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A Friday note - 24 February 2015

CONNECT - Message from the Chief Executive

Dear All,

Cyclones and storms to the east and north and just glorious sunny days in South Australia.

After a recent incident a program of random testing is underway including senior managers.  I was tested Wednesday.  Bloke just pops into a meeting I was having with Julie Holmes and Paula Norman about road safety, breath tested and saliva test for a range of drugs. Another part of our commitment to safety.

The purpose of this reform is to drive the government’s agenda in economic reform and a better integrated service to the community.  Business as usual won’t work.  I have asked general managers and managers to do the following.  At every step staff are to be consulted.  If this is not happening in your area please let me know directly so I can get managers on track.  As you know I have actively reduced the number of executive staff to flatten the structures.  Staff too should feel that they can get involved directly in building a better organisation.  Don’t wait.

1. Prepare a business case for the unit with staff – what do we do well, what outcomes can we achieve, what don’t we need to do, how could we streamline and be more effective.  For example in the railways have we discussed with staff what we could do to provide a best in class approach to running a railway by examining every facet of what we do?  Consult staff.
2. Develop a revised organisation structure to deliver the business case. Consult staff.
3. Draft implementation plan based on business case – how are we going to get there?  Consult staff.
4. Formal consultation with staff and their unions, consider feedback and amend accordingly.  Consult staff.
5. Finalise and publish an implementation plan and draft organisation structure to staff and their unions. Consult staff.
6. Finalise organisation structure, role classification and role statements.  Consult staff.
7. Transition and redeployment/TVSP’s etc where necessary.  Consult staff.

There are some 46 areas of the department at different stages of the process.  Finance, HR and Risk and Assurance are currently more advanced than others.  Managers will need to get moving in other areas.

With more than 200 staff interested in taking a package now (literally now in quite a few cases) we have advanced in informal discussions with our unions.  We hope to make formal offers shortly.  (To those writing to me with stress levels rising as they want to go I am doing everything I can – I do have a commitment to unions about genuine consultation.)
I have written far too many letters and emails this week about outstanding leave balances. It is not a good sign to see so many people not taking or getting leave. This is a serious management issue and I have asked those whose balances are in excess of 300 hours to advise me of their plans to reduce the balance and enjoy a longer break.

New corporate branding has been approved with a design incorporating our new divisions while promoting our department as one. The design reflects our progression and professionalism while providing a consistent look and feel across the department.  The branding will be rolled out in coming weeks to all standard departmental templates. Next consideration uniforms and how we present to our customers.

Vicki Seaman is doing a great job and has my full support. These new arrangements will require all IT projects to be coordinated by Vicki. A good reform.

We are changing so that we can improve customer service, reduce the pressure on our people and allow Ministers more time for the broad range of complex matters across the portfolio. The Premier is seeking similar changes to the Cabinet processes. This is good. To ensure consistency, all correspondence with MPs and Ministers’ offices is centrally managed. 
A stinging letter from a customer this week with lots of complaints about our product. Each incident reflects a problem, some of them systemic. Michelle Spagnoletti and Andy Excell are working on the first draft of Operation Moving Traffic covering all modes of public transport and roads in Adelaide. I anticipate a draft document by the end of next month. A separate program of works for integrated transport in regional SA is also underway. Getting our product right and service delivery is my most immediate focus with safety. Ridership strategies, carpooling, service planning, fancy new trams etc comes to nought if our customers are unhappy. I spoke with Adelaide Airport about their approach to customers and it’s fair to say they set a high benchmark.

 Special thanks to Paul Burns and his team for getting our tram stops a special wash down to bring them back to a reasonable standard of cleanliness. So many feet create a lot of dirt and muck.  Somewhere a decision was made to reduce this wash down to quarterly.  While I am a great believer in savings we do need to think customer first.

DPTI will be participating in International Women’s Day by hosting its annual debate to highlight the importance of gender diversity on Tuesday, 3 March, 10am – noon, (Ground floor, 77 Grenfell). Featuring staff from across DPTI in two debate teams, each will explore the topic of “Gender makes no difference in making it happen”.
A number of senior executives were joined by the Premier and Minister Mullighan for the first GovChat phone in event, centred on public transport in this instance. GovChat gives members of the public direct access to decision-makers and provides us another avenue to hear the issues and concerns of our customers. The response was great with more than 450 calls received and a further 71 submissions through the YourSAy website. The feedback from this event will directly feed into service improvements.

Thanks to the staff at Corporate Records. I have received a commendation for the work this team undertakes, noting that the “valuable, but almost invisible work” they do is often not acknowledged. I agree. Thank you. While technically not a departmental staff member, Iris Foster is definitely part of our family having staffed our security desk for the past 13 years. Iris is retiring next week and we wish her well in her next chapter.

Have a good weekend.

Michael Deegan