I read with interest Jason Currie’s (Executive Director – Service Improvement & Redesign, Department of Health, Queensland) 7 takeaways from the Government Process Improvement conference in Canberra.
Criterion Conferences hosted the event which brought together experts in all three levels of government (local, state and federal). Among topics covered were ICT, transport, mail services, insurance, health care, justice, defence, fast moving consumer goods, banking and taxation.
These takeaways apply to every industry.
1. Understand your business environment:
Process improvement is a long term effort requiring stable vision and leadership. To make it happen we need to understand our business environment, focusing particularly on internal and external client experience including people and culture.
2. Enable & empower your people:
To be successful we need to focus and prioritise our efforts. We need to enable and empower our people, starting at how we recruit and select for cultural fit.
3. Ensure the right resources:
Change takes resources and funding supported by appropriately skilled internal or external experts and suitable systems (both governance and IT).
4. Build an improvement culture:
The culture of an organisation is an outcome and not the cause of dysfunction. We need to change cultures and mindsets to ensure that staff can appreciate that change is a constant. Our end goal is to provide best public (or shareholder) value by increasing experience, decreasing costs and improving staff engagement.
5. Measure productivity:
Productivity needs to be measured and, in simple terms, is outputs produced / inputs utilised. In measuring outputs the organisation needs to have a good understanding of standard work to enable comparisons between work types and output levels.
6. Engage through communications:
To drive broad engagement and uptake of change projects you need to consider how you do communications differently to cut through and provide energy.
7. The power of the customer voice:
We always need to remember the power of the voice of the customer and the ability of the client story to allow the workforce to truly understand and appreciate value.