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Sindhura: a learning experience within Devon Highways

by Devon County Council 9 July 2019

Highways Asset Officer, Sindhura Karra, spent several days completing the ‘Understanding’ stage of the Doing What Matters Work. This involved immersing herself in all aspects of the system to understand:

  • What is the system?
  • How does it work?
  • How well does it work?
  • Why does it work this way?

Sindhura built a picture of the system to answer these questions to be able to understand how different parts of the system connect. This will help Highways leaders to know where the system works well currently, and where it doesn’t. And the best places to start testing different ways of working in the next stage of the work.

Sindhura explains:

The five weeks I spent on the ‘understand’ phase was a really good learning experience for me.

I learned a lot about what the other teams actually do – there are so many different teams involved and when you are focusing on your day to day work it is easy to be unaware of what other teams do, and the kinds of constraints they come up against.

We have to use so many different IT systems and I didn’t realise how difficult it can be for people to get information out of the IT. Not everyone knows about where to look to find the relevant information.

Highways Asset Officer, Sindhura Karra, spent several days completing the Understanding stage of the Doing What Matters Work. Pictured with Jo Deasy from Highways It was really interesting to map the flow of work for various work types and surprising.

I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next throughout the testing phase – what works and what doesn’t work – and it will be good to see progress being made.

I strongly feel that this work should continue and be seen through to the see how many steps there are!

So much of people’s time is taken up with all these steps, and looking at it in this way shows clearly how many issues there are from the start to the end of the process.

We’re so used to working and thinking in a certain way, it never crossed my mind that we could think about working in a different way. This work helped me to look at the work in a new way, and think about the bigger picture.