Learner Success

Delivering Public Value Through Workplace Projects

group of office workers looking at a flip chart with post-it notes

The delivery of public value is a key measure for the public sector, requiring the management capability and the opportunity to create it. Equipping staff with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to deliver change and improve value creation is where education can play an integral role.

A recent powerful example of linking capability and opportunity was a project by Jo-ann Brock. QUTeX Public Sector Managment Program (PSMP) participant and Cultural Capability Officer for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, who completed her workplace project on ‘First Nations staff networks within Queensland Health’. Jo-ann shared her approach and insights with QUT’s Catherine Batch and Dr Antony Peloso and talked through the five key tools used in her project to present a visual story: rich picture, public value, scorecard strategy, diamond stakeholder map, and the strategy map.

Jo-ann’s project explored the intrinsic links between employment and addressing socio-economic factors that influence health outcomes. It proposed to address the current gap in staff retention strategies through review of First Nations staff networks within Queensland Health. The review was conducted alongside a project to investigate and identify what is needed to support the retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, culturally and socially through a state-wide network.

“First Nations people experience significantly poorer health outcomes than other Australians. There are intrinsic links between employment and addressing socio-economic factors that influence health outcomes. The rich picture mapping helped to understand how we can support the retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, culturally and socially, through a state-wide staff network.” said Ms. Brock

A rich picture mapping the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff network space
A rich picture mapping the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff network space (Brock, 2020)

Central to the design of the PMSP, is the creation of public value through a work-based learning approach with explicit use of workplace-based assessments to enable participants to apply theories and frameworks directly into their places of work. The final capstone workplace project in the program provides students with an opportunity to deliver public value, which is aligned with the strategic initiatives of their organisation.

According to Dr Antony Peloso there is consistent feedback from participants who are impressed with both the real-time and real-world benefits for public sector nationally.

“Students receive coaching and mentoring support from teaching staff throughout their project work, lifting the role of the PSMP from an educational platform to that of a creator of value for public organisations. These projects often unearth some truly inspirational and innovative ideas that not only demonstrate the value of the program, but also the significance of public value.” said Dr Peloso.

Public management education needs to facilitate the translation of learning into the delivery of public value, and programs like PSMP, delivered by QUT since 2015, are needed to demonstrate return on investment for public organisations investing in their managers’ ongoing development.

Jo-ann Brock with PSMP educator, Catherine Batch
Jo-ann Brock (left) with PSMP educator, Catherine Batch

For the public service looking for impact from their investment in developing their managers, the application of learning directly into the workplace manifesting at a broader organisational level is an essential consideration.

PSMP is a nationally recognised and dynamic study option catering specifically for mid-level managers in the Australian public service and non-Government organisations. Learn more

Watch the interview with Jo-ann as she talks through her process to the project and the impact it had on her workplace:

2021 Professional Development Planner

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Tony is a Corporate Educator for QUT, teaching strategic thinking, strategy implementation, innovation and marketing. He has strong expertise in strategic thinking and business planning, innovation and creative processes, and leadership development. Tony’s research interests include employee loyalty, organisational climates, and corporate reputation.

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