Want to know the main issue choking collaboration in government? It’s the inability to share content simply and securely with permitted parties outside of government agency firewalls—organizations like healthcare services, property organizations, and other third parties.

Email couldn’t cut it

Content isn’t securely locked down, and document version control is a maze of uncertainty. SharePoint is principally designed as an Intranet system: to keep content inside the perimeter—not outside. And cloud content sharing platforms like Dropbox are also insufficiently secure to support inter-agency government collaboration.

In this Huddle case study, we explore how the Rochdale Development Agency (RDA) is using Huddle to collaborate with a huge number of internal and external stakeholders, including Rochdale Borough Council, Transport for Greater Manchester, developers, contractors, and the agency itself, overseeing the project.

A closer look at the Rochdale Development Agency

The RDA was established in 1993 when Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council decided to set up a not-for-profit company to lead the regeneration of the borough, including its business parks, town centers, and commercial property investment support. The projects managed by the agency require liaison with partners across the public, private, and third sectors on a daily basis.

It was recognized that at a time when public services are striving to deliver more with less resources, RDA needed to promote quick and effective communication and collaboration. Although RDA had a number of robust program and project management systems in place, the agency was looking for better ways of engaging with stakeholders.

How the RDA uses Huddle

As an existing user of Huddle, senior development officer Jonathan Hindle explains: “I had been using Huddle with a charity I work with to manage a large building project. It had been incredibly effective so I suggested to my colleagues that it could be a real asset in helping us manage the development projects we work on at Rochdale Development Agency.”

Huddle is now used across the agency for numerous projects. One of the most recent projects was a major redevelopment scheme in the town center, part of a £250 million investment over the next five years. It involves the relocation and demolition of the old bus station and municipal buildings; extension of the shopping area, development of high quality offices, and the introduction of Metrolink tram to the town center. There are a huge number of stakeholders, including Rochdale Borough Council, Transport for Greater Manchester, developers, contractors, and the agency overseeing the project.

The agency needed a way to help manage this complex process and communicate effectively with all the partners. Huddle is currently being used by everyone involved in the project, including personnel at the Rochdale Development Agency, Rochdale Council, Transport for Greater Manchester, and the design teams for the new Transport Interchange and the proposed shopping and leisure scheme.

Huddle has greatly improved the way the agency works both internally and externally. Project managers within the agency now have much greater visibility of every stage of a project. Huddle is used to host agendas and minutes for meetings so email traffic has significantly decreased. Processes are much leaner as all information is in one central resource, accessible to everyone. The content collaboration platform also provides a better way to monitor files and the ability to readily demonstrate a complete audit trail for amended documents.

“Huddle has greatly improved the way we work as an organization. It saves time and makes our delivery processes leaner and easier to operate. At a time when everyone is looking for greater business efficiency it has proved to be a valuable tool. We are still learning as an organization how to make full use of the Huddle system, but the benefits have already been clear to everyone using it.”

Get the full story in this Rochdale Development Agency case study.

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