Tuesday, 24 May 2016

91. An opportunity assessment for public services

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I'm developing something for our Public Services Board (local strategic partnership) that will help them set up working groups to address priorities that they have identified.  I'm sharing this partly in search of feedback and partly as it may have applications elsewhere.

Essentially this will be a template to help them work through proposals and to feel confident that they are doing something that is achievable and that will make a difference.  One challenge will certainly be framing a distinct ‘product’ and avoiding the temptation to set up groups that disproportionately spend time discussing problems rather than making solutions.

Below is my first draft of an Opportunity Assessment – this is an idea that comes from agile product development but seems ripe for adapting into a public service context.  Here is Marty Cagan's original post that I have worked from.

Turns out that Carl Haggerty has been thinking about something similar and I've been able to have a peek at some of that work in drafting the list below.

Finally, the work of Public Services Boards in Wales is geared to promoting sustainable development under the provision of the Well-Being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.  The final five questions reflect the five 'ways of working' that are identified under the Act.

Any comments / suggestions very welcome.

An Opportunity Assessment for Public Services


The following questions need to be answered before work is initiated.

Product Opportunity Questions

  1. Exactly what problem do we want to solve? (value proposition)
  2. For whom do we solve that problem? (target population)
  3. How important is it for our organisations that we solve this? Is it mandatory? Does it help address service pressures or budget challenges? (organisational imperative) 
  4. What effective solutions already exist? Are there solutions that can be borrowed from elsewhere or local solutions that can be scaled up? (what works)
  5. Why are we the right group to do this? (our differentiator)
  6. Why now? (urgency)
  7. How will we get this to happen? (realisation strategy)
  8. How will we measure success? (metrics)
  9. What factors are critical to success? (solution requirements)


Sustainable Development / Ways of Working Questions

  1. How will long term needs be safeguarded? (Long term)
  2. How will the prevention agenda be supported? (Prevention)
  3. How will the national well-being goals be addressed? (Integration)
  4. How will collaboration be enhanced? (Collaboration)
  5. How will affected citizens be involved? (Involvement)


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