105 – Some characteristics of services demands that are important.

Posted by Lancing Farrell                                                              1100 words

operations typology 2

Image from Operations Management, 1998.

Some time ago I posted on high performance job design using four characteristics or spans; control, accountability, influence and support. At the time I linked the concept to the operations typology describing four characteristics of design of operations for high performance. This post picks up that discussion to look at the characteristics of demands that it is essential to understand if you want to design and manage your operations for high performance or excellence in local government.

A number of recent books on public sector management have discussed demands and how it is essential to understand them in public services because payment is not made at the time of service consumption and, therefore, price does not directly influence the amount and nature of demands placed on the system.

In his Vanguard Method John Seddon describes the importance of fulfilling purpose if failure demand is to be avoided. He also talks about understanding flow in relation to how work enters a system. Both of these ideas relate to demands. If purpose (i.e. the value sought by someone or their demand on the system) is not correctly understood the work system will not meet their need. They will come back.

Mark H. Moore includes operational capacity in his ‘strategic triangle’ concept linking decisions from the authorising environment to the public value provided. An organisation must have the operating capacity (or capability as Moore describes it in his earlier book Creating Public Value) to deliver on the political commitment to create particular public value. Continue reading

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68 – Design a management job for high performance. Part 2 – some local government examples.

Posted by Lancing Farrell                                                              1000 words

sliders

In the first post I discussed a tool that you can use to test your current job design to see whether it has been designed for high performance. In the second post I elaborated on the theory behind the tool. In this post (another long one I am afraid) I will attempt to apply it to design three local government management positions that I am familiar with. Continue reading

67 – Design a management job for high performance. Part 1 – some theory.

Posted by Lancing Farrell                                                              1250 words

sliders

In the previous post I discussed a tool that you can use to test your current job design to see whether it has been designed for high performance. In this post I will elaborate on the theory behind the tool. This is a long post but I didn’t want to split the story. Sorry. In the next post I will attempt to apply the theory to the design of three local government management roles that I am familiar with.

Simons’ starting point in discussing the design of high performance jobs is failure to implement strategy. Why is it that organisations with clear strategy, access to resources and developed relationships still fail? He points out managers being too complacent and slow to respond, instead of being entrepreneurial. Problems coordinating activities across functions. Decision making is fragmented. Costs are excessive and eroding surpluses. When these symptoms become evident senior managers start to wonder whether they have put the wrong people in critical jobs. However, Simons says that the problem is systemic across the organisation. Continue reading

66 – Is your job designed for high performance? How can you tell?

Posted by Lancing Farrell                                                                                              500 words

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I have posted previously on high performance local government organisations (see here and here). Have you ever wondered whether or not your job has been designed? Did someone sit down and decide on the role your position must play for the organisation to be successful? Were the resources you have been given, the goals you have been set, the decisions you have the right to make, or the relationships you have with others in your organisation been carefully selected? The chances are they weren’t. Continue reading