Innovation Toolkit

Imagine you’ve got the opportunity to talk to someone senior in your organisation about innovation, but they don’t know much about it – what would you use to introduce them to the subject?This person might appreciate why innovation is important – most senior officials in the public service will be only too aware of the drivers for changing how many things are done.They might also understand the concept broadly – in a time when innovation seems to be used in every third advertisement, pretty...
For our finale for Innovation Month 2014 we’d like to announce the addition of some new guidance material about horizon scanning to the resources available on the Public Sector Innovation Toolkit.‘A practical guide: introduction to horizon scanning in the public sector’ [PDF 1.5 MB, Word 1.1 MB][1. This material was produced for us by Kate Delaney, through John Robinson Consulting Services Pty Ltd.] gives an in-depth introduction to the technique of horizon scanning and why and how it should be...
Late last year I spoke to the Australian Taxation Office Innovation Community of Practice about DesignGov and what I have learnt about innovating in the public sector. None of this is likely to be new to long term readers of the blog, but at the request of some of the members, and as an opportunity to recap some of the main points, the content is provided below.Ideas are not the bottleneckInnovation can be seen as a five stage process, and as many people have said better than I, innovation is...
In September 2012 I reported that an innovation-specific pilot survey had been launched by the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC). The survey was part of the APSII Project and aimed to measure innovation in the Australian Public Service (APS).  I’m pleased to report that the pilot survey was very successful and provided insightful information on public sector innovation.  A more detailed summary on key findings is available but here are some of the highlights: An innovation-specific on...
How can we in the public service best assess whether a specific intervention has worked – or has worked better than what is already available and is also cost-effective?On Thursday 31 January, the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education and the Department of Education and Workplace Relations hosted a joint workshop looking at the question of how randomised control trials can be used to evaluate public policy. We were joined at the workshop by two expert...
At the Australian Centre for Excellence in Public Sector Design we are seeking to understand what is the nature of the design eco-system and the tools and methodologies being used. In this post I thought I would share with you the results of some of that work and to seek your help.What I have found is that there isn’t a definitive single approach, however all the approaches employed by the various players in the design eco-system seek to give effect to the following five credos (adapted from...
What are some of the resources that you have found to be useful in learning about design (and design for the public sector)?Part of the role of the Australian Centre for Excellence in Public Sector Design is to draw together the different methodologies, approaches and even words that exist about design across the public sector and build up a core common language that can be used by practitioners across agencies.[1. Of course each agency may have its own particular approach or understanding that...
Between May and June 2012, the APSII Project Team undertook cognitive testing of the Draft Pilot Survey designed to measure innovation in the Australian Public Sector.  Cognitive testing ensures that the survey actually measures what it is designed to measure.In developing the questionnaire we had looked at work done elsewhere on this topic. Aside fromSouth Korea, only the Nordic Countries of Europe, the European Commission and theUnited Kingdomhave conducted surveys designed to measure the...
After 18 months of research, consultation, planning and testing, I am pleased to report that the Australian Public Service Commission has now launched the first Public Sector Innovation Survey. This is a pilot survey designed to investigate innovation within the Australian Public Service (APS) and the factors that contribute to its success or failure.  It is part of the Australian Public Sector Innovation Indicators (APSII) Project, which commenced in early 2011. The project is a collaborative...
One of my favourite features of our Public Sector Innovation Toolkit is the IDEAS framework, developed by Professor John English.It's a simple series of questions that help you consider whether an idea is ready to be pursued.I find it a really useful tool for helping me assess my ideas and for working out which ones I should prioritise and where I can get the most value out of focussing my efforts.It's also a great prompt to make sure I don't forget about the areas where my idea might not be so...