Ballarat City

Workplace Strategy
Ballarat, Victoria

Project Description

Ballarat City Council property department engaged DPS during the inception phase of a workplace transformation project to provide specific property and process guidance. Focusing on goals set out in the Councils Strategic Plan, the CEO was keen to introduce ‘new ways of working’ across multiple sites and service streams to improve the effectiveness of Council employees and enhance the customer experience.

The conceptual model was inspired by other large and small local Councils that had implemented similar activity based working practices. The primary aim for Ballarat was to inspire a better way of working (BWOW). A substantial body of information was assembled and presented for consideration. Developing a clear appreciation of the order of change that would be required was essential for the Council to prepare a business case for a reimagined workplace.


DPS defined the scope of work and data capture for an independent audit and gap analysis of workplace infrastructure. The study was predominantly property focused including tenancy contracts, spatial analysis, workplace observation, services infrastructure, mobility and readiness profiling; then integrated preliminary findings from IT, service delivery and culture studies by others.

The commission included assisting the Council with preliminary scenario planning as well as detailed process mapping of key tasks and critical path activities across parallel streams of work for people, place, ITC infrastructure, processes and broader organisational development initiatives.


A key challenge was to identify and mobilize a representative project task group during a ‘short’ 3-month project period. The task group was charged with the responsibility of defining the distinct infrastructure, process and culture issues at the City of Ballarat that would require specific strategies to prepare the business case for a 3-5-year plan.

During this startup phase the task group discovered firsthand the order of change, opportunities and risks, and some of the ‘real’ challenges that would be encountered when implementing an ABW style workplace. The insights derived from their group experience formed the foundation of the BCC workplace transformation project plan.