework will help you learn more about the various tools and techniques used throughout the change lifecycle.

    Open the Business Analysis Framework

  • Qualifications

    Scotland Excel and the Improvement Service have joined forces to deliver two new SQA-accredited qualifications for people working in change management:


    • Professional Development Award in Project Management (SCQF Level 8)
    • Business Analysis Programme: Part 1 Business Analysis Unit and Professional Development Award in Decision Making and Innovation (SCQF Levels 8 & 9)


    Both courses use work-based methodology and will consider issues within a local government context.


    Professional Development Award in Project Management

    The Professional Development Award (PDA) is a SCQF (Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework) level 8 qualification and is certified by the Scottish Qualifications Authority.


    The PDA consists of two units:


    • Project Management: Project Justification and Planning
    • Project Management: Managing the Implementation of a Project


    The PDA is well established as a standalone qualification but can also provide progression to other learning opportunities such as the Diploma in Management and Leadership at SCQF level 8.


    The PDA will be delivered by Scotland Excel and Improvement Service staff who have significant experience in project management within a local government context and course delivery will focus on practical examples in this environment.


    For more information about the PDA, download our flyer or contact Helene Holden at Scotland Excel: helene.holden@scotland-excel.org.uk or 0141 618 7436.


    General information about the PDA can be found at https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/39450.html


    Business Analysis Programme: Part 1 Business Analysis Unit and Professional Development Award in Decision Making and Innovation


    The Business Analysis Programme has a broad scope focusing on the practical application of organisational analysis through to planning and implementing outcomes of the analysis. The programme will extend to managing projects and making informed decisions from the information available, including managing stakeholders across the organisation, with an awareness of the commercial aspects of analysis and innovation. All of these components will be considered from a local government context.


    Part 1 of the programme will focus on understanding tools for business analysis and how to apply these. The second element will look at how to make proposals and decisions for innovation.


    This programme has been created in response to a national shortage of business analysis expertise and expressions of interest from councils that are keen to upskill new or aspiring business analysts. The programme aligns learning with practical application through work-based projects.


    For more information on the business analysis programme, download the flyer or contact Helene Holden at Scotland Excel: helene.holden@scotland-excel.org.uk or 0141 618 7436.


    General information about the programme, and the Scotland Excel Academy, can be found at https://academy.scotland-excel.org.uk/course/view.php?id=12


    Why us?

    Scotland Excel is the Centre of Procurement Expertise for Scotland’s local government sector and is an established CMI Approved Centre and SQA Approved Centre delivering accredited courses through a work-based-learning methodology.


    The Scotland Excel Academy Moodle digital platform enhances the learners’ experience through interactive learning and easy access to knowledge.


    The Improvement Service’s purpose is to help councils and their partners to improve the health, quality of life and opportunities of all people in Scotland. We offer a range of support and we are committed to developing the skills and capacity across councils to meet the demands of service delivery.

  • Case Studies

    East Ayrshire Council - Advanced Customer Journey Mapping

    The business analysis team delivered a one-day workshop on advanced customer journey mapping to East Ayrshire Council's Transformation Team.

    Read the case study


    Shetland Islands Council - Customer Journey Mapping and Data Workshop

    The Business Analysis team were contacted by the HR team from Shetland Islands Council who were looking to upskill staff through training to help make best use of data in their day-to-day work and to help build evidence based business cases.

    Read the case study


    South Lanarkshire Council - Revenues and Benefits Review

    South Lanarkshire Council contacted the change team in May 2017 with a request for support related to an ongoing review of their Benefits & Revenues and Customer Contact Centre. The change team supported the end to end process by collating information from our network of councils, providing research into benchmarking and innovative practice, providing customer journey mapping training and a critical friend role. The support aided the development of a comprehensive options appraisal, led by South Lanarkshire Council that will inform their improvement work.

    Read the case study


    Stirling Council - Local Outcomes Improvement Plan (LOIP)

    All Community Planning Partnerships are required to produce a Local Outcomes Improvement Plan (LOIP) outlining how they will work with communities to improve outcomes for individuals, families and communities. The change team acted as a critical friend for Stirling Council during development of its LOIP and facilitated a workshop for partners on how it would be implemented.

    Read the case study


    Technology Enabled Care - Responder Service

    In October 2017 the Scottish Government Technology Enabled Care (TEC) team invited the IS change team to input to a national event of TEC colleagues. Following that, the Scottish Government enlisted the support of the Change team to plan an event which would look at building a national business case for the Telecare Responder Service.

    Read the case study

  • Useful Documents and Resources


    Change Manager’s Networking Event – June 2019

    On 10 June 2019 we held our third Change Manager’s Networking Event in Edinburgh. We had an interactive day with relevant speakers, breakout sessions to access expertise and practical tools to support transformation and plenty of opportunities to share stories and network.


    The event included key note speeches from:


    • Gerard McCormack, Interim Head of Change and Partnership Delivery at the Improvement Service
    • Dave Hunt, Programme Manager at Clackmannanshire Council
    • Jamie Shankly and Hannah Urquhart, Transformation Programme Officers at Dumfries and Galloway Council
    • Ruth Colston, Commercial Development Officer from East Lothian Council
    • Adam Hall and Lisa Kennedy, Business Analysts from the Improvement Service
    • Clare Sherry, Interim Programme Manager, Improvement Service


    A selection of the presentations from the event is available on the Change Manager’s Network on the Knowledge Hub. In addition, there is a short Microsoft sway document which summarises the event.


    We are keen to keep the conversations going, watch this space for our next event coming in the winter of 2019.



    Leading Transformation - The English Local Government Experience





    We hold regular webinars featuring guest speakers on a range of topics related to change management. See our most recent one below or visit our Youtube channel to see them all. If you'd like to host a webinar, get in touch.


    Social Bridging Finance, The Robertson Trust


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