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Article categories: News

Our new network of internal developers encourages experimentation and continuous improvement

Published: 26.1.2024

The City of Vaasa’s development project ”elevating excellence - beyond the best” (free translation) reached its final phase at the end of 2023. The project resulted in a network of internal developers in the city’s Corporate Administration to support the planned strategic development of the operations of the department. This network will be scaled up to other city departments during 2024.

The internal developers will actively encourage and support staff-driven development within their teams, together with the frontline staff. Internal developers also promote a culture of experimentation and self-management in their own work community, increasing autonomy and accountability of each member of the staff.

– As a team, they will be called upon in the future to contribute to strategic work, creating new ways of working, and sharing good practices, among other things. They also play an important role in developing cooperation within the department, between departments, and with partners and customers,” says Jari Karjalainen, Director of Corporate Administration.

Making everyone’s voice heard

During this project, internal developers learned how to use facilitation and interaction skills in their work, as well as how to facilitate events such as strategy reviews and development workshops. Facilitation skills were also trained for the front-line staff involved in the project.

– We got a lot of good participatory facilitation methods to use, and internal developers have already been able to test them in their own work communities during the project,” says Seija Välivainio, project manager for the project.

In addition to the network of internal developers, the project produced a facilitation tool for implementing the strategy and identifying competences and strengths through a strengths mapping exercise (Via). It also created a narrative model for communication, leadership commitments for internal developers, a communication plan to expand the new operating model, an orientation plan for new internal developers, and a workbook for facilitation.

– Using a variety of participatory facilitation methods, we can ensure that everyone’s voice is heard. This is a way to reinforce our commitment to involve everyone in the development of their own work and activities,” says Karjalainen.

The project was funded by the Finnish Work Environment Fund. The project’s specialist partners were Valmennustrio, Valmennustalo Virta, and Crealife.