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"The outcomes of the Chancellor’s speech brought  a few surprises but the underlying message was simple: we need to deliver the same or even more outcome for less resource."


Are you fit for the future - the productivity revolution?

Welcome to our first edition of our Public Services e-journal following the UK spending review.

The outcomes of the Chancellor’s speech brought a few surprises, but the underlying message was simple: we need to deliver the same or even more outcome for less resource. It is a massive challenge but similar experiences in the private sector have proved that reducing cost can be the catalyst of major productivity gains if done right. 

Efficiency - producing more outputs for the same or less inputs, is the starting point, but will not in itself be sufficient. Efficiency gains will only reduce running costs by between 5 – 10%, not actual programme costs. Moreover, the fragmented nature of the public sector can displace demand – for example, reducing length of stays in hospitals for the elderly without providing the right social care for their rehabilitation will ultimately lead to increased pressure on the health service. The ‘Big Society’ is about doing things differently to reduce cost and involve citizens, as well as to improve responsiveness and appropriateness.  

The challenge is immense. If the public sector is to implement a comprehensive ‘fitness programme’ to build the strategy and organisation required for future success we need a productivity revolution! There are many levers to improving effectiveness and efficiency, but what is the difference between a purely cost reduction approach and a productivity approach?  

Productivity goes beyond being transactional - fewer people doing more, faster - it is about a whole system centred on the citizen. Productive staff, yes, but also productive buildings, organisation, equipment, resources and, above all, customers.  

Over the coming months as public sector bodies re-evaluate themselves and make decisions, sometimes very tough ones, we will be presenting a series of articles focusing on what the quest for real productivity means in practice – engaging with citizens differently, collaborating across boundaries and innovative types of delivery vehicles.


In this edition:

  • The System Reform Model

A key government aim is to increase citizen involvement, both to improve outcomes and to increase levels of satisfaction with services. PA presents an animated demonstration of our System Reform Model which shows how citizens can be involved in the policy development process. more


  • Can Whitehall change its ways?

Government tend to be organised in standing teams of people with largely fixed responsibilities, and their size is often dictated more by history than today’s priorities. We present the case for Flexible Resource Management (FRM) as a means to making more effective use of staff and improve delivery. more


  • Things to do or places to go?

With the cost of housing a workstation in London as high as £15,000 per year, buildings are the second largest cost for most organisations. This makes reviewing the property portfolio a priority for public sector leaders. 

To request this article which discusses how to go about releasing the capital tied up in your buildings, please contact us now. 


  • Culture shock - unlocking the barriers to sustainable cost reduction

As the reality of the Comprehensive Spending Review starts to impact government departments and delivery bodies, PA argue that transformational change will only be achieved when the cultural barriers are broken down. more


  • Big society, Bold State - the Coalition must be bold in driving a genuine shift of power to the citizen, and have the wisdom to re-invent how the state works through others, to protect public service outcomes.   

  • Collaboration is key - we present an animated demonstration of PA’s collaborative problem solving approach which can deliver positive outcomes to ‘wicked’ problems.  

  • Throwing the baby out with the bathwater? - we consider the tricky world of regulation and how one frees up the system without risking safety, security or wellbeing of the citizen.  

To request the full articles or to speak to a consultant, please contact us now.