Risk Management Approach, Smart Government Conf 2011
Slide 1 Smart Government NZ 2011 Laura SommerI’ll challenge the idea that civil servants are risk averse.I’ll take you through a tale of transition –early breakthroughs achieved in the NZ State sector including my experienceIssuesRisk models created to deliver Govt 2.0Implications for governance
Slide 2 Under close scrutiny Fear of failure Value for money PermissionFactors that affect the response to risk include:Close scrutiny – public organisations are under the close scrutiny of both politicians, themedia. Staff are not usually rewarded for taking risks.Fear of failure: James Gardner CTO at UK Department of Work and Pensions – “failure is very frightening,but if you fail early enough that’s not really a failure, that’s a learning lesson from which youmove on quickly.”Value for money: how can we demonstrate value for money? – difficult to measure thequantifiable effect of Govt 2.0Permission: do the civil servants have permission to be innovative in their approaches toimprove public services?
Slide 3 Open data Collaboration Service provision Consultation CollaborationGovernment 2.0things that make Government 2.0 what it is – open data, collaboration, service provision,consultation and collaboration with the public and between agencies,
Slide 4 Resistant to change Slow to respond Something to hide? Unnecessary red tapeSome perceptions from a public perspective:• what is the resistance to change – what’s stopping civil servants from shaking up their services?• the government as a big engine seems to be slow to respond to the changes that are required in service delivery and policy development eg preparing the “case”, getting evidence, repeating previous experiences because the institutional knowledge has diminished with cuts• does government have something to hide? Why are so many OIA requests necessary to access government-held information?• has government really addressed the administrative burden that SMEs, for instance, experience?
Slide 5 A vision Experiences Lessons Address riskI’ll take you through a tale of experiences – some lessons that can be applied today.
Slide 6 Public/government engagement Network technologiesBy 2020, people’s engagement with government will have been transformed as increasingand innovative use is made of the opportunities offered by network technologies.This was our mandate to explore different ways to engage with public/business to improveservices and policies.
Slide 7 Test Manage risk Be creative Show results Engage supportOvercoming risk adversity to managing risk.Using the mandate to prototype different approaches (guest blog on Public Address – DavidHume)Manage risk – identifying the actual and perceived risks and preparing mitigations.E.g.Managing both public and government expectations. We don’t have all the answers,drafting naked on the wiki, RoadSafe campaignRisk – is lack of senior management and minister’s support – engage early.We gained Comms Mgr endorsement, connected with mandate, sought Minister’s comfortlevel with connecting experience through her previous portfolios.Be creative – multi-disciplinary and global approach (Joanne Caddy OECD, David Hume fromCanada on project team); community of practice; case studies such as the Police Act wiki;Show results – went for small, manageable prototype with minimum resources on hand;OECD Joanne Caddy emphasised importance to show tangible results as we progressed.Engage support: engaged champions on the steering group, in the community of practice,within the organisation and with senior decisionmakers. For the community – listening andacknowledging they each have expertise and ideas that are valued. Bring a friend.
Slide 8 Plan succession Priorities change Manage risk Capture evidence Engage supportSustainability:Strong drive by my team – yet I should have adopted a succession plan.Priorities – it’s ironic that the demand is still there. We’re talking about Govt 2.0 at least 7years later. It’s a slow boat – patience, perseverance, being smart, adapting to changing situation bythinking ahead.
Slide 9 Have a go@!Generation Y – experiment, Clay Collins, blogger, author and Gen Y : Twentysomething: 7reasons why my generation is more productive than yours (Brazen Careerist blog):Reason 1 – we use the best tools: “Generation Y is more comfortable doing theexperimentation necessary to find the right tools and technologies for most effectivelycompleting a task.”Reason 6: we’re experimental: “GENERATION y cares more about getting new experiencesand learning new skills than about not making mistakes. We’re willing to try new things, becreative and take new angles. While this experimental approach might not results inquantifiable productivity, it leads to the kind of shifts in thinking that save time and moneyin the long-haul.”One of the main strategies for overcoming risk aversion is to convince the stakeholders ofthe need, potential and actual benefits arising from innovation and engage them inconsultative and participatory processes and through the demonstration of the utility ofinnovations. This applies to employees, professional groups and end-users.Politicians, policy makers and public managers should clearly communicate that there is andmust be risks involved in innovation processes, and that there is a difference betweenmismanagement and the will to take sensible risks.Innovation should have clear and sensible objectives. One should avoid “innovation for thesake of innovation” and pure political and ideological windows dressing. Innovation in thePublic Sector, Publin, http://www.step.no/publin/finalsummary.htmlCommunicate, innovate, manage, demonstrate, engage, measure, evaluate.
Slide 10 Governance Permission Risks EvidenceImplications for governance : good governance has been associated with democracy andgood civil rights, with transparency, with the rule of law, and with efficient public services.Source: World bankLeverage and engage permissions –Link with prioritiesSeek senior level endorsement through early heads-up (not a surprise),BuildReport on progress; be on the front foot with identifying and managing risks.Step changes rather than big bang approach: You must gather evidence along the way;establish evaluation from the start; measure progress. Use results to report on progress andrisk management.Government 2.0 transformation, the business case won’t initially be made with dollars andcents. Instead progress will be measured in the following manner -productivity andefficiency gains, new ideas and innovations, and finally recruiting and retention.
Slide 11 What challenges do you face? What opportunities will you take?
Slide 12 Laura Sommer LJ Systemic Options – system improvement e. Laura.firstname.lastname@example.org m. 021 2207741