Corporate and Business Management
Achieving excellence in corporate and business management
Enabling DPI to achieve results
In response to the Efficient Government Policy and expectations of improved internal business services, the delivery of internal business and corporate services to DPI was reviewed in 2008-09. The review sought to identify the best approach to improve service quality, efficiency and cost effectiveness.
A new internal shared service model was recommended and adopted in principle. After completion of due diligence requirements and extensive consultation, the model was finalised in February 2010. Implementation commenced in March 2010 with more than 200 business services staff transitioning to the new Service Delivery Unit (SDU). Work is continuing on finalising internal management and reporting structures. The development of a service catalogue, with broad consultation across the department, is well advanced.
Performance measurement and benefits assessment of the SDU will be supported by strengthened performance metrics from 2010–11.
DPI made major investments in cross-department projects to reform its business processes and integrate systems to improve efficiency and stakeholder responsiveness.
The Project and Portfolio Management initiative reviewed previous work undertaken in the area and examined DPI’s processes and support systems at 30 workshops involving more than 70 experts from across the department. This analysis confirmed Project and Portfolio Management as a required capability to improve DPI’s preparedness for emergencies and $8.8 million was allocated to undertake the Natural Disaster Emergencies component of the program in the 2010 State Budget.
The Resource Rights Allocation and Management (RRAM) initiative will replace obsolete information technology systems and streamline existing business processes in DPI’s Earth Resources and Fisheries Victoria divisions. The RRAM initiative will provide DPI with improved systems and processes for the protection of Victoria’s recreational and commercial fishing resources for future generations, attraction of new investment in Victoria’s earth resources and support for the emergence of new market opportunities including geothermal energy, geosequestration and aquaculture. The project will provide increased certainty of access to allocated natural resource rights and reduce the administrative burden on the fisheries and earth resources industries. In 2009–10 the process redesign and procurement elements of the project were completed, in preparation for implementation in 2010–11.
DPI’s annual review of its Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Strategy led to the implementation of an improved plan that identified, assessed and prioritised information and communications technology investments. This secured new investment of $11.6 million for advanced scientific computing to establish rapid geosequencing technology at Bundoora and Bendigo to drive innovation, particularly in response to climate change, water scarcity and biological incursions.
Reform of the ICT risk assessment process led to a better understanding of risk when making investment decisions.
DPI has undertaken a number of organisational changes to better align its internal structures to departmental priorities and strategies. In May 2010, the Agriculture and Fisheries Services Group commenced work on structural changes to focus resources on implementing the new Biosecurity Strategy for Victoria and the government’s commitment to Better Services to Farmers, as well as strengthening emergency management before the next fire season.
A new Change Management Framework, designed to provide simple and practical change processes for projects and initiatives was successfully trialled in both the restructure of Agriculture and Fisheries Services Group and in the implementation of the SDU. The framework includes an online toolkit, and experiential workshops designed to develop knowledge, skills and the ability to work actively through change for both leaders and staff. It has strengthened DPI’s capability to manage future change.
Implementation of the Regional Consolidation Strategy announced in August 2008 has continued.
The strategy positions DPI to meet the changing priorities of the farm sector and align capabilities and services with the new directions set by the Future Farming Strategy as well as the investment priorities of industry. In 2009–10, the Walpeup and Toolangi sites closed and the department initiated the divestment of land and buildings at Charlton, Kyabram, Rainbow, Stawell, Euroa and Walpeup. Proceeds from property sales have been reinvested at DPI sites at Tatura and Ellinbank where the department’s dairy research operations have been consolidated, and at Mildura and Horsham which absorbed the continuing research activities from Walpeup.
DPI operates from 71 sites and more than 55 per cent of DPI’s staff are regionally based.
Throughout 2009–10 improvements were made to the DPI website to provide the public and key stakeholders with easier access to topical information, including improved industry content. The web redevelopment is designed to promote better understanding of DPI’s roles, responsibilities and priorities.
Creating a great place to work
The DPI People Strategy was finalised in December 2009. It provides the strategic framework for DPI to build workforce capability with a focus on four key areas:
- Leadership – building better leaders who manage change, live our values and help people understand how their work fits with the organisation’s goals
- Work environment and employee engagement – improving employee engagement and getting the best value from each employee’s contribution
- Succession Management and Workforce Planning – building bench strength at all levels of the organisation and mapping our future workforce needs
- Recruiting talented and diverse people – creating a flexible, diverse workforce for our future. One with the right people, in the right places with the right skills and the resilience for change.
Following feedback on DPI’s values and behaviours from the 2008 Employee Engagement Survey, new behaviours which are better aligned to DPI’s culture and more relevant to individuals were developed in consultation with DPI staff and launched in June 2010. The behaviours guide the way staff work, make decisions, interact with others internally and externally, and contribute to achieving outcomes. The new behaviours will be incorporated into the performance management process for the next annual cycle.
Both employees and managers are accountable for modelling appropriate behaviours. The Living the Values program, launched in November 2009, is underpinned by the Victorian Public Service (VPS) and DPI values, the VPS Code of Conduct, relevant legislation and DPI policies and procedures. The program is designed to raise awareness of the standards of behaviour expected of employees. An online training course for DPI staff has been developed to support this initiative.
Six DPI conferences held in regional Victoria and in Melbourne enabled staff to interact directly with senior executives to gain a better understanding of the department’s strategic direction. A total of 563 staff attended the conferences in 2009–10.
A survey found that 65 per cent of staff agreed that their level of understanding of the department’s strategic direction was “good” or “excellent” after attending the conferences. The staff conferences will continue in 2010–11.
The department is committed to promoting the highest standards of public sector governance to ensure that it continues to serve the Victorian community in a responsive, accountable and professional manner. To demonstrate this commitment, a formal governance framework was implemented in 2009–10, which documents how the department delivers its corporate objectives in line with legislative, regulatory and policy obligations. The framework is based on accepted principles of public sector governance and is aligned with the Good Governance Principles Australian Standard AS 8000-2003.
As part of the department’s commitment to strengthening internal governance, work commenced in March 2010 on a DPI Compliance Framework. The framework will use a risk based approach to manage the department’s compliance obligations. A register of DPI’s obligations was developed in the first stage of the project.
Restructuring the Accredited Purchasing Unit Standing Committee and related operational changes have delivered improvements to the quality of submissions and improved turnaround time for approvals, allowing greater concentration on strategic procurement issues by the committee.
Strengthening planning and reporting
During 2009-10, DPI continued to reinvigorate the internal quarterly performance reports introduced in 2008-09. The reports were strengthened to provide a clearer, more integrated picture of any potential risks to key projects, capability and resources within the Department, and of any actions needed to address these risks.
The Department’s annual conference cycle was refreshed to provide more strategic, longer term planning, and better integration with budget and reporting processes within DPI. The conference cycle brings together investment planning and evaluation for every group within the Department. Changes including the introduction of common timing, Executive budget information sessions and a Management Forum session on priorities for the year ahead will allow these to be integrated for a more holistic, strategic approach to planning for DPI.
As part of the Annual Planning Conference cycle DPI continually reviews how to provide the right services, through the right people and from the best locations in order to meet Government Outcomes and DPI’s Strategic Plan objectives. DPI’s strategic approach involves identifying major cost drivers and reviewing opportunities for the use of technology; modernisation and consolidation of capability, both of people and infrastructure; collaboration with other jurisdictions and industry in research and science; and the sharing of support services.