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The Scottish Executive's corporate culture change programme, Changing to Deliver, was launched in January 2003, to ensure that the Executive is fit to deliver the Partnership for a Better Scotland. This evaluation of Changing to Deliver ( CtD) looks at progress made in the four areas of the programme: culture and behaviours; outward focus; policy making; and corporate processes. Drawing on evidence from three evaluation phases, this paper tracks changes over time and details the main findings from the latest evaluation phase conducted in autumn 2004. This latest phase involved qualitative research with Scottish Executive ( SE) staff, Ministers and external stakeholders, complemented by results from the 2004 Staff and Stakeholder Surveys.
Across the four themes, considerable improvements were reported in policy making and outward focus. CtD has directly contributed by legitimizing outward-focused practices and encouraging a systematic approach to policy making across the SE. Areas of particular strength identified include:
- increasing customer-focus with greater knowledge of stakeholders
- more informal and regular contact with stakeholders
- treating stakeholders with courtesy and respect
- regular and inclusive consultation
- a more systematic approach to policy making
Ongoing change and improvement will need to fine tune outward focus and policy making to: further improve stakeholder engagement and consultation; raise public awareness of the work of the SE; improve the use of evidence and policy evaluation; increase join-up across the organisation; and improve policy implementation.
In terms of culture and behaviour, there was found to be:
- greater recognition of a corporate vision promoted by senior civil servants
- increased understanding of CtD
- significant buy-in to the aims of CtD
However, it was felt that managers throughout the SE need to help translate the aims of CtD into practice and further increase consistency of behaviours. In addition, there is a need for further communication about the change programme with Ministers.
Fewer improvements were reported in corporate processes. The evaluation raised concerns about human resources issues such as recruitment, staff churn, appraisal, promotion and reward; as well as highlighting scope for additional improvements to finance, procurement, IT, training and reception procedures.
The drive for change and improvement continues, and a range of work is currently underway to ensure that the Executive continues to make progress. The priority is to build on the work that has gone before and to ensure we have an Executive which is equipped for the future challenges and expectations it will face.
Changing to Deliver ( CtD), the Scottish Executive's culture change programme, was launched in early 2003. This evaluation, undertaken by the Office of Chief Researcher, tracks changes that have been made across the Scottish Executive ( SE) over recent years in four areas of the CtD programme:
- Policy making
- Outward focus
- Culture and behaviour
- Corporate processes
SE staff, stakeholders and Ministers have been consulted at regular intervals throughout the last two years to provide baseline, phase one and phase two data. The latest findings were obtained in autumn 2004, involving:
- focus groups and correspondence with 55 A-C Band officials (senior civil servants were not involved at this stage)
- focus group and correspondence with 10 stakeholders
- individual interviews with 6 Ministers
This qualitative data is also complemented by findings from the 2004 staff and stakeholder surveys involving:
- 2,691 staff from core departments across all grades
- 824 external stakeholders
In the areas of overlap, the findings of the CtD evaluation are broadly consistent with findings from the 2004 Staff and Stakeholder surveys, except for the areas indicated in this paper.
This report draws on findings from all of these studies to provide a longitudinal evaluation of changes over recent years on the four themes and an indication of things to take forward. It is difficult to draw direct causal links between CtD and changes in the four areas, but this is highlighted where respondents felt CtD had made a difference.
Where have we got to?
Policy making has established a strong identity for the SE and there was a feeling among stakeholders and Ministers that over the past few years the SE does less 'tartanization' of policy from Whitehall. The recent smoking bill was illustrated by one stakeholder as an example of the SE developing its own 'brand' of policy which was different to Whitehall.
Staff, stakeholders and Ministers felt that policy making had become more systematic throughout the SE and, according to staff policy making was closely following the model put forward in training courses. Staff also noted that the Policy Makers' Network enabled skills to be shared across the SE. Staff feel more strongly than stakeholders and Ministers that improvements in policy-making processes are due to the influence of CtD:
I think CtD has improved general awareness of a consistent policy cycle and process; and the Policy Makers' Network and some of the events in Policy Week help to show a consistent approach. (Official)
Staff, stakeholders and Ministers reported some improvements in joined-up working and identified some examples, such as the:
- use of electronic Records and Document Management system (e RDM) and Corporate briefing system (briX) to help share information across the SE
- collaboration of several departments working on Children's Services
- integration of grants from various areas to make their administration more effective
Consideration of policy implementation has shown significant improvement according to Ministers. Moreover, 62% of participants in the Stakeholder Survey also felt that the SE was focussed on delivery. However, this contrasted with the views of staff and stakeholder evaluation participants who saw room for further improvement in this area.
Ministers thought that evidence was generally used in policy-making. Staff registered improvement, but were more negative about how much the use of evidence had become mainstreamed. Stakeholders expressed the most negative views in this area. This appeared to be due to the fact they interpreted 'evidence' as stakeholders' frontline knowledge, rather than systematic data gathering.
Finally, the pace of policy making, a concern in the early stages of the evaluation, was no longer raised as an issue.
What are the outstanding issues?
Although there have been significant improvements in systematizing policy-making, participants suggested improving key components of the process, such as policy evaluation and join-up. This echoes findings at baseline and phase one.
Staff and stakeholder evaluation participants identified a 'silo mentality' operating in the SE, which prevents staff identifying cross-cutting issues shared with other departments. Staff also identified a lack of join-up between officials and Ministers, especially when different Ministers were involved on the same issue.
Staff and stakeholders suggested join-up could be improved by sharing good practice by, for example, holding seminars. Staff also felt that managers could take the initiative to work across departments and ensure buy-in from all interested parties, irrespective of departmental affiliation. Both staff and one Minister suggested join-up could be improved by increasing face-to-face and telephone communication, rather than the current perceived dependence on e-mail. Another Minister suggested that the creation of teams, drawing together staff from across the SE to work on short-life issues, would help break down barriers.
Although Ministers and the 2004 Stakeholder Survey reported more positive views about implementation, staff and stakeholder evaluation participants believed it could be given greater consideration in SE policy making. Stakeholders felt that the SE does not reward implementation skills among its staff or seek out the expertise of stakeholders. Staff and stakeholders argued for greater consideration of delivery earlier in the policy-making process by drawing in stakeholders to help with this thinking. It was felt this would establish a more collaborative relationship for greater ownership of policy.
While stakeholders acknowledged the Executive's use of agencies in strategic thinking and service delivery, they argued that the bureaucratic nature of this relationship may need revising. They advised giving greater consideration to the impact of agency status on both the agency and the SE.
Use of Evidence and Evaluation
Staff believed policy development does not draw on enough evidence and that there is still a lack of policy evaluation. Some officials perceived that this is because Ministers are following Partnership Agreements or being influenced by public pressure. Ministers interviewed stressed the importance of using evidence to inform policy direction and strategy and to feed creative thinking. Ministers also suggested improvements such as:
- conducting research which takes a longer term look
- better co-ordination of research publication and department announcements
- making better use of research and linking to subsequent policy
- maintaining flexibility for 'short and sharp' research studies, rather than being committed to a programme
- more working with universities and encouraging a think tank approach
Stakeholders were concerned about the rigour of information and expertise of individuals influencing Ministerial decisions. Stakeholders recommended that the SE provide a forum for chief executives of stakeholder organisations to discuss key issues and present evidence rooted in their expert knowledge and experience.
Where have we got to?
A consistent view held among staff, stakeholders and Ministers was that improvements have been made over recent years in the Executive's outward focus, and that CtD has been significant in this development. The views of two stakeholders reflect those of all respondents:
The Executive is undoubtedly more outward facing. It appears to see itself increasingly as part of a broader 'civic Scotland' rather than simply being at the apex of a hierarchical system. (Stakeholder)
Overall, I would suggest there is a high degree of collegiality and care taken to be inclusive…. The SE are certainly trying to widen access and participation from a range of communities, stakeholders etc., and this has to be commended. (Stakeholder)
In the baseline study, concern was expressed that SE staff did not know who their stakeholders were, but it appears advances have been made and this is no longer a concern. It is also notable that the previous 'patchy' commitment to stakeholder engagement has disappeared as a concern.
Improvements in outward focus have manifested themselves in four ways. First, the SE displays many characteristics of a customer-focused organisation, according to staff, stakeholders and Ministers. Staff are considerate of customers, courteous, respectful and easy to contact. One Minister suggested this may be due to the employment of staff from other sectors introducing a customer focus to the SE. The availability of secondments to enable staff to broaden their experiences, as well as bringing in experienced staff from outside the Executive, was also considered effective for enhancing outward focus. Staff felt that CtD had enabled them to be more outward focused, for example, by legitimizing site visits which help them liaise with key stakeholders. However, it is ironic that some staff felt that the emphasis on improving outward focus and stakeholder engagement had been detrimental to internal change and improvement. One commented:
There is a general perception that CtD is about delivery and services to stakeholders, rather than inward focus and internal change. (Official)
Second, a consistent view was that engagement between the SE and stakeholders has improved over recent years. Devolution, CtD, Freedom of Information, and Ministers' practices of seeking external advice, were all seen to have contributed to this development. Engagement has become more informal and more regular, creating a better sense of partnership and collaboration. One Minister particularly noted that this had also helped to solve problems at an early stage, achieve policy change, encourage ownership of policies and enable successful delivery.
Third, staff, stakeholders and Ministers felt that consultation was an embedded part of the policy-making process and is now both inclusive and more frequent, with some more recent improvements in the variety of consultation methods, such as e-forums and focus group meetings. Concerns raised at the start of CtD, that the public voice was not being heard by the SE, were no longer expressed by participants. Staff and most Ministers felt that improvements in consultation were a consequence of CtD, though one Minister felt that the embedding of consultation in the parliamentary process had contributed to this improvement rather than CtD per se.
Fourth, staff and Ministers felt some improvements had been made in informing the public about the work of the SE. The 2004 Staff Survey registered some support (57%) for the idea that the SE communicates effectively with the Scottish public. Some staff felt that websites had made information more accessible and enhanced the profile of the SE. However, more consistently staff, stakeholders and Ministers stated that there is a need to improve communication with the public about the work of the SE, especially to distinguish the Executive from the Parliament.
What are the outstanding issues?
Outward focus has seen marked improvements, but participants suggested that further advances could be made by having more effective engagement, 'smarter' consultation and greater communication with the public, as outlined below.
Engagement with Stakeholders as Partners
Staff, stakeholders and Ministers felt that more frequent and more open engagement with stakeholders should continue. Staff and Ministers generally felt that increased engagement with stakeholders would build trusting relationships. While this would mean risking some confidentiality, it was considered worth taking this risk to improve performance. Although one Minister, cautioned that it is important for the government to maintain control over the policy decision-making.
Stakeholders welcomed more quality engagement with officials and Ministers to enable their voices to be heard above the 'noise'. However, stakeholders requested more information about decision-making processes and suggested that the SE should make clearer to stakeholders how much is open to change. Some stakeholders commented on special advisers' influence over Ministerial decisions and the lack of transparency about this. For staff and Ministers, however, this was not an issue.
Ministers, staff and stakeholders felt consultation could involve greater use of different methods. Staff and stakeholders felt that while consultation is now much wider than in the past, it does not allow for a diversity in approach when specialist information is required. Some staff suggested that the Executive could make greater use of 'smart consultation', that is, rather than aiming to send documents to a wide range of people and always striving to go beyond the 'usual suspects', taking the opposite approach can be helpful at times:
The 'usual suspects' are usual for a very good reason….instead of using a 'blanket stakeholder list'…there's a time and place for a chat with half a dozen organisations who can help us. (Official)
Some staff and stakeholders expressed the view that the balance in consultation has shifted too much in the direction of taking on board the public voice, rather than that of experts.
Communication with the General Public
A consistent view held among staff, stakeholders and Ministers was the lack of public awareness of the Scottish Executive and, for several Ministers, an ineffective branding of the organisation. Ministers suggested:
- using more targeted communication rather than reliance on press releases
- using more PR rather than just advertising campaigns
- promoting the work funded by SE ( e.g. flood prevention or road light repairs)
- improving the SE logo and branding
- making greater use of local papers to communicate with the public
Culture and Behaviours
Where have we got to?
At the end of the CtD evaluation baseline study in early 2003, one of the most significant conclusions drawn was the lack of 'a single, established and promoted corporate vision' for the Executive. This no longer seems to be the case, as there is a general recognition of a corporate vision. The words of one stakeholder reflect this positive opinion:
There definitely seems to be a much greater clarity of overall vision. This seems to be accompanied by a less hierarchical style of working with greater delegation to heads of section. I assume these developments have been made possible by a greater sense of common purpose among the 'Top Forty' of senior civil servants. (Stakeholder)
Staff more readily identified the connection between improvement in the corporate vision of the SE and CtD, which was a departure from earlier evaluation phases when staff typically attributed the changes to devolution. Stakeholders generally felt changes in corporate vision were due to a greater sense of common purpose among senior civil servants, and improvements to the structure of the organisation, which had resulted in a less hierarchical way of working. Ministers generally continued to view improvements as an extension of devolution, though with some acknowledgement that CtD had also made an impact, as one Minister said:
Things were improving since devolution, but have been further improved and 'finessed' by CtD. The civil service is crisper, sharper and more focused... CtD may have helped give people confidence and permission not to go through the older channels. (Minister)
SE staff and stakeholders' understanding of CtD had increased and they had become more knowledgeable of, and engaged with CtD. However, not all Ministers were fully aware of the aims of the programme and how these were being achieved. Staff and stakeholders felt this culture of change and improvement was becoming more embedded in the SE. In earlier phases of the evaluation, participants had focussed on the direction and areas of change, but this was no longer a major concern. Instead, staff and stakeholders felt the programme had successfully focused on some key areas and that it should continue to drive forward change in these areas. Furthermore, senior management was no longer singled out for criticism in obstructing improvements to culture and behaviour, though it was felt there was room for improvement in leadership across the SE.
There was a significant level of buy-in to the aims of CtD among staff in all three bands. However, the view that change was actually becoming embedded in the SE received the strongest support from Band C, some from Band B and almost no support from Band A. Supporters of CtD in Bands C and B believed the most significant impact had been in giving a 'green light' to allow change. However, critics in Band B emphasised that there had been a disappointing lack of tangible effects on their everyday work. For most A-Band staff, CtD was seen as having little or no impact on the culture of 'bandism' in the SE.
What are the outstanding issues?
Band-A staff noted that while the training courses and Policy Makers' Network usefully translate the meaning of CtD into something tangible, they are excluded from such events, preventing their full understanding of CtD initiatives. Overall A-Band staff, together with some staff in Bands B and C, believed that 'bandism' is still operating to exclude A-Band staff not only from the CtD programme itself, but also from wider areas of working in the Executive. For one participant, in the unique position of being able to cross bands, this was a question of not being consulted:
Because I'm a B1 [on temporary promotion] at the moment, I'm involved. I get asked my opinion - this is excellent. But I'm the manager of X at A2, but my opinion isn't sought. I'm not even copied in. When I'm a B1 they want my opinion, but as an A2, I'm not asked. (Official)
It was thought that future improvements could focus on bringing Band A into the change programme, and involving them more generally in the work of the SE, particularly at branch level. One Minister also commented that CtD is too 'elitist' and does not have enough relevance for junior staff.
Inconsistency in Behaviour
Inconsistency in behaviours across the SE was reported by all respondents. On the one hand, these inconsistencies were described by some as examples of individuals and their willingness (or otherwise) to embrace change as part of the corporate culture. On the other hand, a few felt that this was a more systemic problem affecting certain areas or departments in the Executive. Strategies put forward for addressing the problems varied according to where it was thought inconsistencies lay, though staff and stakeholders were unanimous in their views that strong leadership would reduce inconsistencies.
Less criticism was levelled at senior civil servants than in the past. However, staff felt that attention should focus on developing a stronger role for managers in communicating how CtD and corporate initiatives impact at a local level, thereby aiding the 'filtering down' process and translation into tangible actions. One Band B staff member commented:
The vision is laudable, but the practicalities of the job don't allow it. Managers need to translate the vision. (Official)
Some stakeholders felt that a change culture could be further mainstreamed by shifting from central control of a dedicated CtD division, to having 'change champions' at department level. Stakeholders also felt a stronger line should be taken to respond to inappropriate behaviours that would bring the SE more in line with the private sector, for example, by removing individuals who fail to accept the change culture.
As was the case in previous evaluation phases, a considerable number of staff viewed inconsistency of Ministerial buy-in to CtD to be a constraint on change. Some Ministers noted that they were not fully aware of the aims of CtD, whereas other Ministers were aware of the aims, but felt that these had not been met.
Both Ministers and staff felt that Ministers could be better informed about how CtD impacts upon them in their work with officials. This would enable Ministers to support the policy-making process that CtD seeks to improve, while also helping them to be more aware of good practice. Ministers felt this required clearer communication from management, so that they are fully aware of what the change programme aims to achieve. One Minister suggested that the change programme should set precise (annual) aims and should monitor and report on these.
Services to Ministers
Ministers reported that the quality of briefing, speechwriting and ministerial correspondence was inconsistent across the SE. As in previous research, Ministers felt there was too much reliance on written briefing, rather than face-to-face contact. Ministers noted some improvement in working with officials on briefing, in particular the increased 'team' approach between Ministers and officials. However, they reported some problems with the quality and timing of briefing received in some instances. Similarly, they noted that whilst some individuals write good speeches, the overall quality of speechwriting tends to be poor, and it is not given enough importance within the organisation. Ministers also expressed concerns about the quality of ministerial correspondence, particularly the spelling and grammar.
Where have we got to?
As in previous phases of the evaluation, discussions with staff, stakeholders and Ministers about corporate processes generally focussed on human resources issues; though IT systems, business planning, finance, procurement and reception procedures were also mentioned. Most staff did not attribute changes in corporate systems to CtD, though a small number of staff, mainly managers, drew connections between CtD and performance appraisal, business systems and finance systems.
Staff felt that the performance appraisal system has helped to systematize the appraisal of staff; to recognize culture and behaviours, such as outward focus and policy making skills; and to encourage managers to carry out performance appraisals on a regular basis. Several staff members could see links between competencies and the aims of CtD, though the majority did not make this connection. Some staff approved the move to competency-based interviewing and behavioural indicators which allow for a consistent and open approach to recruitment and promotion.
The introduction of the Excellence Awards as part of CtD was considered by some staff to have been a positive step in recognising good work and valuing staff. However, while some felt that the awards had helped to highlight good practice, others felt they had been under-exploited in terms of sharing good practice across the SE.
A limited number of staff, mainly from C Band, who had been involved in business planning, reported improvements over recent years and, in particular, felt that senior managers were now more focussed on planning and strategic thinking. They also felt that improvements had been made in finance systems, which, they argued, had made the organisation more financially accountable. These C-Band managers felt that CtD had been instrumental in making business planning and finance more systematic and improving performance in these areas. IT systems have improved for staff over recent years, with more corporate internet and intranet designs helping provide a uniform image and greater access to information.
What are the outstanding issues?
According to staff, some stakeholders and Ministers, corporate processes in the SE have seen few improvements over recent years and, a few actually felt things have got worse.
Recruitment and Secondment
Recruitment continues to be a major concern for staff, stakeholders and Ministers, especially the inflexibility and long lead-in time to get staff into post. Generally, it was felt that recruitment should become more focused on helping to solve the business needs of the SE. Staff stressed that changes to the HR system had not addressed staff shortages. Stakeholders and Ministers also felt that the recruitment process was resulting in the SE missing out on the best candidates because of the slow process and lack of flexibility about salary offers. One Minister commented that the skills brought into the organisation by staff could be better utilised and that there should be more flexibility to allow short-term teams to be set up for specific projects.
As in earlier phases of the evaluation, staff, stakeholders and Ministers praised the use of secondments, and urged their greater use as a way to boost change within the SE. A predominant view was that bringing staff into the SE would import fresh cultures and behaviours. Equally, enabling staff to experience other work environments outside the SE would allow them to bring a fresh perspective on their return.
Staff churn, an issue that was raised in the baseline study, continues to be a major concern for all Ministers and some stakeholders, though not for staff. Both Ministers and stakeholders were particularly critical of staff churn because, they believed, it reduces the knowledge of SE officials, weakens their professionalism and expertise, and has detrimental effects on relationships with outside organisations. The 2004 Stakeholder Survey, however, found that although SE performance on staff churn was rated poorly by stakeholders, it was not considered to be a priority area for improvement.
Appraisal, Promotion and Reward
As in previous phases of the evaluation, the majority of A-Band staff expressed strong views about the difficulties they face in passing promotion boards and the lack of weight given to current performance. Some staff with managerial responsibilities felt competency-based interviewing did not give enough scope for questioning candidates about work experience relevant to the vacant post. One Minister was surprised at the number of capable officials who failed SE promotion boards.
Some staff were concerned that the lack of differentiation in the performance appraisal system categories make it difficult to recognise good work. Stakeholders were also critical of the capacity of the SE to handle staff who were not performing well. As in earlier phases of the evaluation, managers were urging a more flexible system for rewarding staff, particularly at the local level. Although the Excellence Awards were recognised as a means for rewarding work, some noted that there had been tensions among colleagues where very good work had not been nominated or awarded. Staff felt that examples of good work celebrated in the Excellence Awards could be shared more widely to highlight good practices, perhaps in lunchtime seminars.
Though staff registered high levels of satisfaction with the training they receive to do their jobs, as in previous phases of the evaluation, A-Band staff remain dissatisfied with their exclusion from courses which limits their development opportunities. More generally, staff felt that more information could be given on course content and selection.
In the baseline study in early 2003, Ministers recommended greater use of finance experts, and they continued to raise this point in November 2004. Some Ministers also raised concerns about the lack of regular financial updates, despite repeated requests made to officials in some instances. One staff member felt that finance remains 'mysterious', even for people involved in it, and another reported difficulties with managing budgets for staff expenditure, due to a delay in updating staff on payroll lists.
Although staff identified some improvements in IT systems over recent years, some staff suggested that there should be 24/7 IT assistance as in other large organisations. Some Ministers felt that the IT system would be improved if Ministers were able to directly access their emails and documents electronically. One Minister felt additional software for diary and caseload management would be helpful.
One Minister suggested that guidance on procurement practices could be further improved to encourage consistency of practice. In addition, one stakeholder commented on new developments in procurement and felt that although the procedures satisfy the 'demands of a risk culture' by providing an audit trail, they are too bureaucratic.
Several stakeholders also noted that reception procedures were variable, with some SE buildings reported to be unprofessional and unwelcoming. They suggested having a name badge on arrival, making the reception process more uniform throughout all buildings, and providing a courteous reception area which appeared to be less focussed on security.
Across the four themes, significant improvements have been made in policy making and outward focus. It is evident that CtD is recognised as playing a part in encouraging stronger outward focus and systematic policy making across the Executive. In the area of culture and behaviours, success in establishing and communicating a corporate vision and gaining support for change throughout the Executive has been offset by a lack of translation of CtD into tangible action at a local level. There was some acknowledgement of changes to corporate process, but overall little improvement was registered, particularly in the area of human resources.
Findings suggest that the current broad-ranging approach ought to continue in culture and behaviour, but more emphasis could be given to ensuring managers lead change through all parts of the organisation and at all levels. Greater communication is also required to create a shared understanding of the change programme between Ministers and SE officials.
Further change and improvement can fine tune outward focus and policy making, by paying closer attention to raising the quality of engagement and consultation, and improving join-up and implementation. In the area of corporate processes, the findings indicate there is a need for much greater alignment between corporate processes, particularly human resources, and the business needs of the SE.
Building for the Future
This report identifies a number of areas of improvement over recent years. However the drive for change and improvement continues, this report and other evidence has informed a range of work currently underway to ensure that the Executive continues to make progress.
Policy-making and outward focus
The Executive has introduced a major new training programme on policy-making, which has so far seen almost 400 members of staff trained in a more open and engaged style of policy-making with better use of the evidence base and more effective evaluation. This is reinforced by a programme of more structured and focused engagement with stakeholders, and continuing work on ensuring that policy-making is 'joined-up' across departmental boundaries.
Culture and behaviours
The SE has a continuing focus on excellence, and strives to publicise and promote internal examples of best practice in working more effectively with Ministers, stakeholders and colleagues. The introduction of an annual Excellence Awards scheme seeks to celebrate and reward examples of good practice, and work is underway to implement a new approach to internal communications within the Executive. Change Forum discussion groups for staff from across the organisation provide an opportunity for staff to become more engaged in the change agenda and seek to encourage local ownership of change and improvement.
A survey of Executive staff has been undertaken to look at finance skills and knowledge, and the Executive has introduced a major programme of awareness raising and training as a result. Improvements to the way the Executive manages human resources are being made, together with improvements to the way information is managed internally through the introduction of an electronic Records and Document Management system. The Scottish Executive Management Group has introduced a balanced scorecard to support its strategic management of the organisation, and this is complemented by work to embed Best Value across Departments.
Support to Ministers
The Executive continues to strive for improvements in the way it supports Ministers, with a new approach to producing speeches, reinforced by intensive training. A number of pilots are also being run to test different approaches to improving the quality of the Executive's written replies to correspondence.
The way ahead
Continuous improvement is part of the core business of all areas of the Executive and the focus of improvement work has now moved towards local ownership of change. The Executive's priority is to build on the work that has gone before and to build a Scottish Executive which is equipped for the future challenges and expectations it will face.
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