TRAINING TO SUPPORT THE DELIVERY AGENDA
The Centre for Management and Policy Studies
(CMPS), which is a unit of the Cabinet Office and which incorporates
the Civil Service College, is re-focusing its efforts to support
the work of the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit (PMDU) and the
public service reform agenda, in line with the four principles
set out in the Prime Minister's speech of 16 October. CMPS is
working with other parts of Cabinet Office to build delivery into
Government Departments' policy-making and practice in a number
of different ways:
1. CMPS is working to strengthen the delivery
culture at senior level. One of the main channels for doing so
is corporate programmes, such as the Top Management Programme,
for members of the Senior Civil Service (SCS). These programmes
have been revised to ensure that there is a focus on delivery,
for example through live case studies of organisations delivering
in the public and private sectors and through learning about relevant
skills, such as business planning. Over the past two years, CMPS
has been working with other units in the Cabinet Office and with
Departments to arrange networks and frequent events, bringing
Ministers, members of the SCS and outside experts together in
various forums to address cross-cutting delivery issues such as
risk management, major projects and the focus on the citizen.
Since the Election, CMPS has been working as a priority with the
Prime Minister's Delivery Unit and the Office of Public Service
Reform to devise approaches which will embed more effectively
the culture and skills of delivery at senior level.
2. These initiatives at senior levels have
been underpinned by the input of the Civil Service College Directorate
of CMPS at the crucial middle management levels. All College programmes
have been refocused around the priorities of improved service
delivery and Civil Service reform. Particular emphasis has been
placed on equipping these key managers with the skills of change
management, project delivery and business planning.
3. CMPS is also working with the E-envoy
to implement the recommendations the E-envoy's "Successful
IT Projects" report. CMPS has designed a new Masterclass
for Senior Responsible Owners (SROs) to cover one of the most
urgent requirements identified in that report. This Masterclass
has already run six times since its launch in September 2001,
catering to 47 SROs, and is heavily in demand from others. Further
training around the "Project Masterclass" theme is currently
being designed in collaboration with the IT Directorate of the
Office of Government Commerce (OGC).
4. Civil Service Corporate Management (CSCM)
and CMPS are working together to implement the Central Government
National Training Organisation (CGNTO) plan for "Developing
21st Century Skills". This has highlighted:
(i) the need to train policy-makers in the
skills associated with implementation and delivery. CMPS is already
introducing new courses focusing more specifically on delivery
of policy, and the work continues with CGNTO to establish a range
of formal qualifications in these essential policy skills;
(ii) the need for a wider range of project
management training, covering all the different types and sizes
of project which occur across the service. CSCM is identifying
skills gaps and qualifications appropriate to each type of need.
CMPS is responding by providing training which delivers these
qualifications and correctly targets those who need them.
5. CMPS and CSCM have each contributed members
to the Office of Public Service Reform's (OPSR) Improving Project
and Programme Delivery (IPPD) project. This project is aimed at
developing a tool-kit for Programme and Project Management, a
process for assuring delivery of policies and designing new training
activities to embed the relevant knowledge and skills in the places,
and with the people, where they are most needed.
6. CMPS signed a partnership agreement with
the Office of Government Commerce in February 2001 under which
they are working together to disseminate best practice and promote
commercial skills. They are currently devising a new "Government
Commercial Skills" programme for launch in September 2002.
This will offer coherent training pathways for developing all
of the skills required for successful delivery, with particular
emphasis on project and programme management.
7. The results of all this work, and of
the increased awareness of these issues among CMPS customers,
can be seen in both the nature and the volume of CMPS training
(i) project management courses were re-designed
to emphasise more strongly the PRINCE methodology being recommended
by the work of CGNTO and OGC. CMPS has also introduced courses
in programme management, again based on the methodology developed
by OGC. The number of people undertaking project and programme
training has risen from 577 in 2000-01 to a likely 792 (actual
attendance plus future bookings as at 19 November 2001) for 2001-02.
(ii) courses for policy-makers. The range
of courses covers: The Management of Policy Work, Effective Solutions
in the Policy Area, Risk Analysis in the Policy Area, Making Policy
Happen and Project Management for Policy Staff. These attracted
298 participants in 2000-01 and have already attracted (attendances
plus future bookings as at 19 November 2001) 344 in 2001-02.