Want to optimise the public sector? Break the organisational silos


As many governments and public sector organizations continue to flatten and fewer people serve the broader public on lower budgets, breaking organizational silos is one of the most needed optimization efforts towards 2020. But how can the problematic be solved and a higher degree of efficiency reached?

Similarly to private sector, public sector organizations are often comprised of poorly coordinated bureaucratic structures - “silos”.  Originally, these have been created as a way to structure processes and manage human capital. Today however, silo approaches are perceived more negatively, blamed on historical working relations representing an “it has always been like that” attitude to work.

Silos are manifested in different forms: of hierarchy, on sectors or themes (like healthcare or education), and on mode of value delivery: there are thinkers, planners and the doers. Unfortunately, all separated throughout the organization. Due to the historically established bureaucratic structures, finding a way to integrate these dimensions and delivery modes and take advantage of the potential dynamics is incredibly challenging.

Innovation and leadership can break barriers

To improve the efficiency of the public sector and governmental institutions, structural changes will be necessary to enact. Breaking organizational silos involves harnessing technology and other innovations, greater cross-governmental collaboration, project-based task management, and transitioning from providers to facilitators to create affordable government. Diverse inter-organizational services and business units must be integrated to foster knowledge sharing  and cooperation as well as grow scalability.

There is a great need of somebody to lead this process and as breaking organizational silos really is about leadership and vision -  the decision must be taken by the top management. However, to optimize the working processes, external partners with specialized expertise should also be consulted. Both internal and external knowledge sharing is necessary as it increases the ability to develop forward- thinking initiatives that offer consolidated service delivery.

Breaking down silos provides new opportunities for FM

This provides FM with an opportunity to facilitate the breaking of organizational silos with innovative solution and integrated service pathways. As the working culture becomes more decentralized and project-based, FM will be required to accommodate the transient work and workplaces of the evolving, and increasingly decentralized, less-siloed public sector. There is also going to be more emphasis on FM for non-critical roles. This could for example be bringing in more electronic services, robust security services, transportation and car parking services, training services and delivery services. FM providers must clearly show how they are willing and able to fulfill the range of operational needs the public sector is coming to demand from external actors. As well, FM managers need to offer solutions that drive inter-organizational efficiencies by eliminating redundancies and improving communication.

Towards 2020 the public sector will undergo a number of changes and the role of the FM provider will evolve. Therefore strategic alignment will be increasingly critical. Learn more about Why the next 10 years matter for FMs and the public sector here or download our ISS 2020 Vision: Future of Public Sector Outsourcing Whitebook.

Which public sector efforts are the most important ones to optimize in your opinion? Join our discussion below.