decommissioning – necessary evil or opportunity for innovation?

So, you’ve come up with your brilliant idea for a new service. You’ve managed to get it up and running, and the council or community led commissioning group have commissioned you to deliver the service to Lambeth residents. More and more people are choosing to come to you rather than the service the council was previously providing, and you can show that the quality of the service is better.

But here’s the rub – what happens to the old service? Its continuation will ultimately limit the growth and viability of new service. Moreover, the gains to the council of moving to a new service model are limited by continuing to support the older service.

Decommissioning isn’t something that’s often discussed, but this new report from NESTA includes a series of case studies from different public services looking at the opportunities and difficulties of decommissioning, and draws some lessons on how to get it right, with practical advice.

Ultimately, they argue that decommissioning is a discipline that can act as a spark for creativity and innovation. It can encourage commissioners to constantly evaluate and challenge service models for the impact they have, in turn driving innovation amongst service providers.

Definitely worth read 

NESTA decommissioning report

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