In your organization is there a clearly articulated plan about your strategic projects which can be accessed by all who need to see it? Are risks identified and shared?
Recent months have seen increasingly useful investigation and reporting coming from the UK’s PublicAccounts Committee and the National Audit Office (NAO). The NAO has also embraced the Web and social media as ways to disseminate this information to a wide audience. Reports are freely available on the Internet, and Twitter is used to announce each new publication via @NAOorguk.
The vision of the UK’s National Audit Office is “to help the nation spend more wisely”. To this end they regularly produce reports which look into all areas of public spending. Whether you agree with the Government policy which is driving the expenditure or even trust the accuracy of the data to the last decimal point, the transparency, availability of information and plain language used, has to be admired as fuel for the national debate.
This got me thinking. Are private sector companies so forthcoming with information to stakeholders about their plans, the risks to delivery and the potential value which could be added by the successful execution of corporate strategy?
One example of the information flow from the NAO is around the UK’s National Infrastructure Plan. Recognizing the importance of investment in infrastructure projects to the UK’s economic growth, the UK Government published the first National Infrastructure Plan in 2010 which documents the UK’s Top 40 infrastructure projects. It’s on the web for all to see. The NAO regularly tracks progress, spend and risks to the plan. To put this into context, the planned investment in UK infrastructure in 2012 was £310bn.
Earlier this year the NAO published a report called “Planning for economic infrastructure”. This lists the 5 key risks to value for money, with the exposure of consumers and taxpayers to those risks depending on the funding approach adopted by government.
The risks to value for money are:
- Inaccurate identification of the need for infrastructure
- Policy uncertainty
- Failure to assess the cumulative impact on consumers of funding infrastructure through user charges
- Taxpayer exposure to losses
- Delivery costs are higher than they should be
Is there something here which private sector organizations can learn from?
In your organization is there a clearly articulated plan about your strategic projects which can be accessed by all who need to see it? Are risks identified and shared? Is there regular monitoring of progress? Are new communication channels being used appropriately to share information with employees, investors, the media and citizens who may be affected by projects?
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