December 2008

Dear Jean

Welcome to the fourth edition of “Benchmark”. This month we take a look at the looming financial recession and the need for improved efficiency in relation to performance management. We also take a look at the Community Consultations and getting the community involved in a time of uncertainty. Why and how? We hope you enjoy this edition and appreciate your ongoing support of this publication.

With warm regards

Glenrick White MBA (Tech Mgmt) MCMI MBCS

Business Development Manager (UK)

The Looming Financial Recession and the Need for a Performance Culture and Further Efficiency Savings

It's on the lips of everyone around the globe at the minute, the Looming Global Recession, that is! The media have taken to it like they take to a celebrity entering rehab. With all the gloom and doom being generated by the media hype and failed financial sector, how can the public sector turn the crisis into a positive in relation to performance management and efficiency savings, to ensure long term strategic viability for the community as a whole?

Economic stability is not certain in any business environment including the public sector at present. As financial institutes go bust and borrowings and savings are under lock down, borrowing becomes a necessity, when there is in fact no money to borrow. Performance management and the relay of progress information to communities of interest in times of financial crisis become difficult yet required tasks, to keep the communities fears at bay. Difficulties can unfortunately rear their heads in relation to performance management, especially when the right tools and framework are not in place to manage these issues.

With tougher efficiency targets being imposed by central government, now is the time for the public sector to shape its internal work force for a culture of performance. Sir Peter Gershon, the author of the 2004 efficiency review, said "there were still further savings to be made though these would entail long-term transformation delivered in a tight economic climate.” (Taken from the localgov website, 26.11.08).

Now, more than ever, technology has to be seen as a business driver as opposed to a cost centre, in the march towards efficiency savings. Most successful businesses weathering the economic crisis made this leap some time ago (e.g. Tesco supermarket, Amazon online book store, to name just a couple).

interplan® for Latrobe has meant many things, the main being a vessel for change within the organisation (Phil Medley Latrobe City Council, Melbourne Victoria)”

Dates to watch

Comprehensive Area Assessments

Delivering better outcomes through the new assessment framework

Wednesday 18th February 2009, Central London


Using technology to keep the community at ease in times of uncertainty

Just performing in this complex financial environment is not enough to completely satisfy the community. The community wants to be heard, they want to be included in the development of the Council's corporate strategy and involved in the prioritisation of core capital projects. It is also important for the Council to show the community its progress in relation to performance and the efficiency savings that the Council is engaging in through new initiatives to combat the economic recession.

By using the internet, the Council can do all these things, not to solve economic issues but to instil comfort in their communities. Internal performance management, including trend analysis on core KPI's as well as progress reports on core projects can be pushed out to a community via an internet based portal for community consultation and engagement. This will put the community at ease with the Council's attempts to curb the effects of the looming recession.

Technology can also enable two way communication, allowing the community to input information for consolation purposes on core projects as well as becoming involved in performance measures by filling out customer satisfaction surveys which can automatically update KPI's within the council's internal performance management system.

In times of a volatile financial economy, it is vital to ensure the community is involved and aware of Councils' performance and ambitions to remain recession proof and improve efficiency savings.

The interplan® software product can enable performance culture to thrive in a climate of financial and economic uncertainty when it becomes a necessity not a luxury.

interplan® integrates strategic and operational planning with budgets and risk providing a single platform to identify effective and efficient resource use. The system enables the linking of front line actions with corporate objectives to present a holistic view of the organisation's performance against outcomes, (also known as the “golden thread”). The organisation can then identify specific areas for attention to provide efficiencies. In addition, interplan®'s exceptional reporting capability presents organisations with a tool to address failings swiftly, thus shortening the time to resolution and creating greater efficiencies.

Useful Links