مدیریت پروژه بخش دولتی: مورد وزارت خزانه داری ایتالیایی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|8222||2004||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||6616 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Project Management, Volume 22, Issue 3, April 2004, Pages 213–223
Project management strategy in the public sector has attracted the interest of many scholars since the late 1980s, following the growing pressure on governments to abandon bureaucratic organisations in favour of leaner structures. Though Italy is considered a late developer in this movement, its scope, speed and consistency of reforms is considered remarkable [OECD, (2001), Reviews of Regulatory Reform in Italy]. Within this context many projects have been undertaken trying to implement the ideas of New Public Management (NPM) [Public Administration (1991) 69:3; Accounting, Organizations and Society (1995) 20:93]. This paper reports on a reengineering project carried out at the Italian Ministry of Treasury which tested a methodology drawn from the literature of process engineering. Multiple dimensions and actions proved to be crucial in managing the project: the paper discusses them and their relative importance over the life of the reengineering project.
Since the beginning of the 1980s many countries have been trying to change public organisations, responding to the mounting pressure to reduce budgets and increase the quality of services provided. This widespread movement is often labelled as new public management (NPM)  and  and many scholars (see for example ,  and ) attribute its origin to the British initiatives of Thatcher's reforming conservative government in the UK from 1979 on. The movement has been a driving force for governments for downsizing and elimination of waste, and it has led many public organisations to revise their procedures and structures for complying with the principles of economy, efficiency and effectiveness. The application of business techniques is one of the more significant elements which has led many public institutions to undertake major, modernising projects. This trend has attracted the attention of many scholars who are interested in different issues. First of all, a general concern has been shown for the difficulties of managing a project in the public sector: are business methodologies appropriate to these organisations? Which are the critical success factors? Second, a recent trend in public sector research has focused the attention on the “reality” of this change; some authors  and  suggest that projects and more generally the use of business techniques is a way for adapting to the external environment in an isomorphic way . This means that organisations use projects as a façade for legitimation and for picturing themselves as modern to the external environment. According to this perspective after the completion of the project, public entities continue to use old practices and present the new one in the façade emerging, which is their formal structure. Third, after 2 decades since the first attempts, an emergent field of research poses the question whether the rise of different projects, at different levels, at different times is an answer to the reforms or are they elements of a failure to achieve the comprehensive change claimed by governments. The present paper addresses the overall problem of implementing a project within the public sector, presenting the analysis of a reengineering carried out in the Italian state administration as an action research intervention. The idea of the research is to first draw on the existing literature to identify the main issues of managing a project, and in particular a reengineering intervention, in the public sector. The theoretical framework used refers to three streams of research: (1) NPM, business process reengineering (BPR) and project management. The NPM literature helped in pointing out and analysing the most relevant issues implied in the change of public sector institutions; (2) business process reengineering offers both theoretical and empirical studies, which have been the basis for developing a methodology suitable for state administrations; and finally (3) the project management literature which integrated the definition of the “action” approach. The combined approach to the analysis highlighted the major problems and the main instruments in undertaking such a project. This led to the definition of the methodology which was subsequently applied in a public organisation, the Ministry of Treasury. This organisation represents the ideal field for such an application. Its critical role as a change agent, the dynamic legislative context in which it is embedded, and the increasing pressures from different stakeholders, reflect the typical situations discussed by NPM researchers which all make the Ministry of Treasury a relevant example for testing the methodology. Furthermore, the intervention addressed a process, the management of European Structural Funds, which is under scrutiny itself and contributes to the creation of the complex situation in which many public institutions operates. The paper starts with an introduction to the Italian situation to provide an understanding of the context in which the research was conducted. The second part is an outline of business process reengineering that has served as a background in the definition of the methodology and for preparing the empirical application. The central part of the article is devoted to the findings. Finally the last section sets out the conclusions of this study.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Implementing a project in public organisations has become an important issue in recent years. This interest in this context too, has been stimulated by the reforming movement that has spread across all the OECD countries in the last two decades. Though governments have started to change at a different pace, the principles of the reforms are similar and they are commonly addressed with the label of New Public Management  and . Italy is considered a late adopter of this movement, starting the legislative change only at the beginning of the 1990s. Nevertheless the breadth of policy changes is remarkable and it makes the Italian context an ideal field for researchers. The increased importance of Italy is proved by the attention recently given by international researchers , , ,  and . One of the implications of the NPM movement is the proliferation of business techniques applications by undertaking a project. In such a context this paper has analysed the problems of managing a reengineering project in public sector organisations. The findings of this paper are based on data from an action research approach carried out in a 3-year period at the Italian Ministry of Treasury. In this paper we have drawn on NPM, reengineering and project management literature. NPM has informed the investigation of the major issues involved in public institutions changes, informing the definition of a tailored approach to reengineering in such organisations. The available literature on BPR was essential in defining the methodology. However project management contributions to the literature completed the framework, adding cross-fertilisation of elements which were fundamental in the empirical phase. The specific interest in Structural Funds was raised by the recent changes in their legislation: (1) the increased number of eligible countries, (2) the definition of stricter monitoring procedures, (3) the reduced overall budget. These changes stressed the need of achieving a more efficient process management. The complexity of the process and the huge number of stakeholders involved have allowed an investigation of a complete range of critical dimensions and identifying possible actions for facing these situations. The results presented in the paper are not generalisable to all public organisations elsewhere. However the process of change studied may have a wider interest for other public sector organisations. The major theoretical findings of the paper cover three dimensions; first insights from, and the limitation of BPR available methodologies in approaching a public sector redesign; second, strictly related to the first, the identification of possible actions on the implementation of reengineering in government settings; third the importance of project management issues throughout the project. Further the action research rationale has given empirical evidence of the real applicability of the above approach. A major finding of this study relates to the insights gained from and the limitations of business reengineering methodology. Though some authors suggested that public sector projects can be managed following business approaches, literature and the experience at the Ministry of Treasury proved that a tailoring is needed. The adaptation of the methodology has been discussed using seven dimensions (D) and seven actions (A) which are considered to be relevant. As shown in Table 1 a single action can influence many phases of a reengineering project. The first issue is the enlargement of the social system governing the project. The political nature of public institutions generates the necessity to involve on one hand elected members and on the other hand stakeholders that apparently are not related to the process under revision. The structure of these institutions is the result of subtle negotiations, which can disappear in the formal facade though remaining at the core of the organisation. Revising a process in public sector means revisiting this network of relations, creating possible tensions; for this reason the involvement of all stakeholders is essential. Involving all the actors is necessary but it is not enough: when actors with different interests are involved the negotiation on goals can become never-ending. The empirical experience at the MoT suggested that the use of a formal instrument enhanced this process. The particular instrument adopted here is a map of goals and users, which was defined by each member of the steering committee and subsequently agreed with them. Another important element for avoiding problems during the reengineering project was the definition of constraints. Recent approaches to BPR have stressed the importance of anticipating problems from the beginning, abandoning the radical Hammer and Champy's approach  which advocated forgetting all constraints and starting from a blank sheet. Our approach is more relevant in public institutions where constraints are more difficult to remove. In particular the analysis should tackle the legislative sphere, underlining possibilities or additional struggles for achieving the project completion. The last two actions introduce the third major findings of this paper: the importance of project management issues. The first element is training; human resources in public administration, but particularly in Italian institutions, did not have a management background. The introduction of business techniques causes defensive resistance and negative behaviour which could prevent the success of the project. Though the involvement of internal staff is important, providing the proper training is essential from the initial phases of the project, because it allows a full immersion of people in the project proceedings. A second important element is the control of the project and results. Defining achievable milestone and emphasising the need to maintain a timescale helped to address behavioural struggles in the reengineering, minimising the risk of people being diverted and trapped by their routine activities. Two further instruments helped in avoiding project failure: continuous communication and the definition of a management control system. Both formal and informal communications, such as official reports and frequent meetings, allowed the circulation of information at all levels, informing constantly on the results of the project. The defined measurable indicators was fundamental: particularly for convincing the steering committee and maintaining the needed commitment . It is important to highlight that all these instruments were more effective because they were supported by the use of formal structured groups: the steering committee, the project team, the work groups. This approach helped in rationalising the change process: first the groups represented a reference and discussion point for internal staff, all along the project duration; second their presence enhanced the process of legitimation within the organisation diminishing the potential for conflicts. The approach was successfully applied at the Ministry of Treasury and the ESF payment process revisited. The new procedures have been tested for a 3 month period and different benefits have been so far shown both by final user and internal staff. First the new process and the rationalisation of activities prevent the duplication of documentation and reducing the need of documentation cross-checking, which had caused considerable delays in the past in the payment process. Second the reduction of payment time allowed more rapid reimbursements for the Italian regions, which began to reduce their financial exposure. The management control system implemented allowed a reduction in cost around 35%, on average, and in time of 48%. At present the full implementation of the procedure on a routine basis needs the final approval of an already proposed law which is under discussion at the Parliament.