Helen McDonald talks more slowly than Steve Lamey

From the same conference at which Steve Lamey discovered he had to manage the media differently, some late* notes on the session by Helen McDonald, who is the CIO for the Canadian government (or, of course, being Canada, the considerably more splendid sounding Dirigeante Principale de l’information).   Canada is No 1 in the Accenture rankings so worth paying attention.

Helen has a very low key delivery, which means that she can say things which are quite staggering and the penny only drops later.

*Now very late – I wrote most of this at the time, and have just discovered that it was never posted.  I think I may now have got a copy of her slides – if I can track them down, I will add them here.  Helen’s slides are available here .

Canada is on the way to meeting its own 2005 target (which is about key services), but

  • services have not been re-engineered
  • focused on external outcomes, not internal efficiencies
  • government acting not as an enterprise but in silos

So, they are developing a new model they are calling Service Canada – one stop, multi-channel – and explicitly borrowing the Australian Centrelink model.

Project governance – basic systems in place sound similar to ours – but the implicit assumption that being on time/on budget/delivering full functionality means that benefits will be achieved is clearly wrong, so there is a need to focus much more on outcomes:

  • strategic alignment
  • performance measures
  • risk

95% of current IT spend is within individual departments – so implementing ‘Act as One’ to drive to much greater commonality.  An IT shared services organisation will deliver

  • common email – Spring 06
  • common office applications – Autumn 06
  • common desktop – Spring 07

as well as a common data centre – firm plans by Spring 06, in place from Summer 07.

Managing as an enterprise would require

  • common view of client
  • common business processes
  • common identification of employees
  • single information infrastructure

and so a need for an enterprise architecture which sits on top of the existing EITA

Channels and marketing

The telephone  channel is still preferred, but users of the telephone are the unhappiest  and users of the internet are the happiest about the service they receive.  In their biannual customer survey, 28% of respondents in 2003 said they wanted to use multiple channels, which had increased to over 50% by 2005.