Using a local government (LG) case study, this paper describes and qualitatively explores the value and use of social network analysis (SNA) in creating a rich environment for service network innovation and development. The case study analysed manages regional planning development applications and involves a complex social network. The study underpins the view that in LG service environments, mechanistic models for systems improvement are on their own inadequate. SNA constitutes an essential complementary development framework underpinning continuous innovation through human and social capital development. Findings presented are profound for local government and multiple service contexts and argue for a greater emphasis on understanding and developing the human and social aspects of service systems as opposed to a predominant technical systems bias.