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Welcome to the 2016 Autumn edition of the Mead Perry Group newsletter.

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In this Issue
 

  • What have we been doing?
  • Feature Story - Resourcing critical decision support
  • MPG Team - Out and About Photo Gallery
  • Client Profile: Getting to know You
  • Further Conferences Scheduled
  • Our Specialist Services
  • Skills Manager
  • 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;
 
 

  • Financial consultancy - 1 Council, 2 projects
  • Election support - 1 Council
  • Change management facilitation - 1 Council
  • IT system procurement and implementation - 1 Council
  • Operations support - 5 Councils, 7 projects
  • Rate methodology review - 7 Councils
  • Plant and oncost review - 1 Council
  • Skills assessment support - 1 Council
  • Cost identification, analysis and control review - 1 Council
  • Staff training and team building - 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!


 

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Resourcing critical decision support

In our work with a range of Councils across Australia we constantly see organisational performance impeded by a lack of quality information to support decision making. The challenge for managers is to find the resources to get day to day operations carried out as well as collecting and analysing the data (business insight activities) that will provide quality decision support.

In this article I want to explore options for organisations to find the resources necessary provide excellent decisions support.

The observations of MPG consultants “in the field” are supported in the results of surveys conducted in the “Local Government Operational and Management Effectiveness Programme” which is a cooperative undertaking by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Local Government Professionals, Australia NSW.

In the “New South Wales Local Government Operational and Management Effectiveness Report - FY14” which was published in April 2015 it was reported on page 4;
“Finance - business insight activities - We continue to see a concentration of finance effort on transactional tasks (67%), with less effort allocated to business insight activities (17%).”

The report for the 2015 financial year showed finance business insight activities effort had increased to 20%.

These survey findings support our view that in many instances organisational performance is being impeded by resource hungry transactional tasks which leaves limited resources for data analysis. This then has a direct impact on the availability of quality decision support for management. We see many organisations caught up in this vicious cycle where the resources required to conduct quality data analysis to inform quality decision making and to build decision support capacity are simply not available.

In most cases Councils do not have access to additional or external resources to be applied to business insight activity. So how can the cycle be broken?

The perhaps obvious and achievable answer is to free up existing resources through improved systems, processes and practices. If we can amend our business processes in a way which continues to deliver services while creating capacity within existing resources, those resources can be directed to business insight activity.

Easy. But how to make the necessary change occur?

Business process improvement
MPG has demonstrated its skills and capacity in the area of Business Process Improvement (BPI) in working with a number of Councils in a variety of functional areas to make positive changes that free up resources and builds capacity. This can take the form of an external review or be achieved through a structured exercise with clear aims and timeframes. With either approach we have been able to work with staff to deliver improved systems and processes that have also freed up resources.
Examples of the positive outcomes include;
  • Reduced duplication and double handling.
  • Reduced data entry.
  • Identification of processes or activities that are not required.
  • Responsive structures to better manage workflow fluctuations thereby freeing up underutilised resources.
  • Use of mobile functionality to improve efficiency and service delivery.
This process invariably identifies new and better ways of doing things and often delivers improved service delivery outcomes with a reduced resource demand. i.e. Doing things better with less.
When resources are freed up staff can be applied to data analysis and other business insight activity that promotes and informs better decision making. For example, after the introduction of electronic time sheeting, payroll staff that had previously spent the majority of their time inputting timesheets can now analyse payroll data to identify workforce issues or trends that can be managed proactively.

Quality information and decision support
Good information allows management to identify real issues and target resources at addressing them.
Some examples of the operational areas that have benefited from having quality information and the resources to analyse it include;
Rating - Allow for complex methodology modelling to better understand the current situation and how it can be enhanced to match Council strategic aims and deliver equity.
Fleet - Provide for a better understanding of plant performance to inform decision making on critical matters such as optimum changeover periods, optimum utilisation targets, operator performance, whole of life costing and purchasing decisions.
Financial forecasting - Giving Council accurate information ensures an understanding of the implications of various decision scenarios and supports quality decision making.
Risk management – The capacity to analyse data collected in areas such as insurance claims, complaints, WH&S incidents etc can provide insight into current circumstances and may perhaps identify areas, activities or individuals in the organisation that need attention. For example, this could be:
  • A particular slasher operator that causes more damage to private property than other operators.
  • A particular branch office that generates a high level of complaints from customers.
  • A particular work group that has a high level of workplace safety incidents.
At MPG we believe that making an effort to create a shift from applying scarce resources to transactional tasks and reallocating them to business insight activities, (Less data inputting - more data analysis) is worth it.

You will create an environment that will provide for quality information to support quality decision making and therefore better outcomes for the organisation and the community.



References
New South Wales Local Government Operational and Management Effectiveness Report for a variety of Councils can be viewed at the following links.
FY 2013
http://www.wollongong.nsw.gov.au/council/meetings/BusinessPapers/Wollongong%20City%20Council%20Measuring%20Our%20Performance.pdf
http://www.oberon.nsw.gov.au/sites/oberon/files/public/Oberon%20Council%20Updated%20LG%20survey%20FY13%20report%20attached_0.pdf
FY 2014
http://www.coolamon.nsw.gov.au/f.ashx/Council/FFTF/Attach_1.pdf
http://www.begavalley.nsw.gov.au/cp_themes/default/page.asp?p=DOC-UMJ-26-01-72
http://www.kempsey.nsw.gov.au/council/meetings/2015/2015-06-16/pubs/2015-06-16-appendix-d-item-5-operational-and-management-effectiveness.pdf
http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/Global/Council/News%20and%20notices/Fit%20for%20the%20Future/A13%20FFF%20PwC%20Comparative%20Survey%20Results_complete.pdf
http://www.gtcc.nsw.gov.au/assets/Main-Site/Files/RP-Media-Community-Information/NSW-LG-Survey-FY14-for-Greater-Taree-(3).pdf
FY 2015
http://www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/Files/CouncilMinutes20152019/4396_Attachment_Item_8_3_
under_separate_cover_LG_Survey_FY15_for_Hunters_Hill_Council_-_160305_1725.pdf

 

MPG Team - Out and About Photo Gallery

The Perry family holiday achievement - conquering Mt Kosciusko!

Scott headed north to the tropics in early January.

Bit of a different view from our regular outback visits!

A momentous occasion - the entire MPG team in the same place at the same time!

Scott headed to Bedourie for a team building exercise with the works department.
Which involved protecting - and then throwing - eggs across the room!
Leanne taking MPG to new heights (pun intended!) - flying with Stuart Bourne of GBA Consulting Engineers.
John in front of our Perth office on a recent visit over to WA.

Our 'Travelling Shirt' continued to pop up in various locations - keep on sending through those pictures - we love to see all the places that it (and you) go!

Hanging out in Melbourne airport.

Jungle surfing in Cape Tribulation.

Bushwalking in the Bunya Mountains.

Client Profile

Getting to know You...

with Lynn Moore, CEO Boulia Shire Council

 

I love doing what I do because…
It's a challenge, frustrating, fun, enlightening, complicated and deals with people and money - two very bad combinations...... 
What takes up most of your spare time?

Cooking. 
What are three things you couldn’t live without?
My partner, Bundaberg Rum and red sand (not necessarily in that order on some days).
What is your favourite weekend activity? 
4WD, camping and sitting under the stars.
What is your career highlight? 
Staying in one career for 30 years and then transitioning to another!
What is your hidden talent?

I am a florist by trade.
One of the most exciting experiences of my life has been...

Spending 18 months travelling around Australia.
The question people always ask me is... 
Why am I here in Boulia and not on the Gold Coast where I was as a Bank Manager.
My best ever holiday was… 
Travelling through Europe.
My favourite movie is… 
Shrek.
I love the smell of… 
Roses, and grass that has just been mowed.
The thing I love most about my town is…
How close it is to the Simpson Desert.
What motto do you live by?

Live in such a way that if someone spoke badly of you - no one would believe them.
 

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


 

Ask us about our Skills Manager Software, it's a very efficient way to keep track of all your training and qualifications!

Skills Manager is a database application that has been developed by Mead Perry Group to manage and report on licences, training and skill development information where the organisation’s corporate systems are not meeting their needs.
The advantage of using a database is the improved reporting options that are available compared to Word or Excel systems.  Skills Manager utilises the Microsoft Access database.  The major aims of Skills Manager include providing reports on:

 

  • individual employees licences and training; and
  • licences and training held by individual employees; and
  • when training or licences have expired.

Our Specialist Services




Local Buy

Register of Pre-Qualified

Suppliers (RPQS)
 


Business Management

Services

BUS 249-0515

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PO Box 142, Highfields   Qld   4352

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