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Performance Management, Viewpoint!

Stop reviewing, start improving

If public sector organisations are to stand any chance of meeting their service users’ needs in a cost-effective way over the next few years they will need to change gear and get on with real improvement.

The last decade (and more) has seen endless reviews and assessments carried out at goodness knows what cost to the taxpayer.  These are continuing today, but usually badged as the latest flavour such as a “Lean Diagnostic” or “Whole System Review”.   To the cynics these look like yet more expense and improvement avoidance tactics.  Surely, in the current economic climate and pressure on public sector budgets, the investment should be in improving processes and people’s capabilities to deliver great service.

The trouble with yet more Diagnostics is that the resulting reports provide fodder for “reluctant” managers and staff to debate endlessly why the diagnostic data are incorrect and the conclusions about improvement opportunities are faulty.  

Now is surely the time for some JFDI leadership and a requirement for managers to apply their learning about improvement tools (Lean, BPR, Six Sigma, or whatever) to the processes and people for which they are responsible. 

Just pick one of the many proven approaches and get on with it.  The sooner you start, the sooner we will all see some benefits.

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