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Introduction to SDD and SDD’s project methodology

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1 Introduction to SDD and SDD’s project methodology
Note: the policy examples in this document are for illustrative purposes only

2 The best policy advice is strategic
Good policy is clear about the objectives and outcomes the policy is trying to achieve and the means by which those objectives and outcomes will be achieved. Formulating the best policy advice requires the taking of a strategic approach A strategic approach has numerous characteristics, most notably: Long term thinking; Holistic analysis; Using a strong evidence base; and Analysing underlying problems What do we mean by ‘Strategic approach’? To assist in taking a strategic approach, strategic policy projects may be instigated intensive strategic focus on a particular policy problem, often with a dedicated team of policy officers from a range of multidisciplinary perspectives Strategic policy projects

3 Strategic policy projects often address complex public policy problems
Complex problems have common characteristics1 Examples of complex problems: Complex problems have: No definitive formulation (defining complex problems is a complex problem) No stopping rule Solutions that are better or worse (rather than true or false) No immediate test of a solution No enumerable (or an exhaustively describable) set of potential solutions Within them, symptoms of other problems High stakes - the planner has no right to be wrong (planners are liable for the consequences of their actions) Water reform COAG architecture Schools reform Micro-economic reform Closing the gap Congestion in cities Behavioural change to drive energy efficiency Health and hospitals Federalism Jobs and the economy of the future Local government reform Cyber-crime Policy formulation does not start with a clean slate We rarely get the chance to engage in policy design from scratch (e.g. design a new tax system from the ground up) More often we are asked to look at an area with a range of policies, programs, incentives and disincentives at play and ask the questions : Where Australia could go from here? How could we improve upon our current situation? What are some steps we could take to move forward? Doing this well requires people to combine both a sense of realism with innovative thinking Source: 1) The characteristics of complex problems are not unique and there are many variants. These characteristics are drawn from the work of Rittel and Webber on ‘wicked problems’ – an early conceptualisation of this approach, see Rittel, Horst, and Melvin Webber; "Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning," pp. 155–169, Policy Sciences, Vol. 4, Elsevier Scientific Publishing Company, Inc., Amsterdam, 1973.

4 Solving these complex public policy problems requires a strategic approach
Thinking beyond the next incremental decision Consider how government may position the nation for the future through actions today Thinking beyond any government silos Consideration of issues from whole of government/society perspectives involves ‘inter-systems’ thinking – thinking beyond any particular portfolio or disciplinary perspective These represent some of the key elements associated with taking a strategic approach to policy Not all elements will be relevant to any given policy issue Given time and resourcing constraints, it is simply not possible to always consider all policy issues using an intensive strategic approach Use of the strategic approach should be based on the complexity of the problem, resource and time constraints Most of the projects SDD undertakes are complex and require a strategic approach to be taken Longer-term horizons Holistic perspective Underlying problems Innovative and creative solutions Strong evidence base Shape the future debate Inclusively engage stakeholders Consideration of implementation Compellingly communicated Multi-disciplinary perspective Persuasive Communicated in a simple and logical fashion which is compelling to the reader Sound rationale and use of narrative to aide communication Going beyond treating the symptoms to understand what is truly driving a problem and in turn how it can be addressed. Taking the time to ensure that the right question is being answered Plan to manage and mitigate implementation risks. Consider how best to implement change through the whole delivery system, connecting front-line service delivery to cabinet room policy decision making Consider and take on board ideas that may seem radical Transformational change is considered New approaches that can be used or solutions that can be borrowed from other domains Ensure a range of viewpoints are understood and accounted for. This should lead not only to more informed policy advice, but also more innovative and creative solutions Applying the most robust analysis to the best available evidence, in order to develop informed answers to the questions posed Create a space for new debates and new discussions to take place

5 STAIR is an approach to problem solving and policy development
To complete strategic policy projects rigorously to tight deadlines, our approach has five broad components Projects are set up for success with concrete deliverables Regular meeting rhythm and process Narrative and storytelling used to communicate efficiently and effectively Communication a focus right from day one, never just at the end of a project Compellingly communicated Dedicated project management To make sure our recommendations and ideas are understood and acted upon To ensure projects with tight deadlines are delivered on time STAIR is an approach to problem solving and policy development STAIR employs private-sector techniques adjusted for a complex policy environment to State, Test, Analyse, Iterate and Resolve Engaging stakeholders Focus on scoping To make sure we are asking the right question, and solving the right problem To ensure we get input from those that matter, and get to the right answer for all concerned Critical to our approach is bringing people along the journey and getting input from the start Complex and wide-ranging policy projects require input from a broad range of people ‘Nailing the question’ is a key feature of SDD’s distinctiveness Complex strategic policy projects require a significant amount of time spent just getting the question right The way each of these components is used varies across different projects and SDD’s approach is evolving and is not ‘set in stone’.

6 Strategic project teams need to build a culture of trust, collaboration and innovation
People should feel comfortable to speak up and put their ideas on the table This happens when: Team members are encouraged to put their views forward and they are discussed respectfully The confidentiality of sensitive information and viewpoints is maintained A sense of shared ‘team ownership’ for the project and its outcomes is cultivated Collaboration Collaboration is vital both within the team and with external stakeholders This happens when: Project management harnesses team member’s different skill sets and experiences effectively A common sense of the policy narrative for the project is developed while capitalising on the different perspectives of team members Ongoing SDD staff are paired up effectively with secondees and interns Expectations for the project are clearly outlined to team members and external stakeholders Innovation Left-field or ‘out-of-the-square thinking should be encouraged This happens when: Project teams ask the question: ‘what is the piece of really interesting work or analysis we could do here?’ There is time to read widely and test whether policy solutions can be borrowed from other domains People take a ‘citizen-centred’ approach and think about what the problems are for people on the ground and how any proposed solutions would impact on them

7 The best way to understand SDD’s project methodology is to apply it using a case study scenario
Over the course of the day your group will complete five activities that echo the first key steps of a typical SDD project: An information gathering activity where you will identify the precise nature of the problem and its context, and familiarise yourself with current thinking; A project scoping activity where you will develop an ‘issues tree’ to systematically break the problem down into its component issues and use this analysis to generate a project plan; A statement generation activity where you will have a ‘first crack at the answer’, tease-out your core assumptions and identify the most effective analytical methods to test these assumptions; A stakeholder mapping activity where you will identify the individuals/groups most affected by your project and consider how best to identify, balance and respond to, their competing needs and interests; and A ‘ghost deck’ activity where you will use narrative techniques to ‘storyboard’ your project’s aims, assumptions and analyses and present your argument to your project sponsor. Commissioning Brief: Hypothetical example – Women’s workforce participation project The Prime Minister recently attended a dinner where an academic gave a speech on women’s participation in Australia, noting that Australia has slipped to number 50 on the 2009 World Economic Forum Gender Global Index of women’s labour market participation. The Secretary has asked for a strategic policy project to consider ways in which the workforce participation rate of women in Australia could be increased. The Secretary has stressed that he would like the project to consider all the issues and drivers associated with the problem, rather than focusing purely on economic issues. This will be a twelve week project for SDD involving five staff (three ongoing and two secondees).

8 Focus on scoping STAIR approach to problem solving and policy development Inclusively engaging stakeholders Compellingly communicated Dedicated project management

9 Project scoping is our opportunity to really nail the question – and identify the different approaches we can bring What is the problem? What is in and out of scope? Can the problem be solved? What is the interesting piece of work we can do? What is the real goal or outcome that we want to achieve? And therefore, what is the real question we are being asked? What has been tried in the past? Is there a better question to be asked? What are the constraints? And which of these constraints are truly binding? Complex problems cross multiple dimensions – to make the project tractable we need to agree on what is out of scope. Some things may be out of scope for political or practical reasons Clarifying scope is important in managing stakeholder expectations. Sometimes the combination of constraints and scope mean that we cannot make a meaningful contribution – we should be honest and say that We can still maximise our contribution by providing clarity on the issue and identifying the barriers to solving the problem In most projects we need to do more than review existing literature or data. What is the different approach that we can take? What is the distinctive piece of analysis or modeling that will illustrate an aspect of the problem in a different way – leading to a distinct solution? We are in the privileged position to be able to challenge the question we are being asked to solve – we should use this privilege effectively in the scoping stage. Then we can deliver a solution to the real problem

10 The first step is to get a preliminary understanding of the problem
Read background information Discuss with colleagues & team Search for relevant information ‘Get smart’ on the topic PM&C Library Ask questions!

11 Case study exercise: Information Gathering
Task: Read the available background information and discuss to develop a preliminary understanding of the issue and context Tips: Read all the materials provided Think through the questions provided Always keep in mind, ‘how big is this issue’ and ‘what am I really trying to address here?’ Discuss within your team, this brings out opinions and different ways of looking at information very quickly Time: This should take about 45 minutes, read through the material yourself and then discuss for 30 minutes

12 For illustrative purposes only
Once familiar with the problem and its context, we break it down into its component parts to structure our thinking What equipment/appliances are the main sources of GHGs? Travel (34%) Home appliances (59%) Other uses (7%) Which citizens are creating GHGs? (audience) Segment 1 Where are the main sources of GHGs omitted (geography)? Segment 2 Which behaviours are currently creating household GHGs? Segment 3 How are citizen GHG emissions distributed throughout the year? Other segments Why are citizens indulging in GHG behaviour when alternatives exist? Others? Can we change some citizen behaviour to stop energy use? Can citizens stop using energy? Can we eliminate an appliance? Issue trees can be used for identifying and/or clarifying the problem Can we change some citizen behaviour to use less? Can we optimise the running of the appliance/ equipment? Can citizens use energy more efficiently? How can the government use non-traditional behavioural change tools to influence citizens to reduce GHGs when using energy? Can we switch to appliances/equipment that is more efficient? What changes can citizens make to produce less GHGs? Can we move citizens to all clean energy? Can citizens move to cleaner sources of energy? Can we move some citizens in part to cleaner energy? Can they buy carbon offsets? Can they contribute to others buying carbon offsets? Can citizens remove GHGs from the atmosphere? Can they buy charcoal to remove carbon? Can they remove carbon from other ways? Who was targeted? What new proposals can we conceive (including drawn from non-energy efficiency initiatives)? What has been done (or is planned ) in Australia to reduce household GHG emissions? What has been done internationally to reduce citizen’s GHG? How was it measured? What tools was used? How effective was it? What new behavioural change levers could be used to influence citizens to reduce GHG? Who was targeted? How was it measured? For illustrative purposes only What tools was used? How effective was it? Who will be targeted? Can we use financial tools? Can we use motivational tools? Can we use norm tools? Can we use effort tools? MEL-AAA

13 Stakeholder Engagement Governance and team resources
Capturing all the relevant information on a single scoping slide supports a focused discussion with the sponsor or client Overall question/problem Context Probably the hardest part of the project What precisely is the problem – which is often very different to the problem that we have been presented with What precisely is the question that our project will seek to answer Context is important as it illustrates that we have sufficient understanding of the issues to have a credible crack at the problem It also allows us to check that we have correctly defined and understood the ‘universe’ in which the problem is situated Scope Stakeholder Engagement There are three key things in defining our scope: What issues are we going to focus on What issues are we not going to focus on (possibly more important) What is the ‘cool’ piece of analysis we are going to do that will separate our work from other work in the area The focus of this section is on identifying the key stakeholders that we need to engage A more detailed stakeholder engagement plan needs to be developed once the scope has been agreed Governance and team resources End products This is the “bottom line” of the scope for the sponsor and senior management. It tells them the resource cost, and the cost in their time to make the project a success. Don’t ‘cost pad’, but don’t fall into the trap of underestimating the true cost of the work A clear focus on the end products is critical in framing all the work - it needs to identify the product and the audience Cabinet Submission; Briefing for the PM Having a clear scoping document and then getting it agreed with the project sponsor and steering group is critical in ensuring that expectations are met on all sides

14 Case study exercise: Project Scoping
Task: Break the problem down into manageable components by building an issue tree Tips: Use the MECE principle, trying to ensure that the branches of the tree are Mutually Exclusive and Collectively Exhaustive, so that the solution space is covered efficiently There’s no single correct answer, there are many ways to break up any problem Can you break it down by cohort, by barrier, by action, or some other categorisation? Time: This should take about 60 minutes, though in a normal project it might be revised many times over!

15 Focus on scoping STAIR approach to problem solving and policy development Inclusively engaging stakeholders Compellingly communicated Dedicated project management

16 Our STAIR methodology employs private-sector techniques adjusted for our complex policy environment
Resolve... ...the project by agreeing recommendations & identifying next steps Iterate... ...to progressively refine your statement to reflect new knowledge You will need to step up and down to refine your thinking. This is not a simple linear process. Analyse... ...the assumptions that underlie your statement by gathering evidence Test... ...your statement with key stakeholders State... ...what you think is the root cause of/ solution to, the problem You may find that you revisit the statement generation step as you gather more evidence and your thinking evolves – this is not evidence that your project is failing, to the contrary, it is a fundamental quality of the STAIR model.

17 What is the STAIR approach? Strengths of the STAIR approach
In the STAIR approach we quickly generate an initial answer as a way of identifying key elements and then iteratively improve on that answer What is the STAIR approach? Strengths of the STAIR approach The STAIR approach involves making the best assessment of the answer very early, and then undertaking the necessary analysis to see if the answer is supported The initial answer statement is heavily informed by early consultation with senior stakeholders and subject matter experts. This approach brings the key elements to the surface quickly. The process is iterative – the answer statement guides the analysis, but then the analysis usually leads to an amendment of the answer statement. Supporters of this kind of approach argue that this iterative approach closes on the right answer much more rapidly than a more comprehensive approach By focusing on the statement, analysis is prioritised, so time is not wasted researching areas well away from the actual solution, nor is time wasted on ‘interesting’ areas of analysis that are not central to the real problem Allows the team to come to a position quickly and to communicate an answer throughout the project Coming to a position early on means it is constantly tested – e.g. against beliefs, existing positions, data, stakeholders – which helps strengthen the veracity of the position Well targeted to the problem under consideration More flexible to changing commissioning environment (which often occurs in high stakes projects) Close and constant liaison with stakeholders means they are part of developing the solution, rather than merely being consumers of the end product Close liaison with stakeholders allows a more immediate assessment of which constraints are actually binding . The key to the STAIR approach is that it surfaces rapidly the key issues and elements of the problem, by focusing stakeholders attention on whether they agree or disagree with your answer statement

18 Risks of a STAIR approach How to manage these risks
While the STAIR approach has many benefits, we must account for the pitfalls and counter them wherever possible Risks of a STAIR approach How to manage these risks Does not provide a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of all the options – which makes the approach inherently more risky. If there are multiple possible solutions we are not guaranteed of finding the best solution Choosing the initial (and often obvious) solution may preclude us from exploring the genuinely innovative solutions The team may become overly attached to the initial statement, which runs the risk of not fully interrogating all possible answers Senior stakeholders may become overly attached to the initial solution – particularly if it is compellingly communicated and they announce it publicly The approach runs the risk of generating “policy-based evidence” to support the initial disposition of project sponsors or key clients The STAIR approach requires the team to take risks – to have a go at the answer with only limited knowledge. To be successful there needs to be a trusting relationship between the team, the project sponsor and the steering/reference group Deep and broad consultations with a diverse range of stakeholders is critical in developing the issues tree and the initial answer statement. The statement needs to be tested with project sponsors and subject matter experts before detailed analysis begins. Management practices need to support ‘left field thinking’ – particularly at the scoping stage. Alternative views can also be sought through broad consultations – not just talking to the usual experts Senior stakeholders and team members need to be familiar with the STAIR approach and the importance of iteration when they are using it – although even the strongest warnings to senior stakeholders will not fully mitigate this risk Avoiding demands for “policy-based evidence” is a challenge for all policymakers. The STAIR approach just makes this risk more explicit Sponsors and steering/reference group members need to be familiarised with the strengths and weaknesses of the STAIR approach – including that the first ‘go’ at the answer is to surface the key issues as much as to get it right The STAIR approach is not without risks, but if these are well mitigated it provides a highly effective way to tackle complex problems against tight deadlines

19 We develop a statement tree to rapidly develop a testable answer that brings out the key elements of the problem Statement of the problem Satisfaction with service delivery is declining Tips for statement tree Government should automate service delivery There’s nothing wrong with being wrong! The point of the answer statement is to test it and refine it, not get it right the first go The statement and ‘facts’ (its underlying assumptions) need to be clear and testable Be prepared to share you statement with as many people as possible, and get their input on what needs to change Have your best go at getting it right, drawing on as much expertise as you can, but don’t anchor yourself to it; your first statement will change! Statement of the answer: Citizens prefer government services to be automated We can identify services that should be automated The benefits for government outweigh the costs This is feasible in the current legislative framework ‘Facts’ to test answer statement: Sub elements: Source: BCG experience

20 How you are going to find out? Savings From Branch Closure
The STAIR approach supports good work planning and output management What you need to prove? How you are going to find out? What will you produce? Who will do it by when? Answer statement Sub-Issue Analysis Output Resp/Due Date It is feasible to reduce the number of factories Some factories have excess capacity Determine capabilities on an ‘equivalent unit’ basis Capacity (Kg 13mm Equiv) Demand is not rising at a significant rate to require new factories Determine demand on an ‘equivalent unit’ basis Demand (Proj) Closing a factory saves more money that the cost of shutting down From previous analysis Determine which factory provides greatest savings Savings From Branch Closure (Branch A) There are no significant risks to shutting down factories Determine risk of having fewer than three locations Capacity can be increased in remaining factories Ability to shift machinery Ulv MM SD Total 91 92 93 94 Kg Reduction in FC VC Savings In Other Plant Other Trans- port etc Total Sav- ings

21 1 2 3 We can test our statements using three broad sources of data
We can draw upon existing analyses We can perform our own analyses using existing data We can generate / commission our own data 1 2 3 Potential sources include: Domestic Departments and agencies (e.g. Treasury, the Productivity Commission) Research organisations (e.g. ABS, CSIRO) Longitudinal data sets (e.g. HILDA) International OECD World Bank UN Organisations We can build on existing data by: Undertaking new modelling Scrutinising and then amending the assumptions underpinning data Building ‘driver trees’ and using the data to solve our specific questions Testing other people’s research findings with stakeholders Potential methods include: Surveys Focus groups Workshops Case studies Interviews Discourse/textual analysis We should consider innovative ways to approach analyses and draw on both quantitative and qualitative methodologies

22 These perspectives are not mutually exclusive and overlap
When testing statements it also helps to consider them from different perspectives Top- down (e.g. institutional perspective) Bottom-up (e.g. individual citizen’s perspective) 1 Multi-disciplinary perspectives (e.g. economic, administrative anthropological and legal) 2 Multi-cohort perspectives (e.g. majority/minority groups) 3 These perspectives are not mutually exclusive and overlap

23 Statements can be tested using both top-down and bottom-up perspectives
1 Top down – focus on systems Brings a system-wide perspective to policy problems and solutions It assess the costs and benefits of policy options in aggregate Focuses on international, national and state/territory actors Hypothetical Statement: The GST needs to be increased From a top down perspective, the policy maker might consider: How might business groups (e.g. the Business Council of Australia) react? From a bottom up perspective, the policy maker might consider: What impact might an increase in the GST have on Joanne, a working mum from Wollongong? Would an increase in the GST create further administrative burden for a particular small business operating in the retail sector? How would the increase in GST be explained to this particular small business? Bottom up – focus on individuals Brings an individual’s perspective to policy problems and solutions It assesses the costs and benefits of policy options for particular individuals Focuses on local level circumstances and encourages thinking about what might be achieved on the ground for a particular individual or group of individuals

24 Statements can be tested using multi-disciplinary perspectives – applying different problem-solving frames to a single issue 2 Hypothetical Statement: There is a lack of financial services in remote Indigenous communities Policy Problem Institutional Map institutions and their functions Explore connections and disconnections between institutions Administrative Map the processes that exist around a problem Consider issues of system capability Legal Consider the rules, regulations and sanctions that may apply to a problem Explore whether there are too many rules or not enough Anthropological Examine the social and cultural conditions that underpin a problem Seek to understand the history of a group of people Economic Explore the operation of markets and incentives Identify market failures and consider interventions and their consequences Institutional Which financial institutions have a presence in remote communities and what services are they providing? Legal Are there any legal obligations on financial institutions to provide services in remote locations? Are appropriate regulatory and law enforcement arrangements in place to prevent fraud associated with financial products? Anthropological How do particular remote Indigenous communities currently save and trade money? How have they saved and traded resources in the past? Administrative What processes do people undertake to access, save and spend Centrelink payments? Economic What is the market failure leading to a lack of financial services in communities? What incentives might lead to the provision and use of these services? Statements that are proved valid from a number of disciplinary perspectives are more likely to be correct and hold significant weight in a policy development process

25 Statements can be tested using a multi-cohort perspective, exploring the views of majority and minority groups 3 Majority Perspective A majority perspective would ask whether the proposed policy provides an overall benefit to the community. ‘The greatest good for the greatest number’ Minority Perspective A minority group perspective would ask what impact the policy has on groups in the community, and whether particular groups are advantaged or disadvantaged more than others by the policy. Hypothetical Statement: We should create more jobs in service industries to reduce unemployment From a majority group perspective, the policy maker might consider: Are the majority of Australians now employed in service industries? Will inflation increase? When considering various minority groups the policy maker might consider: Will this measure assist older Australians? Are there more casual / part-time workers in service industries? Will this measure work to improve unemployment rates in the bush? Majority Group Age group Ethnic group Policy Problem Income bracket Family type Geographic group

26 First answer statement First draft of your deck
Iteration is an important component of our approach—we will revise our answer many times before the final version SDD experience tells us there will be MANY iterations This is normal – if the solution to the problem was known, we wouldn’t be working in this space! Answer Cabinet In Confidence Strategy and Delivery First Draft of deck 2 July 2010 Cabinet-In-Confidence Cabinet In Confidence Strategy and Delivery Final Version of Deck 24 September 2010 Cabinet-In-Confidence Situation Complication Resolution First answer statement Structure First draft of your deck Successive revisions Final version

27 Case study exercise: Statement Generation
Resolve... Task: Have a first attempt at the answer by converting the issue tree into a statement tree. Then decide what analysis might be necessary to prove each statement correct or incorrect Tips: Turn your issue tree from questions into statements Use the first three steps of the STAIR method Be creative about the way you can prove each statement correct or incorrect—this is the time to decide what the real work you will do is, and how you will do it There are many different ways to prove your point, think of qualitative and quantitative methods Time: This is the most important part of problem solving, it should take about 45 minutes today, but may take a week in a normal project Iterate... Analyse... Test... State...

28 Focus on scoping STAIR approach to problem solving and policy development Inclusively engaging stakeholders Compellingly communicated Dedicated project management

29 Good stakeholder management means we engage effectively with people with an interest in, or an influence on, our project Stakeholders are often thought to be the senior people in key decision-making roles, but in reality they are a subset of our stakeholders A stakeholder is anyone who has an interest in, has influence on, or is impacted by the outcomes of a decision or action Stakeholder management can be thought of as the planning and execution of how we engage with stakeholders Stakeholder management links to and supports other parts of the SDD methodology: STAIR approach – helps form and test the answer Evidence-based approach – helps gather evidence and ensure representativeness Systems thinking – helps manage complexity

30 Good stakeholder management is important
The complexity of the issues, the tight deadlines and our iterative approach put a higher premium on good stakeholder engagement Our issues are often complex Good stakeholder management is important for good policy So we need to engage more deeply We need to place a higher premium on good stakeholder management and ensure that we do it in a systematic and effective way We also need to do it in the right way to ensure that we build the relationship of trust that underpins the use of a STAIR approach Identifying and working closely with content experts delivers a higher quality product Working with the key decision- makers to build their support is critical to getting any proposals accepted Engaging with opponents mean that their concerns can either be addressed or rebutted We work to tight deadlines BUT SO So we need to engage more frequently We take an iterative approach So our answers can change significantly and rapidly

31 Who are our stakeholders and why do we engage with them?
The nature of the engagement will depend on how the project is set up The purposes of engagement will vary Who stakeholders are may range from project sponsor to end users Goals Audience Timeframe Subject Increase the quality of inputs (evidence) for our work Need varying perspectives on complex problems to get a comprehensive understanding of issues (and solutions) Communication and selling of ideas Demonstrate breadth of input (inclusiveness) Get people onside Get commitment of resources Achieve consensus where we can Where we can’t get consensus, clearly identify the points of difference – and propose options Project sponsor Within PM&C Within the Commonwealth States and Territories Implementers, workforce Interest groups, end users Any others affected by a decision

32 There are a range of tools that we use
Stakeholder heat map Understand support and challenges Venn diagram Understand how interests overlap Network map Understand connections and nodes of influence Degree of buy in - Importance of stakeholders Attention needed – manage risk Limit input – filter unneeded information Champions – actively involve Supporters – keep engaged Stakeholder engagement ladder Decide on the appropriate level of engagement Decision trees Understand the consequences of decisions Stakeholder framework Understand where tradeoffs can be made It is important to note there is no set way, or mandated tools to do stakeholder management as each project will have a unique set of stakeholders

33 Case study exercise: Stakeholder Mapping (Group exercise)
Task: Identify important stakeholders for the project and how you will engage them using the ladder model Tips: Think of this broadly, not just in terms of the process of doing the project, but also in terms of content—who will be impacted by your recommendations, which citizens does the project affect List both those that will be in favour as well as those you will have to work hard to convince Discuss how you will engage each group of stakeholders Time: 30 minute group discussion

34 Focus on scoping STAIR approach to problem solving and policy development Inclusively engaging stakeholders Compellingly communicated Dedicated project management

35 Storytelling is a critical element to SDD’s methodology
Why we tell stories Increasingly, advice must look to persuade as well as inform Stories are relatable and compelling Presenting evidence in a story makes complex things easier to understand and more memorable How we tell stories There is an appropriate blend of structure and flow, evidence and anecdote Involves arguing why the recommended approach is more compelling than alternative recommendations Emphasises what is new, different and innovative in our recommendations – because this is ultimately more interesting than the status quo and will stay with the reader Good stories should... Situates the decision maker within the story Provide an impetus to their action Assist the decision maker visualise new possibilities and anticipate future reform directions Open up vision and imagination However, evidence must always drive the story There is a fine balance between evidence dictating story and story dictating evidence – and it is imperative this is managed to ensure evidence always informs the story being told And we don’t omit critical information to support a more compelling story

36 Good analysis is not enough – it needs to be communicated compellingly to stand up against well communicated poor analysis In a contestable environment, policy advice has to be persuasive. Good policy advice is compelling. It is embraced by Ministers, even if not immediately, and is impervious to the assaults of other players in the game, including those motivated by vested interests. Public policy advisers who appreciate this point pay as much attention to the construction and presentation of an argument as they do the quality of the analytical content and the soundness of its strategic perspective. To deliver change, it is not enough to just be right – we need to communicate our ideas and secure buy-in Ken Henry Secretary of the Treasury, 2007

37 Though we use different formats, the approach to communication must always be clear and compelling
Slide decks Public policy papers Speeches Cabinet submissions Briefs to PM s SOME TIPS Set out your argument in one line: what is the one idea you want people to take from your work? Write for an intelligent outsider. Write as if you’re talking to someone at a dinner party. Stories stick: are there any stories that can enliven your work?

38 Good writing is good story-telling: a template for our work
We are here: We want to go there: Why do we want to go there? How do we get there? What difficulties lie along the way? How will we know when we have got there? The Secretary: what will success look like? This template can be modified or embellished but it is the basic structure of many (perhaps most) stories, and of our policy work

39 Why do we want to go there? Difficulties along the way?
Two stories: very different and yet the same a) Health policy b) Lord of the Rings We are here: We want to go there: Why do we want to go there? Our health system is under pressure and faces mounting challenges Sauron wants his Ring of Power but Frodo has it We need to build a health system for the 21st century Frodo must throw the Ring into Mount Doom Because a strong health system is essential to a strong, fair society Because it is good to save the world from evil How do we get there? Difficulties along the way? How will we know? By an alliance with states, a stronger Commonwealth role, better hospitals, and a good map By an alliance with elves, dwarves and wizards, and a good map Potential cost blowouts, arguments with the states, a shrinking budget Black Riders, orcs, and a giant spider – all require rigorous policy responses Patients get excellent service at an acceptable cost; society is healthy The Ring destroyed, Middle Earth saved

40 Storyboarding the titles and then preparing a simple ghost deck lets you check whether you have a good story

41 Case study exercise: Ghost Deck
Task: Put together a ghost deck to describe your early narrative, and to give an outline of what analysis you will do throughout the project Tips: This is not a final answer, it is a first attempt at how you will describe the problem and the solution There are different methods to writing a story, discuss a number of them, for example ‘situation, complication, resolution’ or ‘where are we, where to we want to be, how do we get there’ Time: 1 hour, but leave some time to discuss how you will present it to your project sponsor and other stakeholders to get their early input

42 Focus on scoping STAIR approach to problem solving and policy development Inclusively engaging stakeholders Compellingly communicated Dedicated project management

43 Good project management is critical if we are going to find solutions to complex problems in tight timeframes There are a number of factors that mean our projects require dedicated project management Our projects are often extremely complex We work in multi-disciplinary teams with people from diverse backgrounds including other departments, other divisions and the private sector We work to tight deadlines, our projects require rapid responses We need input from a wide range of experts to get to the right answer We need to engage a large number of stakeholders along the way to ensure agreement Each project is unique—there is no set formula for getting to the right answer There is always more work that could be done on a difficult problem. Good project management ensures that we consciously choose what level of resourcing to invest – and that we get the best answer we can with that investment

44 Project planning requires thinking through all the interactions and deliverables ahead of time
Good project planning is more than just a Gantt chart (pictured) The chart is a tool to help sequence and arrange all of the activities and considerations for a project Good project planning requires Consideration of resourcing Booking meetings in calendars Considering of the project ‘rhythm’—can it be achieved on time, how hard will the team be working Agreeing on interim deliverables and dates Interim products and interim deadlines play a critical role in our project approach – we use them to drive our output and drive our stakeholder engagement . We know we will have to iterate, so let’s plan for it


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