Measurement of productivity low in government

By Lilia Guan
Telecommunication giant – Telstra’s survey ‘Productivity Indicator 2011’ found that 72 per cent of Government organisations rate productivity as a top priority.
However, in the government space, only 14 per cent of agencies were setting productivity performance targets, measuring productivity and can claim to have improved productivity in the last 12 months.
This leads to a productivity improvement deficit in government organisations of 58 per cent.
Telstra enterprise and government, managing director, Paul Geason said government organisations have different priorities to the private sector.
“In the Telstra Productivity Indicator (TPI) government respondents rated risk management as the top priority followed by creating an engaged workforce,” he said.
“Given the size of the productivity deficit in government organisations and the fact that many tend to be late adopters of new technologies, there is a great opportunity for improvement.”
According to Mr Geason agencies were looking at ways to become more productive through refining processes, delivery of services and adopting the latest technology to improve productivity.
“The research does highlight that setting targets and measuring productivity is the fundamental way to realising whether the organisation is productive,” he said.
“The Telstra research this year highlights two distinct groups which we have called Productivity Leaders and Followers.”
Mr Geason said productivity Leaders have six attributes and behaviours that underpin their commitment to productivity.
“Leaders recognise the importance of making investments to improve productivity,” he said.
“They have invested in ICT in the past and plan to do so in the future. They invest in whole of organisation productivity programs and collaboration.”
The TPI also indicates that managing risk is the top priority for Government organisations, followed by creating an engaged workforce, improving productivity and improving customer experience.
“However, setting productivity targets and measuring productivity is definitely key to realising whether you are improving productivity,” Mr Geason said.
“There are no silver bullets so Government organisations need to define a productivity strategy and stick to an investment program – this includes commitments to new technologies and upgrades that enable new services.”
The ‘Telstra Productivity Indicator’ was an annual survey sponsored by Telstra and conducted by Sweeney Research.
This year interviews were conducted with 350 Australian directors, senior executives and managers in medium to large public and private sector organisations between November 2010 and January 2011.

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