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Welcome to the 2014 Winter edition of the Mead Perry Group newsletter.

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In this Issue

  • What have we been doing?
  • New MPG Team Member
  • Feature: Change Management, Business & Process Improvement
  • LGMA Service Review Workshops
  • Conferences
  • Our Specialist Services
  • Mead Perry Group joined Facebook!
  • Our Local Buy registration contract details

What have we been doing?

We have been keeping busy with a variety of specialist projects for Councils throughout Australia, including but not limited to;
  • Organisational Review - 1 Council;
  • On-cost Review - 2 Councils;
  • Plant Hire Review - 3 Councils;
  • Policy Review - 1 Council;
  • Rates Review - 6 Councils;
  • Change Projects - 4 Projects - 2 Councils;
  • Rates and Utilities Review - 1 Council;
Does your organisation need advice or assistance in any of these areas?

We can help.


MPG feel it is important to ensure good communication and networking continues to be a high priority with both existing and new clients to better serve needs of local governments and the issues that immediately affect you!



 

John checking out the local artwork at Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council.

Peta Irvine - CEO LGMA Queensland & Mark Watt - CEO Longreach Regional Council after completion of the Service Review Workshop held in Longreach.

Scott's Change Project Operational Team at Bulloo Shire Council.


 

Scott Mead's Business Process Improvement Stores & Creditors Team at Quilpie Shire Council

New MPG Team Member

 

Mead Perry Group is pleased to announce that Tanya Paynter has joined the MPG team as Business Development & Client Liaison.

A significant part of Tanya’s role will be client liaison and business development so you will no doubt be hearing from her in the near future as she gets to know our customers.

Tanya will be the first point of contact for MPG and is looking forward to assisting you however she can.

Tanya brings with her a high degree of professionalism and quality business and administrative skills. With 10 years of office and administration experience we are sure that she will continue to enhance MPG performance and service delivery to our clients.

We are excited to have Tanya on board and she is looking forward to working with all of MPG’s many clients, industry contacts and her fellow MPG team members.

Tanya will be accompanying the rest of the MPG team to the LGMA 2014 Annual Conference to be held in the Bunya Mountains in September, so please feel free to drop in to the Mead Perry Group chalet to catch up with her and the rest of the team.

 

 Welcome to the MPG Team, Tanya. 

 

Scott presenting at the LGMA NQ Branch Conference at Bamaga.

View from the barge from Horn Island to Thursday Island en route to the LGMA NQ Branch Conference at Bamaga.

Feature Story

Change management, business and process improvement, service reviews?The “why, what, where and how” simplified. 
This article aims to give readers an understanding of the fundamentals of these concepts and how to apply them in practice.

Why?

As we are all well aware, in recent years Councils have been presented with the following issues;
 
  • An increase in the range of services provided.
  • Increased community expectations for the range and level of services provided.
  • Increased devolution of responsibilities from other levels of Government.
  • Increased compliance and regulation.
  • A decrease in external revenue sources.
Given these challenges, Councils need to be effective and efficient in delivering service.
They need to understand and make informed decisions with regard to what services are to be delivered and to what standard.
They need to maintain operations and provide service levels that are financially sustainable.
In order to deliver these outcomes there is a need to be reviewing and improving all aspects of Council operations to ensure best value and quality is delivered.

 

What?

Change management, business and process improvement, service reviews etc are names that describe a simple process of improving things by;
 
  • Establishing how things work at present (current state).
  • Analysing and establishing the positives and negatives of that current state.
  • Developing a vision or goal for how we would like the thing to be / work (new state).
  • Developing a plan to move from the current to the new state.
  • Implementing the plan.
  • Start again.
Whilst this is a simple process, unfortunately we are often confused by new jargon, theories and systems that are designed to put a slightly new slant on old ideas.
PDSA (Plan Do, Study, Act), Lean, Kaizen, Six Sigma, Lean–Six Sigma are some of the formalised approaches to making improvement that we are exposed to and that can be used to guide and assist you in improving what you do. 
Unfortunately being faced with a range of seemingly complicated options can be daunting and off-putting. People can be concerned that they may use the wrong approach or not have the time to become expert in all approaches. The result can then be that the attempt at improvement is not made or a change decision is made in isolation without any structured decision support process.
Critically, making things too complex can take the focus off the fundamental elements of a structured improvement process and have people concentrating on the tools rather than the outcome.
It is a bit like mowing the lawn. There are any number of tools that you can use to make the job easier for you but at the end of the day it is about making your grass shorter. So it doesn’t matter if you have a ride on mower, mechanical mower, electric mower or even buy a sheep, they will all cut the grass. The main thing is that it suits your needs and works for you.
Therefore if you have an understanding of the basic elements of the process you can choose the tools or approach that suits you and the particular situation you are faced with.

Where?

Improving things can and should be done in all areas of Council business.
Projects may relate to understanding and implementing decisions about service levels and delivery, however they can also address matters such as for example, how Council does its strategic planning, community engagement, compliance, systems, HRM,………anything.
Some projects may include engaging with the community or other Councils, other levels of government or the private sector.
In short, anything Council does may be able to be improved, therefore should be subject to review.
With limited resources and time it is however important that reviews, change or business and process improvement projects be identified and prioritised to ensure that the most important areas are addressed and best value is delivered.

 

How?

The basic steps in doing a project to improve things are as follows;
 
  1. Current analysis
  2. Future vision
  3. Implementation plan development
  4. Be conscious that commitment from Council and senior management is vital.
  5. Ensure adequate resourcing is available.
  6. Remember to engage staff and develop ownership by them.
  7. Establish a plan or overall approach for a change /review/improvement program.
  8. Prioritise projects to be carried out. (These may not be the high profile or “flashy” projects but the ones that will provide good returns to Council)
  9. Scoping the project is vital.
  10. Keeping to tight time frames is important.
  11. Teams should be made of workers not management.
  12. Management should be sponsors and supporters of the groups.
  13. Vision is an important part of the exercise and should be a groups vision of where we are going as a group and team.
  14. Important not to let individual ideas dictate of what should happen.
  15. Implementation phase is critical.
  16. Commitment must be maintained,
  17. Implementation monitored.
  18. Implementation resource
Good luck with your improvement project, whatever title you choose to give it.

 

SERVICE REVIEW WORKSHOPS

Mead Perry Group were fortunate enough to be invited to facilitate two service review workshops on behalf of the LGMA. 

The first, in Toowoomba, provided an opportunity for the six councils in attendance to discuss what services are being reviewed in their organisations and how this is being undertaken.  Facilitated by Scott Mead, the nature of various reviews and the fact that they are often undertaken as part of usual business without being defined internally as a formal review were discussed. 

The sharing of experiences between councils was useful and a number of conversations during the morning tea break allowed delegates to quiz other councils further about their activities.

A key discussion point at this workshop was how to gain buy-in and maintain motivation for a review, especially buy-in by elected members and senior staff.  This included how to develop clarity regarding the objective of the review as, in the experience of some delegates, this was not always clearly articulated and only became clear once recommendations were developed.

Thank you very much to Toowoomba Regional Council for hosting this workshop – the weather was perfect and the food delicious!

The Longreach workshop took a slightly different tack - building on work already in train.  The forum provided an opportunity to debrief progress to date and to discuss alternative approaches and next steps.  There was excellent discussion and some good ideas put forward that attendees propose to try over coming weeks.  We look forward to seeing how these work out.

Thank you to Longreach Regional Council for excellent hosting as always.

In an effort to promote the wide range of work that is being undertaken to review services across the state, LGMA Queensland will compile a paper highlighting the activity.  This will be provided to councils and the state government as a reference tool. 

If you did not attend a workshop but want information included in the paper, please send an email to: peta@lgmaqld.org.au

Mead Perry Group wishes to thank LGMA and Peta Irvine for the opportunity to participate in these workshops.

John Perry introducing speaker Lynda Folan at the LGMA NW Branch Conference in Broome.



 

View from the LGMA NW Branch Conference in Broome.

Leanne Rogers working with Shandell Smith of Diamantina Shire Council.



 

Leanne Rogers, John Perry & Scott Mead working on upcoming business development projects.

Conferences


Sponsoring and Attending

LGMA Queensland Annual Conference 2014, (Bunya Mountains 2-4 September 2014)

The entire MPG team will be attending the upcoming Annual Conference.  We are proud to announce that we will be participating as Chalet Partners at this years conference.  The purpose this year will be to provide space away from the daily demands to consider the 'why' rather than the 'what' or 'how' to work with your team on your strategic objectives.

Speakers will be:
Neil Paulsen - Associate Professor in Leadership & Management, University of Queensland
David Cropley  - Associate Professor in Engineering Innovation, University of South Australia
Katherine McLennan - Head of Global Leadership Academy, QBE Insurance
Gihan Perara - Keynote Speaker
Dr Irena Yashin-Shaw  - Innovation Workshop Speaker
Rob Noble & Dr Veronica Lunn  - Leading Self and Teams Workshop Speaker


118th LGAQ Annual Conference 2014, (Mackay Entertainment & Convention Centre 27-29  October 2014)

Scott Mead & Tanya Paynter will be attending the upcoming Annual Conference.   The theme this year is 'Going for Growth' with a focus on how to seek out and harness opportunities to better serve and progress our communities.

Speakers will be:
Charles Landry - Cultural Planning Consultant and acclaimed author
Professor AJ Brown  - Professor Public Policy and Law, Griffith University
Steve Tait - CEO Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland
Cr Pam Parker - Mayor, Logan City Council
Cr John Schilling  - Cairns Regional Council
Cr Greg McLean -  Mayor, Hopevale Aboriginal Shire Council
Cr Ray Brown  - Mayor, Western Downs Regional Council
Craig James - Commsec
Katrina Houghton  - Director, Economic Development and Community Services, Cook Shire Council
Nigel Marsh  - Saxton Speakers Bureau
Amanda Gore - Saxton Speakers Bureau



LGMA Annual State Conference 2014, (The Esplanade Hotel Fremantle - 29-31October 2014)


 

Further Conferences scheduled for your information

Queensland
Local Government Association
Local Government Managers Australia
South Australia
Local Government Association
Local Government Managers Australia

New South Wales
Local Government Association
Local Government Managers Australia
Victoria
Local Government Association
Local Government Managers Australia
Tasmania
Local Government Association
Local Government Managers Australia
Western Australia
Local Government Association
Local Government Managers Australia
Northern Territory
Local Government Association


 

Our Specialist Services

Mead Perry Group have officially joined Facebook! Click the link below or find us at www.facebook.com/meadperrygroup.

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PO Box 142, Highfields   Qld   4352

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