1. In December 2019, the College of Business, Arts and Social Science (CBASS) at Brunel University London was requested by the Surrey Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) to conduct a review of their current transformation programme, to assure the plans to support SFRS's Making Surrey Safer transformation programme and changes in shift patterns.
2. We have reviewed the transition plans up to 1 April 2020, and some documents beyond this point. We have reviewed the model and data being used for the shift pattern changes. We can assure the transition plans up to 1 April 2020, the selection of plans we have seen that go beyond 1 April 2020, and the data being used to support the changes in shift working patterns of SFRS, subject to the recommendations and comments that follow in this report.
3. Overall it is clear that an enormous amount of work has gone into the Making Surrey Safer plan. It is based on methodical and sound data gathering which provides clear justification for the plan and demonstrates that the plan provides positive downstream impact on the Service's performance and for the safety of the citizens of Surrey. The planning process produced by the Service Leadership Team (SLT) has been robust and has followed a core process of "Lines of Development", ensuring a rounded plan which accounts for all workstreams.
4. Detailed recommendations on changes SFRS could make to develop and improve current plans follow below. Our comments below are aimed at further refinement of the plan--as noted above we believe the plan to be robust, logical, and valid. Indeed, it is clearly necessary. So what follows are more suggestions for further improvement of what exists already as a good plan.
5. This review makes the following recommendations which descend from our analysis and the Discussion and Annexes below:
- Overall, we are very satisfied that there is a robust data model that underpins the transformation plan. The plan as presented stands on firm ground. Going forward, however, the data models developed need to be better integrated, specifically, the prevention and response systems need to be interconnected. There should be a direct linkage between the data collected in each of the pathways. The Data team within the SLT is doubling in size, and we are confident that this can be rectified in good time. (paras 15-18)
- There is a need for an integrated set of transformation and implementation plans. These should include more detailed and formal expressions of: sequencing of task/location, resource allocations (over time), and control measures. (paras 19-20)
- SFRS is moving from being a reactive, responsive organisation to one that is proactive and preventative. SFRS needs to develop a set of pathways that are robust, resilient and repetitive. (paras 21-23)
- SFRS needs to carry out further work on its stakeholders and the effects of these stakeholders upon the allocation of resources. SFRS need to further their analysis into their stakeholders' expectations. (paras 24-29)
- SFRS needs to produce a more assertive communications plan that acknowledges the full range of current and future stakeholders, and determines what effects that SFRS wishes to have on those audiences. (paras 30-33).
6. This report has been written to support SFRS' planned implementation d-day of 01 April 2020.
7. Fire and Rescue Services across the country are undergoing fundamental transformations, driven by the changing nature of our society and a shift in the threats and risks our populations are subject to. As noted in this report, Britons in general, and the people of Surrey, in this specific instance, are far less likely (30-40% less likely) to P. 3 be the victims of accidental fire in their homes and workplaces than they were even a decade ago. Yet SFRS, like some other FRSs, have been delivering their service in much the same way they always have, despite the changes in the risk profiles to the society around them. The Making Surrey Safer plan is the response of SFRS to these changes, and to pressures from the Government to significantly change their approach to their duties.
8. In December 2019, Brunel University London's College of Business, Arts and Social Science was approached to conduct an assurance of SFRS' transformation programme. The scope of work was defined along two strands. One, the assurance of the transformation process required us to review the documents related to the implementation of the transformation programme, assess the content of the documents and to make an assessment to assure the programme. The second strand was a review of the assumptions and data underpinning the model for the change in shift patterns.
9. Methodology for producing this report was largely qualitative. In addition to requesting and reviewing all relevant documentation for the programme, the team from Brunel conducted interviews with the Service Leadership Team on three occasions, and interviewed the Data Analysis team on another occasion. The SFRS team were forthcoming with all requests for information, usually by return of email. On no occasion was information refused.
10. The team involved in the production of this report include:
- Professor Ashley Braganza, Brunel Business School, is Professor of Organisational Transformation Change at Brunel Business School. His research interests encompass big data, change management, strategy implementation, process and knowledge management and transformation enabled information systems. He is the Founder and Chair of the British Academy of Management Special Interest Group in Transformation, Change and Development. He is also Deputy Dean of the College.
- Dr. Kristian Gustafson, Social and Political Sciences, is Senior Lecturer in Intelligence and Security Studies. His research and teaching focuses on Structured Analytical Methods in intelligence analysis. Until last year he was also an instructor at the UK Defence Academy, Shrivenham, where he instructed on the Intermediate Command and Staff Course, teaching the estimate procedure and operational staff planning.
- Dr Martin Ejnar Hansen, Social and Political Sciences, is a political scientist specialising in comparative political institutions using quantitative methods. His recent research has focused on committee assignments in parliaments and on roll call voting in constitutional assemblies. On this project, he examined the data collection and organisation that underlies the transformation
11. Our analysis has followed our disciplinary lines. Research has focused on underlying data, as well as taking two different analytical approaches to assess SFRS's plans: first, an assessment based on business transformation principles. Next, an assessment of the plan by comparing against known systems for generating staff plans. These served as the analysis from which our key judgements and their discussion have been drawn.
12. This report is structured as follows. Immediately after this Executive Summary, the next section discusses the Transformation Programme (paras 15-33). The discussion section is supported by Annex A Business Analytical Model (paras A1-17) and Annex B Staff Planning Model (paras B1-28).
13. This paper has been written as a public document. Its contents are free to use by SFRS according to their desired purpose.
Professor Ashley Braganza Gustafson, Brunel Business School
Dr Kristian, Social and Political Sciences
1. This report examined SFRS's proposals through two different lenses, to determine what (if any) gaps the plans presented. These are (a) a business transformation model, and (b) a staff-planning model. The analysis surrounding those models is presented in Annexes A and B, respectively, at the end of this report. What is provided here are the fuller explanations of the recommendations identified above.
Underlying Data Analysis
2. The Brunel team were presented with a clear plan to transform how SFRS does its business. The whole Making Surrey Safer plan has as its lynchpin data, which explains its rationale. The changes proposed by Surrey Fire and Rescue are based on a response time model including data from the past five years of activities and road traffic data to ensure that the proposed positioning of appliances will allow Surrey Fire and Rescue to continue to meet its targets for response times. The data available allows for testing the model in detail, which has been done by an external company who have used the data for the past five years to test the resilience of the proposed changes. Based on the data for the past five years, the changes will allow Surrey Fire and Rescue to meet its target while also changing part of its work to more preventive action.
3. The preventive element is already a part of Surrey Fire and Rescue's portfolio of tasks, and it is envisaged that this work will increase with the changes to the availability of staff and positioning of appliances. The data for preventive care is currently hosted in the CRM database and allows Surrey Fire and Rescue to draw on a very strong and detailed dataset with regards to their preventive activities. The challenge for the organisation is that there is currently no connection between the emergency response database (BOSS) and the CRM database. This could be a problem for future use, as it is very likely that data from emergency responses are needed for targeting where to focus the preventive activities and vice versa. There is very strong evidence that Surrey Fire and Rescue are basing its decisions on sound data that are analysed well. However, it is also the case that the richness of the available data is currently not being used to the full potential due to lack of staffing in the analytics group.
4. The proposed transformation will not change the necessity for Surrey Fire and Rescue to deliver statistics to various public bodies. The increased focus on preventive activities will necessitate measuring such activities, for instance through the CRM database and where possible cross-validating to data derived from the BOSS database. Given the current staffing of the analytics group, there is a natural ceiling in what can be analysed in terms of time. We understand, however, that the Data team within the SLT P. A/2 is presently to double in size, and note that the Data & Digital workstream is well-resourced for future equipment and software requirements.
5. Overall, there are no significant risks found with regards to the quality of the data used to support the proposed changes. The model used to test the changes appear to be appropriate, and the model has been externally validated. There is already strong data collection in place for preventive activities and it is clearly articulated that this collection is to continue. The one place where a risk is identified is with regards to the ability to expand the analysis of data; this does not currently look to be the case with the
existing staffing levels.
Recommendation (a): Overall we are very satisfied that there is a robust data model that underpins the transformation plan. The plan as presented stands on very firm ground. Going forward, however, the data models developed need to be better integrated, specifically, the prevention and response systems need to be interconnected. There should be a direct linkage between the data collected in each of the pathways. The Data team in the SLT is doubling in size, and we are confident that this can be rectified in good time. Annex C discusses KPIs and requirements for future data collection.
Transformational Plan Detail
6. We judge that the actions expressed in the planning documentation we reviewed provide meaningful detail only up to 1 April 2020; this seems to indicate SFRS' view that this is the end point of the plan, rather than (as we judge) the beginning of the actual transformation programme. We feel there is a lack of detail on the execution of key transformational activities beyond the Go-live date, such as changes in training, the actual timings of the shifts in appliances and manpower, etc, which we'd hope to see. We comment on this in detail in both annexes. A more formal use of a Staff Estimate Format (below the "7 Questions" is used, but other estimate systems are available) would assist in ensuring that key aspects of planning are laid out clearly for leadership, workers and oversight bodies (such as SCC and HMICFRS) to track progress, expectations, and future moves.
7. It is clear that SFRS is developing the further detail we feel is required. A follow on document [footnote 1] shows a reasonably well-developed set of charts outlining the tasks, against specific human resources, their training, and, of course, time. This goes out to April 2022. We see details of the end-state on personnel and training, and the delta between the current and future steady-state. This document indicates a very positive direction of travel in comparison to our observations in the annexes below. The Transformation Plans and the Outcomes to be achieved need to be better aligned. Many of the planning documents were developed to take the actions up to 1 April 2020, the go-live date, yet the outcomes will be achieved beyond this date.
Recommendation (b): There is a need for an integrated set of transformation and implementation plans. These should include more detailed and formal expressions of: sequencing of task/location, resource allocations (over time), and control measures.
[Footnote 1] SFRS, "Model of Staff vs Outputs", 06 Mar 2020.
8. SFRS's vision is to make Surrey a safer place to live, work, travel and do business. This requires the organisation to develop a mindset and supporting behaviours that are focused on prevention rather than responding to incidents that occur [footnote 2]. SFRS is a distributed organisation, in other words, it operates from 25 locations. While each location follows detailed procedures and protocols [footnote 3] when responding to emergency incidents, the extent to which there are established pathways, particularly for non emergency activities, appears to be lacking. For instance, Public Education pathway, Business Safety Awareness Education pathway or Cost Recovery pathway. These pathways should be operated in the same way across all fire stations and staff. SFRS have done some work towards identifying pathways and more work needs to be done to ensure these are fully understood by Service Leaders and all staff.
9. SFRS have created clear and streamlined governance structures at senior levels [footnote 4]. These set out responsibilities and accountabilities as well as committee structures. The organisation's pathways cut across the departments and vertical hierarchies set out in the governance structures. It is essential that SFRS understand the interdependencies between staff that operate in different parts of the pathways - not only in one location but also across locations. Breakdowns in the delivery of SFRS's external and internal targets are likely to occur when people and work performed in pathways becomes disjointed.
10. The benefits of having clearly defined pathways are operational efficiencies, flexibility, as staff from one location can be fully functional in another location, and quality outcomes are assured, as staff can share good practices and process improvements across the organisation.
Recommendation (c): SFRS is moving from being a reactive, responsive organisation to one that is proactive and preventative. SFRS needs to develop a set of pathways that are robust, resilient, and repetitive.
[Footnote 2] Community Resilience Strategy_V4_DQ Comments (002)_sk comments.docx
[Footnote 3] See, for example, Post Incident SOP Final.docx
[Footnote 4] FRS Structure and Governance_DQ_Final_v3.ppt
11. The Making Surrey Safer Plan has a number of external and internal stakeholders whose interests and expectations need to be accounted for. It is highly commendable that SFRS have identified several external stakeholders at a granular level, such as the characteristics of citizens who are most vulnerable and at greatest risk of fire. This is a clear (and well supported by data, as we note above) background to the increased preventative measures in the Making Surrey Safer plan. In addition, external stakeholders include a wide range of people associated with specific incidents such as drivers, householders in flood risk areas, people living in certain types of buildings (high-rise, heritage etc) and students in schools, colleges and universities. We elaborate on these groups in Annex A, below.
12. Representative bodies are stakeholders for SFRS. Potential staff to be recruited to the Service are an important stakeholder as well (see our comments on diversity). Other emergency services and partner agencies are important to ensuring SFRS achieves its strategic commitments. Existing staff are, in general, the key internal stakeholder. These include colleagues at every level and across all departments in SFRS.
13. All stakeholders have expectations of SFRS - things they want, need, require or anticipate SFRS will provide: we go into some detail on these in Annex A. However, we can say here that it is apparent from the documentation provided that SFRS has identified expectations of some but not all stakeholders at a level of detail which may be necessary [footnote 5].
14. From the documentation provided, it would appear that several critical stakeholders' expectations have yet to be fully considered, or that the understanding of their interests has not been formally expressed in planning. In various ways, stakeholder groups where understanding of interests does not seem to be recorded include vulnerable citizens and businesses. A review of expectations need not be too time consuming because SFRS has engaged closely with many of these stakeholders. Indeed, HMICFRS recognises that SFRS has a well-established engagement process with the Fire Brigades Union and other representative bodies [footnote 6]. A more granular understanding of the FBU's interests might be developed using tools such as Force Field and Stakeholder Analysis. A more developed understanding of the various forces encouraging and resisting change from traditional ways of doing business will inform how SFRS SLT communicates and implements its strategies internally.
15. One of the criticisms in the Inspectorate report is that SFRS is not a diverse workforce and needs to take steps to become so [footnote 7]. There is clear research showing the diversity in Surrey's various boroughs and regions, and the ambition to increase diversity is clearly there and evidenced amongst the SLT. For all uniformed services finding and recruiting new personnel from ethnic minority backgrounds is not straightforward: cultural or attitudinal barriers dissuade many from even considering careers "in uniform." [footnote 8]. Some populations may generally be hostile to uniformed services; others may not view it as a sufficiently aspirational career to follow. All will require targeted efforts to recruit. It is not a case of "if you build it, they will come." SFRS needs to view 16 year-old school children from ethnic backgrounds as stakeholders. We provide this as a prime example of a stakeholder cohort SFRS needs to prioritise.
16. We commend SFRS' interest and candour in wanting to increase workforce diversity. Efforts to do so will need to be persistent and subtle. Such a plan would have specific outputs that feed into the Service's communications and outreach plans. It is positive to note that equality, diversity and inclusion is part of the Performance Management Framework [footnote 9]. We are thus encouraged to see that the long-term workforce strategy includes efforts to increase the diversity of the Service. We acknowledge that this may have to be a longer-term project, and quick fixes are unlikely to pay off. It will likely involve specific approaches to communities and community leaders, and very specific communications and outreach plans to bring them in.
Recommendation (d): SFRS needs to carry out further work on its stakeholders to understand the effects of these stakeholders upon the allocation of resources. SFRS should expand their analysis into their stakeholders' expectations.
[Footnote 6] Source: HMICFRS revisit letter dated 05 November 2019
[Footnote 7] HMICFRS State of Fire and Rescue 2019, Annual Assessment of Fire and Rescue Services 2019, p. p. 16, p. 72, p. 125-126.
[Footnote 8] Mohammed Ishaq, Asifa Hussain, "Race and Recruitment from a Uniformed Services' Perspective: The Scottish Dimension", Policy Studies, Vol. 22, No. 3, 2001, pp:217-232.
[Footnote 9] SFRS, Performance Management Framework 19-20 v.F., Sept 2019
17. Following on, in part from the paragraphs above on stakeholders, are some observations on SFRS' Communications and Outreach plans. While there is reasonable identification of stakeholders (as above) and of key messages, we believe the plan to be too reactive in mindset. A good example of not thinking more broadly about communications is seen in the top talking point of the Surrey Fire and Rescue Service Communications and Engagement Strategy, for the period 1 October 2019 to 1 April 2020. This is that "We are making Surrey safer. To do this our plan will ensure we have firefighters and fire engines where they are needed most." This pre-emptively responds to criticism, which allows whoever is making that criticism to "own the narrative." Communications need to be more forward leaning, to set the narrative as SFRS wants it to be. The key talking points need to be a more succinct expression of the idea of "SFRS is improving the way it does business. This is how a modern fire & rescue service works in and with its community to keep us all safe. We don't wait for fires to happen: we work to keep them from starting!"
18. The Making Surrey Safer plan works as a public document for communicating the logic of the plan in formal but clear language, and to that extent it succeeds in communicating a sensible and necessary plan. While we have a few points on the Making Surrey Safer document below, in this dimension it succeeds. Beyond this, however, strategies for the public communication of the plan need to be developed further.
19. The Equality Impact Assessment (Annex 6) provides a long list of engagement and contacts to be made. We suggest that stronger linkages are needed between Communications Plan and Engagement Strategy. Underrepresented groups need to be identified as key audiences, and communications to them developed with a long-term view of encouraging their enrolment as permanent or on-call firefighters who view SFRS as an employer of choice and the fire service, in general, a sought-after, aspirational career.
20. The Communications Plan identifies stakeholders (partially) and generically discusses the "outcome". This is insufficient. There needs to be a recognition that communications are different to each stakeholder cohort because SFRS needs to have different effects on each cohort. SFRS need to determine what they want each of these audiences to do or think differently because of receiving key messages. The view needs to move from being reactive to criticism to one of more actively developing a narrative that influences key stakeholders and audiences, internally and externally.
Recommendation (f): SFRS needs to produce a more assertive communications plan that acknowledges the full range of current and future stakeholders, and determines what effects that SFRS wishes to have on those audiences.
Annex A: Business Analytical Model
A1. This section lays out the first of two analytical frameworks used by Brunel University London to make sense of the Transformation Plans.
Model1: SFRS Transformation Programme
A2. We analysed the Transformation Programme using a set of frameworks developed over several years of research by Prof Ashley Braganza. These frameworks have been applied in several consultancy assignments in large, complex public and private sector organisations. Aspects of the framework have been published in journal articles, a selection of which are referenced below [footnotes 10, 11, 12]
A3. The frameworks are premised on the following underlying tenets: One, transformation programmes are better understood and implemented when taking an 'outside-in' approach. Two, external and internal stakeholders' expectations are an essential core design construct for transformation programmes. Three, changes affect people in terms of the organisation's pathways and activities that people and systems carry out.
A4. SFRS's transformation programme has a few purposes. These are encapsulated in three strategic commitments [footnote 13]:
- To spend more time on business and community safety to help prevent emergencies occurring in the first place.
- To maintain the number of fire stations in Surrey and change how some of them are crewed.
- To recover costs from some incident attendances.
A5. These public commitments have embedded within them several external and internal stakeholders. It is highly commendable that SFRS have identified several external stakeholders at a granular level, such as the characteristics of citizens who are most vulnerable and at greatest risk of fire. In addition, external stakeholders include a wide range of people associated with specific incidents such as drivers, householders in flood risk areas, people living in certain types of buildings (high-rise, heritage etc) and students in schools, colleges and universities. Another cohort of external stakeholders are Surrey-based businesses located in industrial and commercial buildings, with facilities including manufacturing plants, fuel farms, laboratories, and research sites. The various representative bodies are stakeholders for the Service. Potential staff to be recruited to the Service are an important stakeholder as well. Other emergency services and partner agencies are important to ensuring SFRS achieve the above commitments.
A6. The significant internal stakeholder is staff. These include colleagues at every level and across all departments in SFRS.
A7. All stakeholders have expectations of SFRS - things they want, need, require or anticipate SFRS will provide. Stakeholders' expectations have certain properties that can impede the implementation of transformation programmes.
- Stakeholders expectations contain conflicts - on the one hand, people expect to stay safe; on the other, they put themselves in harm's way through lifestyle choices.
- Conflicts exist between the expectations of different stakeholders, for instance, children may want to visit a fire station and teachers may not want to change their teaching timetable to accommodate such visits.
- Organisations have limited resources and therefore have to select which stakeholders' expectations will or won't be met. SFRS does not have the resources to meet all the expectations of all stakeholders all the time to a high level of quality. SFRS will have to make choices about which expectations it will meet and which ones it either cannot meet or partially fulfil.
- Organisations often have to create expectations SFRS may well have to create expectations because it's an expectation that SFRS has not previously delivered to that stakeholder. For instance, the public expects SFRS to respond to emergencies, they may not expect SFRS to prevent emergencies from occurring in the first place. SFRS will have to create this expectation.
- Expectations absorb resources. When meeting one expectation, another expectation may need to be foregone or delivered in a reduced way. This affects the measures that need to be put in place.
A8. It is apparent from the documentation provided that SFRS has identified expectations of some stakeholders. Some instances include: the procurement of 42 mobile phones and 40 additional laptops for new joiners, allocating mentors / coaches, training and providing development in-role may be deemed staff expectations [footnote 14].
A9. From the documentation provided, it would appear that several of the other critical stakeholders' expectations need further consideration to the depth which might be necessary. These include vulnerable citizens, businesses, SCC and staff. A review
of expectations need not be too time consuming because SFRS has engaged closely with many of these stakeholders. Indeed, HMICFRS recognises that SFRS has a well established engagement process with the Fire Brigades Union and other representative
A10. At a meeting on 29 November 2019, the Fire and Rescue Services Association's CEO drew attention to the difference between change projects and processes, what we refer to as pathways in this report [footnote 16]. This difference is significant because pathways are the locus of the activities and work that people perform. The transformation project, on the other hand, is a complex configuration of actions that will bring about changes to SFRS's activities and pathways.
A11. SFRS's transformation programme needs to focus upon the changes being implemented to the processes. A search was carried out on the term 'process' through the various documents provided to piece together SFRS's strategic and operational processes. Some processes are required by law - such as Health and Safety and other compliance-type processes. Business processes should be designed to address stakeholders' expectations.
A12. Some of the business processes mentioned in the documents provided include:
Table 1: Types of processes identified in the documents provided (Source: the authors)
|Promotion process||Existing staff|
|Engagement process||Trade Unions, |
Fire Officers Association,
Fire Brigades Union
|Succession planning process||Existing staff|
|New SFRS appraisal |
|Selection process||Existing staff|
|Risk management process||Service leadership|
A13. It is understandable and sensible, as the above table suggests, that there are several processes related to existing staff transitioning and staff being recruited to the new structure. These processes are important because they encompass different
aspects of managing people through the period of transformation.
A14. However, pathways that relate to the delivery of SFRS's strategic commitments listed above are barely considered. For instance, Public Education pathway, Business Safety Awareness Education pathway or Cost Recovery pathway. The documentation provided suggests that the organisation considered the importance of the internal perspective identified as Providing Customer Focused Services, Manage the Business, Improve Partnerships and Collaborations and Establish a Reputation of Quality, yet
these need to be recognised and managed as pathways, which is a potential lost opportunity for transforming the mindset and behaviours of the organisation [footnote 17].
A15. These exemplar pathways will contain the activities that SFRS people will be required to carry out on a day-to-day basis as soon as the new structure and shift patterns are in place. These pathways need to be designed to include roles, responsibilities, targets (individual, team and station level), measures, quality standards, interdependencies and information flows. The plans, Gantt charts, project structures are clear and set out at a very detailed level. Each plan is coherent in its own right. Yet, it is unclear as to which pathways are the intended target of the specific actions being undertaken.
A16. The Transformation Programme consists of seven high level activities: Cost Recovery, Operating Model - Response, Implementation Plan, Workforce Planning, Staff Engagement, Public Interface and Inspection Improvement Plan [footnote 18]. These activities are enabled by seven Implementation Workstreams: Strategic Governance, Training and Workforce Plan, Technology, Equipment, Property - Workplace, On-Boarding new staff and Selection and Recruitment. A leader has been appointed to each workstream and SFRS has created a comprehensive team structure and established sound team working principles to enable people in all workstreams to collaborate to achieve the shared objective.
A17. The Implementation Plan sets out activities for Community Safety Interventions and Business Safety interventions. These activities are timed to commence after April 2020. Some of the activities include Recruitment Education Team Manager and
Administrators, Recruitment of Education Officers and Engage with partners.
A18. The Transition Plan spreadsheet sets out actions to be undertaken up to the Go live date 01 April 2020. The Implementation Plan Spreadsheet contains four tabs: Response, Community Resilience, DF Input and Workstreams [footnote 19]. Each tab contains a number of actions which appear to be consistent within the Tab yet the interplay between the actions across the Tabs is unclear. Moreover, the actions do not appear to be in the form of a plan with timescales, responsibilities and milestones.
[Footnote 10] Ashley Braganza, Laurence Brooks, Daniel Nepelski, Maged Ali, Russ Moro (2017) Resource management in big data initiatives: Processes and dynamic capabilities, Journal of Business Research, Volume 70, Pages 328-337
[Footnote 11] Ashley Braganza, Heather Stebbings & Theodora Ngosi (2013) The case of customer recruitment processes: Dynamic evolution of customer relationship management resource networks, Journal of Marketing Management, 29:3-4, 439-466, DOI: 10.1080/0267257X.2012.737818
[Footnote 12] Heather Stebbings & Ashley Braganza (2009) Exploring Continuous Organizational Transformation: Morphing through Network Interdependence, Journal of Change Management, 9:1, 27-48, DOI: 10.1080/14697010902727161
[Footnote 13] Source: Making Surrey Safer - Our plan for 2020 - 2023.
[Footnote 14] Source: 20200122 Copy of Implementation Workshop Draft Findings sheet V5.xlsx
[Footnote 15] Source: HMICFRS revisit letter dated 05 November 2019
[Footnote 16] Source: FRSA - Critical Friend Review of On-Call Management Meeting on 29 November 2019
[Footnote 17] Source: One Page Strategy: Making Surrey Safer Plan 2020-2023_Draft_Golden Thread_v1.docx
[Footnote 18] Source: Transformation Programme Operating Model Implementation Kick-Off Presentation
[Footnote 19] Source: Implementation Workshop Draft Findings sheet V5.xlsx
Annex B: Staff Planning Model
B1. This section lays out the second of two analytical frameworks used by Brunel University London to make sense of the transformation plan. It makes use of Dr. Gustafson's experience as former Directing Staff at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, where he was Directing Staff on the Intermediate Command and Staff Course, as well as his academic expertise in intelligence assessment.
Model 2: A Staff Planning Assessment
B2. This section of the report applies a staff planning tool as a benchmark to provide assurance that all key aspects of thorough staff planning have been undertaken. While this doesn't guarantee that any given plan will succeed, tools like the "7 Questions" assure us that all major points of development in a plan have been considered. Here, rather than developing the plan, we use the estimate procedure as a tool to measure the soundness of the SFRS transformation programme [footnote 20].
B3. We note in the first instance that the transformation programme follows clearly the "Lines of Development" model frequently shortened to "TEPIDOIL"--Training, Equipment, Personnel, Infrastructure, Doctrine, Organisation, Information, Logistics [footnote 21]. This is a very useful checklist to ensure that any change in an organisation accounts for the headline tasks in each plan. Not evaluated in this section, it is however clear that all of the lines of development have been addressed in this plan: this planning framework has been consistently applied across SFRS staff work.
B4. This section proposes to assess the plan using a Staff Estimate tool, the "7 Questions". As its name suggests, the 7 Questions, developed by the UK military, poses an iterative set of questions, which start from developing a basic understanding of the situation and one's requirements, and become progressively more detailed. It is a logical process by which a commander, faced with complex problems may arrive at decisions as to how those problems can be solved and the steps required to achieve desired outcomes. This tool exists to allow leaders and their staff to develop a sound plan from first principles, both accounting for and minimising uncertainty. Each of the 7 Questions represent the fundamental issues that need to be addressed in order to produce a plan. If each question is addressed fully, planning is likely to be more thorough. Accordingly, it is a useful framework to assess any plan--which, in essence, the planned transformation is. In summary, the 7 Questions are:
- Q1: What is the Situation and how does it affect me?
- Q2: What have I been asked to do and why?
- Q3: What effects do I wish to have on the situation/ what direction must I give to accomplish those effects?
- Q4: Where can I best accomplish each action/effect?
- Q5: What resources do I need to accomplish each effect?
- Q6: Where and when do these actions take place in relation to each other?
- Q7: What control measures must I impose? [footnote 22]
B5. It is generally viewed that the 7 Questions has two distinct phases: Q1-3 are "Understanding & Direction" & Q4-7 are "Develop the plan". In general, then, looking at the findings below, it is clear that the Making Surrey Safer Plan needs to develop further detail in response to the second half of the estimate.
B6. While the 7 Questions estimate tool comes from the military environment by no means a perfect analog to the duties of a fire & rescue service--it has been noted in a number of environments well outside of the military as an excellent tool for developing plans in fields such as NHS surgery planning [footnote 23].
Q1: What is the Situation and how does it affect me?
B7. The current situation has been made clear to SFRS via several Inspectorate reports and internal reviews. As has been made clear to SFRS by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) "our response to incidents is inefficient (Annex 2). We also do not undertake enough prevention and protection activity to reduce the likelihood of emergencies." [footnote 24].
B8. A second aspect is how well SFRS understands its own operating environment. This enters the field of data collection and data analysis. From what we have seen SFRS has collected ample data on key aspects of its role: the time/location spread of emergency call-outs, response times to emergencies, likely victims of household emergencies, and a sophisticated model of the various categories of vulnerable person, published in Feb 2019, the Community Risk Profile [footnote 25]. The profile was developed using information about different types of incidents and risks to which the service responds. This assessment has provided the service with deeper levels of understanding of risks using the previous 5 years of incident data. These risks relate to incidents such as fires,
road traffic collisions, water-related incidents and wildfires [footnote 26]. It is noted in Making Surrey Safer that "over the past decade we have seen a significant decrease - almost half - in the number of fires attended across the UK. This suggests that, as a society, we are becoming safer than ever from the risks and consequences of fire." This statement is a lynchpin judgement to the rest of the work that follows.
B9. SFRS, we can conclude, has a robust understanding of the situation, the built environment, the population they serve and governance above them. They have (as we note in the main report above) broad and constantly refreshed situational awareness of the risk to the public, their response times, and a clear identification of vulnerable persons.
B10. We do however note some structural informational weaknesses. There is currently no connection between the emergency response database (BOSS) and the CRM database on which prevention is based, so it may be difficult to fully understand the effect of prevention downstream. There is a key assumption (shared nationally) that prevention work will result in fewer emergency-related injuries or deaths, but if the two data sets cannot be compared that may be hard to substantiate in the future. It is probably a correct assumption, but what specifically are the most effective preventive actions or approaches will be difficult to determine.
Q2: What have I been asked to do and why?
B11. Answering this question involves drawing out the appropriate guidance from the various governance frameworks above them. SFRS carry out statutory activities with a clear and unmistakable public duty. The direction given to SFRS in their execution of
those statutory duties is clearly provided in the HMICFRS reports and direction from the Surrey CC Cabinet reports. SFRS is required to undertake three activities:
- Community Safety
- Business Safety
B12. The recommendations from HMICFRS inspection are clear:
An effective fire and rescue service will identify and assess the full range of foreseeable fire and rescue risks its community faces. It will target its fire prevention and protection activities to those who are at greatest risk from fire. It will make sure businesses comply with fire safety legislation. When the public calls for help, the fire and rescue service should respond promptly with the right skills and equipment to deal with the incident effectively. Surrey Fire and Rescue Service's overall effectiveness requires improvement [footnote 27].
B13. The Making Surrey Safer Plan responds directly to this report:
Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) inspection last year highlighted that Surrey Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) is not doing enough to protect people or prevent emergencies from happening, so we will be doing more of this in the future. We also need to ensure that we are providing an efficient, effective, accountable and transparent service that is reflective of the diverse community we serve [footnote 28].
B14. Furthermore, MSS notes that the "Fire and Rescue National Framework for England requires Fire and Rescue Authorities to produce an Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP). Our plan is called "Making Surrey Safer - Our plan for 2020-2023." [footnote 29]. It is therefore clear that SFRS understands what they have been directed to do, and why it was directed. The plan throughout demonstrates clear understanding of their direction and "selection and maintenance of the aim."
Q3: What effects do I wish to have on the situation/ what direction must I give?
B15. Normally, this question demands that effects are expressed as "effects verbs", usually with clearly delineated meanings: "assure", "prevent", etc. Expressing a plan as verbs is important as it provides unambiguous guidance towards action: we should not "work towards" or "examine doing X" because they are hard to measure and quantify, and can be easily redirected away from the underlying original intent. In short, it avoids "weasel words".
B16. In general, the plan is expressed in appropriate terms. Key to the SFRS transition plan are a series of verbs expressed in Making Surrey Safer and the "One Page Strategy". In this we see a series of clearly expressed mission verbs:
- PREVENT emergencies
- PROVIDE accessible services
- SUPPORT businesses for regulatory and safety outcomes
- DECREASE demand for response services
- REALIGN resources based on community needs
- SUSTAIN revenue and INCREASE capital investment
- MANAGE resources appropriately [footnote 30]
B17. These verbs are slightly harder to locate in the more public-facing "Making Surrey Safer" plan, but inspection does indeed show that they are there, mapped across from the verbs noted above. It may assist in public communication and in communicating the plan to stakeholders that these verbs are used and underlined, as they are better at suggesting action and direction than more passively expressed aspects of planning.
Q4: Where can I best accomplish each action/effect?
B18. The location of change within SFRS' footprint is integral to the plan: indeed, it is the key output. Referring back to Q1, it is clear that the location of firefighting appliances, and the location of permanent and on-call crews, are central outputs of the plans and this is expressed unambiguously: "We are changing the way we work in the Banstead, Camberley, Egham, Fordbridge, Guildford, Haslemere, Painshill, Walton, Woking, Dunsfold and Gomshall areas." [footnote 31]. There is significant modelling to demonstrate the ability to respond to emergencies in a timely manner from all staffed locations, day & night.
B19. Thinking thematically rather than geographically: Most of the detail in the plan focuses on the realignment of these appliances--the firefighting and response aspects of the business. The other functions of the plan: prevention home visits, business visits, and all the training & recruitment necessary for these functions to occur need to be further developed in the plan. MSS focuses heavily on the specific aspect of the business that SFRS wants to reduce, and further development is required to the parts they want to increase.
B20. The communications plan issued in Sept 2019, a relatively detailed document, identified correctly "where'' various audiences and constituencies exist which require information on the transformation [footnote 32] There is however one gap we note: despite previous failure in recruiting sufficiently diverse new recruits, we didn't see current plans to identify and communicate to or influence these audiences to join SFRS. Where hiring is for on-call firefighters, this may prove to be slightly unbalanced geographically, as certain ethnic populations may be clustered in parts of the County which are not near stations. For general recruiting, however, these populations will have to be approached with bespoke plans.
Q5: What resources do I need to accomplish each effect?
B21. The transformation programme contains sufficient detail on required equipment and personnel throughout. Within the documents we see clear delineation of where fire appliances are to be rebased and an overall figure on funding: SCC has approved providing approximately £925k additional funding over 2 years to support the improvement plan [footnote 33]. Other documentation shows the necessary acquisition of IT, and others still staffing, for instance the acquisition of phones and laptops for new joiners [footnote 34].
We have seen example documentation, such as the Station Plan for the Painshill Fire Station which describe the plan on resourcing and change within this particular station, demonstrating granularity to the level at which services are actually delivered to the public. On this count, allotment of resources to task is clear and well planned though, as noted in Q6 below, this needs further elaboration over the post-1 April 2020 timeframe where the plan should be put into execution.
B22. Discussion with the SLT indicates this work is being done. Planning to date has been comprehensive and clear, so we are less concerned about its current underdevelopment. We will review the updated planning as it is provided.
B23. There is clear application in the plan to achieve a more diverse workforce a clear resource to properly serve the community. The workforce plan sets out a longer term ambition and strategy to increase diversity. Part of this is explained in the communications & outreach plan, but only weakly, and we feel more could be done to identify and reach out to the communities served by SFRS but underrepresented in it, and to convince members of this community to view SFRS differently and to join it. Diversity could be more clearly articulated in the Communications strategy specifically. While the staffing strategy is long term, it should reach down into ongoing, current communications plans.
Q6: Where and when do these actions take place in relation to each other?
B24. This question lies at the centre of the transformation programme, and much attention has been paid to this. However, what we have found is that the sequencing of change is only properly articulated up to 1 April 2020. It appears that the SLT has spent most of their time focusing on the set-up to the transformation, rather than a tighter sequencing of the actual implementation. We feel this is a critical gap in planning. There needs to be expressed in clear terms--and this is perhaps even a single document including a Gantt chart of timeline--where and when the actions of the transformation plan happen in relation to one another.
B25. Such a document would express clearly when aspects of training for Safe & Well Visits officers occur, when recruitment of on-call staff begins and ought to be complete, when new stations are phased in to the new way of working, and ultimately when the new way of working reaches Full Operating Capability (FOC...we presume the plan begins at Initial Operating Capability, as there is no planned break in emergency services).
B26. As we note above, discussion with the SLT indicates this work is being done. Planning to date has been comprehensive and clear, so we are less concerned about its current underdevelopment. We will review the updated planning as it is provided.
B27. Dealing with the plan up to 1 April, we see planning towards an increase in Community Safety Interventions and Business Safety visits [footnote 35]. The paperwork presented to us provides ample evidence of thought to sequencing [footnote 36]. Simply, this level of detail needs to be pushed forward into the ongoing execution phase of the transformation to its completion.
Q7: What control measures must I impose?
B28. In military terms, this question accounts for methods of keeping units (who might be manoeuvring in the same physical space) deconflicted, and under appropriate command to both reduce risk and to ensure the completion of the plan. Here, while we don't have physical manoeuvre to contend with (physical control & dispatch of appliances and crews is clearly already day-to-day business over which SFRS has mastery), we do have multiple pathways or threads of change (personnel changes, work pattern changes, new training, etc) in multiple locations, which will necessarily interact, so sequencing is key (as at Q6) and we thus need to see how SFRS will monitor and pace its change to ensure the intent of the plan is met. There are several documents which evidence SFRS' implementation of control measures on the transformation plan, and principally this is the risk management plan and planning system. The "Risk Management Framework'' articulates a clear system for risk management, reporting and escalation.
B29. As HMICFRS noted, there are "robust governance arrangements in place to monitor progress" of the transformation programme. We have seen significant detail on existing governance structures, especially as they link to the transformation programme [footnote 37]. We can note also the detail given to performance management in the documentation provided [footnote 38]. It is clear that the SFRS SLT are in a good position to manage the transformation both in planning and in dynamic control of unforeseen situations. Monitoring of the transformation, and of response time, are managed through existing systems. There is mention of the employment of horizon scanning, a necessary step to re-initiate the staff-planning process when scanning identifies a change to the situation and how it affects the service (Q1 above, and the re-initiation of what is a constant staff process which follows the cycle of estimate→ act→ evaluate→ estimate)
B30. A minor point we have noted is the lack of a proper file-naming convention for digital documents within SFRS. We often lacked clear dates on documents, and similar names on dissimilar files. Proper management in the long run will require robust Information Management, and this includes a proper taxonomy for documentation.
[Footnote 20] UK MoD, "Planning and Execution Handbook (PEHB)", June 2020.
[Footnote 21] UK Army HQ, "Defence Lines of Development (DLOD) Management Framework", 2 Dec 2014.
[Footnote 22] Ibid, PEHB, Ch. 3.
[Footnote 23] Ryan J Wood, Jeremy Granville-Chapman, John C Clasper, "The seven questions: a novel surgical planning strategy based on military doctrine" in The Royal College of Surgeons Of England Bulletin, 2014; 96: 363–365.
[Footnote 24] Surrey Communities, Highways and Environment Select Committee Report, 19 September 2019, Surrey Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) Making Surrey Safer – Our Plan 2020-2023
[Footnote 25] SFRC, Community Risk Profile, Feb 2019
[Footnote 26] SFRS, HMIC Revisit Letter, 5 Nov 2019
[Footnote 27] HMICFRS, "Fire & Rescue Service Effectiveness, efficiency and people 2018/19: An inspection of Surrey Fire and Rescue Service", Dec 2018, p. 8.
[Footnote 28] SFRS, Making Surrey Safer, p. 3.
[Footnote 29] SFRS, Making Surrey Safer, p. 4.
[Footnote 30] SFRS, "One Page Strategy Making Surrey Safer Plan 2020-2023 V1"
[Footnote 31] SFRS, Making Surrey Safer, p. 7.
[Footnote 32] SFRS, Communications and Engagement Strategy, 2019.
[Footnote 33] SFRS HMIC Revisit Letter, 05 Nov 2019.
[Footnote 34] Source: 20200122 Copy of Implementation Workshop Draft Findings sheet V5.xlsx
[Footnote 35] SFRS, "Implementation Kick-Off v.6"
[Footnote 36] SFRS, "High-Level Programme V5"
[Footnote 37] SFRS, "FRS Structure and Governance: Second Review Final V.3", 2020.
[Footnote 38] SFRS, Performance Management Framework 19-20 v.F., Sept 2019.
Annex C - Suite of measures and methods
C1. Issue: SRFS faces two significant challenges to evidence that its Making Surrey Safer transformation strategy achieves high levels of perceived success. Firstly, is that the strategy is based on the prevention of fires. This means that SFRS needs to measure something that hasn't happened to evidence positive outcomes. SFRS will therefore need to put in place proxy measures that will demonstrate that its prevention strategy is working effectively, providing value for money and meeting stakeholders' expectations. Secondly, there are no apparent benchmark measures for many of the proxy measures that will need to be put in place. The systems required to gather and analyse the data required to measure downstream success need to be repurposed or developed, especially in regards to preventative activities.
C2. Analysis: We set out below a suite of measures and suggest methods of collecting this data. We have categorised the measures under various headings because the proxy measures need to work at multiple levels. We have assigned colour codes to the different data gathering systems used to gather necessary information. Where appropriate these are linked to an explanatory paragraph below.
|(a) Response times to emergency call-outs|
This data is being captured in existing systems and improvements in response times could be correlated to where Safe and Well visits have taken place and where they have not. The data may well show that response times to locations that have had a Safe and Well visit are that bit faster. Existing Emergency Response Tracking Systems
|(b) Number of appropriate |
vehicles/appliances (V/A) at each incident
Similarly, this data is being captured in existing systems. V/A utilisation could be measured by the number of unused V/As at locations that had a Safe and Well visit as against those locations that did not. Existing Asset Management Systems and Existing Emergency Response Tracking Systems
|(c) Number of staff hired into Prevention Roles|
This would be the headcount over time in Prevention roles. Existing HR Management Systems
|(d) % of working time spent on or moving to/from visits|
This would measure the efficiency of staff utilisation. Safe & Well Tracking System [C3]
|(e) Number of Prevention visits conducted Broken down by type/target audience|
There are two related measures here: 1. the number of Safe and Well visits which show an increasing trend over time. 2. The number of visits per type / target of stakeholder. Safe & Well Tracking System [C3]
|(f) % of persons trained for Prevention visits|
This measure shows SFRS's human capital development in terms of Safe and Well capabilities over time. Existing HR Management Systems
|(g) Number of Prevention visits per person|
This measure shows the amount of resource SFRS is putting towards achieving the Making Surrey Safer transformation strategy. Existing HR Management Systems
|(h) Person Hours of working time spent at Safe and Well visits|
This is another measure of the amount of resource put into the strategy. Existing HR Management Systems
|(i) Frequency of visits (per stakeholder)|
This measure brings in the temporal dimension. Safe & Well Tracking System [C3]
|(j) Type of visit (school, household, business, vulnerable person)|
This provides insights into the focus of each visit per stakeholder. Safe & Well Tracking System [C3]
|(k) Number of missed or failed visits (person out, unable to attend, not receptive)|
This measures resource waste caused by stakeholders (NB - this measure is highly effective in the health service where the cost a missed GP appointment is quantified and made visible to patients). Safe & Well Tracking System [C3]
|(m) Recommend to friend/family|
This measure provides insights into the P. C/3effectiveness of each Safe and Well visit. The measure should increase over time. It can be used to identify areas for visit improvements. Safe & Well Tracking System [C3]
|(n) Number of referrals from vulnerable persons to visit other vulnerable persons|
This measure is important because it reflects stakeholder confidence in the service. Safe & Well Tracking System [C3]
|(p) Referred visits refused by person|
This measure can be correlated to subsequent incidents that either involve the individual(s) or the premises. Safe & Well Tracking System [C3]
|(q) Investment in prevention. Spend on prevention visits|
This is a measure of the financial resources invested in the Making Surrey Safer strategy. Existing Financial Systems
|(r) Number of prevention call-outs per day/week/month/ year|
This is another measure that brings in the temporal dimension and enables SFRS to identify peaks and troughs of work. Safe & Well Tracking System [C3]
|(s) Number of prevention call-outs to vulnerable persons per year.|
This measures the number of times persons who have experienced a Safe and Well visit make a call-out to SFRS. Safe & Well Tracking System [C3]
Performance against expectation
|(t) Stakeholder engagement with SFRS||This provides a baseline understanding of stakeholders expectations of Safe and Well visits. Stakeholder Engagement Information [C4]|
|(u) Track and monitor changes to stakeholder engagement over time||As above, and brings in the temporal dimension that enables SFRS to enhance its services continually. Stakeholder Engagement Information [C4]|
|(v) Track and monitor how stakeholders judge performance against those expectations over time||This measure provides direct feedback from stakeholders who experience a Safe and Well visit. This data should be collected at the time of the visit and should ensure complete anonymity. Stakeholder Engagement Information [C4]|
|(w) Number of refused responses||This is the number of people who refuse to provide feedback. Safe & Well Tracking System [C3]|
|(x) Staff view of utility of prevention meeting||This measures whether staff feel that Save and Well visits are beneficial to stakeholders and SFRS. Safe & Well Tracking System [C3]|
|(y) Visited Persons' view of utility of the meeting||This provides feedback about all aspects of each Safe and Well visit from every person or business met. Safe & Well Tracking System [C3]|
Implied Data Gathering Requirements
C3. Safe & Well Tracking System: A portable system to manage and track information about Safe & Well visits. This is likely a software system which links a tablet or handheld computer carried by Fire Safety Officers, which allows them to input specific data from their visits, and which automatically inputs this information into a data management programme. It would also allow, through a separate interface, customers to input their view of the visit to help understand stakeholder expectations and experiences. The data management programme may be integrated with a larger Stakeholder Engagement System.
C4. Stakeholder Engagement System: Similar to how many universities or service businesses monitor and track their stakeholders periodically, we envisage an annual (or more frequent) poll of various internal and external stakeholders to track opinion and sentiment about the management of the organisation, the delivery of the services including Safe and Well visits and projections of stakeholders expectation into the future. This data will enable SFRS to evolve their services to the changing needs of stakeholders over time.
Baselines & Future Situational Awareness
C5. In most cases regarding Safe & Well Visits, SFRS does not currently have data on overall effectiveness. There will be existing data on numbers conducted, and on nature & type of household visited, but this dataset will not be comprehensive enough for all future needs. The ability to say "Safe & Well Visits have helped us prevent X fires/emergencies" is epistemologically difficult (showing something didn't happen is tricky), but if SFRS begin collecting specific data on these visits, over time they will be able to correlate more closely the visits to overall fire statistics in the county. For the first few years, data collected serves to act as a data baseline by which future change and effectiveness can be tracked against. Later, when matched against Emergency Response information, this data can be used to draw correlations and shape the argument about the (likely) positive impact of Safe & Well Visits.