Policy Implementation Capabilities and why are they needed? 

In 2015 Professor Peter Shergold’s report “Learning from Failure; Why large government policy initiatives have gone so badly wrong in the past and how the chances of success in the future can be improvedwas published. 

The report identified ten key lessons, including:

  1. Policy is only as good as the manner in which it is implemented.
  2. As the public service fully commits itself to measuring results by outcomes, program management needs to be accorded far greater professional status.

How Programme and Project Management can help

Policy implementation usually involves the introduction of change to public service departments and the outcomes to be delivered. Often this change is on a large scale. Introducing such change involves:

  • Working across organisational boundaries inside and outside the public service;
  • Dealing with multiple stakeholders and conflicting interests;
  • Knowing who has accountability and responsibility for what;
  • Maintaining alignment between strategic objectives and day-to-day work;
  • Creating clarity of purpose, such that all involved know what must be done by when;
  • Working with new and unfamiliar concepts or technologies, often in demanding timescales

It is much easier when programmes and projects are correctly set-up as temporary organizations, governed and managed by public servants who have the required competencies for roles.




Global Best Practice for Programme and Project Management

Programme management and project management are professional disciplines. Yet as the Shergold Review observed “The terms ‘project management’ and ‘programme management’ are often used interchangeably in the APS without full understanding of their meaning.”

Fortunately proven, global best practices are available for the implementation of large public programmes and projects in Australia and internationally. Employing a best practice programme or project management framework increases the odds of success by building the necessary skills to help organizations manage and deliver change while obtaining real, measurable value. Embedding them in an organization will support the delivery of strategic policy objectives in the most cost-effective way possible.