Wednesday, 18th February 2015
Information managers in government agencies face challenges unique to their operating environment. A recent FreePint Community of Practice session discussed these bureaucratic challenges along with participants' experiences of overcoming or working within these constraints.
A recent Communities of Practice session specifically for information managers in government agencies and similar organisations offered participants an opportunity to discuss the challenges unique to their environment.
Not surprisingly, we spent much of the designated hour discussing the impact of bureaucracy on their ability to be strategic, agile and effective in their roles.
When considering stakeholders and how to communicate effectively with them, bureaucracies present special challenges:
Defeating the Burdens
Discussion participants shared perspectives on some of the changes they have made to address the extra burden of bureaucracy to improve outcomes.
One participant described a top-down reorganisation, designed to streamline operations and shorten project lifecycles. The transition took two years and required top-down leadership. While the organisation still faces bureaucracy in many of the agencies with which it works, it has succeeded in tightening up the layers of reporting that were dragging out projects and costing money.
Another participant is at a very early stage of considering approaches to more agile response and purchasing. In this case, the challenges are twofold:
FreePint's Next Step
Discussion participants commented on how helpful it is to share experiences with peers in similar environments. Sometimes the outcome is not a solution but a validation of the current situation, frustrations and all.
At the same time, FreePint was able to identify elements of our research into stakeholder communications that can be further developed to support information managers in bureaucratic environments. We are working directly with one Consulting-level customer on this very challenge, and further CoPs for information managers in government agencies will enable us to extrapolate from this work to better understand what might be more universally supportive.
Are you working in government services and have a question for us? We can help, please contact us.
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