PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Public Policy Forum in Canada worked with senior Canadian government administrators to explore agility and what it means for the Government into the future.

Key Points

  • The following key elements are identified in the report which define agility:
    • Adaptability – the ability to adjust and meet changing requirements
    • Innovation – the ability to generate and use new ideas, methodologies and technologies
    • Collaboration – the ability to leverage internal and external knowledge and resources to enhance the mission
    • Visibility – the ability to create and maintain transparency to enhance fact-based decision-making
    • Velocity – the ability to recognize and respond with the requisite tempo to new circumstances and events
  • The paper explore partnerships, including agility won’t be fully realized until governments are more open and engage meaningfully with potential partners
  • Strong leadership is a key enabler of agility. Agility can’t be expected without investing in the required leadership skills
  • Surveyed Canadian leaders agreed in the report that government agility overwhelmingly hinges on the capabilities of public servants.
  • Investment in IT is unavoidable if the public service is going to be agile and keep pace with the digital revolution.
  • The report sighted that barriers exist in moving towards agile ways of working in Canada, including existing funding models and zero-tolerance for risk taking.
  • It concludes with time to act is now. With the follow strategies:
    • partnering with private sector and civil society stakeholders to leverage innovation and respond to citizen expectations and delivering services in new ways
    • rethinking the civil service career model and required competencies to achieve agility through strong leadership
    • providing staff with more capacity to take risks and support them when ideas don’t succeed
    • recognizing that younger professionals may have different expectations about their career paths
    • redesigning business rules and in some cases, a complete reconsideration of governments’ regulatory role



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