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Cover Image for Matamata-Piako District Council
Case study: government

Matamata-Piako District Council

Transparent budget discussions in a digital age

Challenge: Deliver virtual budget forecasts, next week

OrbViz made quick work of a tight turnaround with Matamata-Piako District Council. We delivered our Bubbles app for an annual budget review and had everyone up-to-speed; they were onboarding as we were uploading.

We spoke with Communications Manager, Jenni Cochrane about the swift journey from product demo to working prototype to go live…

Jen: “We actually turned the team down after the free demo. We walked away saying ‘cool product, but we have no pressing need for it.’ Then, in an annual budget review planning meeting, we looked at OrbViz from the inside out instead of the outside in.”

Solution: Create a virtual interactive boardroom. Fast.

Rather than using OrbViz to communicate with ratepayers, Matamata-Piako District Council saw OrbViz as a perfect tool to have transparent interdepartmental conversations about budget forecasts.

Jen: “All managers put forward/write up the budgets they need to deliver on their services, and then the finance team reviews that and puts in front of Council for discussion… in a COVID environment, it’s hard to get everyone in a boardroom. With OrbViz, elected members worked through it in their own time.”

Implementation: Bubbles and videos - getting the story rich and clear to share

Jen: “We had a day to get up to speed… so, yes, it’s easy to use… with the storytelling aspect it is super easy to use.”

MPDC uploaded the draft budgets, graphing the current budget against the proposed budget – with the bubbles showing the variation. Any manager that had a big bubble had to record a video to explain that variation to the elected members.

Jen: “There was a week and half for turn around. We had the demo on Monday and then 10 days later had a working prototype. We had a few days to turn around videos - so, we interviewed managers over ZOOM”.

Outcomes: Positive working relationships - remote working clarity.

For Jen and her team the story is always king. OrbViz made it straightforward for them to communicate within the team as long as everyone had access to the internet and a few minutes spare to talk through their proposed budget.

Jen: “We had tech-savvy guys on our side helping with the build - also the OrbViz team were really responsive.”

Finally, we asked Jen about feedback since ‘go live’.

Jen: “Councillors told us it was a helpful way to view the budget - more than just a spreadsheet. Since getting this internal use case up and running, and seeing how simple the system was to use, we can now see other possibilities for how we might use OrbViz in future. We’re looking forward to continuing working with them.

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