Quarkside

12/04/2011

Framework for Change: Technology Enabled

Filed under: Governance,Outcomes,Process,Standards — lenand @ 11:53 am
Tags: , , , ,

The public sector can now start making use of a useful standard has crept out of the OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards).  The title is not in fashion,  “Transformational Government Framework Primer Version 1.0”, and hides that it can help technology­‐enabled change.

This single diagram shows all that most people need to know.

TGF Diagram

TGF Diagram

It may not be perfect in every case, but it is a far better starting point than the blank piece of paper that initiates most shared service programmes.  Not only does it comply with Quarkside’s Process, Governance and Technology philosophy, it highlights the need for critical success factors (CSFs).  CSFs are a fundamental part of the framework roadmap already published by Quarkside.

Give it a try – or just publicise its existence.  Perhaps LeGSB has a role to play.

Thanks to Mick Pythian for this link

Advertisements

26/01/2011

Shared Services Swamp

There are fewer partnerships formed in the public sector than might be expected for maximum efficiency. Part of the problem is that partners have to start building partnerships from scratch. It is like a fresh learning exercise and many fail by missing some factors that are critical to success. People need to understand and document the risks from the very beginning.

It was a continuous thread in the latest Government ICT Conference (Jan 26th 2011).  Ample evidence from case studies from HMRC, DCMS, DCLG, Cabinet Office, Leeds, Kent and Herefordshire showed that different approaches can produce huge benefits.  But they all used ‘s’ word (standards with a small s).  We were informed that the Government is spending more time deprecating standards than publishing them. Improving outcomes is the target, interoperability is seen as key – and the Information Commissioner will not get in the way of data sharing.

Even though most agencies will accept technical infrastructure standards – they won’t co-operate on information governance standards.  There is no longer a central clearing house.  Organisations simply set up silo standards without consideration of how useful information might be in another silo.  Methods that would help, such as ISO 18876, are unknown or ignored.  ICT leadership, that is the Government CIO, should publish a Standards Policy.

A final example of head in the sand is that many years ago there was some research done on a standard for partnership formation.  At a cost of several million pounds from DCLG (ODPM), pilot projects completed and a simple Roadmap process was developed and tested. The findings are even more relevant today.  Look at this document to see how easy it should be.  It is only 4 pages long (plus appendices).  The executive summary is only half a page.

If all partners start singing from the the same, standard, hymn sheet – then progress towards efficient, sustainable, shared services could be much quicker.

25/01/2011

Partnership Pie. Recipe Revealed

Filed under: Governance,Local Government,Process,Risk,Standards — lenand @ 7:42 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Independent review of performance and local accountability is needed to reduce the costs of internal public sector bureaucracy – or so suggests the Centre for Public Service Partnerships.   They responded to the HM Treasury and Cabinet Office call for evidence on public service reform.

Partnerships have to be the key to improving efficiency through shared and sharing services.  Quarkside hinted at this in November in relation to cooperation between the NHS and local authorities.  A key enabler is a process for building adaptable and sustainable partnerships.  The groundwork for a viable multi-agency framework was completed in a DCLG national project.  There’s also a roadmap to use at the initial stages of building a partnership, showing partners the critical success factors and levels of risk.  It can be done in a standard (ie common) way across any (or all) recipe(s) for partnership pie.

The full response is worth a read, but the last point supports Quarkside’s pressure for improving public sector governance:

18. What specific data or information would you like to see made publicly available in order to help individuals and local communities hold services to account?

There is a need for some standardised data for public service performance and costs which is comparable between agencies and services; verifiable; independently audited; and accessible and understandable to the public. This data should be available irrespective of the provider of the service and/or its commissioner or procurer. Prime accountability for public services should be either directly through an economic relationship between provider and user or through local government accountability

Yesterday’s blog was a prime example of how NHS bureaucracy only succeeds in baffling the public, hiding the facts and costing a fortune to operate.  It is hardly an easy model to follow in multi-agency shared services.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.