Reviewing internal operations

Categories: Article

A key aspect of a service review is the examination of the internal operational components that relate to the service. This helps ensure internal efficiency is optimised and the required outcomes are achieved in the best way possible.

A formal review of the structure, systems and processes that are involved in the delivery of a service provides the opportunity to identify direct cost savings, service level improvements, reductions in resource usage, etc. Some examples of service aspects that could be considered include the following:

  • Examine the areas of the organisational structure that relate to the service, e.g. a centralised versus decentralised approach to service delivery. From how many different locations is the service delivered? Should they be combined? Should ‘like’ services be co-located?
  • Examine the relevant processes, procedures, work practices, and tools. This includes analysing key processes to identify process gaps and opportunities for improvement. Look for opportunities to automate processes using technology, etc., and consider reducing red tape, duplication of activities, and overly complex processes.
  • SmartGov can provide further information on the many formal business and process improvement techniques that are available to support decision-making and extract maximum efficiency in a robust and consistent manner.
  • Explore ways to optimise staff productivity, e.g. redesign jobs to increase the variety of tasks and improve job satisfaction, review working hours, review overtime levels, recognise excellent service, provide incentives and rewards, provide training, measure outputs, and monitor progress.
  • Review regulatory controls and lobby for legislative change to improve efficiency and maximise productivity.
  • Explore methods to optimise or reduce resource usage. This may include rationalising and making better use of assets or infrastructure associated with the service, e.g. reducing the number of assets by combining some and selling others. Assets such as community halls and buildings facilities could be sold, leased, consolidated, regenerated, and/or shared.

As a guide, facilities meeting the following criteria may be underperforming and possible candidates for disposal:

  • Under utilised, both in terms of number of people and proportion of time
  • Small number of community sectors using the facility
  • Low level of community support and community involvement
  • Duplication of other nearby facilities
  • Poor accessibility (parking, public transport, disability access, etc)
  • Poorly matched to the demographics of the area
  • Services not suited to the zoning of the area
  • Adversely affected by external noise
  • Adversely affected by traffic in the surrounding area
  • In poor condition (structural, mechanical, fire and essential services, kitchen)
  • Present a significant maintenance burden in future years due to the condition
  • Present high risk to Council
  • Relatively low income from usage
  • Require high expenditure to bring up to current day standards

The SmartGov Team