McKinsey's view of Public Sector 'Digitisation' - December 2014
A LinkedIn post regarding IT/IS life-cycle investments alerted me to a McKinnsey report (thanks to Steve Jenner for signposting this) that highlighted some key 'principles' for successful Benefits Management. Here are the key points from the McKinsey report summary...with my view of the how they link to the 7 Principles from Steve Jenner's excellent Managing Benefits guide
1. Win government-wide and agency-deep commitment to specific digital targets clearly a link to Managing benefits from a portfolio perspective - holistic, broad organizational leadership is required to get the 'best' for any entity
2. Establish government-wide coordination of IT investments - raises reference to several principles, namely, Apply effective governance, Develop a value culture and a smidgeon of Utilize successful delivery methods
3. Redesign processes with the end user in mind. - of course, Start with then end in mind, and engaging with citizens, customers, client, end-users - whatever you want to call them - is key. Too often initiatives are a 'foisting' of central (inside) whim/thinking onto a world of 'recipients' without considering what they actually want (desire rather than need perhaps). Is gaining Customer Insight too hard perhaps for some?
4. Hire and nurture the right talent. Attracting and retaining the right talent is the focus here. My view is this links to the principle of Integrate benefits with performance management. Some of us may think of 'pay and rations' approaches here - but the best practitioners seem to step outside the obvious (and easy) actions, to focus on long-term career, talent and profession development strategies.
5. Use big data and analytics to improve decision making. Seems to me that several principles are at play here. Integrate benefits with performance management, Manage benefits from a portfolio perspective and Develop a value culture. The portfolio view is that ALL the data we have should be available to support broad debate, thinking and actions. the performance management piece for me relates to our expertise and investment in 'data understanding' - so use it to provide insight. Lastly, value culture, 'joining' data from disparate sources (or even 'allowing' it to happen) requires sanction and action - the data in the public sector is really 'owned' by the citizen - it should be leveraged to provide value not used squandered.
6. Protect critical infrastructure and confidential data. Perhaps not an obvious one but I think several principles seem to be at play here. Utilize successful delivery methods, Manage benefits from a portfolio perspective and Apply effective governance. The portfolio perspective is to to treat data and infrastructure ('facility') as part of a 'nexus' of asset and capability - this requires holistic and high-level thinking, not local and isolated, protectionism. Successful delivery methods includes how we 'design' and then execute initiative - this should not be trivialised into 'technical' delivery methods. Effective governance should focus on the sometime conflicting 'needs' of safety and security, and transparency and openness.
How dangerous lies kill projects
Steve Jenner's excellent short piece about Cognitive Biases. It's a significant feature of Steve's experiential insight in professional life and appears as a prime focus in the Managing Benefits guide. In essence our beautiful, powerful and rich brains often 'blind side' our thinking - and we don;t even recognise it's happening. Our 'unthinking' brain feeds us with plausibilities about situations that defy logic and rationality - yet that's what we humans are. Read Daniel Kahnemann's Thinking Fast, Thinking Slow for a superb expose of our flawed selves.
PMO research - what's it telling us?
I'm indebted to Emma-Ruth Arnaz-Pemberton in a recent LinkedIn post signposting a huge piece of insight work undertaken by ESI International. Ok, it's history, but it should inform us as to what works and doesn't.
Expectation of Management in Pipeline Management.
An apparently really simple piece form Therese Graff - but the simplicity provides powerful practical insight. go read!
The PMO as a pop-up shop (or store!)
Henny Portman's review of Mertine Middelkoop's recent book is worth a read.
Mertine uses the analogy of a 'pop-up shop' (or I guess this could be restaurant, market stall or anything like that) to describe what we should do when establishing a PMO 'presence'. I haven't read the book yet - it's on my shopping list - but I feel a great affinity with her approach. Go buy!