Management Practices Audit: Communications - Follow-up Report Status Update as of September 30, 2014

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Action Plan Implementation Status Update Report to the Audit Committee - As of September 30, 2014


Management Practices Audit: Communications
Approval Date: 27/06/14
Project Recommendations Action Plan Expected
Completion Date
Program Response
1. The Director General, Communications Branch should strengthen directorate-level work planning processes to better forecast and manage client requirements, prioritize tasks, and manage operational requirements.

The Branch will draft a 2-year Corporate Strategic Communications Plan designed as a planning document to assist all departmental communicators (regional and headquarters), as well as sector clients and regional clients to be engaged in issue-based, key priority and regional operational planning that will take into account an adaptive approach to shifting workloads and technologies.

This plan will be informed by quarterly meetings between Communications Managers and their respective clients to collaboratively identify communications activities, deliverables, and time frames of specific immediate, medium- and long-term key action items.

April 2016
Flexibility in the planned implementation date will take into consideration operational demands, evolving expectations and ongoing Departmental priorities.

October 2014

Status: Underway

As of 30/10/2014:

Draft of the Corporate Strategic Communications Plan is in progress. Planning is underway for a branch wide session to seek input and feedback on the Plan from Communications staff.

Starting in the third quarter of 2014-15, Communications Senior Management (Directorate-level) will hold quarterly meetings with Sector Senior Management (ADM- and/or DG-level) to collaboratively identify communications activities, deliverables, and the time frames of key action items. The meetings will also be used to assess Communications processes, tools and activities. A questionnaire will be used to guide these discussions and to ensure comparability of input and feedback across the Department. The implementation of this new forward work-planning process will enable the Department to anticipate emerging issues, proactively establish priorities and work plans, enhance coordination amongst directorates and ensure effective Communications support across Sectors.

New tools and processes are in place and are being used to assess shifting workloads. An example is a new internal tracking process on GCPedia which has resulted in a new information source for workload assessment. Work is now progressing on trend analysis towards predictive forecasting and priority setting.

AES: Recommend to close.

2. The Director General, Communications Branch should enhance succession planning and move toward a needs- and competency-based learning and development model to better position the Branch to respond to emerging needs and conflicting priorities.

As part of its succession plan, the Branch will:

  1. Create a Branch-wide learning road map for all levels (IS-02 to IS-06) to support the current and future needs of the organization.
  2. Build on the existing learning opportunities and activities in place to develop and enhance employee knowledge and skills using the PSES results as a benchmark and incorporating where feasible, language training.
  3. Continue to perform a talent management review on an annual basis
  4. Recruit and initiate Aboriginal employee development at all levels
October 2014

Status: Underway

As of 30/10/2014:

A comprehensive learning roadmap plan has been developed and its implementation is underway.

The language training strategy is being developed; research includes best practices from other GoC organizations.

The talent management review exercise is well underway. A questionnaire and schedule for a series of interviews with each unit manager is being developed. First interviews beginning in November, 2014.

A draft of an Aboriginal recruitment strategy has been developed for the Branch.

AES: Ongoing

3. The Director General, Communications Branch should develop and implement client service standards for the Branches primary communications services. Using the GCSuite of tools, the Branch has recently updated its business products, practices and procedures which will pave the way for the development of service standards and a performance measurement framework.  

Status: Underway

As of 30/10/2014:

The evaluation group was established and weekly meetings started September 10, 2014.

A draft performance measurement framework (PMF) has been developed and is now under review. A variety of models within the GoC were examined to develop this PMF.

Communications Senior Management quarterly meetings with Sector Senior Management will help inform the development of tools to solicit and evaluate the satisfaction levels.

AES: Ongoing

An evaluation group will be established to draft and implement this framework. October 2014
Tools will be developed tools to solicit and evaluate overall Client/ Program/Branch level of satisfaction with communications advice and products. December 2014
4. The Director General, Communications Branch should improve internal communications by setting clear and consistent expectations for internal communications within all directorates and communicating with staff on the results of the recent Branch reorganization.

Open and effective channels for internal communications will be improved by expanding collaboration via GC Suite of tools and the Branch's new Intranet.

The Branch will also undertake a workplace well-being assessment to help prepare for ongoing generational technological changes. This will include a workload assessment to determine how tasks and responsibilities can be accomplished, guided by the principles of Destination 2020.

Fall 2014

Status: Underway

As of 30/10/2014:

Work continues on the Branch presence on the new Intranet and GCPedia. The business procedures, products and practices of the Branch are being transitioned from a print document to the Intranet, with a focus on usability by AANDC communications staff.

Branch staff has been encouraged to use GCPedia, GCconnex and to join the Ambassadors Network for the GC2.0 Tools. Most staff now use GCPedia as part of an internal tracking process, resulting in a new information source for workload assessment.

A list of actions and means to improve open and effective channels for internal communications has been drafted for review.

Re: Well-being and Workload Assessment. A Statement of Work was developed and sent; and following the contracting process, completion date is now expected to be Spring 2014.

AES: Ongoing


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