What is the Target Operating Model?

Many of you will have been through change programmes at Aberdeen City Council before. In the past, these have mainly focused on changing the organisational design – ie restructuring the Directorates and moving services around to better meet the needs of our customers.

This Transformation programme represents a complete change in how we manage and deliver our services to the people and place of Aberdeen.

This is known as the Target Operating Model

It is more significant than just a reshuffle of people and services. The Target Operating Model (often referred to as the ‘TOM’) identifies six key areas that will help us deliver our services in a more collaborative, joined-up way.  

Understanding the Target Operating Model


Having robust performance measures in place will ensure we are meeting the outcomes set out in the Local Outcome Improvement Plan – and in turn that we are meeting the needs of the city and our customers. 

These measures will offer an early indication of where improvement may be required and ensure that we continue to meet our statutory duties.


In future we will design our processes around our customers, instead of around individual services and digitise where possible to reduce costs.

Continually improving the way we work and removing unnecessary steps in processes will help us become a more efficient organisation.  

We recognise that people at the front line are best placed to identify improvements and opportunities to remove inefficiency and we will actively involve them in process improvement.


Technology will play a huge part in improving processes.  Making more of our processes digital and offering digital services where customers can transact with us and seek information on-line, 24×7, will improve customer experience and free up capacity for front line services.

Investing in technology will:

  • Release time for staff to spend with customers
  • Empower customers to self-serve
  • Enable us to manage our information better
  • Better predict our customers’ need
  • Allow us to work better with our partners.

People Management

Our people are the most valuable asset in our organisation.  Ensuring our staff feel empowered to make changes to improve services and make decisions will become a key priority.  As the demands of our customers change we will ensure we have people with the right skills, behaviours and attitudes to meet their needs.  This is why we will continue to offer training and development, along with the  opportunities to retrain into different roles as the organisation requires.

The way we manage staff will also we focus less on hierarchy and more on flexibility, opportunity, engagement and reward.

Organisational Design

Traditionally, many councils have worked as individual departments,  creating ‘silos’.  This can make it difficult for customers to find the support they need, as they often need to make contact on multiple occasions to different areas of our council and in different ways. The Target Operating Model will remove these internal silos, offering customers a more holistic joined up service.


Partners and Alliances

Closer working with Communities and Partners such as the Police, Fire, NHS and 3rd Sector will allow us to come up with a shared action plan for the city.  Working together with clear ownership of Citywide actions that benefit our communities will mean we don’t deliver services in isolation but work together building on each other’s strengths and contributions.

The Local Outcome Improvement Plan (LOIP) contains actions that will help improve our city and communities through joint working and partnership.  Our Target Operating Model has been designed to ensure that we can deliver on the actions in the LOIP.