200 – Using a local government service catalogue.

Posted by Colin Weatherby                                                                                                                         700 words


Some time ago I discussed how to create a local government service catalogue. The process was simple and effective in describing services in customers’ terms and linking services to cost centres in the budget and those responsible for the cost centres. You might ask, what else needs to be done? Well, for the service catalogue to be really useful it needs to be linked to the organisational planning processes. Here’s how that can be done.

To begin, it is a good idea to test the service catalogue with the community. I have heard of a council using it to lead discussion with ‘peoples’ panels’ about the services delivered, how rates can best be spent, and whether or not the council should seek an exemption from the municipal rate cap being imposed in Victoria. If the community can relate to the services described in the catalogue and understand what they involve, it is likely that you have got the catalogue right. It doesn’t mean that it can’t be further improved, but it is a good start.

The next step is to link the service catalogue to the traditional ‘business unit by business unit’ planning that occurs in local government. Continue reading

143 – Developing a dashboard for performance measurement. A case study – Part 3.

Posted by Colin Weatherby                                                                                         750 words

the score

In the first two posts (see here and here) I discuss the requirements for a performance dashboard for my unit, the sources of performance measurement ideas, and the thinking behind creation of that dashboard. This post has the final dashboard.

At the outset I will remind you that purpose of the dashboard is to provide the performance information that I need in real time to be able to drive my unit. It is not intended to measure everything that might be relevant to understanding the performance of the unit. There will need to be other measures. The objective is to have no more than ten ‘dials’ ion the dashboard.

The performance questions that I have selected that are relevant to real time understanding and management of performance are: Continue reading

140 – Developing a dashboard for performance measurement. A case study – Part 2.

Posted by Colin Weatherby                                                                         810 words

aircraft cockpit

Some time ago I posted on my approach to developing a dashboard for my unit. I set out the ‘performance questions’ that I could need to answer at any point in time as I ‘drive’ my unit. In this post I apply the ideas of Geary Rummler, Alan Brache, Mark Moore and Christopher Stone to determine measures and lead indicators.

The performance questions identified in my first post are intended to get to the heart of the ‘performance logic’ underpinning performance management of the unit. Understanding the performance logic is an idea from Rummler and Brache. Seeing the performance logic as a series of ‘performance questions’ comes from a handy paper by Bernard Marr on the Advanced Performance Institute website, ‘What are key performance questions’  and how they can be used to engage people in dialogue about performance and guide the design of meaningful performance indicators. Continue reading

113 – Improving service operations. Finish with service redesign.

Posted by Colin Weatherby                                                                         1300 words

service redesign board

The first post on improving service operations covered service action planning. Both posts have followed a discussion about service improvement with a colleague in which he described a process he has been using with operational staff to work out how their work can be improved. This post discusses redesigning services when that has been an action identified in the service action plan.

If the need to redesign services has been identified in the service action plan there is a good chance that all team members are on board and prepared to discuss some big changes. This is really a prerequisite for significant change in local government, otherwise there is a risk that you are just ‘revolutionising’ people and will have no long term effect.

Stage 2 – Service redesign.

The first step is to separate the services with different demands, operations typology and performance objectives (this has been the subject of an earlier post). Then related services are grouped together. The last step is to redesign services to integrate similar services and plan implementation of the new service. This includes risk analysis of key aspects of the service and planning the new supervisory role required to make the service design work. Continue reading

108 – Melbourne City Council: Organisational Capability Review, May 2015.

Posted by Colin Weatherby                                                                         1300 words

Melbourne capability review model

The public release of this critical report has been something of a surprise. Commissioned in March 2015 and released in May, the report prepared by Jude Munro, Dr Bronte Adams and Steve Parker has looked at three key capabilities; leadership, strategy and delivery. Each has been rated on a four point scale for several elements. Out of the ten attributes rated, six were seen as a ’development area’ and one as a ‘serious concern’. The remaining three were seen as ‘well placed’ and none were seen as ‘strong’ (p.14). So what does this mean?

melbourne assessment criteria ratingsThe report states that this is the first time that this review model has been applied to local government in Australia. Its intention is to provide a forward looking, whole of organisation review that assesses an organisation’s ability to meet future objectives and challenges.


“This review provides the opportunity and impetus to take a very good organisation and make it even better.” Ben Rimmer, CEO

Continue reading

89 – Local government strategy implementation. Myth 4: A performance culture drives execution.

Posted by Lancing Farrell                                                                                              530 words

multiple targets

This is the fourth post in a series of five. The first post discussed the myth that strategy execution equals alignment, the second post discussed the myth that strategy execution means sticking to the plan, and the third post covered the myth that communication equals understanding.

Sull, Homkes and Sull disagree with executives who believe that a weak performance culture is the reason strategy isn’t translated into results. They say that the ‘official culture’ may not support execution, however, the organisation’s true values will reveal themselves when managers make hard choices from day to day, which usually have a focus on performance.

Two thirds of managers cited past performance as the performance most valued when promotion decisions are made. Underperformers are generally not dealt with well. The majority of organisations studied delay action (33%), deal with underperformance inconsistently (34%) or tolerate it (11%). Overall, the companies surveyed had a strong performance culture, yet they struggled to execute strategy.

The authors believe that the reason is that organisations that value execution must recognise and reward factors other than past performance. Continue reading

81 – Designing a performance management system. Part 2 – A process.

Posted by Lancing Farrell                                                              560 words

measures process a

This is the second post in this series. The first post discussed the type of measures needed to manage for performance. This post looks at how you can design an integrated performance management system.

The starting point for developing a performance management system is the ‘performance logic’ of the organisation. What are the most important indicators or measures of performance for your organisation? What are the key requirements of customers and the main strategic business needs of the organisation? Continue reading