Tuesday, 24 September 2013

The presentation of stage two transfers

Whilst this sounds like something organised by the Football Association, many will now know this is a process embedded in the new arrangements for police service governance. The APCC produced a helpful summary of some of the issues involved a while back which includes this paragraph:
The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act (the Act) which creates PCCs also sets out a second  Stage 2’ transfer which refers to the subsequent movement of certain staff, property, rights and  liabilities from the PCC to the chief constable. The stage 2 transfer is designed to allow elected PCCs the freedom to make their own local arrangements about how their functions and those of the police force will be discharged in future. In establishing these local arrangements PCCs will wish to clarify with their chief constable who will employ which staff, hold which properties, liabilities and assets etc.
There is more information here as well. All PCCs and Chief Constables should by now have submitted their agreed plans to the Home Secretary. She will now review them.

I imagine the information will emerge soon as what the pattern is across England & Wales. What I am hoping for is to see it represented in this way:

Contract of employment with PCC
Contract of employment with CC
Directed/managed by PCC

Directed/managed by CC

Jointly directed/managed by PCC & CC

Directed/managed by CC but with specified & agreed influence by PCC
Directed/managed by PCC but with specified & agreed influence by CC

This will not only provide useful comparisons across the country but also, I believe, clarity for the staff involved.

What do you think?

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Eiji Toyoda, targets & PCCs

It might have escaped the notice of many PCCs (though not all I hope) that Eiji Toyoda died this week, aged 100. Reputedly, this is the man that led Toyota from producing as many cars a year as Ford were producing a day to the global business that it now occupies. Mr Toyoda has also been a beacon light in the quality and performance movement that has changed manufacturing processes across the world - the so called Toyota Way.

The first important thing to notice about the Toyota Way is that it is a philosophy of doing business, not a set of tools that some people mistake it for. You can read about it in any number of web sources and books: just use your search engine. But in summary there are 14 principles:
  1. Base your management decisions on a long-term philosophy, even at the expense of short-term financial goals.
  2. Create a continuous process flow to bring problems to the surface.
  3. Use “pull” systems to avoid overproduction.
  4. Level out the workload (heijunka). (Work like the tortoise, not the hare.)
  5. Build a culture of stopping to fix problems, to get quality right the first time.
  6. Standardized tasks and processes are the foundation for continuous improvement and employee empowerment.
  7. Use visual control so no problems are hidden.
  8. Use only reliable, thoroughly tested technology that serves your people and processes.
  9. Grow leaders who thoroughly understand the work, live the philosophy, and teach it to others.
  10. Develop exceptional people and teams who follow your company’s philosophy.
  11. Respect your extended network of partners and suppliers by challenging them and helping them improve.
  12. Go and see for yourself to thoroughly understand the situation (genchi genbutsu).
  13. Make decisions slowly by consensus, thoroughly considering all options; implement decisions rapidly (nemawashi).
  14. Become a learning organization through relentless reflection (hansei) and continuous improvement (kaizen).
One of the key elements of this philosophy is the use of targets. (Perhaps, you can see where I am going now: Police forces facing dozens of new performance targets BBC news) However, targets are a highly contentious issue in the 'right first time' approach to performance improvement. W. Edwards Deming, one of the gurus of the quality movement, consistently argued that companies should 'eliminate management by objectives' and 'eliminate fear' in his 14 points.

(Aside: why is 14 so special?)

The Toyota Production System certainly talks of targets (see, for example: "Kaizen also requires the setting of clear objectives and targets. It is very much a matter of positive attitude, with the focus on what should be done rather than what can be done" from this Toyota source.) But my understanding is this is mainly about work teams understanding what needs to be done and setting themselves goals, assessing their progress relative to these goals.

But please watch this: John Seddon (a follower of the Taiichi Ohno and the Toyota Production System & proponent of systems thinking) talking about "Cultural change is free: why targets make organisations worse(09:50 in).

It seems clear to me that top down targets do not work. (I published my first article on the net about this back in 2003, the piece is still up there. I have blogged about this several times since as well.

And yet here we have being reported today, the fact that some (not all) PCCs find the lure of top down target setting irresistible: it seems to them to be the logical thing to do.

Despite the Home Secretary's protestations: what did she honestly expect? Create a system of political governance that focuses all the power on a single individual, emphasise the importance of local accountability, set up an electoral process that encourages a manifesto of pledges to be made, require the elected PCCs to produce a local Police & Crime Plan... and hey presto targets are set! Yes the Home Sec can proudly say that she no longer sets targets... but she has created a system which encourages their setting and deployment locally.

But what intrigues me most is not the fact that there are PCCs who have set targets but the ones who have not... There may be an element of politics here, as my colleague Bernard Rix has highlighted on his blog. It may also be that these PCCs are exhibiting a different kind leadership, and perhaps know a little bit about the stuff that Toyoda, Ohno & Seddon have discussed. Here is the list (from the BBC research) of the PCCs who have set targets:
  • Avon and Somerset - 4
  • Cambridgeshire - 12
  • Cumbria - 20
  • Devon and Cornwall - 4
  • Hampshire - 5
  • Hertfordshire - 14
  • Kent - 5
  • Leicestershire - 26
  • Norfolk - 9
  • Northamptonshire - 1
  • Northumbria - 8
  • Nottinghamshire - 21
  • Thames Valley - 10
  • Warwickshire - 6
  • West Mercia - 15
  • West Midlands - 4
  • West Yorkshire - 1
  • Wiltshire - 13
So, maybe, think about who is not on the list... insteadAre they using Toyoda's 14 principles I wonder?

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Section 38 & misconduct

This morning I had the pleasure of reading through the John Harris Memorial Lecture that Tom Winsor (HMCIC) gave to assembled guests of the Police Foundation in the middle of July this year. He has joined an illustrious list of previous lecturers which you can see here.

In case you think I am being tongue in cheek: I am not. His words deserve your attention particularly in the light of events in some police areas in recent weeks. His lecture was entitled Operational independence and the new accountability of policing and he focused on the legalities underpinning the relationship between the PCCs and Chief Constables in the new governance environment.

I am told that the lecture is better read than listened to (an option on the Police Foundation site linked above) since it was quite intense. Apparently, even the tweeters had to give up their multi-tasking and listen closely! Certainly, I had to read a few paragraphs and sentences more than once to understand entirely the point he was making. But I do commend it to you.

If I was being picky, I was somewhat surprised he did not mention the Independent Police Complaints Commission nor reference the excellent words of the Patten Report on operational accountability.

In the lecture, Tom Winsor unpicks the precise pieces of legislation that relate to the PCC/CC relationship and the inviolability of operational independence (at least in legislative theory...)

I am not going to summarise the piece, but I will lift just one quote (with my added emphasis):
It follows that the section 38 power can only properly be exercised for reasons which are related to the performance by the chief constable of these duties and functions and which affect the achievement of local policing needs and related priorities, and not misconduct.
I think that all PCCs and Chief Constables would be well advised to read this lecture, if they have not done so already...