Friday, 30 November 2007

Where next for transformational government?

I've been re-reading some information on Transformational Government as it's now two years since the original strategy was published back in November 2005. Amongst implementation and progress papers I found a really interesting one in the Work Foundation's 'Public Services & ICT' series entitled: 'Where next for transformational government?' by Alexandra Jones and Laura Williams. It's dated September 2006 but the content is still very relevant to where I work over a year on. After giving some background it details the challenges that we continue to face:

  • Lack of link between project and organisation's key strategic priorities
  • Lack of clear senior management (and ministerial) ownership and leadership
  • Lack of effective stakeholder engagement
  • Lack of skills and proven approach to project and risk management
    • Scope Creep
    • Unrealistic Timescales
    • Perfection tomorrow rather than compromise today
    • Not enough attention paid to risk profiles

  • Lack of understanding of and contact with supply industry and senior levels
    • Avoid over-design of the procurement specification
    • Create genuine partnerships
    • Be realistic about risk transfer
    • More honesty from suppliers

  • Evaluation of proposals driven by initial price rather than long-term value
    • Business benefits should be the real measure of success
    • Not just time and cost

  • Too little attention to chunking project into manageable steps
    • More projects need rigorous piloting
    • Lack of Communication between policymakers and deliverers, and IT managers and senior managers

  • Inadequate resources and skills to deliver the total delivery portfolio

And conversely, it also highlights what makes a successful project (nothing really new here):
  • Clear and realistic business strategy with ICT as enabler
    • Keep it simple
      • Simplify transactions
      • Incentivise cheaper options
      • Different solutions for different services
      • Design services around customers
      • Do a pilot
      • Have a safety net

  • Processes redesigned to be more effective
  • Leaders engaged in project and visibility committed to success
  • Change management strategy engaging staff
  • Investment in capacity of staff
  • Customer segmentation - Understanding different customer needs
  • Good relationships with suppliers
  • Risks identified and managed

The report finishes with 10 recommendations. I won't detail them here though, go and have a look for yourself. It's actually a really good report (unlike some I've read).

Do you see these challenges for you and your organisation (if you work in government anyway!)?

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Chartered IT Professional? What do they know anyway?

This is the question that the British Computer Society are seeking to answer. Are an IT professional and have thoughts on the charter mark for the IT profession? Or perhaps you are simply curious about the 'Body of Knowledge' that all Chartered IT Professionals will be expected to demonstrate.

Currently is is split into 'Knowledge and Understanding' and 'Skills'. They will structure into topics towards the end of the consultation to make it easier to navigate. I've started to add my penny worth... from what I can see so far it seems to be too detailed at all levels. However, I've only just skimmed the surface.

Head over to the website and have your say.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

itSMF Conference, v3 Qualifications and News

Well I've just returned from this year's itSMF conference '[R]evolution?'. I've mixed feelings about it this year as I felt that the quality of some of the seminars wasn't as high as last year. Perhaps I was unfortunate in my selection of which I chose to attend. That said, there were some excellent seminars and I shall endeavour to write my thoughts and share some useful nuggets from those in the coming weeks. As always, I'm sure it won't be long before the itSMF publish all the presentations on their website. Incidentally, we're supposed to be seeing a brand new design for their website launching at some point in Decemeber. About time too!

Today I just wanted to bring two things to your attention:

1. The ITIL v3 Qualification Scheme has been finalised (well, according to the website, but at the conference Rosemary Gurney did put in a little caveat). You can read the full qualification scheme information on the OGC's Best Management Practice website.

2. The final edition of the ITIL Refresh news is out (picked up a copy at the conference and now see it online).

That's all for the moment, more to come soon!

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Dream, Think, Act!

For awhile there I forgot that my blog is also about personal development but today I was reminded that there's more to life than IT Service Management (hard to believe, but there you have it!

I came across an inspirational blog, the content of which is consistent with the things I like at sites such as Manager Tools and Mind Tools, i.e. Clear, practical, effective advice for personal development. It's called 'Dream, Think, Act' by Edith Yeung.

Among the many posts that picqued my interest was one about PCS - Personal Credibility Score. Credibility is crucial to my personal brand, particularly in the workplace.

Her post covers the following key points:

First Impressions
  • Confident
  • Approachable
  • Articulated
  • Clean
  • Punctual
  • Authentic
  • Available
  • Passionate
  • Under Promise Over Deliver
  • Honesty

Maintaining Your Creditability
  • Consistent
  • Say No

Take 5 minutes to read the full article, you'll be glad you did!