Neil Mann – Understanding And Working With Senior Executives In The Australian Public Service

Apis is valued by our Australian government clients for providing complementary skill sets to the Australian Public Service (APS) workforce and respecting our clients’ expertise.

NEIL MANN – UNDERSTANDING AND WORKING WITH SENIOR EXECUTIVES IN THE AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC SERVICE

Apis is valued by our Australian government clients for providing complementary skill sets to the Australian Public Service (APS) workforce and respecting our clients’ expertise.  In particular, we are often engaged by Senior Executives with the APS to provide project or program management services, business analysis and design services, and other professional services such as procurement.

Over the years, we have had the opportunity to work closely with the SES, a select group of Australian Public Service (APS) employees, each of whom provides professional expertise, policy advice, and/or management at a high level. SES roles are diverse, and include:

Every Apis assignment gives us the opportunity to work with different SES teams, each with its own unique set of capabilities, experiences, and preferences.  We take great care to tailor our advice to best fit the personal style of these teams and their specific needs.

Given the nature of the core SES roles, skills in project and program management or business analysis and design are not typically key areas of professional development for SES officers. Few SES are dedicated to a full-time project or program director role, and where SES are nominated as senior responsible officers for a project, they will normally have a wide range of other responsibilities.

While SES officers are often allocated responsibilities for project and program management, or program design and implementation in line with their position within their organisation, we find a successful approach is to separate these roles from business as usual roles and instead allocate roles according to an SES officer’s personal strengths.

The following diagram illustrates the different contributions that an SES officer may be able to make.

Understanding an individual SES officer’s personal strengths can help define who to involve or consult at particular stages of a project.  Whether roles are allocated formally or informally, Apis seeks to engage SES officers in a way that seeks to leverage their expertise and therefore enables them to best contribute to a project.

Neil has been a principal consultant at Apis for more than 5 years. Before that, Neil was a senior executive in the Australian Public Service for more than 17 years, including in roles as Deputy Commissioner of Taxation (ATO), First Assistant Secretary (Department of Immigration and Citizenship) and Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Australian Customs and Border Protection Service).

APIS CANBERRA INTERNATIONAL 2017