- Public Sector Innovation Toolkit.
- Background to Public Sector Innovation Project
- Context for public sector innovation in Australia
- Resources on Public Sector Innovation
- Twitter account @PSInnovate
Here is a copy of the plan, converted to HTML:
APS Innovation Action Plan
- Innovation compact for APS leaders
- Members of the Secretaries Board
- Action areas
- Other initiatives
The Innovation Action Plan, endorsed by the highest levels of the APS, provides that mandate. It acknowledges that harnessing the innovative potential of the APS and the wider citizenry is critical to success, and so it sets out principles and a structure to achieve this. Complementing other APS reform initiatives, the Action Plan provides a framework for embedding innovation in the APS to achieve better outcomes.
The Innovation Action Plan provides the platform and agenda to build an innovative culture in the APS by supporting creativity, responsiveness and delivery excellence. Innovation is not new to the APS, with many agencies having implemented innovative initiatives and many individuals having embraced innovation. However, efforts to systematically embed innovation into the operation of the APS are relatively recent.
Openness to ideas and new ways of doing things will keep the APS at the forefront of public administration. Our aim is that the APS will be a stimulating and rewarding environment for our staff and this will be reflected in our results and achievements.
To formally demonstrate our commitment to a more innovative APS, we, the members of the Secretaries Board, commit to implementing and adhering to an Innovation Compact and Innovation Action Plan for our organisations. We recognise that implementing the Innovation Compact and the Innovation Action Plan is a crucial step on the ongoing journey to position the APS for the future.
- Recognise innovation as a process that can and should be systematically pursued
- Involve the user and the citizen in the design and development of our services and policies
- Pursue open processes that encompass a wide range of experience and expertise
- Generate results through involvement, utilising partnerships and collaboration
- Facilitate the creativity inherent in our organisations, and welcome tests, pilots and experiments
- Recognise risk as an inherent part of innovation
- Promote and celebrate innovation successes
- Acknowledge that not all innovation will succeed, but that we can learn from failures
- Use procurement to spur the generation and uptake of innovative solutions
- Be accountable for delivering and implementing the Action Plan and successor initiatives
- Mr Ian Campbell PSM
Department of Veterans' Affairs
- Mr Drew Clarke PSM
Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism
- Ms Jane Halton PSM
Department of Health and Ageing
- Mr Finn Pratt PSM
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
- Mr Peter Harris
Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy
- Dr Martin Parkinson PSM
Department of the Treasury
- Dr Paul Grimes PSM
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
- Mr Andrew Metcalfe
Department of Immigration and Citizenship
- Mr Terry Moran AO
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
- Mr Mike Mrdak
Department of Infrastructure and Transport
- Ms Glenys Beauchamp PSM
Department of Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government
- Dr Conall O'Connell
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
- Mr Blair Comley
Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency
- Dr Don Russell
Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research
- Ms Lisa Paul AO PSM
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
- Ms Kathryn Campbell CSC
Department of Human Services
- Mr Dennis Richardson AO
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
- Mr Steve Sedgwick
Australian Public Service Commission
- Mr David Tune PSM
Department of Finance and Deregulation
- Dr Ian Watt AO
Department of Defence
- Mr Roger Wilkins AO
The generation, selection, implementation, sustainment and diffusion of ideas will be explicitly supported at all levels, and agencies will formulate and implement strategies to harness innovation for delivery of high quality policy and services.
The Action Plan will better mobilise resources in the APS to respond to challenges through collaboration, experimentation and ongoing learning. It supports harnessing new technologies, analytical disciplines and applying new perspectives.
The Action Plan focuses on the following four action areas:1
Developing an innovation consciousness within the APS
Building innovation capacity
Leveraging the power of co-creation
Strengthening leadership so there is the courage to innovate at all levels
Initiatives associated with each action area are outlined overleaf.
Innovation NetworkThe Public Sector Innovation Network is a community of public servants, academics and practitioners interested in innovation in the public sector. Innovation is rarely easy and requires support, advice and encouragement.
The Network provides a community of peers who can assist each other in creating, applying and sharing innovative ideas and will, over time, provide a rich source of innovative capability. Public servants (including state, territory and local government employees) who wish to join the Network can email the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research at: PSI@innovation.gov.au.
The Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research also facilitates a practitioner sub-network of those responsible for driving innovation in their agency.
Innovation Blog and Innovation ShowcaseThe Public Sector Innovation Blog is a platform to assist innovation practitioners in the APS to share experiences of, and insi1 Consciousness
4 Courageghts into, public sector innovation.
The Public Sector Innovation Showcase will enable government agencies and departments to share and celebrate case studies of innovation, and to consider how they might apply such innovative practices within their own operations to achieve better outcomes.
Agencies are encouraged to contribute to both of these platforms and share their stories about how innovation is being applied in their organisation. These platforms are open to state, territory and local government agencies and can be accessed through the Blog at http://innovation.govspace.gov.au and the Showcase at http://showcase.govspace.gov.au.
Public Sector Innovation EventsRecognising that long term value is captured through dissemination and diffusion of innovations, the APS and its agencies will institute mechanisms to recognise, celebrate and share innovation efforts. This will be done by:
- agencies being encouraged to introduce their own innovation awards, potentially as a part of the existing Australia Day Awards processes
- supporting the Australian Public Service Commission to include public sector innovation as a key theme in its event planning, including for SES breakfasts and APS 200 events
- supporting the Australian Public Service Commission in organising innovation related events around key opportunities such as visiting experts
- agencies holding innovation themed events to discuss, share and celebrate public sector innovation within their agencies.
Agency Corporate PlansIn order to build the broader case for innovation and to explain why it is important, agencies will incorporate innovation into their strategic plans. This will help agencies harness the power of innovation and help staff know how they can contribute to the innovation efforts of their agency. This process will begin immediately.
Innovation ToolkitThe Innovation Toolkit is a package of practical innovation resources to support the APS at all levels to generate innovative solutions. It will include:
The Toolkit resources will be evolutionary, recognising that we still have much to learn about these approaches and how they are best used. Further information on the Innovation Toolkit can be obtained by emailing the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research at: PSI@innovation.gov.au.
- advice to help people understand innovation and how it can be harnessed
- guidance on how to implement innovative ideas
- a description of innovation tools and how they may be best utilised
- information that assists agencies to adopt the tools as needed
- links to other resources.
The Innovation Toolkit can be accessed through http://innovation.govspace.gov.au.
Secondments/MobilityThe Australian Public Service Commission, as part of its considerations in enhancing APS capability, will look to develop secondment/mobility options for APS staff to expose them to new ideas and influences from the public, private and community sectors.
Secondment and mobility options will broaden the knowledge of APS staff and enable better connections with the broader community. Participants will bring different perspectives, knowledge and networks to their work in the public service.
Australian Public Sector Innovation Indicators Project (APSII)The APSII project will develop indicators to facilitate the measurement of innovation performance by public agencies. The project will survey innovation in the APS to better understand our innovation capability and to enable agencies to better assess their innovation capabilities and performance.
APS Design CentreA centre (or centres) dedicated to innovative approaches could assist to:
The proposed initiative could inspire creativity and collaboration and provide a platform to test innovative solutions. It could help practitioners to adopt new perspectives in thinking about a problem.
- develop and test new approaches to complex policy challenges and to enhance government program delivery
- build agency and institutional capability for collaboration and innovation
- apply and test tools/processes and bring new skills to support innovation in the APS
- capture, synthesise and disseminate examples of best practice in Australia and overseas
- respond to citizen demand for responsive and innovative services.
Such an approach would facilitate cross-agency interaction involving public servants, academics, citizens and businesses to create solutions for societal problems. It could fast track building the capacity of the APS to develop innovative policy and service delivery, keeping the APS at the forefront of citizen delivery and responsiveness.
Development work on this approach is underway, with an outcome expected in late 2011.
Innovation OutreachAll members of the APS are potential innovators. As part of the broad responsibility for efficiency initiatives the Department of Finance and Deregulation will look to identify and communicate across government, innovative suggestions for efficiency gains and productivity improvements which may be made by public servants or the public. In doing this the Department of Finance and Deregulation will investigate the merits of (a) an Improvements Register which is able to be shared across agencies to build expertise and momentum, and (b) public sector outreach initiatives like the US SAVE Awards.
Leadership MandateThe APS Innovation Action Plan and its attendant Innovation Compact, developed by the APS200 Project on Public Sector Innovation, are endorsed by our Agency Secretaries. This is a major commitment to the future role for innovation within the APS. It is a commitment to making our APS agencies responsive and agile. The Compact will take effect immediately.
Ongoing leadershipThe APS200 as a whole is responsible for implementing the Action Plan and embedding a culture welcoming of innovation in the APS. Senior APS executives will be responsible for implementing the innovation agenda within their agencies by including innovation as a key component of organisational performance systems, and hardwiring innovation into agency leadership systems.
The Secretaries Board, as the pre-eminent body for issues affecting the APS, will oversee the implementation of the Innovation Action Plan's initiatives and recommendations from Empowering Change: Fostering Innovation in the Australian Public Service. Reporting on the implementation of the Action Plan to the Minister for Innovation and the Secretaries Board will begin in 2012 (undertaken by the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research and the Australian Public Service Commission).
AwardsAwards to celebrate and share the best innovations from Australia's public sector are important, as they signal our celebration of success and effectiveness. They are important to enable others to see how it can be done and to provide models for others to adopt.
Beginning in 2011, innovative public sector projects, initiatives or change processes will be assessed for recognition as part of the Prime Minister's Awards for Excellence in Public Sector Management (run by the Institute of Public Administration Australia, ACT Division).
Agencies are encouraged to nominate relevant activities or projects and to also introduce their own innovation awards, potentially as a part of the existing Australia Day Awards processes.
Recognising the variation of innovation approaches and opportunities within the APS, implementation of the initiatives will proceed based on each agency's specific opportunities and needs. This offers the potential for agencies to learn and build on successes as well as create momentum for future initiatives.
Innovation involves iteration - trying new ideas, seeing if they work, and then trying further ideas to do even better. Just as innovation requires repeated attempts, the APS will need to try a number of approaches to foster innovation and each agency will have to assess what is most appropriate to its operations.
An innovative APS starts with individual public servants wanting to try new ideas. Following are some of the resources available to help you innovate:
- Empowering Change: Fostering Innovation in the Australian Public Service
- Innovation in the Public Sector: Enabling Better Performance, Driving New Directions, the Australian National Audit Office's Better Practice Guide for public sector innovation
- The Innovation Blog http://innovation.govspace.gov.au
- The Innovation Toolkit http://innovation.govspace.gov.au
- The Innovation Showcase http://showcase.govspace.gov.au
The aim is to help government agencies and departments to share examples of innovation and to consider how innovative practice may be applied in their context to achieve better outcomes.
The Showcase went live on 4 March 2011, with a small number of examples, designed to demonstrate areas of existing innovative capabilities across both the APS and the states. We encourage agencies to support the Showcase and ensure ongoing interest by providing further examples of innovation from their experience. Examples can be provided via the Showcase site http://showcase.govspace.gov.au, or by emailing the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research at: PSI@innovation.gov.au.
The Innovation Toolkit can be accessed through http://innovation.govspace.gov.au.
Further information on the Innovation Toolkit can be obtained by emailing the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research at: PSI@innovation.gov.au.
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1 The four action areas have been adapted from Christian Bason, 2010, Leading Public Sector Innovation: Co-creating for a better society, The Policy Press, Bristol