I came across this article during the week about the WA State Government’s plans to introduce leaner IT expenditure. I was encouraged by the thought of this but hopefully they don’t do another Shared Services debacle. Creating a $25 million fund to study this sounds scary though and I’m thinking this sounds a bit exorbitant and not off to a good start to spend so much on something we all know can be done better anyway.
It reminded me of two emails I’ve sent in the last 18 months that never received a reply. I wanted to anonymous but now I’ll let the cat out of the bag and reproduce them here. The first one was to the Premier, Colin Barnett, and was Cced to WA News and the Labor Party. The second one was a response to the blockers to small & medium businesses (SMEs) being allowed to work freely and more cheaply with government departments. The blocker is called the Common Use Agreement or CUA. The email was sent to members of parliament in my area.
At the risk of being victimized as a whistleblower, I’m concerned after recently working in a contract position in WA Health about the level of waste in production of value for the people of Western Australia.
The world is moving ahead in terms of Agile and Lean Enterprises. This movement involves focussing on the things which produce value rather than things that don’t. In layman’s terms, don’t produce an artefact (e.g. document) if it doesn’t produce value.
That value is best directed at the coalface. For example, 4 weeks directed at producing a document which is not read is best directed to delivering the product through coding effort.
There are pockets of good work being done – but they need more support. It needs executive backing. You are the highest executive in the state!
I’d like to keep my name anonymous for now to avoid being targeted – but happy to discuss this further privately.
I’m motivated to help the government deliver services quicker with less waste and get to the massive backlog of other items that these savings can be directed to.
I live in Dianella and you guys are my local members of parliament so I’m contacting you about this issue I have.
In order to do work for government departments I need to be on the CUA which is quite an onerous process which I’ve been through in the past and do not want to do again.
I have an opportunity that may materialise and they say a CUA is required. I could approach someone with a CUA but I feel this would just add unacceptable cost.
Mostly the bigger companies get on to this or if you are small (e.g. one person) and you know someone you can get on (I know someone who is in this situation). It doesn’t seem fair.
This makes it difficult for small business to do work for the government and deliver better value for money. Actually my business is about making the business of software project delivery more efficient and deliver better value – it’s called Agile and Lean.
The UK Govt is making it easier for small business. They want to achieve 30% reduction in IT expenditure by making sure the most valuable things are delivered. They want small business to have easier access to doing work. SMEs can use https://www.gov.uk/contracts-finder to be involved.
BTW, Agile has been mandated as the way to go in the UK. They started three or four years ago and have created a hugely successful gov.uk website. This link is a little outdated https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/one-year-on-implementing-the-government-ict-strategy but shows they achieved results very quickly. In 2014 books are being written about this, such as Lean Enterprise which covers gov.uk http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920030355.do
With the large amount of debt, budget overruns and poor quality we see, it’s now well past time to progress to better ways of doing work and creating better value. I suggest first steps to mandate Lean and Agile and increase SME involvement.
Please feel free to be in touch to discuss further.