A new digital strategy for Court Services Victoria was developed by PwC in just 10 weeks as the courts faced the challenges of operating during the pandemic.
The new strategy provides a roadmap for the digital transformation of the Victorian court system and will see digital functionality delivered across six courts and associated jurisdictions. The strategy aims to improve efficiencies for court workers, stakeholders, and the general public.
“We have an established relationship with CSV which we value,” said PwC’s Digital Transformation Partner, Tracey Kennair.
“We’ve also done work with VCAT [Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal] when the pandemic hit, helping them digitise their planning list and enabling them to keep those hearings running, building and planning permits as well as dispute resolutions happening through COVID. Because of that, we were in a really good position to help them more broadly. One of the key things here was to make we didn’t make it into something was too big and time-consuming or something not tangible.”
The process involved hundreds of stakeholders and over a dozen entities, which created its own challenges, such as ensuring effective communications. These challenges were magnified by lockdowns and work from home arrangements.
Those impediments were overcome through open dialogue with the client and by embracing digitalisation and use of online tools and resources, Kennair said.
“It was about engaging with people using the online tools to enable them to come together online,” she explained.
Undertaking such a project was critical to the future operations and efficiencies of Victorian court services, said Court Services Victoria’s COO Fiona Chamberlain.
“The reason we wanted the digital strategy was to address what was going on with the pandemic,” she said.
“The courts had been moving towards digitalisation for a number of years, but what became very important was that we were actually moving in the direction we wanted. We wanted to make sure we captured the voice of our courts and that our strategy reflected what the courts wanted to do.”
With work to develop the strategy completed, Kennair described the lessons she and her team can carry into future work.
“What's really important whenever you're doing a strategy is to explain upfront why you're doing it” she said.
“We had this ethos already about the importance of stakeholder engagement, because otherwise it becomes a document that's not living and breathing. (Our approach was) to engage stakeholders across all of the departments and bring them into the tent and make sure that they're all aligned to the broader objectives.”