Redesigning proposal processes with the Prime Minister’s Office (VNK)

A new methodology for co-creating proposals for the next government programme

Redesigning proposal processes with the Prime Minister’s Office (VNK)
A need for inclusion and collaboration

The Prime Minister’s Office of Finland (VNK) invited Hellon to help them develop a more inclusive and collaborative process for writing ministry recommendations for the Finland of the future. Today government programs are informed by a series of recommendation reports given by key ministries with expertise across finance, environment, agriculture, transport, education, foreign affairs etc. Traditionally this process has been slow and rigid - with ministries working in silos even though their expert sectors inform, and are dependent on, one another. Alongside this, the recommendations typically only represent the thoughts and priorities of the lead secretary. This results in reports that are hard to compare against each other, often with conflicting recommendations, and do not successfully utilise all levels of ministry expertise.

A rapid sprint model based on co-creation

Hellon’s role was to design the building blocks of a new process for creating government program recommendations. We developed a rapid sprint model that brought together all relevant ministries around one core problem to co-create a single, holistic proposal. Each sprint culminated in a full-day LAB workshop focusing on one of three core topics; equality, sustainability, and stability. The LABs took a people-centric approach - starting by presenting citizen voices to give inspiration around the lived experience of the people they were trying to solve for.

Following this, each cross-ministry team was asked to explore the root causes that had led to the problem areas and create a system map of the challenges and dependencies between ministries. This framing exercise set the scene perfectly for an in-depth ideation session where teams would brainstorm, build, and visualise solutions – honing their propositions using their collective knowledge.

A holistic, cross-ministerial blueprint for the next government

The outcome of the process was a co-created Opportunities for Finland report including holistic, cross-ministerial recommendations for the next government. Besides the report, another output created by Hellon was a blueprint for a new government process for report recommendations.

The sprint model was formalised and packaged with supporting collateral to enable future internal workshop facilitation – creating an agile and repeatable process that modernised government practises, established cross-ministry collaboration as a core value, and encouraged true innovation by listening to the ideas of people at all levels. Based on participant feedback, the sprint model positively impacted the speed of work, synergies between the ministries, and the quality of recommendations.

A new way of collaboration for the future
  • 90% of the participants assessed the sprint as a great alternative to the existing ways of working.
  • 81% of the participants saw the collaborative sprint approach as beneficial.
  • 89% of the participants said they would join a similar sprint in the future.
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