Visons became tangible action plans in The Danish Environmental Portal
The system development in the six follow-up groups under The Danish Environmental Portal lacked direction and common vision.
In collaboration with Globeteam, The Danish Environmental Portal has transformed a general strategy into digital benchmarks and specific roadmaps for the coming years’ system development.
With the action plans, the secretariat can make the value of The Danish Environmental Portal’s work more visible. In the six follow-up groups, the strategy has been deeply embedded in their daily work.
This is how joint visons became tangible action plans in The Danish Environmental Portal
Based on extensive strategy work, the professional experts at The Danish Environmental Portal found out that a common foothold and rock–hard prioritisations were the way forward when planning future system development.
The Danish Environmental Portal is a joint public partnership, the purpose of which is to support digital environmental management in Denmark. The State, municipalities and regions register, update and retrieve data from the same databases, and the basic idea behind The Danish Environment Portal is to ensure data about the environment, water, nature, area use and climate adaptation are made widely available to companies and citizens.
For example, data from The Danish Environmental Portal are used when citizens get soil contamination certificates, when municipalities indicate pesticide-free areas, or when the State develops water plans, agriculture packages and rules for wastewater discharge. The data are also used in the municipal effort to prevent and fight rats.
A common perspective on the main task
In their practical work, more than 150 representatives from the State, regions and municipalities are organised into six follow-up groups. Among other things, the task of the follow-up groups is to make changes to and develop the underlying system portfolio. Previously, the system changes were made ad hoc and no consideration for long-term visions. But in 2020 something happened. The Danish Environmental Portal approved a new strategy and, as part of it, had every follow-up group identify strategically important benchmarks for the system development in their areas.
“The Danish Environmental Portal has many system owners and collaboration partners. Therefore, it is even more important that we all move forward in the same direction. The strengthened collaboration and common perspective on future tasks has made a great difference,” says Ane Klok, Operations and Maintenance Manager in the Danish Environmental Portal.
As a sparring partner and meeting facilitator, a management consultant from Globeteam has assisted The Danish Environmental Portal in transforming the strategy through the use of digital benchmarks and specific roadmaps for system development.
“The Globeteam consultant has been our right hand throughout the process. I have not had the time myself to do all the work before the meetings with the follow-up groups. So, I have benefitted from the advice I have received. We have had a positive, close collaboration.”
From reactive to proactive system development
In the follow-up groups, they gained a whole new perspective on their roles and tasks.
“It is fair to say that previously in the follow-up group for surface water, of which I am the chairman, we were primarily reactive in connection with the system development. We attended the meetings, went over the list of proposed amendments, approved or rejected them, and then went our separate ways again. Today, we have adopted a more proactive approach to system development, because we all have a holistic understanding of our common visions and the role we play in that context. We do not only have to react to a development, we can actually influence it,” says Martin Petersen, head of unit at The Danish Environmental Protection Agency and thereby a representative of the State.
Organisation of the many good ideas
The follow-up group for Rats came to the same conclusion.
“Previously, our wishes for change went in completely different directions. We had many good ideas, but needed help to sort through them. We do not have the time or the money to do everything. Therefore, it is essential that we now have a common plan to handle what is most important,” says Tommy Krogh Abrahamsen who is a rat consultant in Horsens Municipality and a representative for the municipalities.
He explains that the roadmap for the coming years’ system development also works as an excellent communication tool.
“The municipalities have to collaborate, just like we also have to collaborate with professional rat exterminators and farmers. Now, we have a plan that shows the direction we are working in, and we can have a dialogue with each other based on this. As we know, visibility is existence. And it is easier for others to see the value of our work when they can see what it is we want.”
Plans to ensure partnerships and financing
To Nils Høgsted, Head of Secretariat in The Danish Environmental Portal, the digital benchmarks and corresponding roadmaps should also be used to create more visibility around the value of The Danish Environmental Portal. Among other things, the strategy work can be used to enter into partnerships with researchers and universities, and also to get extra financing for certain tasks.
“The Danish Environmental Portal needs a justification. The only way we can demonstrate that justification is by showing exactly why we are here. Providing environmental data that can be easily accessed and shared plays a crucial role in that narrative, and, therefore, it is important that, technologically speaking, we are at the forefront,” he finishes by saying.