What we wish to achieve
The Ministry is stepping up to the challenge of being more effective and responding to the need to drive greater value for money in a fiscally constrained environment. We have begun a process to ensure the Ministry is a strong, capable organisation that is delivering value for money.
Cost effectiveness of government policy
We are focusing our efforts on the government’s long-term outcomes for transport and our Ministers’ priorities for transport. The policy programmes outlined in the operating intentions section will contribute to the Ministers’ priorities as well as government’s long-term transport outcomes. This includes periodic reviews of policy settings, for example the Land Transport Management Act, Civil Aviation and Maritime Transport Acts to ensure that legislative and regulatory frameworks provide value for money.
The Ministry will be measuring its progress towards the government’s long-term outcomes against the Transport Monitoring Indicator Framework. However, improvements in outcomes can take many years to eventuate. Other organisations, including the transport Crown entities, also contribute to these outcomes.
A professional services Ministry
In 2009 we reorganised ourselves as a professional services ministry to ensure we have the flexibility and capability to address the priorities of the day, while also investing in sector knowledge and expertise to shape advice for tomorrow. The reorganisation was the start of a 2 year process.
What do we mean by a professional services ministry?
Professional services firms use their knowledge and expertise to advise their clients on particular issues to achieve certain outcomes. These firms are successful when they build a reputation for being expert and effective, achieve strong, lasting relationships, and use their resources flexibly to meet the needs of their clients. This is similar to our role as a trusted, impartial and expert adviser.
As a professional services ministry we:
- are focused on delivering on the government’s priority transport initiatives
- operate as a single, flexible organisation that can adapt quickly to meet the demands of the day
- recognise that sector knowledge and policy expertise are critical to our success
- manage our available capacity (people and time) effectively, especially through sound project management
- are committed to building a strong reputation for the quality of all our work
- value the contribution of all our staff and are committed to their professional development to support their growth and contribution to the Ministry and the broader public sector, and by providing opportunities for staff to challenge and extend themselves by working in new areas across the Ministry
- expect all staff to act in the best interests of the Ministry as a whole and work cooperatively to deliver the programme of work agreed with the Minister
To this end, we have an organisational development programme – Shaping our Future – for which we have six goals.
Goal 1: We are clear about our position
The Ministry is enhancing its level of strategic advice to the Minister through developing a greater understanding of the transport operating environment, and being very clear about the Ministry’s role and the role of others in the transport sector.
Goal 2: We are flexible at managing our resources
The Ministry has to be able to respond to the rapidly changing environment, and we are achieving this by ensuring we prioritise and allocate resources to what is most important. But more than that we are introducing internal charge out rates to understand the true cost of time and encourage the wise and efficient use of it.
Goal 3: We have working partnerships with our stakeholders
The Ministry is a small organisation with a broad mandate, and as such cannot deliver on the government’s transport programme on its own. Therefore it is vital that the Ministry continues to identify key stakeholders and build strong working relationships with them.
Goal 4: We develop and challenge our people
To be the government’s expert adviser on transport the Ministry needs to develop a highly knowledgeable and professional workforce. To achieve this we are implementing a professional development programme while clarifying our expectations of staff.
Goal 5: We have business systems that support us
Smart people need smart systems if they are to maximise their productivity. The Ministry is continuing to enhance its business systems, functions and processes to increase productivity and enable our staff in the delivery of value for money products and services.
Goal 6: Lifting our leadership and management performance
Leadership is a key area of focus for the Ministry. Through its management development programme the Ministry will be more proactive in its leadership and management style and this will increase both performance and productivity.
The achievement of these development goals are critical to our success as an organisation. We are committed to working with a fixed budget which requires a reduction in staff numbers over time. In the last 2 years we have reduced staffing by 20 full time employees (11 percent). We can do this while maintaining performance by lifting our flexibility and productivity.
Assessing organisational capability and health
The Ministry uses a range of internal measures to assess its capability and health, and to measure progress towards the goals identified above.
The headline measures on which we will provide historical and predicted information in our Annual Report 2012 are:
- The total number of person-years applied (including permanent and contract staff) in our three broad activity areas of policy advice, specialist support, and business support.
- A comparison of our actual profile with a desired profile of staff experience and attributes for the changing role of the Ministry.
- The results of any external reviews conducted on the quality or efficiency of our core operating and information systems.
- Trends in Gallup staff engagement survey results.
- Other measures of health, including turnover for example, will be reported on if trends demand it.
Progress towards our six Shaping our future goals
- There is an improving trend in NZIER audits (when undertaken) of the quality of our policy papers.
- A baseline is set, and there is an improving trend in feedback from the Minister, central agencies, and key Crown entities on the quality of our policy advice, the clarity of roles of each player, and our contribution to Crown entity performance.
- A project prioritisation and resource allocation system which meets our needs is in place and operating effectively.
- A greater proportion of our effort is going into higher priority work.
- Everyone in the Ministry has a professional development plan in place.
- There is improvement in answers to Gallup staff engagement survey questions relating to the individual goals of Shaping our Future.