Headlines: May 17th, 2002

Systems thinking, looking at organizations as systems rather than groups of functions, has been around for a long time, particularly in industry. As public services move to a customer focus it is becoming more relevant to the search for improved performance. It also supports the changing roles of managers.The systems thinking approach to re-engineering processes is now being successfully applied in public bodies. A fundamental rethink of benefits processing procedures identified why claims moved slowly and why there was a waste of resources. A review of a booking system showed that work was being broken down into different functions. A re-design reduced booking time from 14 days to minutes.

A conference on 6th June organized by Vanguard Education <http://www.lean-service.com> will provide insights into the way systems thinking is being developed in different parts of the public sector. It will also show how it is compatible with Best Value, Charter Mark and the EFQM Excellence Model.