PPX’s Annual Symposium was held May 17–19, 2016 in Ottawa, with the theme “Planning and Performance: Learning from the Past, Preparing for the Future”. This year’s Symposium saw a record 233 participants in attendance, and was particularly special as PPX celebrated its 20th anniversary.
In keeping with the “Preparing for the Future” portion of this year’s symposium theme, the opening keynote presentation featured Brian Pagan, Assistant Secretary, Expenditure Management of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS), who outlined the strategy being taken to retool the government’s approach to results, measuring them and communicating their achievement to Canadians.
The lunch keynote continued on this theme with a highly engaging panel discussion on the topic of “The Future of Performance Measurement and Evaluation in the Government of Canada”. The panel included former TBS senior executives Michael Joyce and Lee McCormack, and Tolga Yalkin, the newly appointed Acting Executive Director, Program Performance and Evaluation Division, Expenditure Management of TBS. The TBS overall approach to results management and its new proposed Policy on Results were discussed along with lessons learned from past TBS initiatives which could be applied to strengthen these policy developments.
The final keynote presentation of day one featured Max Moullin, Director of the Public Sector Scorecard Research Centre and visiting fellow at Sheffield Business School in the UK. This interactive discussion covered the Public Sector Scorecard, an outcome-focused performance management framework for the public and non-profit sectors in the UK. This framework emphasizes building a culture of innovation, improvement and change and discourages a top-down blame culture. During the talk, UK case studies highlighting the improvement and monitoring of performance across organizational boundaries were also presented.
As the opening keynote presenter for day two, Paule Labbé, Executive Director, Priorities and Planning of TBS presented the government-wide results of the 2015-16 Management Accountability Framework (MAF) process. In addition, the discussion covered the MAF’s role in testing and refining government-wide performance measures for internal services and monitoring the implementation of various Treasury Board policies.
Day two’s lunchtime keynote presenter was Michael Allen, President and Chief Executive Officer of the United Way Ottawa. Mr. Allen spoke at the 2012 PPX Symposium about “The New United Way”, highlighting how its focus on results drives investments that create a measurably better community for all. Four years later, in his presentation entitled “Speaking to the Mind, Nourishing the Soul: How Data and Storytelling Work Hand-In-Hand to Create Lasting Change”, Mr. Allen gave an update on how today his organization is leveraging data-driven analysis to fuel its purpose, better connect with donors and change lives in Ottawa.
The closing keynote address was presented by Douglas W. Hubbard, President, Hubbard Decision Research. Douglas is the inventor of Applied Information Economics (AIE) and author of the business best-seller “How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business”. AIE is a rigorous, quantitative approach to improving how and what we measure and how we make the big, risky decisions that use those measurements. In his presentation, Mr. Hubbard described how it is possible to measure any “intangible” and responded to questions submitted by participants on particular challenges they had in measuring the “un-measureable”.
Concurrent Presentations Sessions
In addition to the insightful keynote presentations offered during this year’s symposium, many concurrent session presentations were delivered by members from the PPX community. During these thought-provoking sessions, presenters focused on a wide-variety of work being undertaken within their respective areas, while they generously shared their lessons learned and promising practices with symposium participants.
Presenters for these sessions included senior officials and staff from Veterans Affairs Canada, Canada Border Services Agency, Health Canada, Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canadian Internet Registration Authority, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Also included were senior consultants from Interis I BDO, Goss Gilroy Inc., and BMB Consulting.
Since its inception, PPX has become increasingly engaged with the university community, sponsoring and supporting graduate student research in planning and performance. As part of this collaboration, the 2016 Symposium included student presentations and poster sessions on innovative and cutting edge research, to connect with practitioners in the PPX community.
Walter Zubrycky is owner of Facilitated Performance Solutions firstname.lastname@example.org Katie E. Brown works as an Internal Audit Manager at the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions. email@example.com
Many of the presentations referred to in this article can be accessed through The Exchange on the PPX website http://www.ppx.ca by registering as a PPX member. Registration is free. Members can also join the PPX Discussion Forum group on LinkedIn and check out the latest in thoughts, events and news on planning and performance in the public sector.