Transforming Places Together: digital strategy for planning

This strategy defines a long-term strategic direction for how Scotland’s planning system will digitally transform, embracing the opportunities new digital technologies and data present. It sets out what we intend to deliver, why this is needed and the benefits this transformation will bring.

Delivering transformation

We will begin our 5 year digital transformation programme in spring 2021.

Scottish Government will start to identify delivery partners who will work with us to deliver the early priorities. As with all change, we recognise the need to invest in a change management programme of activity in addition to any technical changes and strengthen external communications.

Over the next few months Digital Planning will publish a flexible roadmap, beyond the initial 18-24 months, which can achieve the programme goals and have the ability to adapt to new innovation and changing priorities for the sector.

The planned approach to change management, governance, communications and partner engagement will be further developed, in line with recommendations from Gateway Zero which is planned for February 2021, before the programme begins.

The scope of the programme will be limited to Planning however it will recognise the wider linkages and ensure a cohesive, aligned approach across relevant programmes and policy areas including Building Standards.

Scottish Government will lead the programme which will work in the following way:

  • Coordinate the full programme using a partnership approach, identifying and working with key delivery partners that have specific interests in the relevant specialist areas
  • Adopt an agile approach to delivery, aligned with the Scottish Approach to Service Design, supported by robust governance arrangements
  • Implement a flexible early adopter model to work with partners, taking into account local circumstances
  • Maintain an open and transparent view of governance arrangements, framework for measuring success (including programme objectives) and achievement of goals
  • Outline plan for moving into delivery phase from April 2021
  • Ensure that provision for financial and other resources has been made for the programme and that plans for the work to be done through to the next stage are realistic, properly resourced with sufficient people of appropriate experience, and authorised

The Four Pillars of Our Transformation Approach

Delivering the Vision: The Programme

Programme Governance, Management and Design

  • Direction and design of the programme
  • Partnership delivery model
  • Governance
  • Decision Making
  • Controls and Management
  • Benefits monitoring and realization
  • Delivery of priorities

Change Management and Communications

  • Readiness for change
  • Change management strategy
  • Impact analysis and reduction on all planning stakeholders
  • Internal and external communications

Technical Delivery Approach

  • Technical change architecture
  • Specialist advice
  • Oversight of the future technical operating model
  • Technical assurance activities
  • Alignment with external technical architecture

Programme/Portfolio Management Office

  • Monitor, report and control cross programme activities
  • Risk and Issue management
  • Assurance activities
  • Financial control
  • Quality control

Next Steps

November 2020

Strategy published (complete)

  • Outline Strategic Business Case finalised
  • Key governance decisions agreed
  • Establish Governance Boards

February 2021

Assurance: Gateway Zero

  • Draft 18-24 month roadmap
  • Outline 5 year delivery plan
  • Programme preparation plan

April 2021 - March 2026

Programme Launched


Strategy Refresh




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