The benefits derived from the programme of Operations Management have been far-reaching, with all original targets exceeded.
The success of this approach has been realised in significant productivity gains among business units, Inland Revenue state in their 2014 Annual report that: “Since the Operations Management programme started in March 2011, we have produced capacity savings equivalent to $17.9 million ($3.2 million above target).” Business units have also seen positive impact on their ability to achieve the right quality of work inside the expected service level.
Inland Revenue is now at the point where it has approximately 3,000 staff who are managed using the methodology and more than 340 leaders actively using the processes and disciplines every day. This amounts to 54% of the organisation, with the methodology adapted to each different area. As the team members are accredited, no other organisation in the world has such a high percentage of staff AOM accredited.
Productivity gains within Service Delivery meant that the peak season of 2014, when very large numbers of taxpayers were filing returns or due refunds, was the most effectively managed peak season ever. Using Operations Management, the Service Delivery business units were able to plan their workforces and predict demand better, leading to an increased ability to meet workloads.
The use of Operations Management has also brought key insights into the running of Service Delivery, by revealing for example, that the most accurate volume forecasts and work plans are built by those closest to the work – not centralised planners.
This has allowed staff in planning areas to be redeployed to support longer-term planning of up to 18 months. Operational planning has instead become a frontline responsibility, with more accurate forecasts that are now within 2% of actual workload.
Leaders in all units have now replaced gut feel with visible information so they make fact-based decisions, understanding their impact on customers, weighing up the options and matching workforce requirements to accurate predictions of demand.
Frontline leaders across all units also now have a shared language and a common understanding and process, forming the basis for a culture of continuous improvement.
The innovative Professional Services solution is also functioning extremely well, putting the Investigations and Advice unit on more of a business footing. The unit’s work now has far greater transparency, enabling planning to be conducted more effectively – on a monthly basis for investigators and on a weekly basis for legal and technical professionals. Moving cases through the phases of an investigation more quickly and increasing the amount of core time available to complete case work.