Critics maul performance ... not really!
- Is this really advanced stuff?
- Would it be typical for a public sector audience of that make-up to struggle with this?
- Would an equivalent private sector audience struggle?
A couple of comments were due to the lack of context for this clip, which is a 9 minute extract from a 30 minute presentation. It also followed a presentation from Peter Fanning (the acting head of OGC) who talked about the GatewayTM process. Much more information about this process was therefore given to the audience by both Peter and myself and the latter part of my own presentation went into the detailed application that some commented on as lacking.
Is this really advanced stuff?
Only two or three of seventeen comments indicated that this was anything but pretty basic stuff.
- A lack of familiarity with the OGC GatewayTM model might have been a hindrance (I believe this to be true notwithstanding the contextual comments made above)
- The example used might have been better - examples are always problematic!
Would it be typical for a public sector audience of that make-up to struggle with this?
Of fourteen comments made, twelve amount to "Yes" and a number of different reasons are cited:
- "they said so" approach
- basics of "why do a project" not understood
- OGC Gateway model not understood
- the whole concept of benefits still not a familiar one - risk reduction is the key driver for projects
- political pressures reinforce this
- belief that benefits will accrue automatically
- confusion between deliverables and benefits
- focus on policy rather than delivery
- linkage of delivery to policy not there - fine tuning of policy not even thinkable
- mismatch between responsibility and accountability
Would an equivalent private sector audience struggle?
Of eleven comments made, at least six thought that a private sector audience would struggle less. Some might still struggle where there is:
- "they said so" approach
- lack of empowerment
- lack of benefits focus
- lack of exposure to commercial realities
- belief in automatic accrual of benefits
The accepted wisdom is that the Public Sector now leads the Private Sector in many areas of project management. This does not appear to be one of those areas.
Although benefits management is widely acknowledged and frequently cited, adoption by the public sector has not kept pace with their definition of processes and what happens 'on the ground' is not what is 'in the book'.
A particular barrier to progress appears to be the delineation between policy and delivery arms of government. The 'feedback loop' which allows modification of objectives in the light of detailed analysis of delivery seems to be completely lacking and perhaps even culturally unacceptable, but is of fundamental importance to Benefits Management.
Lack of direct exposure to commercial pressures takes away a key driver for the adoption of Benefits Management and this may be exacerbated by a lack of empowerment.
Whatever the reasons, there is clearly more work to be done in this area.