The first principle of Lean is to define value from the client’s perspective. Trying to understand value for client in the public sector has always been a challenge, and the challenge seems to get bigger and bigger as the system of delivering value to citizens gets more and more complex. Complexity in the Canadian public sector seems to owe mostly to increased reporting – not increased services.
Value in the public sector can be defined by the ultimate client: citizens. Governments and public servants must create and provide value for citizens, the collectivity. Democratic governments are elected to help guard the good of the collectivity. Citizens delegate their powers of decision on the collectivity to elected officials who, supported by an impartial public service, manage the common good in a manner that returns value on the investment the citizens have made through their contributions, i.e. taxes. Canadian citizens elect members of parliament and give up to 50% of their hard-earned money for these members to manage it in a way that creates value to the society they live in.
Value is defined ultimately by citizens being safe, secure, healthy and living in a clean environment. Value is defined by the freedom of religion; of expression; of peaceful assembly; and of association; and by the respect of the democratic, legal, mobility, equality, language and aboriginal rights.
This is the ultimate value citizens are looking for. The question now is: are processes aligned to produce “widgets” that fully support this value?
Originally published on LinkedIn Value for Clients in the Public Sector