Performance Improvement Framework system-level ratings and findings
What are the system-level ratings?
System-level ratings provide an aggregate picture of the ratings (‘traffic lights’) from recent PIF Reviews. In the past these have been updated after each PIF Review is published. Recent changes to the PIF, however, mean that our system-level ratings are no longer directly comparable, so we will instead publish periodic summaries of system performance. The refreshed framework, which was introduced in 2015, puts a strong emphasis on the customer and how agencies deliver value to customers and New Zealanders. Ratings are described on pages 7-8 of Core Guide 1: What is the Performance Improvement Framework?
What are system-level findings?
System-level findings present an aggregate narrative of the findings and ratings from PIF Reviews. They offer an interpretation from officials of what the PIF results suggest. They help the central agencies and the system to identify where there is strong practice and what drives that strong practice to assist shared learning and development. They help identify areas where the system needs to improve and the findings can catalyse action to make this happen.
What do the findings to date say?
We do a number of things really well. We are responsive to Ministers. We are good at delivering against government priorities. We work well with a number of external stakeholders and we are good around the probity of our financial management systems. These are all good characteristics of the New Zealand public management system. So far the reviews have a very common theme. They show the need for us as a system, ie, the wider State services, to get better at working together. We also need to take a longer-term view to what we do – this means anticipating the issues that the State services needs to deliver on for New Zealanders in the future. For some agencies, it is clear they can do better at managing and developing their people.
What is Getting to Great?
Getting to Great is a report series produced by the PIF Lead Reviewers to explore key findings, lessons and insights that Lead Reviewers have made about agencies they have reviewed. Our public institutions hold themselves to high standards of integrity and have demonstrated superior performance over time – the reports give us an opportunity to share what works and what great practice looks like. See here for the first and second reports: www.ssc.govt.nz/performance-improvement-framework. Excerpts from Getting to Great are provided below.
Excerpt from Getting to Great: Lead Reviewer insights from the Performance Improvement Framework, April 2013
Agencies that are building public institutions capable of superior performance:
- Are clear about their purpose; know how they can add most value to New Zealand now and in the future; and are clear about their strategy for delivering that value
- Enlist the active support of all those outside of the agency who are necessary to the agency delivering the most it can for New Zealand
- Demonstrate they value learning, innovation and continuous improvement
- Engage corporate support areas like finance, information technology (IT), organisational development, strategy, risk and human resources (HR) units as business partners
- Enjoy strong internal leadership that can attract talented people and inspire them to dedicate themselves to working with integrity to deliver the outcomes that the agency has identified as mattering most to New Zealand
- Invest in talent by providing challenging, interesting and important work to do, while also managing poor performers to either improve or to exit.
Excerpt from Getting to Great: your map to navigating the straits of internal leadership, February 2014
Best performing agencies:
- Value authentic leadership. The strongest performing agencies in the Leadership and Governance Element value authentic leadership. High performing senior leadership teams and Boards create an organisational spirit that in turn encourages staff to produce discretionary effort, take risks and innovate. These agencies have authentic leaders who are confident to show their ‘whole-self’ at work, including admitting mistakes and leading with head and heart.
- Create alignment between role, purpose and organisational culture. The best performing agencies in the Values, Behaviour and Culture Element create alignment so that individuals don't default to their personal sense of mission, which may or may not align to agency strategy and required results. This in turn enables a culture where employees can influence what they need to influence to get their job done, thus infusing the agency with a culture and sense that anything is possible.
- Embed workforce analytics. The best performing agencies use workforce analytics, and ensure they are regularly reported and debated at the top table.
- Provide meaningful and timely feedback. Great leaders develop other leaders. The best performing agencies in the Management of People Performance Element approach performance management as a way to develop their people – both for their agency and for the system. These agencies approach people management as an ongoing dialogue, characterised by regular high quality feedback.
- Reach for higher staff engagement. The best performing agencies in the Engagement Element understand that their people want to be trusted and given the discretion and tools to perform. The best agencies then use a combination of clarity in purpose and strategy to create high levels of engagement, which in turn, is used to liberate people to lift productivity and, ultimately, client satisfaction and citizens' trust and confidence.