Transforming Local Government: What are your tips and views?

 

Transforming Local Government: Courtesy of Guardian Local Government NetworkThe original version of this article was published on The Guardian Local Government Network.

Local authorities are faced with three urgent and immediate challenges: increased demand for services of better quality and quantity; budget cuts; and reorganisation to fit the changing role of local government.

Change management and transformation are the order of the day. Project management techniques offer some useful tools for managing this shift, but there are other considerations that may be neglected.

Complexity and flexibility

Local government essentially operates through complex web of interrelated and interdependent departments and organisations. This means successful transformation of councils demands flexibility and creativity.

To see their policies adopted, politicians need to build support among diverse groups; ambiguity can be an electoral asset in these turbulent times. However, this attitude is incompatible with the clarity required to see local government transform the way it works.

Unfortunately politicians and project managers often attempt to cement this gap with more planning, more measurements, more controls and more rules, exacerbating the divide between politicians and officers. Local government must remain citizen-centred, rather than becoming programme-centred, during this time of change.

From benchmarking to action

While planning ahead is important for council management, it is difficult to meet the needs of residents and communities without their direct involvement in this planning and decision-making process. Instead of attempting to replicate other local government projects through benchmarking systems... Click here to read the full article.

So what are your tips and views for project management in local government?

 

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