A variety of initiatives from Electronic Government to Best Value share a common theme: the modernisation of public services, often incorporating new technologies.
This latest version of SPRINT has been developed to take into account the emerging modernisation agenda within the UK .
SPRINT is developed around the idea of "alignment by design", where re-engineering of processes is constantly aligned against business goals.
This means that SPRINT can be used not only to deliver, say, e-government solutions, but offers a method for measuring progress against both internal and external targets.
By deciding to use SPRINT at the start of your modernisation programme you can ensure that your development:
- contributes to your e-government strategy
- is aligned with your local priorities
- contributes to achieving Best Value performance indicators
The advantages of this alignment are substantial:
- justifies IT spend by directly contributing to strategic targets
- places modernisation at the heart of your organisation rather than as an add-on
- contributes to performance monitoring throughout a project
Much of the impetus for e-government has been centrally driven, both through the provision of additional funds to help implement e-government, and through various standards, strategies and protocols determined at a national level.
Your local e-government strategy will contribute to national strategy, but also address local needs and circumstances.
Every SPRINT project can contribute to implementing these goals and any recommendations that come out of a SPRINT project should be assessed to see how they are aligned against your e-government strategy - and this alignment can be made clear in any recommendations made, thereby strengthening the case for implementation.
Alignment continues throughout the project, from the initial work on project design, through investigation and re-engineering, and continues in the evaluation of the project.
You will need to:
- Identify the current e-government strategies that are relevant to the project
- Measure to what extent re-engineering proposals contribute to national targets
- Consider whether the project can offer lessons in good practice to other organisations - encourage information sharing.
Most organisations will have a list of specific strategic priorities, often detailed in a mission statement. These are usually overarching - such aims as to provide a high quality service or to consult the citizen. Although these are likely to inform the development of strategy for each part of an organisation, it is often difficult to 'operationalise' the mission statement in any meaningful or measurable way.
Throughout a BPR project using SPRINT, any recommendations are aligned with the organisation's goals - including those expressed in the mission statement.
One of the difficulties in operationalising a mission statement is that the strategic goals are likely to be non-specific so that there is a need to interpret them for a particular department or process.
To do this you need to ask the following questions:
- What does your mission statement contain?
- Is there a local or departmental strategy based upon that mission statement?
- What are the departmental priorities for the following year?
- How is progress to be measured?
The aim is to relate what might be somewhat nebulous strategic goals to the operational reality.
In doing so we can achieve the following :
- Align our work with strategic priorities
- Contribute to the annual report and next year's strategic plan
- Offer evidence of our success in meeting strategic goals
We might summarise our work as follows :
"To recommend a solution that solves a specific operational problem, and in doing so contributes to these strategic goals in these specific ways."
In addition to contributing towards overall strategy, a BPR project should also align with the "Best Value" regime.
Best Value and BPR have the following in common:
- Prioritising work that has the most impact
- A Commitment to continuous improvement
- Measurement of outcomes
A BPR project should incorporate all of these aims, and in doing so make compliance with specific Best Value Performance Indicators easier.
It should be possible to cluster the relevant Best Value indicators around each of the organisation's strategic objectives. For example, BVPI 157, which aims that all possible transactions are electronically enabled by 2005, could be clustered around a pledge to "improve access to council services for all citizens."
Using BPR to help with Best Value has the following advantages:
- Linking of strategic and operational goals with Best Value compliance
- Creating a culture of continual service improvement
- Allows for changes in the Best Value regime - i.e. we are achieving performance targets as an integral part of our service improvement work
- Reducing the time and effort needed to collect metrics
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