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Understand the Service Guide

Understand the Service Guide

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Published by adbwaterforall
Understand the Service Guide
Understand the Service Guide

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Published by: adbwaterforall on Jan 14, 2013
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Continuous Improvement & Benchmarking
Understand the service – Guide
There are three sections in this Guide:
1.Interviewing staff and stakeholders;2.Mapping processes; and3.Identifying opportunities for improvement in processes.
The first skill is needed when you are investigating services and also when you are mapping theservice processes.Process mapping helps you understand the sequence of activities, and allows you to investigateissues such as errors, rework and delays that will reveal opportunities for improvement.
124053825.doc Created: 30-Oct-04 Revised: 14-Mar-05 © 2004 ADB Institute1 of 13
Continuous Improvement & Benchmarking
Interviewing staff and stakeholders
Staff involved in delivering the service often know more than anyone else about the current state of the service. So, to understand the service delivery, you will need to consult with staff, often byinterviewing them either singly or in groups. A “stakeholder” is someone with a valid interest, or “stake” in the service. Stakeholders mightinclude:
representatives of funding sources, such as other levels of government;
representatives of the community or customers, such as NGOs or local communityofficials;
senior managers or elected representatives serving on committees of managementoverseeing the service. As staff and managers within the organization are closest to the service and are easily accessible tothe team, we usually start by interviewing them.Follow these steps:1.Make a list of process “experts” (officers who work in the process and who know a lotabout it), process “owners” (managers responsible or accountable for the service) andimportant “stakeholders”.2.Decide how you will approach them to investigate the service – face-to-face interviews,singly or in a group, written questionnaire, telephone interviews, etc.3.Make up a list of questions to ask each person or group. Consider the list over the pagewhen you are compiling your own list.4.Contact the interviewees, explain your reasons for meeting with them and request ameeting time.5.When you meet the interviewee(s), explain again the purpose of the interview, how theinformation will be used and what the level of confidentiality will be.6.Ask your questions and record the answers. Be ready to depart from your preparedsequence to follow a different line of inquiry, if it seems useful.7.Make good notes.8.Thank the interviewee and offer to give them feedback on the results of your investigations when all information has been gathered.The list of questions shown over the page will guide you on some general points you should knowabout any service.
124053825.doc Created: 30-Oct-04 Revised: 14-Mar-05 © 2004 ADB Institute2 of 13
Continuous Improvement & Benchmarking
Questions for investigating service processes
How to use this list
1.Read this list before you begin your investigations.2.Decide which questions in this list need to be answered, and who you should ask.
What Acts, Regulations and official policies and procedures govern this service?
(Ask to view copies.)
What is the division of responsibilities between your organization and others withresponsibilities in this area (what are National / Provincial / Municipal / District / local levelgovernment roles)?
(Prepare by reviewing any official documents on division of responsibilities between thevarious levels of government.)
 Are any changes to the organization structure planned or likely soon?
(This question is important because there is no point in doing a detailed analysis and improvement project on something that is soon to be changed through another reform.)
 Are there any aid projects affecting this service or process?
Service Objectives
What are we trying to achieve in this service or process?
(Use this question only if you do not already know – it should have been established in theservice definition – check the Outcomes.)
What might happen if this service was closed down?
(The response will tell you how important the person thinks the service is – how critical it is for the achievement of important objectives.)
 Are you achieving what you planned for the service or process ? If not, what has caused thegap? What actions are planned to reduce the gap?
Planning and Budgeting
Is there a good planning process that forecasts users’ demand for the service and budgets theresources needed?
Who pays for the service? (What is the division of funding between various levels of government, are there any fee-for-service payments by the users of the service, is therefunding by aid donors etc.?)
 Are the budget amounts (including any from donors) adequate for meeting service demand? If not, how much is the shortfall?
124053825.doc Created: 30-Oct-04 Revised: 14-Mar-05 © 2004 ADB Institute3 of 13

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