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  • Writer's pictureGunjan Syal

Public Sector Transformations (Free)

Updated: Aug 15, 2021

Gunjan is joined by Fahad Zain Jawaid from Canadian Federal Public Service to discuss the important factors for success on transformations. Watch the video below and read Fahad's advice below on how to achieve public sector transformation goals.

Transformation in Public Sector

By Fahad Zain Jawaid, May 2020

Transformation in the public sector is an interesting topic - a topic that I have lived through a few times in different departments within the federal government of Canada.

Organizational transformation is the process of transforming the essence of the organization itself. In the private sector, it could be to achieve a competitive advantage or address a significant challenge. In the public sector, it could be to change how the department or the organization addresses government's priorities, or transform how it does its everyday business. It can be an exciting time for any organization. Visible actions are taken by organizational leaders to move the organization from the present to the future, and its aura is felt across many, if not all, levels within the organization and has the potential to refocus and re-energize the entire workforce.

Transformation in public sector is a complex topic, but in this blog post, I will focus the discussion on strategic elements that must be present for an organization to have a semi-smooth journey without too many heart-aches along the way. By the way, there is no such as thing as a smooth transformation journey. Every transformation is going to have hiccups, roadblocks, and other fun-adjectives to describe complicated challenges - some you can anticipate, and most you can manage, and others the organization will just learn to live with.

1. Clear Vision

If you are a structural leader (an executive, or a senior management), and you want the organization to go through a transformation, you must first have a clear vision. In fact, before you even start down this journey, spend some time to do some self reflection, and try to identify what are true motivations are for undertaking this transformation. For example, many organizations, both public and private, are going through a digital transformation. So a good example of some true motivators could be: - Better services to citizens with lower administration cost to taxpayers - Improve citizen - agency interaction experience

A bad example of a transformation could be something like: - Use SAP to administer some business process - Move from SAP to Workforce or vice-versa. - Build a new app for citizens

The above are not example of transformation, rather examples of regular systems improvement processes, or a new service delivery processes. Remember, a transformation requires change in essence of how the organization operates.

2. Projectize the transformation

Project Manage the heck out of the transformation - define clearly measurable milestones. Find a strong, organized, politically savvy, and well-spoken project manager, and a separate change manager.

Remember a transformation has less technical pieces, and more changes to people, and process side of things. That's not to say there aren't any technical elements. A good transformation has each of the three pillars: people, process and technology. So its just as imperative to have a dedicate change manger, as it is to have a project manager.

3. Avoid Transformation Sprawl