In these incredibly tough budget times, you would think government agencies would be working extra hard to find ways of doing things more efficiently. Unfortunately, leaders across the world are grabbing the same old playbook: recruitment freezes, travel restrictions, delaying maintenance, and so on. They are not examining the actual work being done; the operations are fundamentally the same. Instead they are left with tired, overworked employees trying to do the same operations with fewer resources.
This approach creates an illusion of efficiency. Real efficiency is about looking at the systems, the way work itself is designed, and finding ways to streamline the work so that we do our important tasks very well in less time and with less hassle. Systems are where the costs are incurred. Systems are where the customers show up. Systems are where the value of the agency is created and systems appear to be the last thing anyone is focusing on.