Blog Entries for VLammas Attractor Consulting works with public sector bodies and private sector suppliers to support improvement and change in HR and Payroll operations. Mon, 12 Jul 2010 17:45:09 +0100 FeedCreator 1.7.3 Is Top Team Pay Unfair? <p>With the government proposing a cap on public sector pay, it can't be helpful to see reports that, according to reward consultancy MM&K, the pay for private sector Chief Executives has continued to grow while share prices have dropped.</p> <p>People Management report the total reward for chief executives in the FTSE100 is now £3.1 million a year - consigning to mediocrity the comparisons between public sector managers and the Prime Minister's salary at a mere £150k.</p> [...] Sat, 10 Jul 2010 00:00:00 +0100 Where to Cut? Under the last government, the public sector experienced more than a decade of top-down, target-driven, centralised change. <p>With massive investments in public services, strides were made on improving infrastructure and service levels in health and education.</p><p>But, with money and targets arriving thick and fast, the capacity for change was overwhelmed and efficiency declined.</p><p>It was easy to predict a search for productivity was coming - but the financial crisis turned this [...] Wed, 07 Jul 2010 00:00:00 +0100 Will Total Place Help Solve "The Problem"? <p>Attractor was invited to join an HR Workforce Forum event at the start of July 2010, discussing the workforce and HR implications from the Total Place programme.</p><p>The forum event, hosted by Bevan Brittan, was attended by participants with in-depth experience of the Total Place programme and others working at the heart of public sector change management.</p><p>The forum heard details about the New Local Government Network (NLGN) Report "Greater than the sum of its parts".</ [...] Mon, 05 Jul 2010 00:00:00 +0100 NHS Re-Organisation - Hope Over Experience? <p>At its conference in June 2010, the NHS Confederation published a report challenging the wisdom of constant NHS reorganisations. In "The Triumph of Hope Over Experience", the Confederation examines a history of rapid and turbulent creations, mergers and disestablishments over 20 years.</p><p>Presenting a very interesting analysis of structural change in the NHS, the Confederation's stated aim was -</p><p>"to review the history of restructuring, what is known about its results a [...] Mon, 28 Jun 2010 00:00:00 +0100 NHS Targets £850m Savings in Management Costs <p>The revised NHS Operating Framework was published on 21st June 2010 and most comment is likely to focus on the removal or reduction in national performance targets.</p><p>Alongside these changes however, the updated framework targets significant reductions in management costs in coming years.</p><p>It seems Strategic Health Authorities (SHA) and Primary Care Trusts (PCT) will face the greatest initial focus, though local management teams will determine how this is delivered.</p><p>The governm [...] Fri, 25 Jun 2010 00:00:00 +0100 Efficiency and Reform in Government As a further sign pressure in the UK for the public sector to deliver savings is increasing, the Cabinet Office's new Efficiency and Reform Group now has control of the the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) and Buying Solutions. <p>Including the authors of earlier efficiency reports - Sir Peter Gershon, and Dr Martin Read, the Group aims to deliver a significant programme of change.</p><p>Referring to the creation of the Efficiency and Reform Group, Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Offi [...] Mon, 21 Jun 2010 00:00:00 +0100 Maximising Value from HR <p>In the past, UK organisation were stereotyped by their slashing of training budgets when finances were tight - and then suffering the skills shortages which followed. </p><p>A new stereotype might be organisations looking to make efficiencies and reduce expenditure in their back-office functions so they can protect front line services.</p><p>Across the public sector, this "mantra" is being widely and loosely used without being explained in detail.</p><p>Real dangers exist where [...] Mon, 07 Jun 2010 00:00:00 +0100 Will Centralising Whitehall’s HR Services Create Efficiency? The UK's coalition government has made few changes to government departments - but the underlying "machinery of government" is under scrutiny. <p>According to reports in Personnel Today, the government is planning a cross-government HR framework - aiming to "eradicate duplication" and "simplify HR functions".</p><p>The new Efficiency and Reform Group is looking at the creation of  "a single coherent HR policy" to be used by all Whitehall departments b [...] Thu, 27 May 2010 00:00:00 +0100 Shared Services - Reviewing The Evidence With the UK's election result imminent, public sector bodies must soon return to the efficiency agenda. <p>Shared services or outsourcing solutions seem likely to be deployed for back-office services across much of the public sector.</p><p>Organisations with ready plans will probably face pressure to quickly turn blueprints into reality.</p><p>Those without plans will have to develop ideas quickly, recognising the pressure to maintain spending on front line services will dominate any discussion [...] Thu, 06 May 2010 00:00:00 +0100 Rejecting Command and Control Tripp Babbitt's article "Killing Assumptions" explains how command and control thinking combines with management assumptions leading to new "fads" rather than successful innovation. <p>Simiarly, in his book "Freedom from Command and Control", John Seddon concludes that many management concepts are poorly substantiated by research and evidence.</p><p>Seddon contends these solutions have been devised to sell technology to clients' managers, having little imp [...] Sun, 11 Apr 2010 00:00:00 +0100 Shared Services – A Recipe for Waste? The advice from many experts suggests the government should accelerate shared service implementation across the public sector. <p>The proponents of shared services claim this will reduce costs through economies of scale and improve  services through standardisation and improved performance management.</p><p>It's clear the case for shared services is being increasingly well orchestrated, though independent evidence for success is not easy to come by and cases of both success and failure have [...] Wed, 31 Mar 2010 00:00:00 +0100 Decentralise Pay? While bankers pay and MP's expenses have been in the news regularly, the public sector is now a focus for attention as the scale of financial pressure becomes clear. <p>Should the public sector respond to increasing cost pressures with changes to pay and rewards?</p><p>From the early 1990s, changes were made to reward structures in various parts of the public sector.</p><p>Central government, local government and the NHS all experienced major shifts - even ignoring changes to public se [...] Wed, 03 Feb 2010 00:00:00 +0100 Public Sector HR Efficiency The government's plan for back office efficiency, "Putting the Frontline First", was published this week. <p>The material includes benchmark data for finance, HR, IT and Estates functions in central government plus broad improvement plans for government and the wider public sector.</p><p>Amongst other measures, the report uses the ratio of employees to HR practitioners to compare efficiency. The report reveals the top 10% of government departments reach levels of HR efficiency comparab [...] Thu, 10 Dec 2009 00:00:00 +0100 Attractor Presents at the Operational Efficiency Conference Attractor took the opportunity to run a masterclass at the Operational Efficiency Conference held at the Barbican Centre on 18th November 2009. <p>The conference brought together more than 250 representatives from public sector organisations including central government, national health and local government services.</p><p><img src="" alt="" title="More..." /></p><p>In addition to meeting a range of so [...] Wed, 25 Nov 2009 00:00:00 +0100 Back Office: Risk Management or Red Tape? <p>It may be credible to suggest public sector organisations are carrying out unnecessary activities. We yearn for the past, when common-sense applied, government was smaller, law simpler and we spent less time suing each other. </p><p>When things go wrong however, people (corralled by politicians and the media) clamour for tighter controls. These demands create pressure for scapegoats and better standards. Heads roll, controls are introduced .... and new monitoring work commences.</p><p>We want [...] Mon, 19 Oct 2009 00:00:00 +0100 NHS Shared Services - The Way Forward? <p>With ESR implementation and the Agenda for Change reward projects completed, the NHS now benefits from a single IT platform for HR and Payroll operations plus broadly common terms and conditions of employment. With these "modernisations" in place, the potential benefits of shared service models should be easier to realise and much stronger.</p><p>Past experience of NHS organisations with outsourced and shared service operations has been, at best, mixed. While there are examples of t [...] Fri, 07 Aug 2009 00:00:00 +0100 Operational Efficiency Programme <p>The Operational Efficiency Programme was launched by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 3rd July 2009. Key themes have emerged from the programme -</p>consistent, comparable data - organisations need consistent, comparable data to be able to benchmark performance against others to know whether services they deliver constitute good value for money.incentives - an effective system of incentives and sanctions across the public sector would create the right conditions for organisations to del [...] Sat, 18 Jul 2009 00:00:00 +0100